Being Vegan 101 – Basic Things You Need to Know About Veganism

Many people nowadays are switching from their meat-eating habits to plant-based nutrition, which is also known as veganism. Although being vegan can be observed as a new-age trend due to its increasing interest in the last decade or so, the truth of the matter is that veganism has been around for centuries. Per my doctor, I needed to lose a little weight to try to lower my blood pressure. After doing research I decided to try this vegan thing. I ended up going with the Daniel fast. Some of you might know this from the Chris Pratt diet which got him into shape to do Gardians of the Galaxy. 

The Daniel Fast is a religiously rooted, short-term eating plan drawn from the Book of Daniel, which appears in the Old Testament. In the story, Daniel decides to avoid the rich, indulgent foods that surround him and have “nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink” for 10 days.

Well, instead of 10 days, I went for 21 days with help from Susan Gregory’s Daniel Fast. I’ve been known to be the meat guy with the ability to finish a 22 ounce steak with problems. This vegan thing was a definite challenge. I started the fast on November 3, 2019 after eating mounds of dim sum.

People had discovered the value of veganism long before it was mainstream. Some believe that this nutrition originated from the Indian subcontinent and the early Indus Valley Civilization, which can explain why 38% of people in India are vegan today.

In any case, veganism is not a rare occurrence, and it has never been. But the real question for someone who’s only starting to learn about this type of nutrition is, “what is veganism exactly?”

With that said, we are here to give you some basic information about veganism, its benefits and potential health risks, recent studies and stats, distinction from vegetarianism, and more. Read on!

What Do Vegans Eat?

You might think that a vegan can’t eat a lot of things, which is true, but that doesn’t mean that they still don’t have plenty of options for their meals.

The most common types of food found on a vegan’s plate include fruit, vegetables, different kinds of nuts and seeds, tofu, beans and lentils, tempeh, seitan, and more. They don’t eat meat (including fish), dairy products like milk and cheese, or any other animal products like honey or eggs.

Now, not all vegans eat the same. There are different kinds of vegans out there, just like meat-eaters prefer some foods to others.

For example, there are dietary vegans that only eat plant-based. Raw-food vegans, on the other hand, eat food that is either raw or has been mildly cooked. There are even vegans who eat heavily processed foods, which is why some call them junk-food vegans.

Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian

For someone who is neither vegan or vegetarian, the difference between these two diets can be a little confusing. The main difference is that vegetarians don’t restrain themselves from eating animal products such as milk, eggs, or honey, while vegans do. Of course, they both don’t eat animal meat, although some vegetarians do eat seafood, and they are known as pescatarians.

The Main Benefits of Being Vegan

So, now that you know what veganism is, it comes a question of why would someone choose to be vegan. Well, there are multiple reasons.

Some are vegan because they don’t wish to partake in the abuse of animals done by the meat industry. Others believe that this kind of diet is healthy for them and because it’s good for the environment. Are there any facts that can back this up?

Recent studies have shown that a vegan diet lowers the risk of prostate cancer and other food-related diseases by more than 35%. Some even claim that there are zero cancer cases caused by vegan diets and that there would be around 85% less heart-disease death if everyone was vegan.

The environmental impact is where the stats are most convincing. As much as 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by livestock. In the United States alone, 90% of water consumption goes to agriculture, while almost half of the earth’s land is used for livestock systems.

Going vegan is also a nice way to cut down some weight. Almost 50% of people who are interested in cutting down meat consumption claim that they want to do it because of weight management.

If you think that being vegan will leave you with less tasty choices, you are wrong. As much as 30% of non-meat eaters say that their food is now tastier and that with the right recipes, you can make a very savory meal.

Veganism Around the World

As we mentioned in our intro, India is the top country when it comes to veganism, as more than one-third of the population doesn’t eat meat or any animal products. Second on the list is Israel, with 13% of vegans, closely followed by Taiwan (12%), Italy (10%), and Austria (9%).

Of course, these numbers are now rising all over the globe. More and more people are discovering the benefits of vegan diets and are cutting meat and animal products from their everyday meals.

My Daniel Fast

In the end, I lost about 25 pounds and have maintained it. My fast ended up going for about 30 days. After the 30 days, I had a difficult time getting back into meat. My body could not process it. As of today, my body still has a difficult time processing meat so I’m stuck eating burgers and really small portions. Do I miss eating meat? Yes. Do I think my body needs it? No. 

Infographic URL: https://healthcareers.co/vegan-statistics/

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