FoodFindsAsia | 5 Tips for Transitioning into a Vegan Diet | Going vegan isn’t an easy decision to make because it requires you to make a lot of huge lifestyle changes. The gist of it is that using or consuming any product that is derived from or tested on animals—whether it’s food, clothing, or cosmetics—is a big no-no. It’s definitely challenging, especially if you’ve been used to these products.
Nevertheless, becoming vegan has a lot of benefits. Not only does it help reduce livestock emissions, but it also improves your health by promoting weight loss and reducing your risk of getting heart disease, hypertension, and other diseases.
If you want to start going vegan, it’s recommended to take things slow. Easing into your new lifestyle will help you adjust to it better since you won’t be overwhelmed by the changes. One of the best places to start is transitioning into a vegan diet. When you’re able to appreciate the vegan diet, you can create delicious vegan meals with ease and appreciate the vegan lifestyle even more. Here are 5 tips to help you properly jumpstart your vegan diet.
Eat Less Meat and More Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, and Seeds
When it comes to eating vegan, you need to focus on crowding out food instead of cutting them out. This simply means it’s better to slowly replace meat, eggs, honey, and dairy products with more fruits, vegetables, and other vegan-friendly alternatives than completely eliminating them in one go. Suddenly introducing your body to vegan food might also upset your digestion and make it more difficult for you to transition to a vegan diet.
Thus, the key to veganism is to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your meals little by little. For example, if you eat canned meats three times a week, swap one day with your favorite fruits and veggies instead. By gradually adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, the change will not feel as harsh.
Some vegetables and fruits you should eat more of include avocados, bananas, broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. These foods are rich in fiber, vitamin B12, and iron, so they can help you avoid becoming anemic and getting certain gastric conditions like constipation. Another strategy to slowly get into the vegan diet is to start snacking on unsalted nuts like walnuts, almonds, and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin. These provide you with the essential fatty acids that help improve your brain health.
Start Looking for Protein Substitutes
Removing meat and eggs from your meals is an excellent way to start your vegan diet. However, you need to make sure that you’re replacing them with vegan-friendly substitutes that give you a lot of protein. After all, this macronutrient is necessary to build and repair muscles and bones. Protein is also a great source of energy, so if your body doesn’t get enough of it, you can experience problems like poor muscle mass, low overall strength, and slow metabolism. Your nail, skin, and hair health may also be affected.
Fortunately, there are a lot of vegan-friendly protein alternatives like tofu, legumes, and grains. Introducing more of them into your diet to replace meat and eggs will ensure that you get enough protein to fuel your body.
Include More Vegan Food Products to Your Grocery List
If you’re looking for vegan alternative proteins that taste and feel more like pork, chicken, and beef, then explore the vegan meat options in the supermarket or health foods stores. Vegan meats are plant-based foods that are made to be reminiscent of meat, particularly its texture. They’re typically made of the following ingredients:
- Fermented soybean
- Wheat gluten
- Mung beans
- Brown rice
- Coconut oil
- Canola oil
To give them a meat-like flavor, spices are added to the vegan meats before they are shaped and packed like your typical burger or sausage. Two examples of vegan meats are tempeh and seitan.
Pick a Couple of “Vegan Days” a Week
Reserving two or three days a week to only eat vegan meals is a great way to slowly transition from an omnivore to a completely vegan diet. Not only will this help you get used to the flavors of vegan dishes, but it will also teach you how to prepare and cook them. Vegan meals aren’t limited to salads and vegan meats! You can purchase vegan cookbooks and watch cooking videos online to ensure that your vegan meals are easy to make and taste delicious.
Try Out Vegan Restaurants
If you need more convincing to fully commit to your vegan diet, eating in vegan restaurants or restaurants with a vegan menu will help strengthen your resolve. These eating establishments know how to use vegan meats and ingredients to create delectable meals. This way, you can get a newfound appreciation for the vegan diet and get an idea of what eating vegan food will be like.
Becoming vegan can leave a positive impact on your health. However, drastically changing your lifestyle to fit veganism can affect the way you perceive it. That’s why it’s recommended to start slow. By making small but consistent changes in your diet, you’ll learn to love being vegan and ease into the vegan life properly.
FoodFindsAsia | 5 Tips for Transitioning into a Vegan Diet
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