Monday was World Vegan Day and, although I am not a vegan, I think that thinking about the environmental situation, we should all consider avoiding or reducing the consumption of animal products.
Being a vegan is not something you do from today to tomorrow, and there are a lot of considerations before starting this kind of diet. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be a vegan, but I am reducing the meat in my diet and drinking alternative drinks for my breakfast. At the moment, my diet is not unbalanced, as I still eat fish and my protein intake comes even from pulses and beans.
How can you avoid the risk of nutrient deficiency with a vegan diet? Our best friend is a varied range of foods: fruit and vegetables with different colours (purple, green, white, orange, yellow, red) at least 5 times a day. The protein can come from sources easily obtainable with the combo of cereals and beans, like a slice of bread with peanut butter (if you didn’t know, peanuts are legumes!), pasta with chickpeas, or even beans on toast. You can find other ideas here.
What about vitamin B12? If you pay attention, there are a lot of fortified foods in the supermarkets (oat milk, breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast and the list can continue). But if you’re a vegetarian, you should not have problems as you can find it in eggs and dairy.
I agree with vegans that if we had fewer animal products, we could feed more people. Could we be healthier? Maybe, but you can even be a vegan and eat enormous amounts of fried food that is not healthy. Being vegan doesn’t automatically mean having a healthy diet.
For sure, we can all decide to eat vegan for a day or a week, and it wouldn’t harm. Do you think being vegan is expensive? It is not. We should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, vegan or not. Legumes, pasta, potatoes and beans are pretty cheap. A more economical option is to buy dried beans and chickpeas.
I want to finish this post with a fun fact I discovered about one of the most sustainable vegan snacks on the planet: peanuts.
This weird plant produces yellow flowers. When they are pollinated, they go down and down… reach the ground, and they even go under the ground… where the peanut grows until it’s ready. It’s something I discovered recently. I thought they grew up like potatoes!
For the vegans that are reading this article, thank you for what you do for everyone! I promise I’ll be vegan at least one day every week (for now)!