Thinking of Going Vegan? Get Your Facts Here.

By on July 15, 2014
Vspan style="line-height: 1.5em;">Vegan diets, which are primarily plant-based, can actually be really healthy it can also be an alternative to meat-based diets. But, regardless of your reasons for going vegan, you need to make sure you do it right. By omitting certain food groups from your diet, you are also omitting nutrients that you will need to find elsewhere in your vegan diet.

According to a 2008 study published by the Vegetarian Times, there are approximately 1 million vegans in the United States, while there are approximately 7.3 million vegetarians.

What is a Vegan Diet?

Vegans do not eat meat, seafood or poultry. They also do not eat any animal by-products, such as dairy products, honey, eggs, etc. There are numerous reasons why a person will go vegan. Some vegans do so because they do not believe in promoting the meat industry or any cruelty to animals. Other people choose veganism simply because they have intolerance to certain products or dislike the taste/texture of animal-based products.

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Believe it or not, there is no disadvantage to going to a plant-based diet. By reducing animal-products, vegans can lower their risk for Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and even cancer. They may also lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, which leads to a healthier weight and overall lifestyle.

Getting Adequate Nutrition

When you omit meat, you also omit protein and other nutrients that come with animal-based foods. But, there are ways to get your nutrients back without any animal-based products.

• Protein – Vegans can get their protein from other sources, including tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, spinach, whole wheat breads and even dark leafy greens.

• Fat – Most vegan diets are low in saturated fats. When cooking vegan recipes, make sure to use high-fat foods sparingly, including oils, coconuts, avocado and seed butters.

• Vitamin D – Vitamin D isn’t something you will find in your average vegan diet, but you don’t have to eat your vitamin D. In fact, you can go outside for 10 to 15 minutes per day to get your daily dose of it.

• Calcium – You don’t have to drink milk or eat cheese to get calcium. Calcium is naturally found in dark, leafy green vegetables, tofu that is made with calcium and calcium-fortified soy and almond milks.

• Iron – Beans and dark greens will supplement where meat products traditionally give your body iron.


When you go vegan, you need to read the label of your supplements as well. You may need supplements to provide you with ample nutrients while going off animal-based food products. Make sure the vitamins and supplements you take are labeled as “vegan” or “vegetarian” — not all supplements can meet those standards.

Readers: What are your thoughts on a vegan diet? Have any tips for going vegan you can share?



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One Comment

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    July 16, 2014 at 4:02 am

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