You have definitely come across a vegan or the idea of Veganism. As much as you have depended on animal sources of food as your main protein source, you should prepare for a big change. Becoming a vegan is not just about a change in diet. It is a complete lifestyle change. Before you hop to the other side, here are a few things you need to expect and be prepared for.
Questions from families and friends
Food is an important part of one’s belief. Once you stop eating the food which you were brought up by questions will arise. Your parents will think that you are challenging their judgment for good foods. Friends may wonder why the change has become. They may be quite skeptical and avoid being on dinner tables with you. This I just a heads up of the reactions you might get.
With that said and done, what are the nutritional changes you need to prepare for in your diet? Here goes.
Replacement of animal protein with plant proteins
This is going to be one of the major changes in your diet. Animal proteins range from milk, poultry, beef, and fish and so on. As a non-vegan, you will realize that this takes a huge part of your diet. Replacing these proteins, however, should not be difficult especially with vegan meats. As a vegan, you will notice that protein sources are many and you will need to choose from a variety.
Watch out for too much soy
Soy is the most common source of protein for most vegans. However, if overdone, it may come with health complications. You should avoid processed soy and look out for safer soy. These include forms such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and miso. Over processed soy has a high concentration of sodium, which is not good for the body. Scientists have proven that overconsumption of soy protein has severe health indications compared to excess animal protein
There are specific vitamins and minerals, which only come from animal sources. You will need to have supplements of Vitamin B12, Zinc, Riboflavin and Iron. The richest source of iron in a non-vegan diet is red meat. You now understand that you will not be taking any more of that.
Watch out for junk food
When you will be replacing proteins, you will realize that bread and pasta have certain amounts of protein. However, be warned not to take too much of these for the sake of protein. Remember highly processed foods should be avoided because it will be similar to consuming junk food. It would be worse to come from a no-vegan lifestyle and fall into a junk food culture. This will expose you to other diseases and add weight to your body.
Highly processed foods have cases of the included ingredients from animal origin. These include; gelatin, whey, and casein. Therefore, you have to be ready to read all labels of food products you will be purchasing from your stores. A completely vegan food may have traces of animal products in them.