Veganism is a somewhat foreign idea to many Americans. For generations, animal products have been the stuff of Americana: families have started their mornings with scrambled eggs, discussed their days over steak, and enjoyed ice cream desserts before bedtime. At the same time though, our waistlines have ballooned and our arteries have become clogged. Veganism offers a healthy alternative. Try it for awhile, or try it for good. Either way, you'll reap great benefits: vegans are rewarded with slimmer figures, cleaner-running engines, and enhanced energy.
What is veganism?
The term "veganism" was coined just a few decades ago, and it's derived from the word "vegetarianism." Basically, vegetarians do not eat animals, but they will eat animal products such as cheese and eggs. Vegans exclude all animal products from their diets. Veganism involves avoiding milk and eggs as well as honey, gelatin, and animal-based food additives. (A common red food dye, for instance, is made from beetles!)
Is Veganism Difficult?
With animal products being used in everything from tortilla chips to candy coatings, some people imagine it would be difficult to adhere to a vegan diet. Depending on where a person lives, this could be true! The key is to place oneself in healthy environments:
• It's much easier to find nutritious, tasty vegan food at a health food store than at a traditional chain grocer. Smaller, independent groceries often have vegan and vegetarian hot food bars and refrigerated meals for people on-the-go.
• When you're choosing a restaurant, remember that certain cuisines are more easily made vegan. For example, it's easy to adapt recipes to make vegan burritos, pad Thai, sushi rolls, and stir-fry.
• Keep vegan snacks on hand at home, in the office, and in the car. With cashews, fruit salad, and dark chocolate within reach, sticking to a vegan diet can be remarkably easy.
How's the Food?
Cultures around the world have been making delicious vegan foods for millennia: chocolate, hummus, fried okra, samosas, etc. Whereas traditional American foods tend to rely on animal fats and salt for flavoring, vegan foods make the most of nut oils and heady spices such as cayenne, ginger, garlic, and oregano.
What's more, modern food companies have excelled at developing meat alternatives. Like bacon? A number of "fake bacon" products are perfectly salty and crispy, and they taste… piggy. Vegans also have delicious dessert options. Vegan apple crumble is divine – especially when topped with a coconut-milk version of ice cream.
People also notice that once they become vegan, they require less stimulation to enjoy flavoring. For instance, they are satisfied with a lower concentration of sugar in their desserts. That's because their systems have become cleaner over time and are more sensitive to fluctuations.
Is it Safe?
Balanced vegan diets are so safe than in the Netherlands, vegans actually have discounted health insurance fees. Of course, it's not wise to load up on vegan chocolate chip cookies and forget about nutrition. With the proper medical guidance, you can quickly and safely shed pounds by omitting animal products from your diet. Animals will thank you, and your body will, too!