November is World Vegan Month! Veganism has gained significant traction in recent years, driven by a variety of factors ranging from ethical considerations to environmental concerns. As more individuals embrace this lifestyle, questions arise about its nutritional implications.
Lexington Dietitian, Roshni, sheds light on key considerations for thinking about veganism.
While dietitians acknowledge the diverse reasons people adopt veganism, it’s crucial to ensure a balanced diet. Roshni suggests relying on the EatWell Guide, a foundation for a varied diet that ensures adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals.
Addressing a common concern, Roshni assures that vegans can easily meet their protein requirements through plant-based sources. Peas, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tempeh, and tofu are excellent options. However, she advises caution with processed meat alternatives, which may be high in saturated fat and salt. Vigilance in checking ingredient lists for any hidden dairy or egg components is key.
Vitamin B12, crucial for preventing a specific type of anaemia, is absent in plant foods. Roshni recommends a daily B12 supplement or incorporating fortified foods into the vegan diet. It’s a proactive step to ensure the body gets this vital nutrient.
Addressing a common misconception, Roshni clarifies that a well-rounded vegan diet, rich in protein and healthy fats, can keep hunger at bay. It’s all about making mindful choices to maintain satiety until the next meal.
Roshni leaves us with practical advice. Firstly, she emphasises the importance of a B12 supplement or fortified foods. Secondly, she encourages referring to the EatWell Guide for a diverse and balanced diet. For additional support, The Vegan Society offers its version of the EatWell Guide tailored to the vegan lifestyle.
With thoughtful planning and a commitment to nutritional awareness, veganism can be a healthful and satisfying choice. As with any dietary lifestyle, it’s essential to stay informed and make choices that align with both personal values and wellbeing.