What Can I Eat If I Am Vegan
Being vegan implies, among other things, a 100% vegetarian diet or one with no food derived from animals. Thus, in addition to rejecting the consumption of meat and fish you cannot eat other foods such as milk or eggs, which establishes the difference between vegetarians and vegans. Thus, people who are new to veganism may ask themselves "what can I eat if I am a vegan?" So in this oneHOWTO article we try to answer this question.
What does being vegan imply?
Those who choose to be vegan choose a diet free from any food that comes from animals, either directly or indirectly. Thus, in addition to avoiding animal products, vegans also reject those derived from animals and do not wear fabrics such as leather or wool that come from animals.
Some go one step further and also add that vegans have to be active in the defense of animal rights.
What can I eat if I am vegan?
Although it may seem that by rejecting foods that come directly or indirectly from animals there isn't much food you can eat, the fact is that today there are many options for a balanced vegan diet. In this manner, if you're vegan you can eat:
- Pulses or grains, where soy is included
What NOT to eat if I'm vegan?
However, because they come directly or indirectly from animals, foods which should not be eaten by vegans are:
- Milk and dairy products
- Margarine (if it contains ingredients like milk for processing)
- Gelatin (commonly found in sweets and industrial cakes)
It is important to note that there are foods which contain ingredients that come from animals although they may not appear to. Thus, it is essential to check the labels and the ingredients of food before consumption and it can be very useful to check a glossary of ingredients that come from animals so you can give up all foods that contain them.
There are many associations such as PeTA, Animal Aid or the Vegan Society that provide these lists and also make sure that all products are correctly and clearly labeled 'suitable for vegans' so you don't have to go through all the ingredients with every single product.
A balanced vegan diet
If you're not quite sure how to get all the nutrients you need being a vegan, take a look at some tips and suggestions that will ensure you stay healthy and don't have any deficiencies:
- Getting nutrients: As a vegan doesn't get iron from fish or protein from meat and calcium from milk, it is important for them to add certain ingredients to their diet: soy, cereal (for example, quinoa) and pulses will give you plenty of protein; combine spinach and chickpeas or rice and lentils to get the right amount of iron and there are plenty of vegetable-based products that have high amounts of calcium such as nuts, cabbage or chickpeas.
- Supplements: Some people may find it difficult to control their diet correctly, or the doctor may find a deficiency. This is no excuse to going back to meat! If you need a little boost you can use B12 supplements and iron supplements, as these are the most common deficiencies.
- Cakes and sweets: There are plenty of delicious desserts that can be made by just substituting some key ingredients like butter, milk and eggs with oil, vegetable margarine, soy milk and coconut milk. Take a look at how to make vegan icing, carrot cake or flapjacks.
- Fake meat: if you still feel like you are missing out on some dishes, know that you can use Quorn or textured vegetable protein to make delicious dishes such as spaghetti Bolognese or veggie burgers.
- There are plenty of alternatives when it comes to celebrations too!
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