10 Things You Need to Know About Vegan Food

Nikki Namdar

    1. You Can Get All the Nutrients You Need
        One of the most frequently asked questions about veganism is, will I get all the nutrients I need? The answer is yes. If you eat a plant-based diet rich in whole foods, from greens to beans, you will load up on iron, fiber, and protein. The only supplement I suggest you take, vegan or not, is B12. Although foods fortified with B12 (some plants milks, cereals and soy products), it’s best to take a supplement to absorb the proper amount.
    2. Soy is Not the Enemy
        Unless you have a soy intolerance or allergy, don’t be afraid! Soy is not bad for you. In fact, studies have suggested it decreases the risk of prostate cancer. There are many benefits to soy products like tofu. Soybeans are considered a complete protein and could have just as much as steak. Additionally, there is no direct link between soy and breast cancer or soy lowering testosterone.
    3. You Can Be Gluten-Free and Soy-Free
        People worry that going vegan means more gluten and soy, but that’s not true. Alternatives such as tempeh and jackfruit can act as your “meat” in many dishes. Brands like Beyond have gluten- and soy-free products, even food such as burgers. And perhaps most importantly, load up on beans and legumes!
    4. There are Delicious Meat Alternatives
        Gardein, Beyond, Morningstar, Field Roast, Tofurky and more have meat-free options for you, from sausages to bacon, hot pockets to lasagna. If you miss a certain type of food, I guarantee there’s an alternative for it, or a recipe!.
    5. Anything You Eat Can Be Made Vegan
        Love pizza, sushi, burgers, and Phillies? Don’t worry, you won’t have to give them up as vegans. Just veganize it! Collect cookbooks, like Nom Yourself and Thug Kitchen, to help you with your day-to-day cooking. I also highly recommend you get on social media, delete any temptation, and start searching for inspiration on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
    6. Going Out to Eat isn’t Difficult
        Don’t be nervous when going out to eat. Many restaurants these days have vegan options, or customizable menu items. You can even opt for side items, like rice, beans, and sautéed veggies. But be sure to ask if even these items are vegan, though. Some restaurants and cultures add cream, butter, or meat broths for flavor.
    7. You Wouldn’t Believe What Makes Something Non-Vegan
        Vegans often joke that we have trust issues. We are constantly reading through every ingredient on a label! Some items may seem like they’re vegan, but brush up on certain things like casein (derived from animal’s milk) and l-cysteine (sourced from feathers or human hair) that are found in some foods. Even alcohols can be filtered through isinglass, also known as fish bladder.
    8. Some Things You Already Love Are Accidentally Vegan
        Do you love Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos or Oreo cookies? No worries—these are what we call “accidentally vegan!” Check out PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) list of accidentally vegan foods. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what is still an option for you.
    9. It’s Deliciously Creative
        If you didn’t love cooking before, you’ll love cooking when you’re vegan. Is there a special family recipe you want to figure out how to make vegan? Or a unique way of making your favorite food? Imagine Thanksgiving without the bird as your centerpiece, but instead a tofurky roast or nutloaf with sides of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Yes, it’s absolutely possible. All you have to do is try out different alternatives and ingredients.
    10. It’ll Make You Hungry For More
        It’s unlikely that you’ll meet a vegan who isn’t a foodie. Most of us are on the search for more. We get excited to go out and eat, even checking menus and asking questions in advance. Eating will become more than a necessity, but an adventure.

Nikki is a writer/ photographer in Central Florida. Finding stories in her city is an adventure she lives for. She loves photographing people in their most natural element–laughing, crying, connecting with their world. Her work can resonate with anyone who wants to feel a spark of emotion. She resides in downtown Sanford with her pup, Cookie, and a cuddly fur family of felines.

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