The Vegan Diet Plan is based on a highly compassionate philosophy in which no animal products or by-products are consumed. Not only do vegans remove meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy from their diets, they also generally avoid materials such as leather, fur, skin, wool and silk. Products such as soaps and cosmetics derived from animal products are also omitted.
Following this lifestyle exclusively can be somewhat difficult; hyper vigilance is required to identify products which may contain gelatin, albumin, or isinglass (an animal by-product generally used to clarify wine and beer). However for health purposes it need not be as restrictive.
Motivation for following such a life changing plan may be due to ethical or environmental ideologies, concern over use of antibiotics and growth hormones in meat production or because of the growing understanding of the many health benefits associated with an exclusively plant based diet.
The health advantages of following such a plan are proven to be extensive. Short term benefits include:
To experience such benefits though a diverse variety of foods needs to be included into the diet which becomes far more complex than simply removing animal products. It requires a considerable amount of planning to incorporate the protective nutrients and phytochemicals thought responsible for such health benefits, and to ensure adequate nutrient requirements such as iron and protein are being met.
Whole grains, beans,
legumes, nuts, and seeds along with a greater amount of fruits and vegetables primarily
constitute a vegan diet plan. Also, refined or processed foods - including soft
drinks are generally excluded from this regime, as are additives such as
artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and
excessive salt and sugar.
Click here for a sample of a Vegan weight loss diet.
Nutritionally balanced diets are usually lower in calories, saturated fats and cholesterol while being significantly higher in folic acid, dietary fibre, vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
There is the
potential to lack certain essential nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, zinc,
omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12; and unless foods that are
fortified with these nutrients are regularly consumed, appropriate supplements
should considered. It should be noted that vitamin B12 is only found in animal
In the beginning it may sound daunting at first which is why many people choose to gradually introduce vegan meals and principals into their regular diet. When carefully considered and planned this meal plan, combined with regular physical exercise and undertaken under regular medical supervision can be a nutritious, delicious and rewarding lifestyle decision.
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