Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: The early stages of a vegan diet can be pretty challenging, but that doesn't have to be the case. Research is key! We often avoided vegetables growing up, but learning how to add them to new recipes can make a vegan diet so much easier. There's plenty of foods besides veggies to enjoy. Whole grains, beans, lentils and even tofu are great additions. Below are some tips to make sure you are getting important nutrients while planning a vegan diet:
Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: #1 LOOK FOR IRON
Meats and fish are great sources of iron, but there are other ways to include it in your vegan diet. Beans, legumes, and leafy greens are a wonderful way to get this mineral, but still it is not easily absorbed in the body. Vegans need to also include vitamin C-rich foods to help boost absorption of iron.
Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: #2 EAT VEGGIES
We may not all be a fan of asparagus or cauliflower, but taking the time to experiment with different vegetables and learning to work them into your recipes can be exciting and beneficial for your health. Veggies are full of important vitamins and minerals. They are also low in calories yet high in fiber!
Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: #3 CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS
Substitute white rice with brown rice and quinoa, which adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet. Extra fiber from whole grains will help keep you full, and may even help you lose weight.
Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: #4 SOURCE OUT VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is primarily found in dairy, but it is also in some fortified nondairy milks such as soy or almond milk and orange juice. In the summer months, when the sun is stronger, our skin can synthesize D.
Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: #5 PROTEIN, PROTEIN, PROTEIN!
Meats, like chicken and beef, are typically the most common way to incorporate protein in your diet. However, vegans can also include protein in their diet with beans, soy products like tofu and seitan, quinoa, nuts, and hemp seeds. You can even get your dose of protein from vegan protein powders, but it is still important to include protein-rich veggies like asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Starting a Vegan Diet - Six Beginner Tips: #6 DON'T BE FOOLED
Not all vegan foods are necessarily “healthier” options if they have been processed. Processed vegan foods can be laden in saturated fats. Do not let your diet consist of only vegan treats and be sure to stick to whole, nutritious foods that just happen to be vegan, such as carrots and hummus, nuts and dried fruit, or whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole.