Veganism is the latest buzzword on everyone’s lips – but for those who are passionate about animal welfare, climate change reversal or the planet at large, it is more than just a trend. Numerous studies have linked animal agriculture to the destruction of essential ecosystems like the Amazon Rainforest, while by-products of the industry have been shown to erode soil, leach dangerous levels of nitrogen into the water table, and contribute to the warming of the atmosphere through greenhouse gas creation.
With all this in mind, it is not surprising that many folks are choosing to reduce their animal product consumption or to leave these foods off their plates entirely. However, there is more to a plant-based diet than just salads and compassion; it takes careful planning and strategic eating to do it safely and correctly. Just like in online NZ casino games, an element of strategy usually works in your favor when making big life changes! Here is how you can transition to a vegan way of life without negatively impacting your health.
#1: Planning is Essential
A vegan diet is a restrictive diet, no matter how large the variety of plant foods you choose to consume. You will be leaving iron- and vitamin B12-rich foods off your menu to a large extent, which means that you will have to create a strategic diet to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients out of your plant-based meals.
We highly recommend working with a nutritionist to draw up a meal plan that will get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids into your system. Be prepared for some dietary changes too. You may need to turn to plant-based protein shakes to ensure that you are getting enough quality protein, and food pairing will also likely become your new best friend.
#2: Supplement Regularly
We mentioned above that a restrictive vegan diet could make it challenging to eat all the nutrients necessary for sustained health. There are some nutrients that plant-based diets omit or do not provide enough of; they include vitamin B12 to a large extent, heme iron, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and in some cases, zinc as well.
Of course, this is not a problem if you supplement your diet with a few carefully chosen supplements containing these nutrients. It is recommended that you have your iron and vitamin B12 levels regularly tested by a medical professional, and if a deficiency arises, adjust your supplement regime accordingly. You can also research which nutrients work synergistically and take them together for the best effect.
#3: Focus on Your Lifestyle
Ask a vegan and they will tell you that people who only eat a ‘vegan’ diet are plant-based eaters and not true vegans. A vegan lifestyle extends to all aspects of your life, including the personal care products you use, the clothes you wear, and so much more. You would be surprised at how many animal products make their way into everyday items like toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, cosmetics, and the likes.
Vegans also avoid any items of clothing made of leather, preferring natural cotton or synthetic garments instead. It is vital to do your own research here and choose products that are certifiably plant-based and cruelty-free. There are countless guides on the web to assist you, making your vegan transition that much easier!