It’s a huge transition to go from meat-eater to vegan diet, but one that can literally change your life, whether that’s freeing your conscience or feeling healthier. Like all habit change, it can take a while to embed and get to grips with cooking vegan friendly food. You’ll also need full awareness and understanding of how to eat from varied food groups so that you still receive all the necessary nutrients for supporting good health. We’re here to support you as you make this important change so read on for our top 5 tips on switching over to a vegan diet.
1. Maintain Protein
Hands up who remembers learning the food groups during science lessons at school? If so, you might recall that meat, fish, and eggs are normally the main sources of protein. With these off the menu for vegans, it’s vital to get your fill of protein, aka the ‘building blocks of life’ because these help us to retain and gain muscle mass.
Fortunately, you get obtain protein from loads of other sources so be sure to include some of the following in your diet every day: chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, cashews, walnuts, cooked wild rice, spelt, tofu, edamame, oats, and spirulina. However, it’s important to note that when consuming certain foods ie; lentils and chickpeas you will have to check the allowance and make sure that stacking doesn’t occur as these are high FODMAP at a certain level.
2. Remember Your Calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral which keeps bones and teeth healthy. When you’re on a vegan diet, it’s important to eat calcium-rich foods like pulses, kale, Swiss chard, okra, watercress, and spinach as well as bread too. Another way to up your calcium intake is by using calcium-fortified products like oatmeal or dairy free milks like almond and soy.
3. Use Slightly Different Food Sauces
All too often, there’s a belief that vegan food is bland and tasteless. Maybe in the old days that might have been truer, but nowadays there’s no reason at all for this to be the case. With so much research into veganism and a plethora of recipes online, there’s an abundance of inspiration. Slightly Different Foods have created the most truly scrumptious vegan recipes and with the help of their ready-made vegan sauces, it’s easier and more convenient than ever to whip up a satisfying meal.
Our products are vegan and Low FODMAP too, meaning they’re packed full of super healthy ingredients. And these wholesome sauces are perfect for anyone suffering from IBS or digestive issues too.
Free of all 14 allergens, including gluten and dairy, these condiments and sauces are 100% natural, nutritious, and unbelievably delicious.
4. Take Some Supplements
The Vegan Society recommends taking a daily vitamin supplement that includes Vitamin D for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the body because it’s this which keeps bones, teeth healthy, and muscles healthy.
It’s also advisable to use a supplement with Vitamin B12 to combat tiredness and fatigue as well as contribute to the running of the immune system.
You might also consider taking an Omega–3 supplement for the brain, heart, and eye health because, without the inclusion of oily fish, it can be more difficult to obtain this essential component through diet alone, although it is present, to some degree, in chia seeds and walnuts. Luckily there are many vegan, non-fishy Omega-3 supplements on the market these days, often using Algal-Oil instead.
5. You May Need to Increase Portion Size
Some of the biggest concerns about going vegan are feeling hungry all the time and losing too much weight. This can be because the food you consume is less calorific and less protein dense. To counteract this, you may find that you need to increase your portion size and eat more often. Listen to your body, hunger and energy levels and adjust accordingly.
Look up reputable vegan websites that offer verified information, so that you can come up with a structured vegan diet plan. This will ensure that you’re eating the recommended amount of each food group daily.
You might also want to gradually move towards a full vegan diet over the course of time to allow your body time to adapt and get used to a more fibre-rich diet. If you have any specific concerns, are feeling exceptionally tired or losing too much weight, always take advice from a qualified dietician or GP.