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Turning vegan: All your doubts cleared

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 20, 2019, 6:52 pm IST
Updated : Jun 20, 2019, 6:53 pm IST

Vegan diet has been a much-debated about topic. Here we answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

Vegan food is basically vegetables, fruits and lentils, which essentially cheaper than meats and dairy.  (Photo: Pixabay)
 Vegan food is basically vegetables, fruits and lentils, which essentially cheaper than meats and dairy. (Photo: Pixabay)

Veganism is soon becoming a popular dietary choice after people are learning about its ethical and environmental advantages. Going vegan can be daunting undertaking as it is difficult to give up meat, eggs and dairy all at once.

Here is some helpful tips for those thinking of going vegan.

Should you try a plant-based diet at first?

If you have been a meat-eater your whole life, suddenly turning completely vegan will be very difficult. Your hunger will not get satisfied, your body will suddenly feel the deficiency of nutrients and moreover, you will not like vegan food.

Start off by slowly converting to a plant based diet. Eat more vegetables and lentils and slowly reduce meat consumption day by day. Substitute it with enough protein so you don’t feel hungry. Start with baby steps like replacing yoghurt, mayonnaise and milk in your diet with vegan alternatives.

How do I deal with negative responses from meat-loving family and friends?

Kill them with kindness! If they taunt you about your dietary preferences, tell them to try out some vegetarian/vegan recipes before they say anything more. This way, you convey your point in a non-aggressive way and they also get to taste different types of food; so it’s a win-win situation.

If that method doesn’t work, try and understand why they are being negative about it. Explain to them the reasons you chose to go vegan and the benefits associated with it, said The Guardian. If nothing works, use humour to deflect the topic if it ever comes up in conversations.

How do I make sure I am getting enough protein?

Protein deficiency is a very rare problem in the western world, even for vegans. Many people are not aware of the various sources that protein can be obtained from; they assume that eggs and meat are the primary sources of protein.

Beans, lentils, soy, peanuts, cashews, pulses, seeds and nuts are all plant-based and vegan options which have good protein levels. They can be easily incorporated in your diet and doesn’t have to be eaten as rabbit food. Sprinkle some pine nuts over your pasta, spread some peanut butter on your bread or have a bowl of dal with your regular meal and you get your daily dose of protein.

Veganism seems expensive. How do I make a plant-based diet affordable?

Veganism is perceived as a dietary preference that is very niche as the suitable food is not easily available. Thus, it is thought that vegan food is expensive. But this is far from the truth.

Vegan food is basically vegetables, fruits and lentils, which essentially cheaper than meats and dairy. Buy from local stores and markets to get fresh produce instead of buying stuff marked ‘vegan’ in supermarkets. They are usually lab-manufactured foods which are expensive. Stick to your basics of veggies, nuts and beans; you will not only save money but have a healthy diet too.

What about children? Is veganism safe for them?

Vegan is safe for children to follow, unlike what most people say. It is possible to get all the required nutrients for growth and development of children from a plant-based diet.

Vegan diet can be followed by children of all ages, including infants. Some paediatric doctors may prescribe some fortified supplements and vitamins to be taken additionally but it is a completely safe option for children.

Tags: vegan diet, vegan food, plant-based diet, veganism