How To Safely Switch To A Vegan Diet | Every day

People choose to follow a vegan lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Some may be concerned about the effects of livestock on the climate and the environment in general, while others have very strong feelings about how animals are treated during the food production process. Still others may have received information from their doctors that a plant-based diet can help reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Whatever the reason for adopting a vegan lifestyle, individuals should do their research first so that their transition is safe and smooth.

Familiarize yourself with the vegan rules

Being vegan is different from eating vegetarian. Rather than simply avoiding meat like vegetarians, vegans do not bring any animal products into their homes. This includes eggs, milk, cheese, and any other ingredients derived from animal sources, including honey. Vegan.com says that a vegan diet never contains by-products of animal agriculture, such as lard, gelatin or whey.

Discover vegan foods

Some foods are staples of a vegan diet. These include grains, beans, nuts, tofu, tempeh, nut milks, fruits and berries, and vegetables. In addition to these items, more vegan products are available to help those who are vegan enjoy their favorite indulgences without compromising their ideals. These include vegan chocolates, “cheeses”, coffee creamers, etc.

Most health food stores and even mainstream supermarkets sell at least one vegan alternative for every popular non-vegan food. Vegan food companies continue to produce delicious and innovative items to make vegan living even more convenient.

Speak with a doctor

Those who want to switch to vegan diets can schedule discussions with their doctor about the pros and cons of removing animal products from their diet. It’s a safer way to know if there will be any medical complications to do so. Avoiding animal foods generally does not result in any negative consequences, although individuals may need to rely on supplementation to ensure they are getting enough essential nutrients from their diet.

Start gradually

Rather than focusing on what a person can’t eat, they can be inspired by all the new products to try and recipes to make at home. This can make veganism feel less like a sacrifice and more like an active choice. One can try changing for a few weeks to see how it feels. Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends starting by collecting a few herbal recipes and trying them out over the course of one to two weeks. Then follow that up with a three-week commitment to veganism.