Exploring Veganism

July 20, 2020

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Cauliflower tacos
Photo Courtesy: acouplecooks.com

Eating Pattern Series

To kick off the eating pattern series, I will be covering veganism! Check out the pros and cons, basics, and potential health benefits of following a vegan eating style.

The Basics: Veganism has grown to be widely popular in mainstream media over the past decade. Interestingly, a lot of people think that it is simply just a specific way of eating, but for many people it is actually a more encompassing way of life. The basic philosophy of veganism is to eliminate all forms of animal exploitation for food, clothing, and all other purposes. This means that there are no animal products put into food, health and household products, and clothing. The “diet” component of veganism allows all foods as long as they do not contain meats, eggs, or dairy products.

Around the World: Veganism is common all over the world, but one study in 2018 showed that veganism is most common in Australia and New Zealand.

Pros: There are many reasons that people choose to follow a vegan lifestyle and eating pattern, but typically the reasons are for health, ethics, or the benefit for the environment. Regardless of the reason, it can provide a meaningful and lifelong guiding philosophy to live by. Additionally, people may choose to grow their own food at home and shop at local farmers markets, which can work to reduce their carbon footprint and help to put money back into the local economy.

Cons: As there are no animal products that are part of the eating pattern, making meals for busy people may be time consuming. There is also some additional planning involved for meals because some nutrients are less bioavailable in animal-free foods. This means that even though you can get all of your essential vitamins and minerals from animal-free foods, they may be harder for your body to absorb compared to animal products. As long as meals are planned appropriately though, all nutrient needs for the body can be met with a vegan eating pattern.

Potential Health Benefits: The vegan eating pattern has been shown to help people maintain a healthy weight and help control blood sugar levels. There is also some research that shows there could be heart health benefits, but more research needs to be done before any conclusions can be made. There is also a mental health benefit to discuss. As veganism is a lifestyle, it can help people come together and connect over the same philosophies and guiding principles.

Recipe: If you’re interested in a vegan lifestyle or are just looking for a new recipe to try, check out these Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce. With only 8 ingredients and a 30-minute cook time, this one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Resources to Learn More: To learn more about the vegan lifestyle check out, The Game Changers on Netflix. If you are looking for reading material, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and How to Go Vegan by Veganuary are both great resources as well!

Be on the lookout for next week’s eating pattern: vegetarian!

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