A Vegan Diet
Veganism explained. How to have a balanced diet and be healthy living as a vegan. What is vegan, and sources of protein, calcium, and iron.
With serious health conditions and chronic diseases plaguing the world; education about the relationship between food and health; increased awareness about sustainability and climate change; and growing concerns about the need to feed a growing world population in the next 50 years, veganism is on the rise.
More people are adopting a vegan diet or eating more plant-based foods in an effort to be healthier and embrace more conscious lifestyle practices.
I have been a vegan for ten years, and almost all of the recipes on this site (with the exception of about five recipes that contain honey) are vegan and gluten-free.
Here is some basic information about veganism, and tips for how you can go vegan or understand or cook for a vegan partner, child, friend or other family member, friend, colleague, or guest.
Recommended Daily Amounts For Calcium
Eating Out Vegan
There are a wide variety of vegan restaurants catering to all kinds of cuisines in major cities all over the world.
Many mainstream eateries have vegan options, dedicated vegan menus, and icons on the menu denoting dishes that are vegan-friendly.
Salads, soups, vegetable sides, and stir-fries are usually available on most menus, and most restaurants are happy to accommodate special requests.
I will often politely ask for a vegetable pasta dish, stir-fried vegetables, or steamed veggies.
When introducing a vegan diet to a child, try not to be overwhelmed or put off but what seems like a large undertaking of a nutritional uphill battle.
A vegan diet for a child is just as easy as one for an adult, and if executed right can be much better for them. The American Dietetic Association has said that, "Well-planned vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence."
Planning is the key. A well planned vegan diet and lifestyle for child is all about knowledge and education. A vegan diet is achievable and easy to manage. In fact, a plant-based diet has been shown in many studies to be healthier than the average American diet.
Education and working in consultation with a doctor and dietician is key to ensuring that a child receives the right balance of nutrients required at every stage of development. Different nutritional needs need to be met at different ages. Knowing the best vegan alternatives to give your child is important.
With more vegan options at airports, cruise ships, planes, trains, and hotels, traveling as a vegan is getting easier.
Get online and look at the vegan options at hotels and resorts.
Book a special vegan meal with the airline.
Mistakes can occur with catering and serving, so taking a few vegan snacks on board to help with any hunger pangs on a long haul flight.
There are also some great vegetarian and vegan travel blogs.
With veganism on the rise, commercial food companies, grocers, and health food stores all have a lot of vegan options and dedicated vegan sections, and products are often clearly labeled as vegan or vegan-friendly.
Vegan.org have a great list of certified vegan companies for you to keep on your vegan foodie radar.
PETA has an extensive grocery shopping list that makes vegan shopping easy.
Hidden Ingredients On Food Labels from the Vegan Society:
- Fish Oil
- Casein/Whey: Both are made from milk.
- Honey, Beeswax (E910), Propolis and Royal Jelly: All come from bees
- Carmine/Cochineal (E120): Made from crushed beetles. This is a red dye used to color food.
- Rennet: Used in the production of cheese, it originates from the stomach of mammals.
- Paneer: A common cheese in India, it is made by curdling heated milk.
- Kefir: Fermented milk derived from cow, goat or sheep’s milk.
- Koumiss: Fermented alcoholic dairy drink from Central Asia. Taken from a female horse.
- Lard: Pig fat used as a cooking fat, spread or shortening.
- Gelatin : Used in candy, sweets and some desserts Gelatin is made from animal bones and connective tissue.
- Ghee : Used in mainly Indian dishes Ghee is clarified butter.
- Lactose: Used most often as an additive in foods, Lactose is derived from milk.
- Isinglass: A protein substance from the swim bladders of fish which is used in the clarification of wine.
- Suet: Raw beef or Mutton fat, used to make tallow. Used in the cooking of puddings, pastries and pies.
- L-Cysteine (E920): Made from animal hair or feathers this is an additive that can sometimes be vegan but not always, best to be wary.
- Shellac (E904): Used occasionally when glazing candies, sweets and fruit this agent is made from insect secretions.
- Vitamin D3 or “Vitamin D”: Vitamin D3 is not suitable for a vegan diet however Vitamin D2 is.
Everyday Food Products To Check:
- Breakfast Cereals and Bars – Could contain honey or milk derived products.
- Margarines and Spreads – Most contain milk products
- Fresh Pasta and Noodles – Could contain egg (Keep an eye out for rice noodles)
- Candy, Sweets, and Jelly – Double check for gelatin and milk derived products.
- Curry pastes and Worcestershire sauce – May contain fish.
- Stock Powders – Look out for milk derived products
- Alcohol – Wines, beers and ciders are sometimes filtered using animal products.
Other Vegan Shopping:
There are some great vegan alternatives when shopping for anything, from clothes to furniture.
Hidden Ingredients In Lifestyle Products:
- Lanolin: Used in cosmetics and skin ointments, it is wax substance extracted from the wool of sheep and other wool bearing animals.
- Leather: Animal skin and rawhide used to make many different products like, shoes, clothes, furniture, wallets, handbags and gloves.
- Tallow: An animal fat, used to make soap, candles and shoe polish.
- Silk: Produced by some insects but most predominantly by the moth caterpillar, and used in textiles.
- Musk: An aromatic substance excreted from the glands of the musk deer
- Civet: Cat-like animal that produces a musk like fragrance from its glands.
- Ambergris: Used for creating perfume it is a substance made from the digestive system of sperm whales.
- Sepia: a brownish pigment derived from the ink sac of a cuttlefish and used in some artworks, magazines and photography.
The vegan versions of popular foods are just getting better and better, and very popular with non vegans.
I’m not a big fan of faux meat products, But, there are a ton of them.
Meat substitutes: to replace beef, chicken, turkey, seafood and pork that be used in many different dishes like stir-fries, pastas, burgers, and casseroles. These meat-like products are often made from tofu, tempeh, seitan, rice, quorn, or legumes.
Milk: there are so many - almond, coconut, cashew, rice, oat, and soy are the most widely available with artisan brands offering walnut, hazelnut, peanut, and other plant-based milks
Cheese: vegan cheese is getting really sophisticated now with varieties made from nuts, soy, rice, and coconut
Yogurt: soy, almond, coconut, and cashew yoghurts are widely available.
Cream: cashew cream and coconut creams are available
Mayo: there are a wide variety of vegan mayo on the market.