A vegan diet contains only plants – such as vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits and other foods made from plants. It excludes foods that come from animals which includes meat, chicken, fish, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, honey and other animal agriculture products. This type of diet is usually low in calories and saturated fats and high in Fiber and Vitamin C.
Vegans use products which are cruelty free i.e. products that do not involve animal labor.
What Vegans cannot eat!
1) Milk and milk products like curds, cheese, paneer, buttermilk, ghee, mawa, Chocolates, creams, ice creams etc.
2) All meat and meat products – chicken, fish, mutton, beef, prawns, shellfish etc.
3) Animal products like honey and food coloring derived from insects like cochineal.
It is really important to read the food product labels as some products are prepared using hidden materials or in the same factory where non-vegan products are used such as milk, milk powder and eggs are made.
Vegan diet is low in Protein for Vegetarians
Meeting the protein needs become a challenge and so it is really important to include vegan sources of protein like beans, legumes, buckwheat and pulses in the diet. A combination of cereal and pulses will be good as it enhances the protein quality like Rice and Moong Dal Idli
Vegan diet is low in Calcium for Vegetarians
Calcium intake should be monitored as vegan diet usually lacks calcium. Vegan sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts, ragi, broccoli, soya products like tofu, fortified juices, dried figs and apricots, chia seeds, sesame seeds etc. Try our tasty recipe for Radish Nachni Roti
Vegan diet is low in Vitamin B12
Vegan diet is vitamin B12 deficient as there are only few vegan sources for Vitamin B12. The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, nerve problems and depression. Hence including vitamin B12 fortified foods becomes a must. Some of the vitamin B12 fortified foods are breakfast cereals and some plant based milk like almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk. Try our recipe for Healthy Peanut Butter Blueberry Almond Milk Smoothie
Vegan diet is low in Iron for Vegetarians
Vegan diets tend to become iron deficient as a lot of good sources of iron are non-vegetarian. Good vegan iron sources includes legumes, sunflower seeds, dried raisins, and dark green leafy vegetables. Vitamin C-rich foods like orange, lemon, guava, strawberries, and broccoli should be included in the diet as they enhance iron absorption. Try Vitamin C rich Orange Tabbouleh
Try or wide range of vegan recipes and overcome the notion that vegan diets have less culinary creativity.