Choosing to become a vegan can have a significantly positive impact on your health. A vegan diet is cheaper than a meat-based food plan and also reduces the risk of many diseases, thus effectively lowering your future medical expenses. However, starting a vegan lifestyle can be difficult for some people, especially those who are used to having meat and dairy in their daily lives. We have compiled a list of things first-time vegans need to know about how to follow a vegan diet.

You’ll Have to Ease into it

Making the switch to veganism all at once can be difficult and cause cravings. Such a rapid transformation may make it more likely for you to slip up. If you’re a meat-eater, it might be more difficult for you to alter your diet overnight. So, before becoming a vegan, understand it’s smarter to start small. You can slowly reduce the amount of non-vegetarian foods from your diet over a period of time for a transition into only vegan meals.

Veganism isn’t as Expensive as it Seems

Following a vegan diet may seem expensive initially. This is because when you’re becoming a vegan, you’ll often have to swap out existing habits for newer ones. You will have to restock your kitchen with vegan-friendly products and get rid of any animal-based foods. This set of sudden expenses could give you the notion that a vegan diet is not cost-effective. But wait a while, stick with it, and you’ll see that in the long run, you’ll save more money once you’ve got your vegan food plan in place.

Be smart About the Alternatives you Choose:

While a vegan diet may require the elimination of meat and dairy products, it’s essential to be mindful of what you bring in to replace these foods. Too often, you’ll find that it’s easier to simply opt for processed foods. This could have a worse impact on your health than dairy and other animal products. In the beginning, you might need to consciously make healthy choices, so you don’t stray into the tempting aisle with processed foods up for sale.

You’ll Need Some Vitamin Supplements:

One of the disadvantages of a vegan diet is that you end up lacking some important micronutrients. You may need supplements for vitamin B-12, vitamin D, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and zinc. At first, you could feel a bit lost about where to begin, especially if you’re unsure about the dosage of supplements required. Your best bet is to make an appointment with a nutritionist and seek professional help before you begin taking these supplements.

Reading Food Labels Will Become Second Nature

While you may have never given food labels more than a cursory glance until now, becoming vegan changes that entirely. Food labels give you the nutritional composition of the food. In addition to this, you’ll need to take a thorough look at the ingredients to ensure that the food item is indeed vegan. Too often, companies advertise products as plant-based or vegan even when they might include non-vegan ingredients such as eggs or milk solids.

Takes a Lot of Planning

Adopting a vegan lifestyle takes a lot of planning. If you do not have a vegan diet plan when you start your vegan diet, you may initially feel lost. So, you’ll need to do your research, ensure that your daily nutritional requirements are being replaced equivalently, and meticulously plan the swaps you intend to make. Print out your vegan meal plan and pin it up somewhere you can view it every day, so you don’t forget any key element.

There are Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

A common misconception that non-vegans and new vegans have about veganism is that it keeps you from dining out or heading over to a friend’s home for dinner. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can still head out to all your favourite eateries. You might just have to order different items. Before you decide, enquire about the ingredients if you’re unsure whether something on the menu is vegan. Some restaurants also have special vegan menus for their customers.

Veganism is a Lifestyle

Veganism isn’t just about the diet. It’s a lifestyle choice that involves hundreds of sustainable and eco-friendly habits. Becoming a vegan involves quite a bit of unlearning and relearning. Veganism influences the kind of clothes you wear, the cosmetics you use, and all the tiny habits that come in between. It’s a way of life that requires conscious and mindful decision-making at every step.

There Will be a lot of Questions

Your family and friends are bound to be curious about your new lifestyle choice. To help them understand your move better, you need to educate yourself about veganism. Acquaintances may also offer their advice or opinions on this lifestyle. If you’re easily swayed, you might want to introspect before you tell others you’re going vegan. This way, you can be sure of why you’re doing it. And that makes it easier to stick with your choice.

You will Need Time to Get Used to it

The truth is, you might hate the vegan options when you’re switching to a vegan lifestyle. This isn’t because the alternatives are bad. It’s more due to the fact that change of any kind may feel uncomfortable. However, with time, once you notice that you’ve grown healthier, that your skin feels better, and that your moods are more stable, you’ll start to love it. Vegan food will start tasting better. It takes a bit of persistence to see yourself through the initial days of becoming a vegan. Support groups can be of great help.

To Conclude

Switching to a vegan lifestyle is a great choice that can improve your health significantly and you will be helping out at the same time. Apart from the vegan diet tips given above, you should do your research and look into what it means to become a vegan. A good idea is to visit a nutritionist who can give you a vegan diet chart to help you map out a diet plan. While veganism is a good way to improve your health, it may not always be enough.


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FAQs on Vegan Diet

What do you eat on a vegan diet?

You can eat all plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. Pulses and grains like rice and wheat are also a staple part of a vegan diet.  

Is a vegan diet healthy for you?

Multiple studies have shown that a vegan diet is healthier than a non-vegetarian diet. You have health benefits such as weight loss, reduced risk of diabetes and heart diseases.

Do vegans eat cheese?

Cheese is made out of dairy products, so vegans can't eat cheese. However, many vegan cheese alternatives are now available in the market. 

Can you get enough protein on a vegan diet?

You can always use plant-based proteins such as tofu or chickpeas or chana to increase your protein intake. You can also choose to take vegan protein supplements. 

Can vegans drink milk?

As milk comes from cows, it is a strict no for vegans. Any food product that contains even trace amounts of animals cannot be consumed by vegans, which includes dairy products. 

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