By Shweta Shah
We all have heard the trend of turning vegan nowadays. But is it really for you? Veganism is a vegetarian diet but with No use of animal products like dairy and honey in any form.
A vegan diet can be beneficial for our health and make you fit so it isn’t a fad diet. By cutting out meat, eggs, and dairy products we can surely avoid heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. We can even improve bone health, fight symptoms of menopause and detoxify the body. It also helps us lose weight to some extent, fight depression, and protect the environment. But the question still remains. Should you turn vegan?
The decision to become a vegan is a personal choice. The benefits of going on a vegan are immense as we know. However, there are a few negative effects which include a reduction in protein and iron intake that we need to be careful about. It is important to understand that veganism does not mean you would surely get the required nutrients, minerals, proteins, and fibres.
Overindulgence even on a vegan diet can be harmful. Only a balanced vegan diet can benefit you. A balanced vegan diet includes plenty of fruit, leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds as they help you meet most of your nutritional requirements. Watching portions is important because ‘Moderation is key.’ You can indulge occasionally but make sure you are leading an active lifestyle. If you are new vegan, you must consult a nutritionist to design a diet that provides you with sufficient protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
If you are sure that veganism is for you, then surely go for it. The transition to a greener diet doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by increasing the number of vegetables on your plate at each meal. Fill half the plate with vegetables either cooked, raw, or in a salad form. Then start by adding an all-vegan meal once or twice a week and keep increasing the number of meals till you are completely vegan. To keep your food choices diverse, play around with different vegetables and grains, and spice up your meals with seasonings. When you eat out in restaurants, ask for substitutes. Finding vegan options in Indian, Thai, and Chinese restaurants will not be difficult as they all feature an abundance of vegetable options.
Vegetables are not so boring. There are so many cuisines with great spices to choose from. Just play out and try new things and be proud because you are making a change in the environment.
(Shweta Shah is celebrity nutritionist and founder of Eatfit14/7)