The vegan diet, more formally known as the plant-based diet is a type of vegetarian diet and it focuses on eating a variety of whole plant foods, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.
This type of diet is also known for being a healthy weight loss diet because it emphasizes the use of real food that is minimally processed.
This diet is also high in fiber and low in total fat because it can eliminate certain types of saturated fat and cholesterol that are found in meat and animal products.
This diet is a great way to lose weight. The diet eliminates the consumption of meat and animal byproducts. This eliminates cholesterol, which is high in red meats. It also avoids the consumption of milk, which is high in saturated fats. In addition, this diet provides a plethora of fruits and vegetables.
These foods are packed with fiber and nutrients to provide energy and keep you full for a long period.
The vegan diet is ideal for those who want to lose weight because it can be tailored specifically to your body type and your fitness goals.
There are three types of vegan diets:
• High carb
• Low carb
Each option has its benefits. For example, if you’re looking to lose fat, but don’t have much weight to lose, then you may want to stick with a low-carb vegan diet.
However, if you’re looking to gain muscle mass or maintain your current weight, then you might want to consider a balanced or high-carb vegan diet.
Whatever your needs may be, you will find a vegan diet that helps you reach your goals.
The Vegan diet: what is it?
If you’ve been wondering what a vegan diet is, this article will explain the basics of nutrition.
What is a vegan diet? where does veganism come from, and can it help you lose weight? who is watching it? Frequently asked questions, which often get harsh and simplistic answers. Not to mention often simply caricatured.
And you? Are you so sure you already know everything about the vegan diet and how vegans eat? Let’s try to explain it in this article.
From American origin, vegan philosophy is spreading like a global ethical movement. In addition to dictating food rules, it seeks to introduce a lifestyle that excludes the consumption and use in all areas of any substance, material, clothing, or decoration of animal origin.
Today’s vegan diet is a very common practice.
A study commissioned by Vegetarian Resource Group and developed with data from the Google Trend service would have estimated that 1.5% more of the American population is vegan since 2009.
Vegan diet: weight loss for some, lifestyle for others
You need to know from the beginning that a healthy vegan diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as starchy foods, and sources of protein such as legumes.
Thorough diet planning is also essential because otherwise, you can omit essential nutrients for the body, such as calcium, iron, or vitamin B12.
Vegan Diet for Weight Loss – Does It Work?
Although several scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss, not everyone will lose weight after adopting such a diet.
If you have been on a vegan diet in the hopes of losing weight and have not noticed any progress, it is good to know that if you have a diet without meat, dairy and eggs, it does not necessarily mean that you will lose weight.
As in any situation involving weight loss, it’s about how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn. If you have become vegan, but you eat vegetable burgers, french fries with soy schnitzels, or falafel hummus all day, not only will you not lose weight, but you may even gain weight.
First steps before adopting a vegan diet:
Before starting the transition, the first step is to get acquainted with veganism. This will help you stay informed and prepared for this important change in your life:
• Learn as much as you can about the benefits of a vegan diet and the practices and costs behind animal products.
• Watch documentaries, books, magazines, websites, blogs, and vegan-themed forums, and talk to people who have adopted this lifestyle and who can help you get as clear a perspective as possible and who can help you along the way. transition.
• Look for vegan products from local grocery stores, vegan restaurants, and shops that sell this type of product in the area.
• Learn how to recognize non-vegan ingredients. Find out which ingredients are not in this category and find out as much as possible about those ingredients that are of animal origin and that can be contained in foods that you have not even thought about.
• Make a meal plan to help you eat properly, using only plant-based foods.
What to eat in a vegan diet to help you lose weight.
The key, as in all weight-loss diets, is to focus on nutrient-dense foods compared to empty calories. For vegans, these foods would include things like:
• Green peas
Legumes should not be missing from any balanced diet due to the many qualities and health benefits they have. Legumes are an important source of fiber, protein, vitamin B, and other important vitamins and minerals.
Numerous studies and research have shown that when consumed regularly, most types of legumes help lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol and help maintain a healthy digestive system.
Legumes successfully replace meat in culinary preparations, with a similar intake of protein and are thus the ideal choice for those who follow a vegetarian diet or those who give up eating meat.
2. Whole grains and pseudocereals:
Each of us wants to have a healthy lifestyle and that is why it is very important what foods we eat. In addition to vegetables and fruits, whole grains offer you a lot of benefits when consumed daily.
