A few years ago a lot of people didn’t really know what it meant to be vegan but now, every other restaurant has a vegan option on their menu, and snacks proudly stamp words to the effect of ‘vegan friendly’ on the packaging.
Veganism has had a massive surge in popularity, but before you give it a try, here are some things to keep in mind.
Firstly, if you’re thinking about trying veganism to improve your health, it is worth remembering that there are a million causes of poor health, and it’s likely that eating animal products isn’t causing your health issue. Eliminating them will not magically improve your health.
However you change your diet, it is not only about removing certain foods from your diet. In reality, you need to add foods to your diet to replace the foods you’re removing and this is a learning curve whatever approach you take.
A vegan diet is not the blueprint to health. You can have a bad vegan diet just as easily as if you weren’t vegan – there are a surprising amount of vegan friendly junk foods. Especially if you’re changing from a pretty healthy omnivorous diet, it can also be difficult to lose weight following a vegan diet as a lot of the foods you’ll need to eat as a vegan to get the nutrition your body needs are pretty high in calories.
When you read the information in favour of veganism a bit more closely, you’ll see it is a lot about eating real food. This can be achieved with or without animal products. To think that the person who tops their salad with a fillet of salmon is less healthy than someone who tops it with tofu is just silly.
It is possible to get good nutrition from a vegan diet, but it requires a lot of planning. It sounds like a cliche, but getting enough protein as a vegan IS difficult. Again, it is possible, but it takes a lot of planning to make sure you are getting both the right amount of protein, and the full array of proteins.
If you really want to try a vegan diet, I’d suggest going slowly. Try it just at dinner, for example. Learn how to make one meal a day which meets all of your nutritional needs, and practice choosing food when you’re eating out too.
Assuming your motivation to change your diet is health based, it is important to focus on your health and not simply sticking to the set of rules which your chosen diet advocates. Your body operates independently to whatever set of rules you assigning to it.