Veganism as defined by The Vegan Society is ‘a way of living that seeks to exclude as far as possible and practicable all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food clothing or any other purpose’. A vegan is free from all animal products whether derived by slaughter (such as meat) or otherwise (such as eggs dairy and honey).
The rapid rise of veganism in the UK has resulted in an explosion of new foods and ready meals so it’s never been easier to start a vegan. Removing all animal-derived products from your brings some challenges but these can be met with awareness and planning.
If you’re switching to a full-time vegan, it’s good to do it gradually. Your body needs time to adjust to the different balance of foods and the experience will be more enjoyable if you give yourself time to discover of vegan foods and recipes and research new places to eat out.
Don’t assume that all vegan products. A vegan cake is still a cake and you can still consume too much processed food salt sugar on a vegan.
Vegans can to get enough in their. Men should eat approximately 55g of per day, women 45g. Here are some rich foods. Try to include some at every meal.
- Nuts and seeds are easy to throw into salads or have for a snack and typically contain 15–20g per 100g. There’s also a growing range of nut butters to try. Peanut powder can be added to smoothies or sauces.
- Beans and lentils can thicken sauces soups dips and bakes and tend to include about 10–20g per 100g.
- Soya products of which the best-known is tofu are fairly low and can be used in a variety of ways. Tofu contains about 8g of per 100g. Soya milk and soya yoghurt are also good sources.
- Wheat (seitan) and fermented soybeans (tempeh) are chewy meat substitutes that are less subtle in flavour than tofu but higher.–
- Fortified products abound including vegan energy balls. Watch out for the amount of sugar and in them though as is not a byword for, and be aware that it is possible to eat too much.
Because vegans don’t consume dairy has to be found in fortified products. Some plants do contain, but at relatively low levels. fortified tofu soya milk soya yoghurt breakfast cereals orange juice and even breads are available.
A varied vegan should contain enough iron if you eat these foods regularly:
- Beans, lentils and peas
- Seeds and nuts
- Dried fruit, such as raisins, dates or apricots
- Dark-green vegetables such as kale broccoli and spinach
- Wholegrain rice and wholemeal bread
- Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C which help make the iron in plant-based foods bio available
Foods to check
Food labelling for allergens should point out where milk or egg derivatives are present so check this on any processed foods.
Most and some are ‘fined’ (clarified) or filtered using animal products such as egg white or isinglass which is derived from the swim bladder of a fish. Read the labels and choose drinks that state that they’re suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The good thing is that there’s a wider range of good-quality vegan than ever before.
Mycoprotein (Quorn) is sometimes made with small amounts of egg white though some Quorn products are vegan and are now clearly labelled.
Honey may turn up in vegetarian foods. Vegan substitutes include golden syrup, agave syrup or maple syrup.
Meat stocks can turn up in ready-made soups risottos and gravies.
Food colouring E120 – some sweets or drinks can be colored with cochineal, the ground up shells of the cochineal beetle.
Whey and casein are milk that can be found in many processed foods such as bars, crackers, cookies and crisps. The allergens section of the label should flag this up.
Gelatine is used in sweets particularly chewy ones and marshmallows. Sometimes gelatine is added to supplements in capsule form. There are vegan versions available, so shop around.
Pasta can be made with egg, whether fresh or dried.