You might be interested in a vegan diet, but it’s hard to know where to start. You can be unhealthy with any diet if you do it incorrectly. If you need a helping hand trying it out, we’ve got your back.
Your menu for this week is prepared by nutritionist Riya Lakhani-Kanji.
What are the benefits of a vegan diet?
A vegan diet with an emphasis on plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes, will generally increase the intake of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants within the diet. Studies have shown that this pattern of eating could lower the risk of cancer incidences, reduce body weight and improve LDL cholesterol, inflammatory biomarkers and blood glucose control.
However, it’s only good for you if you do it right. You can be overweight and be a vegan, or be malnourished and be a vegan. Many vegan foods are processed, high in trans fats, and sugars. You need to know which foods to avoid, and which to look for. Important nutrients such as B12, omega-3s, protein, vitamins, fatty acids, iron, and vitamin D must be incorporated into your diet as you won’t get them from meat.
A vegan diet may accelerate weight loss, but it's not necessary to do just to lose weight. The main reason for doing it should be for ethical or environmental reasons. For a healthier diet, include lean protein, veggies, whole grains, and fruits from both animal and plant sources.
7-day vegan meal plan
A week isn’t long enough to make any real long-lasting change to your weight, but this meal plan is a good example of what it could look like.
Start your day with an energising breakfast like banana and peanut butter toast, then enjoy a high-flavour dinner with sweet potato and black bean tacos or a dinner staple like a stir fry.
Let’s dig in.