The vegan diet consists of avoiding all animal-based products. This includes gelatin and isinglass, which are derived from cows or pigs. You can also find vegan versions of other natural flavorings, such as castoreum (derived from beavers' anal scent glands). A vegan alternative to these ingredients is algae, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Another common ingredient that cannot be avoided is shellac, a byproduct of the lac insect and used in many food glazes and wax coatings.
Vegans are individuals who do not eat any meat, poultry, fish, or other animal products. They may also refrain from eating dairy and eggs. Vegetarians may occasionally use these products but not as a leading source of protein. Some people choose to go vegan for health reasons, while others may have more important political or religious reasons. They believe that animals deserve the same protection as humans and prefer to consume plant-based foods.
Going vegan is the most effective way to eliminate your diet of foods that cause animal exploitation. But even a vegan diet can't eliminate all the exploitation of your food choices. For example, palm oil is produced by crushing the fruit of palm trees, and the palm oil industry is responsible for clearing rainforests and exterminating thousands of orangutans yearly. Coffee and chocolate, too, are often harvested by enslaved people.
Non-vegan ingredients in food products
One of the most common non-vegan ingredients in food products is beeswax. This ingredient is added to several food products and is considered a "grey area" by plant-based dieters. Often added to confections, beeswax prevents mold from forming and helps keep the food fresh. It is also found in red food dyes and dairy products. Honey is another ingredient that is not strictly vegan but is often used in cooking and baking.
Many kinds of cereal contain lanolin oil, derived from sheep's wool and is used to add vitamin D. Other food additives from animal products include gelatin and omega-3 fatty acids. Some products are fortified with omega-3s, but many vegan alternatives are available.
Health benefits of a vegan diet
There are several health benefits to following a vegan diet. One of these is that vegans are less likely to gain weight. In one study, participants who followed a vegan diet lost 4.2 kilograms more than those on a control diet. This is due in part to the low-calorie intake of a vegan diet. Another benefit of a vegan diet is that it reduces cholesterol and saturated fat. This also lowers the risk of heart disease and strokes. One study found that vegans are less likely to suffer from heart disease than their omnivorous counterparts.
A vegan diet is high in fiber and low in fat, protein, calcium, and salt. However, there are still many misconceptions about diet. For example, many vegans are unaware they are deficient in vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential to prevent nerve damage and is found only in meat and animal products. Therefore, vegans must eat at least 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily.
Sources of plant-based protein
There are many tasty sources of plant-based protein that will make your plate look well-balanced and leave you feeling nourished. As a vegan, it's essential to ensure you get your daily protein requirements, but it's not hard to get them from a plant-based diet. Here are 10 tasty options to choose from.
One of the most popular plant-based protein sources is tofu. It contains about 15 grams of protein per 4 oz serving, which is one-third of the daily requirement of an average woman. It can be blended into smoothies or used in stir-fries. If you prefer something more hearty, you can use extra firm tofu, which has more protein per calorie. In addition to tofu, you can also use soy products, like seitan. These foods are incredibly versatile and contain various essential vitamins and minerals.