Vegan Diets

Vegan cooking tips

Full name: Vegan Diet

Origin: Vegan diets have a long history, and they experienced a surge in popularity in the late '90s and 2000s. A vegan diet is often considered a celebrity trend diet, but the truth is that many people practice vegan cooking for ethical, environmental and health reasons. Though members of numerous cultures and religions have many practicing vegans, there is no one culture that insists upon strict veganism.

Description: Most people choose a vegan diet out of a concern for animals and their treatment in the food industry. A vegan diet is free of not only meat, fish and poultry, but also other animal products such as milk and eggs.

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There are many "versions" of foods available on the market that are geared toward vegans. Dairy- and egg-free vegan cookies and vegan cakes are commonly sold, as are vegan main courses such as burgers or lasagna. These vegan foods make meal preparation easier, but if you're trying to follow a vegan diet, it's still important to pay attention to ingredients on even the most basic foods you are buying.

Likes: Leafy greens and other vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes, tofu, soy or rice milk.

Dislikes: Meat, fish, poultry and other animal products, including eggs, dairy products and even honey.

Looking for: Those with environmental and/or ethical objections to eating animals; those who wish to eliminate animal products from their diet for health reasons.

Works well with: A low cholesterol diet. Vegan diets are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, so those with high cholesterol may wish to look into adopting a vegan diet.

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With a vegan diet, paying close attention to nutrition is critical. Vegans may find it more difficult to get the required amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and other vital nutrients. For proper vegan nutrition, a varied diet is recommended, including leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables for vitamins and minerals, tofu as well as different kinds of beans and other legumes for protein, etc.

Adhering to a vegan diet can be difficult because it requires a lot of research and reading of ingredient labels. Many people find vegan-substitute food charts to be handy in understanding what foods can be eaten and what common foods can be substituted with a vegan product. Vegan recipes can also be found online, and there are many vegan recipe books on the market.