Vegan diets consist of no animal products. Unlike people who are only vegetarians, vegan diets have no milk, eggs, honey or other foods that are produced by animals. Vegans also do not wear clothing produced by animals including fur, leather, silk, or wool. They also do not use soap or cosmetics which use animal products or are tested on animals.
There are a number of reasons why people would choose vegan diets and lifestyles. Some of these have to do with health. They believe that animal products are not compatible with healthy human living. Perhaps more vegans see the lifestyle choice as compatible with their environmental and ethical values.
Animal agriculture is a leading cause of environmental damage to our planet. For instance, 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are directly tied to animal agriculture. Vegetarian diets also use the least amount of agricultural land per capita, so our ballooning global population could be better supported if more people embraced vegan diets.
The key to healthy vegan diets is variety. Since vegans do not get protein from meat and other animal products, they must be conscious to get it in other ways. A good vegan diet includes vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Most vegans will meat the daily protein requirements as long as they take in enough healthy calories per day. Most people think of meat as having the most protein. But all foods except alcohol, sugar and fat has protein in it. Plant based foods are an excellent source of protein.
Additionally, vegan diets are unusually low in fats. This is because a majority of fats in the modern American diet are from animal products. Thus, it is easy for vegans to adhere to the recommended cap on fatty products in their diets. Diets high in fats increase the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
One concern many people have about vegan diets is that they will not get the recommended dose of vitamin D per day. However, vitamin D can be made in the human body if a person has adequate exposure to sunlight.
Another concern is that vegans will not get enough calcium because they shun milk products. But, green leafy vegetables are actually an excellent source of calcium and they do not have the fat risks associated with dairy.
Tofu can replace many kinds of foods in vegan diets. For instance, instead of using eggs as a binder, mix ? cup of soft tofu with the liquid ingredients.
Tofu can also serve as a meat substitute in many recipes. For instance, a quick search of the internet will turn up things like faux chicken nuggets, curried chick pea tofu, oven crisp tofu in ketchup sauce, vegan tofu steaks and more.
Nut, grain, and soy milk can replace cow’s milk in vegan diets. Additionally, there are commercial “mock meats” made from soy and gluten available at the supermarket.
Vegan diets are easily followed in today’s world.