Vegan Diet: Eating Without Exploiting Animals

A Vegan diet which is a diet abstaining from use of animal products is in trend these days. The people who follow this diet are called ‘Vegans’.

Behind going Vegan, people have different motives, few go vegan to achieve that slim waistline by loosing few pounds, others go for it because of ethical and environmental issues. ‘Living without exploiting animals’ is also one of the reasons behind this non-dairy vegetarian diet.

Let’s take note of what nutritionists, fitness experts and Vegans say about Veganism.

In dialogue with Dr. Shivani Lodha, a nutritionist

What is the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian? 

Vegetarians are too fruits and vegetable diet oriented, they avoid eating animal meat, but in a vegan diet, it’s about avoiding animal meat as well as animal products like milk, curd, butter, cheese etc. altogether.

How easy it is to follow Veganism in India?

Actually, the concept of Veganism originated from England. Following Veganism in India is a big deal at times because of shortage of vegan friendly products. There are few basic nutrition requirements of Vegans like Pea proteins, Tofu etc which are sometimes not easily available and doesn’t meet the requirements. If one doesn’t face this issue, this diet is helpful.

What problems do people face following a vegan diet?

If we talk about the health issues associated with a vegan diet, the intake of dietary fiber increases which leads to feeling of fullness and hence gaseous problems like bloating may occur sometimes. Meeting up daily requirements of  vitamin B12, iodine, zinc, calcium and proteins is also a big challenge. Vegan friendly products are high-priced and are subject to availability at times, which is a little challenging for the common folk.

How can vegan diet be helpful?

Vegan diet helps in staying healthy, as it refrains one from consuming junk or packaged food which results in weight loss, if followed by a good fitness routine. It improves gut health too. It increases antioxidants in the body, improves blood sugar level and reduces the risk of heart diseases. It also helps in detoxifying the body by restricting unwanted food components.

Which food suits a vegan refrigerator?

Almond milk, Soya, Legumes, nuts, nut butters, seeds, hemp, flax, pulses, chickpeas, Tofu and other minimally processed products are a major part of Vegan diet. Sattu (gram powder soup) is recommended too. Intake of supplements of vitamin B12, iodine, calcium and zinc is also must at times.

What if a vegan plans to eat out?

Surprisingly, there is not even a single wholly vegan friendly restaurant in most of the cities.  If a vegan plans to eat out, he should be cautious while checking the menu, most menus have vegetarian options that can easily be turned vegan. He/She can ring up the restaurant prior to the visit, so that the chef stay prepared about serving vegan food on time.

The vegan diet has many testimonials:

I used to feel more energetic and fresh every morning during the diet”

‘My motive behind following this diet was weight loss and it worked well. Adapting to this diet is little challenging. I used to crave coffee in the morning initially as I’m a coffee addict but later, I got adapted to this lifestyle change.’ Says Hanshu Agrawal, a teacher.

 

I was fascinated with the idea of Veganism

‘I felt really light while following this diet, I felt frisky during my regular work out session too. I felt even more endurance in the gym. In all, it was a worthwhile experience.’ Says Ankit Agrawal, a Business man.  

Vegan diet helps in detoxification and doesn’t affect the endurance”

‘I recommend vegan diet to people for detoxification of the body. It doesn’t affect the body endurance during exercise. There is no change in the work out is followed with the diet though, general work out is continued.’ Says Abhishek Sharma, Fitness Counselor.

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