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What Is A Vegan Diet?

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A Vegan is someone who does not use or eat any animal products. I chose this topic because for many months I have been asking myself if being Vegan is healthy and if I should consider it. I know of celebrities who are vegan like Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, Avril Lavigne and Ellen DeGeneres who I am really fond of. One of my friends turned Vegan in grade 8 and she would always post pictures of the food she ate and its contents and that really interested me.If I’m being honest turning Vegan would be really hard for me because that would mean giving up meat which I love. Well giving up meat isn’t really the worst part, the worst part would be having temptation and having my friends rub their Nanos or KFC in my face while I eat my veggies. I do realise that being Vegan is the healthier and a more beneficial choice and I know that if I commit to it then I will be able to do it. In this essay I am going to talk about the Vegan diet alternative foods that have all the vitamins that they need and the pros and cons of being Vegan.

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Vegan diet

Since a Vegan diet is very strict they need to find alternative foods that have all the vitamins that they need. Vitamin B12 / Cobalamin found in Eggs, Fish and cheese is needed to make red blood cells and control normal nerve function. Vegans get their B12 in enriched breakfast cereals, fortified soy products, nutritional yeast or supplements. Calcium needed for strong bones and teeth is found in milk, cheese, yoghurt and leafy greens. Since vegans cannot have dairy products they choose to have almonds, red and white beans, soy foods, almond milk, rice and broccoli. Vitamin D needed for the absorption of calcium and the prevention of rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. is found in egg yolk, meat and fish. Vegans instead have Mushrooms, fortified soy milk and almond milk or plant derived supplements oral spray or capsules Protein acts as a structural component of cells and tissues is found in pork, beans ,egg ,milk and seafood Vegans eat soy, other legumes, nuts and seeds, vitamin D soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, orange juice, some cereals or supplements. Iron needed to carry oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body a lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency; anaemia . Foods that are rich in Iron are: Green vegetables, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit. Zinc is needed to boost the immune system in fighting against diseases and infections is found in seafood, meat, eggs, legumes, baked beans and nuts. Vegans eat soy products, pumpkin, wheat germ, whole grain breads and cereals. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis foods that have omega 3 are: Walnuts, Salmon, Canola Oil, Sardines and Chia seeds.

Foods that may contain animal ingredients

  1. Bread products May contain L-cysteine
  2. Beer and wine Some manufactures use eggs
  3. Caesar dressing some Caesar dressing use anchovy paste as an ingredient
  4. Candy some sweets are made from cochineal insects
  5. French fries some are fried in animal fat
  6. Some dark chocolate some may contain dairy products
  7. Pasta Some types of pasta contain eggs

Pros and cons of being Vegan

PROS

v An improved health potential. If you are at risk of chronic diseases heart or lung disease being Vegan is a good option because their diets are low in saturated fat and are rich in Phytochemicals fruit and vegetables which help reduce the risk of chronic disease

v An increase in antioxidant protect your cells from free radicals

v A vegan diet promotes weight loss: A vegan diet is much lower in calories and because you are knocking out the meat, you’re also knocking out high fat dairy products. Since Fibre is very filling you will be less likely to need a snack between meals which also results in weight loss

v Veganism is more environmentally sustainable: it takes round about1, 600 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef! Shocking right. Making one pound of animal protein needs about 100 times more water than producing one pound of grain protein and we know that water is very scarce in our country so we should be trying our best to preserve it to the best of our ability

v Your digestion will improve: Since Vegans has a 100% plant based diet they are getting enough fibre for their body and this therefore improves their digestive health

v Since Fibre is very filling you will be less likely to need a snack between meals which results in weight loss

v Ethics and environment: Some people are happy just knowing that no animals had to suffer during the process of their meal being made.

CONS

v A vegan diet isn’t automatically healthy: Being Vegan will only work if you make the right choices. For example fries are vegan and you shouldn’t base your diet around Fries so you should still involve other nutrients in your diet

v Excessive weight loss can become weight gain: since Vegan diets are so restrictive, many first timers may find themselves hungrier than usual and will eat unhealthy snacks and treats. The golden rule for transitioning into a vegan is to take it slow and not rush into it

v Difficulty Eating Away From Home: It is sometimes difficult to stick to Vegan diet when eating out since a lot of restaurants don’t have vegan options on their menus. You would usually find vegetarian options

v Can be “carb heavy” Vegans rely mostly on legumes, grains, vegetables and fruits for the bulk of their diet. All these foods contain carbohydrates which is ok. The problem starts if these carbohydrates come from refined sugars and grains which lead to bad weight gain

This research task has taught me lot about Veganism. I have learnt that just because you decide to turn vegan that doesn’t automatically mean you are healthy and also that if I do decide to turn vegan it would be a lifestyle decision and that it would change my whole life. Turning vegan is not an easy decision because it relies on dedication, time, effort and money but once you have all those key points down then you are ready for the next stages. When turning vegan research has told me to take it slow and not jump into irrational decisions and to think thoroughly the pros and cons of turning vegan which I have done in this research task.

Here are some tips you could use if you want to turn vegan. Take note that my limitation is that I’m not a scientist and I have no actual educational knowledge on this matter. This is merely on other people’s information and reports.

Take it easy when turning Vegan, transition slowly rather than jumping right into it because taking it slow ensures more of a chance of you actually staying vegan for a long time and not having extreme cravings and urges for bacon or chicken. Do your homework and back ground check to insure that you don’t neglect any important vitamins or minerals in your diet. Start with dishes you enjoy and try find ways to adapt meatless and dairy free versions of them, but also remember to be adventurous and explore new dishes. Lastly find a community because transitioning alone is not an easy task. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about.

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