Whether you're motivated by health or kindness to animals, vegan essentials will teach you all that you need to know to embrace a vegan diet. Because the vegan diet is plant-based, vegan basics encompass the broad range of plants and plant-based products available.
What Is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet consists of only plant-based food sources such as grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and oils derived from plants. Those who adhere to a raw vegan diet believe that the vital, life-giving enzymes found in plants are destroyed when food is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and thus do not eat cooked foods. They rely instead upon various preparation methods and dehydrating foods to mimic some cooked food dishes. The vegan food pyramid provides a great overview of vegan essentials and redefines the traditional food pyramid by replacing meats with plant-based fare.
Advantages of a Vegan Diet
There are many advantages of a vegan diet. Most people lose weight and find that their digestion and elimination improves from the addition of all that plant-based fiber. Because a vegan diet contains little or no saturated fat, it's also an excellent diet for those with heart conditions who may be advised to lower or reduce saturated fat intake.
Disadvantages of a Vegan Diet
The vegan diet is considered safe and healthy, but there are some who warn about the dangers of veganism. Many of these dangers are unfounded, but vegans do need to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need, especially children. There are some common vegan deficiencies, but most can be remedied with smart food choices or supplements.
Vegan Foods and Recipes
When you're ready to start living on a vegan diet or want to vary your food choices, knowing what foods are vegan and how to turn them into satisfying meals is important. Check out a sample vegan diet plan to see what a one-week vegan meal plan looks like. If you're short on time or don't love preparing food, consider using a vegan meal delivery service like Purple Carrot or Veestro.
Vegan Breakfast Ideas
Easy breakfast recipes for a vegan diet include typical breakfast ingredient alternatives like eggless breakfast recipes and vegan cereal brands. You can still enjoy hearty morning meals like vegan breakfast burritos and even indulge in sweets such as vegan donuts.
Vegan Lunch Ideas
Simple vegan lunch recipes typically include plant-based salads, soups, and even rice or noodle bowls. Add an eggless mayonnaise to your favorite veggie sandwich or pour a vegan salad dressing on your garden-fresh salad. If you prefer a hot lunch, make a pot of vegan French onion soup or put together a tofu shirataki noodle bowl.
Vegan Dinner Ideas
Create hearty plant-based dinners your whole family can enjoy as part of your regular diet or a "Meatless Monday." If you're away at work all day, vegan slow cooker recipes ensure you have a hot meal on the table when you get home. You can also recreate popular meat dishes like a vegan shepherd's pie that tastes familiar to omnivores. Even though grills are typically associated with meat, you can still enjoy vegan grilling recipes to get that smoky flavor.
Easy vegan dessert recipes feature sweet elements and are reminiscent of non-vegan desserts. From vegan birthday cakes with vegan ice cream to vegan pie recipes, there are plant-based versions of nearly every common dessert.
Living the Plant Life
A vegan diet is more about a lifestyle than it is about what you eat. Vegans believe in the power of plant-based products and their benefits for the human body and mind. Whether you're exploring veganism for the first time or looking for ways to jazz up your current vegan meal plan, expert tips and advice can help you decide if a vegan diet is right for you.