An introduction to veganism – the basics.

In the world of nutrition and lifestyle things can get complicated quickly. From counting your macros to reaching ketosis, paleo to the alkaline diet, it can be almost impossible to work out what you should be doing and why to improve your health and wellbeing.

Over the past several years veganism has slowly and steadily inched its way into the public consciousness as a health/lifestyle choice in a way that other dietary methods have been incapable of and that’s because it’s largely trying to answer a fundamentally different question.

Where the vast majority of diets and dietary lifestyle choices focus squarely on your direct benefit on a nutritional level, veganism sees a bigger picture and aims to benefit all living things great and small both nutritionally and from a philosophical harm reduction standpoint.

What is veganism?

So what does it mean to be vegan?  Essentially veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.

Being vegan is most certainly not a lifestyle that everyone is attracted to and the question of whether or not consuming animal products is an ethical one is widely debated. However, it is easy to see the appeal in any philosophy that focuses on harm reduction as a core principle.

Is it possible to get all the required nutrients from a vegan diet?

The short answer is yes, however, this does require some vigilance most especially when it comes to protein intake (pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein for vegan diets with 19g of protein per 100g serve). A well maintained vegan diet can be high in iron, calcium protein and other essential vitamins, to be sure make an appointment with a nutritionist prior to commencing a vegan diet to be sure you’ve got all your nutritional bases covered. This article also has a list of 15 ingredients every vegan pantry should stock and is a great read for anyone looking to incorporate more whole foods or less animal product in their diet and lifestyle.

Is veganism good for the environment?

This one is an easy yes. Avoiding animal products has a very real environmental benefit, most notably due to the significant number of resources needed to farm livestock, from fresh water to grain feed which can intern lead to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction.

Is a vegan lifestyle for me?

Ultimately this is a personal choice however it is important to note that many vegan intuitions encourage those thinking about a vegan diet to simply try to include one vegan meal in their diet per day, with many suggesting breakfast as a great option to start with. At Zone Fresh we support vegan diets and offer a range of vegan products from specialty treats like ice-cream to every day vegan pantry essentials. Whatever the opinions on veganism may be we believe that you can never learn too much about great food and how to use it, maybe hunt out a few vegan recipes and give them a try, you might end up with a delicious meat free meal that the whole family will enjoy.

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