Veganism is now more popular than ever. Could you make it through Veganuary?
Since it was established way back in 1944, Veganism has only really become popular in recent years.
Now with Veganuary hitting the headlines more than ever before, we wanted to discover why this diet is now so widely followed and what people really think of going meat free.
What was once just a diet consumed by a very small percentage of the population has now become a lifestyle, endorsed by the rich and famous. Promising to not only be better for your health but also for animals and the environment it’s no wonder that there are now more Vegans than ever before, over half a million in fact.
Why is it so popular this year?
According to the Telegraph in 2016 the number of vegans in Britain rose by 350% in 10 years. Is this due to to the promised health benefits , Britain’s ever-growing health fears or the celebrity endorsement promising life changing effects of this purely plant based diet?
The promise of healthy weight loss, a reduced risk of heart disease and both types of diabetes all through a nutrient rich diet sounds perfect but a lot of people are put off by the restricting rules that Veganism comes with. No meat, no eggs and no dairy sounds frightening, that’s why Veganuary has become so appealing, only having to play by these rules for one month makes it a lot easier to handle.
Some people are using Veganuary as a practice run, gearing up to become a full time Vegan where as others find it a challenge in itself and use it to help them achieve their New Year healthy eating goals.
Some research suggests that the rise in Veganism is driven by young people, specifically those aged between 15- 34. Because the food is so ‘instagramable’ is has become more appealing. The bright colours of fresh fruit and veg attract those on the app and encourage them to try things they wouldn’t normally consider.
So, what happens to your body when you go Vegan?
We all know the positives, health, ethical and environmental benefits, but how do you actually feel in yourself?
Because of the restrictiveness of a Vegan diet there are certain vitamins that you will lack and need to supplement, the most important being Calcium, Fish- free omega 3’s, Plant based proteins and B12.
Due to the lack of meat in their diet Vegans are typically deficient in B12 and iron which can lead to fatigue and dizziness, however people say that as long as you replace these vitamins with supplements you will be just as active as those on a meat eating diet. Foods such as yeast flakes are promised to provide that all important B12 whilst ground linseeds, nuts and spinach are naturally rich in iron.
But it’s not all bad news. Having a plant based diet also brings positive effects. The main attraction of course, being healthy weight loss, rather than jumping on board with these fad diets, this all-natural lifestyle will actually help to reduce fat for good. Other effects include a lower risk of cardiovascular disease consumption due to the intake of less saturated fats. The higher intake of fibre encourages healthy movement of food, yes, I mean the Vegan diet makes you go to the toilet more often.
What do the professionals think?
The majority of professionals admit they understand the motivation behind it but have too much love for all food groups and would find it difficult to maintain. To find out more about what the professionals really think, take a look at this Independent article. Many people have enjoyed taking part in Veganuary however don’t make any promises to keep it going after January.
How to do it well.
For a lot of people, the Vegan diet is too restricted and therefore finding an appealing recipe can be a challenge. For recipes categorised by nationality there really is something for everyone. From Vegan Indian curries to British classics this list of dishes will change your perspective on Vegan cooking.
Before making this decision it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. For the inside scoop take a look at these 12 things you need to know before going Vegan.