(Last Updated On: November 18, 2021)

We’re seeing more and more vegan and vegetarian options appearing on restaurant menus, in supermarkets and in takeaways. The number of people altering their diets over the past decades to exclude animal-based products has rocketed. There are numerous reasons behind the shift in consumption patterns, including protecting the environment, animal welfare and potential health benefits. But how hard actually is it to turn vegan? Here is an insight into what making the change is really like.

Is Turning Vegan Hard

What is Veganism?

Being vegan means you do not eat animals or any by-product that is sourced from animals. This obviously includes meat, eggs and milk, but also cheese, yoghurt and honey. Everything consumed by someone who is vegan is plant-based. Luckily, there are so many alternative vegan options available now of all these products, which makes it easier than you think to change your diet.

Health Benefits

Understanding the lifestyle and the motivations behind it makes it easier to comprehend people’s choices. Health is the number one reason to make the switch for many people. If planned properly, a vegan diet consists of much healthier, whole foods than the traditional western diet and gives your body way more nutrients, including vitamins, iron and fibre. Due to this, it has been found to provide natural remedies and prevent the occurrence or severity of chronic diseases. Reducing the risk of some types of cancer, heart disease, lowering blood sugar levels and lessening the pain from arthritis are all benefits that have been found from changing to a vegan diet.

Where to Begin?

As a meat eater, going cold turkey just isn’t going to work. Maybe it could for a while, but in general, if you’re going from eating every kind of meat at every meal, every day, to only eating vegan produce overnight, you’re going to struggle. The best and most effective way to approach it is to cut things out gradually. Start with removing one type of meat, then once you feel comfortable with that, take out another. Gradually make your way through to pescatarian, where the only meat eaten is fish, then to vegetarian. Vegetarians still eat by-products like milk, cheese and eggs, but once you’re at this stage, it’s much easier to gradually guide your choices over to vegan.

Get Creative!

Many people believe a vegan diet is very restrictive and only consists of salads, salads and more salads, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, rice, pulses, tofu, herbs, spices, noodles – the list goes on and on. It’s an exciting opportunity to use your imagination and test out new combinations of flavours and textures. With the perfect kitchen renovation from granitetransformations.co.uk, you’ll be hungry to spend all your time experimenting with sustainable, healthy and environmentally conscious ingredients. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like cooking tonight, you won’t be missing out on any of those ‘shove in the oven for twenty minutes’ goods, as supermarkets have vegan options for burgers, nuggets, pizzas, fish fingers – everything you could ever want.

The thought of going vegan can be a little daunting, and it’s not always going to be a smooth ride to get there. But when considering the benefits, especially to your health, it could be worth a try.

Annalise O'Conner is a Registered Dietitian and Personalized Nutritionist. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching nutrition in the School of Public Health and APAN (Asian Pacific Islander American Network) Email: [email protected]

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