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All You Need to Know About Vegan Diet

Updated on June 20, 2013

The world over people are opting for Vegan diet not just to lose weight but also to stay fit and healthy. It has become a rage. But what exactly is Vegan diet which has gained so much of importance over the past few years?. Basically, vegan diet is a vegetarian diet but it excludes usage of eggs,meat and various other animal derived ingredients and products.

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What is a Vegan Diet?

According to Wikipedia, “Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan”.

The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson (co- founder of British Vegan Society) to mean “non dairy vegetarian”. Nowadays, the term vegan diet and veganism has been gaining momentum all the more. It is not just being appreciated by the athletes alone rather celebrities including health conscious people too are opting for the same. A majority of people turn to vegan diet owing to ethical issues, animal considerations while others do so purely for health reasons.

If eaten in the right manner, then Vegan diet is known to fight many diseases too like heart diseases, cancer, thyroid to name a few.


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What is included in Vegan Diet

So, the big question is: What is included in vegan diet? Vegan diet is said to be rich in fibre, magnesium, folic acid, iron. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin C and E. Vegan diet primarily includes intake of grains, beans, legumes and different kinds of vegetables. Some of the popular vegan dishes include hummus, ratatouille, veggie stir fry, pasta primavera. The vegan dishes instead of using cows or goats milk make use of plant cream and plant milk like almond milk or soy milk. Thus, instead of chicken and eggs you will have apple sauce, ground flaxseeds, silken tofu, vegetarian sausages and veggie burgers. Organic canola, olive and sesame oils, brown rice, tortillas, organic corn chips, quinoa are other diet foods you might opt for being a Vegan. Tofu icecream, cane juice, decaf green tea is also popular.


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How healthy is Vegan Diet

After understanding what the vegan diet is and what it includes it becomes important to find out as to whether vegan diet is healthy or not. There are different views and perceptions regarding the same. The opponents of vegan diet say that since the diet does not include some of the key vitamins and minerals it cannot be regarded as totally healthy. Vegan diet is said to be low in proteins, vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids and calcium. Thus, as far as optimum nutritional requirements is concerned, the vegan diet is seen with some concern by health experts.

Research have shown that vegan diet stands out amongst all the other diets when it comes to weight loss because vegans eat less of fat and calories and therefore have a lower body mass index. Vegan diet is said to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol level and hence prevents the outbreak of various heart diseases, keeps the blood pressure under control and thereby risks the chances of obesity.

Also, “Vegetarians have a 40% less risk of cancer and much less risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and other problems that are common among meat eaters”, according to Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit organization that focuses on preventive medicine.

John McDougall, a physician and founder of the McDougall Plan for Healthy Living believes that milk and eggs are the prime source of food allergies in Americans and hence moving on to an all vegan diet is the best alternative.

Thus, there is certainly a mixed response amongst the researchers with regard to whether one should opt for vegan diet on a complete level or stick to a meat diet.

Do you think it is good to go for an All Vegan Diet?

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Why Vegan Diet for You

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    • hisandhers profile image

      hisandhers 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I've seen a lot of people go on a vegan diet and become really unhealthy because they didn't research alternative ways to obtain the nutrients they would normally get from eating meat and dairy products. It's a great way to maintain a healthy diet but it's good to know more about what you're eating once you make the decision to become a vegan. Interesting hub!

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      Protein is an essentail part of staying healthy. If someone is changing to vegan educating themselves about how to incorporate protein is really important. Good hub. Voted interesting.

    • younghopes profile image
      Author

      Shadaan Alam 4 years ago from India

      thanks for liking the hub, this being my first hub. You are right , vegans might go unhealthy if they are not supplementing their daily nutritional requirements. they need to know the complete details with regard to protein requirements, minerals, vitamins which they might be taking in the form of vegan food or else it might be dangerous on the long run. thanks again friends for your valuable comments.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there, welcome to Hubpages! This was a good read, voted up, useful and interesting. You write well, using clear sentences! Keep it up, and I hope you will be happy here! Have a good day!

    • younghopes profile image
      Author

      Shadaan Alam 4 years ago from India

      thanks, joanveronica for appreciating the hub. I am fine here and hope the same for you too. you really made my day!

      thanks to you rumintasari for your valuable comments. its nice to hear from you. have a great day!

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 3 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      The vegan or plant-based diet is becoming more popular. Those who eat this diet for health with no concern about the animals prefer to use the term plant-based diet like Bill Clinton, Iron Mike Tyson and Rosie McDonnell.

      A deficiency in protein does not exist just like a deficiency in fat does not exist. This idea was promoted by the meat and dairy industry. The meat industry sued Oprah Winfrey and lost since she talked about Mad Cow disease.

      What nutrients that vegans need to be concerned about are vitamin B-12, vitamin D and omega-3 essential fatty acids. But others need to worry since some eat little fish or a lot of omega-6 plant oils. Also the same percentage of meat eaters don't get enough vitamin D and vitamin B-12 as vegans.

    • younghopes profile image
      Author

      Shadaan Alam 3 years ago from India

      @Chuck Bluestein , thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us this useful information, i wasnt aware of these facts before. This is certainly a new addition to my knowledge

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

      Very informative hub. I do eat meat but like most Hindus I am basically vegetarian with eating meat once or twice a week only. I really liked your Hub. voting it up and sharing.

    • younghopes profile image
      Author

      Shadaan Alam 3 years ago from India

      Vegetarian food is quite good esp. i like shahi paneer, mixed veg, etc. Thanks a lot that you liked this hub

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