Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
There’s a lot of interest in veganism at the moment, and it’s become something of a media hot topic. Vegetarianism started to become more popular in the Nineties, and the range of vegetarian options in supermarkets and restaurants expanded accordingly. Now the same interest is being shown in veganism, and the variety of vegan foods and recipes is expanding by the day.
A small proportion of people throughout history have led vegan lifestyles, but far fewer than have been vegetarian, and that’s always been in the minority. So what has sparked this current interest, and can you truly lead a healthy, happy life on a vegan diet?
Why has veganism become so popular?
The current focus has been sparked in the same way as most other fashion trends generate interest in a topic. A few people who are influential in the media start to talk about how great being a vegan is, their words get picked up, and in a short space of time, everyone is getting excited about the idea.
There are two main reasons why veganism has recently captured the imagination, despite previously only having fringe appeal:
1. Years of scientific study have provided evidence as to the most nutritious foods to eat, the kinds of diets that are best, and the balance of nutrients people need for optimal health. These studies have proven that it’s not only possible but is potentially healthier to eat a well-balanced vegan diet, as illustrated by the vegan bodybuilding meal plan. The notion that there are essential dietary requirements that could only be fulfilled by eating meat and dairy products has been disproved. However, you do need to follow a diet that ensures you get all the micronutrients you need, so it’s not just a case of cutting out meat and dairy and not replacing them with equally high-quality protein sources.
2. The range of plant-based foods has expanded to include all kinds of fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains and leaves that weren’t previously available and many of them, such as quinoa, have become mainstream staples. Chefs and food companies have been taking up the challenge and looking for new ways to make plant-based meals both nutritious and delicious, and many fine dining restaurants are producing inspiring menus with vegan options.
How tasty is vegan food?
One of the issues people face when considering veganism is the fear that the food will be boring and tasteless – all lentils and salads. However, as some enterprising chefs have demonstrated, you can make some amazingly tasty food without using any animal products at all. Vegan chocolate brownies are gooier and richer than standard brownies, and soups made with the right combinations of vegetables, herbs, and spices are easily as good as, if not better, than meat-based soups. There are many ingredients used in regular cooking that can be easily substituted with plant-based equivalents, for example, soy, almond, or coconut milks instead of cow’s milk, so there are very few dishes that can’t be recreated in a tasty vegan version.
It’s clearly possible to be a healthy vegan and be happy with the food you eat. Why not give it a try and find out for yourself?