Whole grains are prepared using the whole grain, so the 3 parts of it are preserved:
• the germ
• inner membrane
• outer membrane.
You can enjoy the full nutritional value of each grain when you eat whole grains, compared to refined products (such as white bread, white rice, and pasta) that use only the kernel of cereal grains.
• Whole wheat
• Whole corn
• Whole oats
• Spelta wheat
• Wholemeal oatmeal, wheat, or other cereals
• Whole barley
• Brown rice
• Wild rice
In addition to the active role in the production of energy necessary for the proper functioning of the body and the nutrients it contains, whole grains bring other benefits:
• facilitates digestion, due to its high fiber content – this prevents disorders such as constipation or bloating and long-term problems with the intestines and colon
• keep blood sugar and cholesterol within normal limits, thus preventing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.
Recommended Read: Top 23 Most Popular Vegan Protein Sources for a Healthy Plant-Based Diet
Any type of nut is very valuable to the human body. Therefore, it should be included regularly in the diet, and obviously in the vegan diet. Moreover, you can eat them separately, or combine them. ATTENTION TO QUANTITY! They are high in calories!
• Pecan nuts
• Brazilian nuts
• Macadamia nuts
The seeds are versatile products, known in the diet since prehistoric times, and bring healthy protein, fiber, and fat to the body. Here are 8 seeds to eat in your vegan diet:
• Hemp seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Chia seeds
• Pomegranate seeds
• Pine buds
• Poppy seeds.
The benefits of consuming seeds:
• Helps to lose weight. The seeds contain soluble fiber and protein, which moves slowly through the digestive tract and ensures a feeling of satiety for a longer time.
• Helps digestion. The fiber contained in the seeds helps maintain the beneficial bacteria in the gut that play a role in absorbing nutrients and eliminating toxins.
• Helps regulate blood sugar. Not only can it prevent the symptoms of diabetes, but it can also protect against the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease.
Certain types of seeds, such as flaxseed, have also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. This allows insulin to work more efficiently in the body to keep your blood sugar constant.
• They are antioxidants and can be a healthy alternative for those who opt for a plant-based diet.
Like fruits, vegetables are low in calories and fats, but they contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. All green, yellow and orange vegetables are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B complex, and vitamins C, A, and K.
Vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Also, vegetables contain both soluble and insoluble fibers that help improve the digestive tract. Many people consume fewer vegetables than they should.
• Contain fiber and help you lose weight
• Contain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and
• Vegetables are alkaline foods.
It is important to balance the intake of alkaline foods with acidic foods (protein and cereals) in the body.
Consume fruit in moderation if you want to lose weight and give up fruit juices.
• Bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
• Brussels sprouts
• Green beans
• Green onion
The importance of fruits in your vegan diet is huge, they cannot be separated from vegetables on the menu of each of us. Fruit consumption has many health benefits, reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Fruits provide vital nutrients to the body, helping us always stay in shape.
Fruits have many health benefits. A fruit-rich diet as part of a healthy lifestyle is the beginning of a change for the better.
• Fruits are wonder foods in themselves, they contain many nutrients and few calories.
• Fruit consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease and protect the body from developing certain forms of cancer.
• And, more than that, fruits contain fiber, thus reducing the risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
• Rich in potassium, it helps lower blood pressure and helps kidney functions, eliminating kidney stones from the beginning.
• Helps maintain a stable weight.
• Tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are fruits if you didn’t know)
• Sour Cherry
Algae are plant organisms that grow in the seas and oceans and include in their bodies most of the components of seawater, in a form purified, concentrated, and assimilable by the human body.
They contain more essential amino acids than any type of meat, they are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, F, K, PP), chlorophyll, antibiotics, and minerals (iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, copper, zinc).
Here are some examples of algae you can use in your vegan diet:
8. Calcium-fortified vegetable dairies:
• Soy milk
• Coconut milk
• Almond milk
• Calcium yogurts with added calcium can help you avoid deficiencies.
If possible, you can opt for those that contain other vitamins such as B12 or vitamin D.
All these foods are combined to create balanced meals that meet all the nutritional needs of the body during a vegan diet.
As an alternative to dairy products, you can opt for soy-based drinks. Calcium intake can be ensured by eating foods such as apricots and prunes, raisins, and figs. Other sources of calcium are sesame seeds and tofu cheese.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so don’t forget to include cereal in your diet and if the season allows, stay in the sun as much as possible.
