How to Start a Vegan Diet
Learning how to start a vegan diet involves gaining an understanding of balanced nutrient supply. This is because a vegan diet is essentially plant based. It therefore excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy and eggs. In fact, most strict vegans oppose the use of animals or animal products for any purpose.
The term “vegan” was first coined by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society. This word was used to refer to a “non-dairy vegetarian.” In 1951 the society added to the definition of veganism, giving it the meaning: “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals.” Then in 1960, H. Jay Dinshah founded the American Vegan Society. They expanded the concept to include “the avoidance of violence against living things.”
Simple Tips on How to Start a Vegan Diet
Following a vegan diet is not as easy as it may seem. The biggest concern is usually nutrient and protein intake. Therefore, the first step in learning how to start a vegan diet is to consult a licensed nutritionist. In addition, it never hurts to do your own research.
Here are a few tips for starting a vegan diet:
#1: Exercise Willpower
If you don't have the self-control to resist certain foods, then this may not be the diet for you. However, most vegans are so passionate about animal consumption and exploitation, they often express that willpower is not an issue for them.
#2: Educate Yourself on Food Replacements
One of the main things you will need to ensure is that you are getting enough protein in your diet. Soy and grain-based foods like beans, lentils, tofu and chickpeas are common substitutes for most animal products. These are usually available in natural foods stores. Your regular grocer may even have a natural food section where you can find these foods as well.
#3: Take a Variety of Supplements
Although a vegan diet has many known benefits, like improved energy, digestion and skin; nutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin B12 are often lacking in a strict vegan diet. Therefore, consult with your doctor about supplying your body with the daily requirements of these nutrients through supplements.
#4: Ensure That Your Body Is Getting Sufficient Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids support a number of normal body functions. These include building cell membranes in the brain and preventing the blood from clotting easily. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with certain health benefits, such as the protection against heart disease. However, since our bodies do not produce omega-3 fats, we have to get them through food. The average person gets Omega 3 from fish and seafood; yet both are excluded from a vegan diet. Still walnuts and flax seeds are also excellent sources of omega–3 fatty acids.
Finally, be sure to consult your physician before making any extreme changes to your diet.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.