Vegan Tips & Tricks
Foods to avoid: Vegans avoid eating any animal foods, as well as any foods containing ingredients derived from
animals. These include:
- Meat and poultry: Beef, lamb, pork, veal, organ meat, wild meat, chicken, turkey, goose, duck, quail, etc.
- Fish and seafood: All types of fish, anchovies, shrimp, squid, scallops, calamari, mussels, crab, lobster, etc.
- Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, etc.
- Eggs: From chickens, quails, ostriches, fish, etc.
- Bee products: Honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, etc.
- Animal-based ingredients: Whey, casein, lactose, egg white albumen, gelatin, cochineal or carmine, isinglass, shellac, L-cysteine, animal-derived vitamin D3 and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.
Sneaky ingredients to watch our for:
- Carmine or anything that sounds like it is a red food coloring made from ground-up beetles.
- Casein and similar-sounding substances are milk proteins.
- Collagen and keratin.
- Gelatin is derived from the skins or bones of animals.
- Glycerine, lactic acid, mono or diglycerides but they could also be vegan.
- Lactose is a sugar extracted from milk.
- Lard and tallow are both fancy names for animal fat.
- Whey is a milk-based byproduct of cheese making.
Foods to eat: Health-conscious vegans substitute animal products with plant-based replacements. These include:
- Tofu, tempeh and seitan: These provide a versatile protein-rich alternative to meat, fish, poultry and eggs in many recipes.
- Legumes: Foods such as beans, lentils and peas are excellent sources of many nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
- Nuts and nut butters: Especially unblanched and unroasted varieties, which are good sources of iron, fiber, magnesium, zinc, selenium and vitamin E.
- Seeds: Especially hemp, chia and flaxseeds, which contain a good amount of protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
- Calcium-fortified plant milks and yogurts: These help vegans achieve their recommended dietary calcium intakes.
- Whole grains and cereals: These are a great source of complex carbs, fiber, iron, B-vitamins and several minerals.
- Fruits and vegetables: Both are great foods to increase your nutrient intake. Leafy greens such as bok choy, spinach, kale, watercress and mustard greens are particularly high in iron and calcium.
The Daily Dozen:
In ‘How Not to Die’, Dr Michael Greger argues that a plantbased, whole-food diet has been scientifically shown to reduce the most common diseases leading to death. Citing thousands of references from scientific literature, Dr Greger covers the top 15 causes of death (from heart disease to Parkinson’s) and describes how diet can reduce each cause of death. He then gives his recommendation for “The Daily Dozen” foods to eat to maximize health benefits.
Main Points to consider:
- Diet is the #1 contributor to global disease burden.
- A plant-based, whole-food diet has been shown to decrease your likelihood of getting a panel of diseases.
- Genetics only explains a small portion of disease inheritance, in most cases – a large portion of disease is under your control.
- Diet can reverse disease, not just halt it. It’s not too late if you already have heart disease or diabetes.
- Preventing disease is better than treating it. Drugs have side effects, and some diseases are irreversible.
- Humans evolved over millions of years eating primarily vegetables, so many of our biological responses to food were wired to prehistoric diets. Processed foods now contain much more fat, sodium, and caloric density than we evolved eating. Our normal biological processes haven’t adapted to surviving on modern diets.