For an optimal dose of iron, eat vegetables such as broccoli but also wholemeal bread (in moderate amounts) or almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashews.
As vitamin B12 is only found in products of animal origin, those on a vegan diet can solve the problem with the help of supplements but do not hesitate to seek the advice of your doctor or nutritionist before opting for a certain type of supplement.
The vegan diet focuses on the idea that vegetables and fruits fill the stomach faster, and you will feel full without too much caloric intake.
Foods excluded from a vegan diet:
• Beef, lamb, pork, veal, chicken, turkey, goose, ostrich, duck, quail, organs, etc.
• Fish and seafood: all types of fish, anchovies, shrimp, squid, shellfish, mussels, crab, lobster, caviar, etc.
• Dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, etc
• Bee products: honey, pollen, etc.
• Ingredients of animal origin: whey, casein, lactose, gelatin, vitamin D3 derived from animal products, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish.
Why use a vegan diet for weight loss? 6 Advantages and 4 Disadvantages
To lose weight, it is essential to reduce your caloric intake, without falling into extremes, of course. A well-planned vegan diet is one of the best “diets.”
Many people use a vegan diet to lose weight due to its combination of low-calorie healthy foods that fill the stomach, improve digestion and support the processes that stimulate weight loss while nourishing the body with the most important nutrients.
6 Benefits of a Vegan Diet:
Although it takes some effort to adjust to the vegan diet, the benefits it brings are many, let’s list a few of them:
1. The main advantage of the vegan diet is the intake of vitamins and minerals due to the diet being based on fruits and vegetables. From this point of view, the diet is healthy for the human body.
2. Another advantage would be that digestion is concentrated in only a few food groups and by default is easier and faster.
3. Body weight is more easily maintained within normal limits.
An increasing number of people are eating plant-based diets in hopes of reducing excess weight. Some studies show that vegans tend to have a lower body weight than non-vegans.
4. Vegan diet reduces the pain caused by arthritis
Although more research is needed on this topic, current studies show that a vegan diet has positive effects on various forms of arthritis. For example, several studies have investigated the effects of the raw vegan diet, rich in probiotics, on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
The results showed that the participants in the vegan group had their symptoms improved such as pain, swollen joints, and morning joint stiffness as opposed to those in the group who continued the omnivorous diet.
5. Vegan diet lowers blood sugar and improves kidney function.
In vegans, blood sugar levels are low, and this diet increases insulin sensitivity by 50-78% and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
6. Vegan diet reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Did you know that eating fresh fruits, vegetables and fiber lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular disease? All of these should generally be consumed in large quantities as part of an optimal vegan diet.
The benefits to the heart of the vegan diet are significant due to the reduction of risk factors that contribute to its disease.
4 Disadvantages of the vegan diet:
1. Low protein and fat intake
On the other hand, the main disadvantage of the vegan diet is the very low intake of healthy fat, an imbalance that can cause muscle weakness, lack of energy, headaches, and poor general condition.
In addition, those who approach this type of diet may face more or less severe nutritional imbalances.
2, Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Vegans may be deficient in vitamin B12, choline, vitamin D, iron, iodine, and zinc, nutrients found primarily in animal foods. Food supplements can be taken to avoid deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal foods except for brewer’s yeast, red algae, kombu, Nori, alfalfa, hops, and soy.
3. Calcium deficiency
Although milk is not the food that contains the most calcium, it is one of the highest percentages. Therefore, the lack of dairy products and dietary derivatives can lead to calcium deficiency. Make sure you eat foods rich in this mineral to avoid deficiencies.
4. The vegan diet is not for everyone
In many cases, the vegan diet is not healthy, as is the case with children and pregnant women. In these stages where body structures are formed, such as blood, muscles, or skin, it is necessary to consume foods of animal origin that provide nutrients that cannot be obtained from foods of plant origin.
When you choose to follow a vegan diet, you’ll be able to eat a larger volume of food while still staying within your recommended daily caloric intake. So, when you’re following this particular diet, you’ll be able to eat good quality foods that will help you lose weight.
Eating a vegan diet can help you lose weight. However, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or dietitian before making major changes to your diet.
You should discuss how to get critical nutrients, such as protein and B vitamins, to avoid imbalances that can lead to conditions with irreversible effects.
Your doctor may also have other suggestions on how to lose weight, such as keeping a food diary or engaging in a regular exercise routine.
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