Vegan Diet Foods

Let me start out by explaining what vegans do not eat and how that came about. Vegans do not include animal products of any kind in their diet: this includes meat, eggs, milk, and butter. Unlike vegetarians, vegans omit all foods that derive from animals.

Once referred to as vegetarian, the first person to follow the vegan diet was Dr. William Lambe, in 1806. His vegetarian diet aligned with what we know of as the vegan diet today, which was 100% plant-based. As the name suggests, vegetarians lived solely on vegetation. Another vegetarian, James Pierrepont Greaves, began the Alcott House in Ham, London in 1838 and required that pupils follow this vegetarian diet. At some point, vegetarians evolved, adding eggs and dairy to their diet. In 1944, Donald Watson, Elsie “Sally” Shrigley, and 23 others founded the Vegan Society. They were opposed to the use of all animal products and fought to create a subgroup of non-dairy vegetarians.

Why the word “Vegan”? It is simply the first three and last two letters of the word vegetarian. Watson referred to it as, “the beginning and end of vegetarian.” Pretty clever, huh? The Vegan Society is a registered charity and the oldest vegan society in the world. Vegans around the world celebrate “World Vegan Day”, which falls on Novemeber 1st and commemorates the founding of “The Vegan Society.”

Now that you have a bit of history, we’ll delve into what foods are available in a vegan diet. Vegans enjoy a diverse diet of grains, legumes, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Sound boring? It’s really quite the opposite. Unfortunately, the typical American diet consists of mostly meat, with vegetables covered in butter or cheeses. Switching to vegan can mean a complete overhaul of your taste buds. Many find that once they’ve made the change, they don’t miss animal products at all. In fact, most people claim that they now have a more varied diet than they ever had before. Here are some foods that should be included in a healthy vegan diet.

Proteins
Tofu – 10 grams per 126g
Tempeh – 19 grams per 100g
Seitan – 18 grams per 85g
Lentils – 18 grams per 198g
Spirulina – 57grams per 100g
Black Beans – 15 grams per 172g
Garbanzo Beans – 12 grams per 240g
Kidney Beans – 8 grams per 184g
Pumpkin Seeds – 30grams per 100g
Hemp Seeds – 11 grams per 30g
Almonds – 20 grams per 95g
Fruits
Bananas
Pineapple
Dates
Pears
Apples
Strawberries
Blueberries
Oranges
Figs
Kiwi
Lemons & Limes
Grapes & Raisins
Raspberries
Peaches
Nectarines
Vegetables & Greens
Kale
Spinach
Chard
Mustard Greens
Collard Greens
Turnip Greens
Parsley
Squash
Garlic
Fennel
Tomatoes
Sweet Potatos
Carrots
Broccoli
Peppers
Beets
Radish
Onions
Asparagus
Mushrooms
Cucumber
Eggplant
Green Beans
Red Cabbage
Brussel Sprouts
Healthy Fats
Organic & Natural Peanut Butter – ingredients:  peanuts, less than 1% salt.
Raw Seeds & Nuts
Avocados
Olives
Soy beans
Walnuts
With just the above ingredients, you can create some amazingly delicious, nutritious, and colorful dishes. The picture to the right is a vegan chimichanga that I got at Poco, a vegan restaurant in Bisbee, AZ. Look at the beauty of this healthy vegan cuisine. A common pitfall for vegan beginners is not including enough b12 in their diets.  Unfortunately, the only natural occurrence of b12 is in animal foods. Don’t worry, there are b12 supplements and foods fortified with b12. For more information, click here.As far as protein goes, all plant-based foods provide protein. Vegans will not have a protein deficiency, provided that they maintain their caloric intake.

If you are interested in learning more about how to begin a Vegan Diet, click here. I would be happy to help you in getting started! I don’t offer any services, just information (which is free).  Don’t forget to share this page with your friends and family. You can also click the social buttons below to share this page!

For vegan substitution ingredients, click here.

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