Sunday, 27 January 2013

Key questions about being a Vegan

Combination of tomatoes and avocados is very healthy

What are vegans?

Vegans are people who only eat plant based food.  That means no meat (animal or fish), no eggs, dairy products, no honey.  

Do vegans wear woolly jumpers?

No, they don't wear wool.  Vegans also avoid other animal based products such as leather, silk etc.

How many vegans are there?

It's hard to know for sure and it varies from country to country.  It has been estimated as being 3 - 5% of the world's population, so not very many.

Are vegan diets healthy or unhealthy?

A balanced vegan diet can be extremely healthy with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and some cancers than compared to many Western meat based diets.  It takes a little planning to ensure the correct range of nutrients are consumed.

Is a vegan diet suitable for all age groups?

Yes, but particular care is needed with young babies, children and women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

Do vegans need health supplements?

Yes, vegans need to take care and ensure they consume enough Vitamin B12 (fortified yeast, fortified soya milk, cereals, spreads such as dairy-free Pure).  Vegans also need a source of Vitamin D which comes through exactly the same as Vitamin B12 but also through our skin being exposed to sunlight.

Other benefits of being a vegan?

Yes, there are quite a few.  These include correcting the 'production line' characteristics of modern farming methods, increased animal welfare, more environmentally friendly with fewer green house gases, less water needed for food production and more land can be used to grow food for humans across the world.

Anything else?

Yes, I have a blog post in the pipeline where I talk to some vegan friends, so I learn more about being a vegan in the UK in 2013. 

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