Vegan diet is a kind of a diet in which one has to cut down on all kinds of animal products such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy products. This kind of a diet is different from vegetarian diet in which one can eat dairy products.
It has become an increasingly popular choice in the past few years and has many health benefits such as reduction in cholesterol levels, reduction in diabetes, reduction in risk of obesity and reduction in risk of death from heart attack as well. But going Vegan has some common pitfalls which must be avoided. To make sure that you follow this diet the right way, here are some dos and don’ts of a vegan diet:
Get Loads of Vitamin B12
Animal products are an excellent and main source of Vitamin B12 but by abstaining from these products, the level of Vitamin B12 can go down in the body of a Vegan. Therefore it becomes important to get a boost of this vitamin from other sources. This can be done by taking Vitamin B12 supplement.
Eat Whole Plant Based Foods
If you are a vegan, then you must concentrate on eating whole plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, nuts, seeds, beans and healthy plant fats like coconut and avocados. Eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that you get all the nutrients which you otherwise cannot get due to absence of animal based foods.
Drink a Lot of Water
Since vegan diet includes a lot of fiber rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seeds etc., it is important to wash them off with a fair amount of water. Water helps to break down the fiber in the food and aids its absorption in the bloodstream through the digestive tract. Water makes the food move through.
Don’ts of a Vegan Diet
Rely on Packaged Vegan Food Items
There are many tempting and attractive prepackaged vegan food items which you might be interested in buying rather than cooking your meals from scratch. But you must avoid doing so because many such packages are loaded with artificial ingredients and high sodium content which can raise the number of calories you consume. You must limit packaged foods to just once a week or less.
Forget about Protein
Animal based foods are very good sources of protein and when you turn a Vegan, your protein supply may immediately go down. But do not forget about protein and make sure you get enough of it through vegan alternatives such as tofu, beans, soymilk, oatmeal, peanut butter and others.
Just Eat Raw Vegan Foods
Many vegans think that being a vegan is about eating raw foods only. But you must not just eat raw foods and should concentrate upon cooked vegetables, cooked grains, cooked beans and others which our bodies tend to digest more easily. These cooked items can provide us with many nutrients and may also taste better.