Veganism is becoming more popular as people are learning about the pitfalls of a diet that relies heavily on animal products.
Even those who aren’t ready to fully commit to veganism are embracing plant-based diets or even just trying to eat more vegetables and less meat.
Why Choose A Plant-Based Diet?
No matter where you fall on the vegetarian/vegan scale, or if you are just starting out, there are many benefits to a plant-based diet.
There are health risks associated with eating a lot of meat and animal byproducts: high cholesterol, obesity, and heart risks, to name a few.
In addition, many of the problems in the larger food production system (such as unsustainable, environmentally unfriendly practices) are centered on the heavy consumption of animals.
Food scientists are researching ways that plant-based diets can not only improve health but also fix some of the problems of food production.
Take Small Steps Toward Veganism
If you are just beginning to move toward a vegan or other plant-based diet, there are basically two approaches.
You can just jump straight in, commit to the new diet, and quit animal products “cold turkey.” Some people find this approach works well for them.
However, many other people find a more gradual approach is easier and more sustainable in the long run. If you are a small steps person, here are a few tips to start.
1. Read Up On Plant-Based Diets
A good first step is doing some research into the whys and hows of a plant-based diet. There are many books on the market with information about plant-based diets, so you can learn a lot and decide which philosophy is the best fit for your life.
While you certainly don’t have to read all the books out there, it can be helpful to do some initial research so you understand the basic ideas and are familiar with the terminology.
If books aren’t your thing, you can look for blogs or magazines.
2. Make Small Changes In Your Menu
After you feel comfortable with the basics of a plant-based diet, you can start implementing small steps in your own life.
- Pick a day every week to cook a vegetarian dinner.
- Add a piece of fruit to breakfast and a side of veggies at dinnertime.
- Choose yogurt and granola over eggs and bacon or make veggie fajitas instead of steak.
- Pick a healthy and delicious vegan snack.
Even small changes like this can support a healthier lifestyle, help your body learn to embrace more plants and less meat, and even make a small positive change to the environment.
3. Find Delicious Alternatives
While there are many foods or recipes that are fairly easy to convert to a vegetarian version, some are much harder.
Eggs, for example, are nearly a food group on their own between their popularity as a meal and their presence in a majority of pre-packaged processed foods.
However, due to the research of food technology companies, there is now a plant-based egg substitute that actually performs like eggs when used in egg-based recipes, providing delicious alternatives to traditional options.
4. Support The Industry
Choosing vegan alternatives offers benefits beyond just being a tasty and healthy choice for your lifestyle.
These products are made in a way that is environmentally friendly and far more sustainable than other conventional foods such as eggs.
Many food scientists have a goal to reshape the food production system to be better for consumers and farmers, as well as the environment.
Choosing vegan products is a solid show of support for this research and can help lay the foundation for further success.
Many people find that the more they choose plant-based foods over meat, the more their bodies crave veggies and other healthy options.
The potential health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet are well known: low cholesterol, increased energy, better digestion, and lower risk of heart disease.
Many people also report feeling happy and energetic when making choices that support their own health and the environment as a whole.
Whether you choose to jump in with both feet or wade in with baby steps, moving toward a plant-based diet can be a life-changing journey. You may even find yourself discovering new ways to incorporate plants into your meals.
With all the information, support, recipes, and delicious vegan food products available, it’s easier than ever to enjoy all the benefits of a plant-based diet.