How to Adopt a Vegan Diet

If you’re trying to eat a healthy diet, you’re probably aiming to eat more fruits and vegetables. You may have…

If you’re trying to eat a healthy diet, you’re probably aiming to eat more fruits and vegetables. You may have thought about switching to a vegan diet, but felt intimidated by the prospect of giving up hamburgers, hot dogs, milk, and many other animal products.

About 3% of the US population adheres to a vegan diet, according to a 2018 Gallup poll. This translates to more than 9 million people in a country of 329 million people.

Here are six things to know that might help you vegan diet.

[See: The Best Diets for Fast Weight Loss.]

Six tips for starting a vegan diet

1. Learn what being a vegan really is. Following a vegan diet means eliminate all animal products from your diet.

This means refraining from:

– Milkman.

– Eggs.

Fish.

– Me at.

– Poultry.

“A lot of times people think it’s going to be a huge change. It’s all about finding alternative sources of protein and cutting out dairy,” says Sharon Palmer, a Los Angeles-area dietician and specialty writer. She is the author of the books “California Vegan: Inspiration and Recipes from the People and Places of the Golden State”, “The Plant-Powered Diet” and “Plant-Powered for Life”, and also writes “The Plant-Powered Dietitian” .Blog.

Eliminating meat, poultry, and seafood means finding other sources of protein. “It’s totally possible to get the protein you need from a plant-based diet,” she says. “A lot of people overestimate how much protein they need.”

As for dairy products, you can exchange vegetable milks and yoghurt for those made from animal milk.

There is a wide range of vegetable milks, including:

Almond milk.

— Cashew milk.

– Coconut milk.

– Hemp milk.

– Oat milk.

— Pea milk.

– Soy milk.

It’s helpful to keep in mind that some of these plant-based milks aren’t as nutrient-dense as cow’s milk, Palmer says. Vegetable milks made from soy or peas are comparable to dairy milks.

2. Start slowly. Yes you want to follow a vegan diet, it may be beneficial to start slowly. For example, you could start by making Meatless Monday part of your regular routine, Palmer says. Do this for a few weeks, then try a flexitarian diet, which is plant-based but allows eating animal products — like steak, poultry, or fish — on occasion. “Many people find it helpful to transition to veganism gradually, over a period of a few weeks,” she says.

3.Pay attention to proteins. While most Americans get enough protein In their diet, switching to a vegan diet could lead to lower protein intake if you don’t adequately replace animal protein with plant protein sources, says New York-based registered dietitian Alexandra Oppenheimer Delvito. “Eating a variety of plant-based protein sources throughout the day helps ensure that you’re getting enough of all the essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein that our bodies can’t make on their own” , she says.

Plant protein sources include:

– Beans.

Chickpeas.

— Dried peas.

– Lentils.

— Mankai.

— Whole grains.

– Vegetables.

These foods provide not only protein but also fibre, vitamins and minerals.

[SEE: 7 Habits for a Long, Healthy Life.]

4.Supplement, supplement, supplement. You will have to consume supplements and fortified foods to meet all of your nutritional needs as part of a whole vegan diet, says Jill Weisenberger, registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator based in Yorktown, Va. “Specifically, we get vitamin B12 only from animals, so if you’re vegan, make sure you’re taking a supplement with 100% RDA (recommended daily allowance),” she says.

“Vitamin D is also hard to get, as is zinc and a few other nutrients. Your best bet is to work with a registered dietitian nutritionist who can help flesh out your personalized eating plan and the appropriate supplements.

5. Don’t overlook the importance of variety. With all eating habits, variety is key to keeping you engaged, enjoying your meals, and optimizing your health, says Delvito. “It’s easier to stick to one way of eating if you have a wide selection of delicious, healthy foods that you love,” she says.

Incorporating a variety of foods in different colors and flavors also provides a mix of nutrients and polyphenols known to support good health and immune function. Research published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2019 suggests that flavonoids are beneficial for cardiometabolic health.

Flavonoid-rich foods include:

– Cocoa.

Fruits.

– Soy products.

– Tea.

Including fruits of different colors and vegetablesherbs and spices and beverages like black, green, oolong and white teas are a great way to add variety, flavor and beneficial nutrients.

If you have trouble finding receipts, consider taking a cooking class, where you can learn how to prepare a range of dishes that will help add variety to your vegan diet. Talk to friends who follow the approach, or you can also join a Facebook group for vegan eaters for a sense of support and camaraderie, Weisenberger suggests. Finding like-minded people is helpful.

6.Remember that vegan is not synonymous with health. A “vegan” diet doesn’t make it good or bad. A vegan diet can consist entirely of soda and cotton candy, says Dr. David Katz, former director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut, and one of the The best American news diets expert panelists. As with any diet, it’s important to make sure your diet is balanced and varied, and that you make good choices about the vegan foods you eat.

Like any diet, even if it’s strictly vegetablequestions of balance, variety and food choice remain crucial.

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How to Adopt a Vegan Diet originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 02/22/22: