Let me start out by explaining what vegans do not eat and how that came about. Next we will talk about Vegan Diet Foods. 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.
- 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
- Lemons & Limes
- Grapes & Raisins
Vegetables & Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Collard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Sweet Potatos
- Green Beans
- Red Cabbage
- Brussel Sprouts
- Organic & Natural Peanut Butter ingredients: Peanuts, less than 1% salt.
- Raw Seeds & Nuts
- Soy beans
With just the above ingredients, you can create some amazingly delicious, nutritious, and colorful dishes. The picture above the 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!