Vegan Diet

The Vegan Diet is a type of vegetarian diet that restricts all meat and animal-based products.

Principles of the vegan diet

The vegan diet is not only a vegetarian diet, but is also a way of life. Those who follow the vegan diet – called “vegans” - follow the diet as they do not believe in exploiting animals for any reason, for whatever purpose. A vegan's refusal to exploit animals ranges from refusing to eat produce made directly from animals (such as meat), and also produce that indirectly involve animals.

For instance, a vegan will refuse to drink milk, as it comes directly from an animal, and will also refuse to eat cheese, as it is made from milk.

The vegan diet is made up of food obtained from plants.

What are vegans allowed to eat?

You are allowed to eat the following foods on the vegan diet:

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Safflower, sunflower, corn, evening primrose and soy oils.

What is forbidden on the vegan diet?

The following foods are forbidden on the vegan diet:

  • All forms of meat
  • Dairy products – such as cheese and milk
  • Eggs
  • Food containing gelatin, as gelatin is made from animal products.

Pros and cons of the vegan diet

When properly balanced, a vegan diet is very healthy. A vegan can be healthier than many meat-based diets. The Vegan Diet contains less saturated fat than meat-based diets, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, boron, folate, vitamins and antioxidants.

Amongst the benefits of eating a vegan diet are improved digestion, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and more energy. There are also studies that have shown that vegetarian diets can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

A vegan diet, however, is not for everyone. It can be difficult to maintain due to its restrictions. To maintain the required vitamins and minerals, you may have to consume a large amount of vegetables, nuts and fruits. The Vegan Diet requires intensive research and careful balancing. An incorrect Vegan Diet can be dangerous, so always consult your physician before making a change in your diet.

If you want to start on the vegan diet, you must know what foods will give you the essential vitamins and minerals you will need. For instance, you will have to substitute foods such as tofu, nuts and fortified soy milk in order to maintain your calcium levels.

Daily and weekly vegan diet plans

There are no set plans for the vegan diet. The vegan diet is a lifestyle choice, not just a diet for losing weight.

Expected weight loss on the vegan diet

You can expect to lose up to 10lb on the vegan diet.

Vegan diet rating

Ease: 2/5 – Requires intensive research beforehand.

Balance: 5/5 – A balanced diet with a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables and meats.

Maintenance: 2/5 – Can be difficult to maintain due to its strict rules.

Overall: 3/5