Due to a number of products that are being branded as “vegetarian-friendly”, the vegan food list gets more confusing everyday. This is especially true for newbies who are yet to familiarize themselves with the guidelines for following this diet. You may be wondering how cheese has made it to the list, but then you’ll realize that perhaps it is manufactured from soymilk instead of dairy. While innovations in food processing have really become impressive, the presence of several grocery items marketed as vegan sounds too good to be true. Hence, I recommend that you carry out the necessary steps in preventing non-vegan components from getting into your system.
Do: Follow The Original Vegan Food List
This includes all plant-based foods prescribed for the vegan diet: from the smallest of seeds and beans, to the crisp leafy vegetables and juicy fruits. Of course, this does not mean that you should only eat them as they are; any processed derivatives such as tofu (from soybean) and bread (from wheat) are accepted in the diet. Incorporating these plant by-products, such as the best plant based meats, will provide variety to your daily menu.
Still, you need to make sure that you are eating vegan foods from all nutritional groups. Because the vegetarian diet is limited to plant consumption, you have to compensate for the missing nutrients which are typically found in meat and animal by-products. You can do this by simply eating adequate amounts of meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Don’t: Modify The Vegan Food List
As I stated earlier, any food products that directly come from plant are allowed in the vegan diet. However, you should never change anything about the provisions for use of base ingredients. This means that although you are free to eat veggie pizza and pastries, you should not shift to these food options completely. Doing so will not only leave you deficient in necessary nutrients, but also unintentionally non-vegan. You may not realize it at first, but as you move to more “delicious” and novel recipes on a daily basis, you are actually risking your vegetarian lifestyle. How many of the products today are camouflaging as “vegan”? We have no idea.
Hence, it is important that while you enjoy recipes that use meat and dairy analogues, you have an understanding that they may not be all authentic as they seem to be.
It’s easy to do away with meat. What is difficult is to spot traces of animal by-products in every grocery item that we buy. This gets more complicated as many manufacturers try to mislead us with labels that indicate a vegan standard, e.g. “meat-free” and “all-natural”. Although there are still many honest brands in the market, you must be very careful when purchasing their products.
For Anything Else, Use Supplements
No, they are not consumed as food. What they try do is to provide other nutrients necessary for bodily functions and general well-being. This is not to say that you cannot get the right nourishment from a vegan diet. Supplements are usually incorporated to the diet to help promote holistic health. They are not meant to replace the items in the vegan food list.