Veganism: Definition, Diet, Benefits, and Cons

Vaibhav Saxena

, Health A2Z

Veganism is all about avoiding consumption of any animal flesh, animal byproducts or foods containing an ingredient from animal origin. This practice has been followed and implemented from past centuries in India. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi led the meetings of vegetarianism societies in his own times.


Moreover, veganism is the extreme and evolved version of vegetarianism. Let’s critically analyze this phenomenon with better facts and in-depth knowledge.


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What is Veganism?

Veganism is basically the practice of abstaining oneself from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.


The person who follows the diet or the philosophy or both are considered vegan. The aggregate of vegan people who together devote themselves to spreading this ideology and practicing it as well are called the vegan society.


Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose, says the vegan society.


The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet but extend the philosophy into other areas whereas, the environmental vegetarianism is the practice of vegetarianism based on the indications that animal-based industries are environmentally destructive or unsustainable.


It is believed that plant-based diet has the potential capability of nourishing our body in a way more than the regular omnivorous diet. Also, risks of many chronical diseases and conditions are reduced by opting the vegan diet.




What is the Vegan Diet?

The vegan is quite strict and difficult to follow which is the core reason that people often doubt veganism and tries to mock it. In reality, the diet is categorized into two section, the edibles which have to be avoided and the edibles which can be consumed.

1. Food to Consume:

  • Tofu, tempeh, and seitan: These are proven great alternatives to meat, fish, poultry, and eggs in case of quality and nutrient value.
  • Calcium-fortified plant milk and yogurts: These help in fulfilling the dietary calcium consumption. Opt for varieties also fortified with vitamins B12 and D whenever possible.
  • Nuts and nut butter: These are the great sources of iron, fiber, magnesium, zinc, selenium and vitamin E which are also recommended by dieticians.
  • Seeds: Especially hemp, chia, and flaxseeds, which contain a good amount of protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Nobody can deny the fact that leafy greens such as bok choy, spinach, kale, watercress and mustard greens are particularly high in iron and calcium.
  • Legumes: Foods such as beans, lentils, and peas are excellent sources of many nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Sprouting, fermenting and proper cooking can increase nutrient absorption.
  • Nutritional yeast: This is an easy way to increase the protein content of vegan dishes and add an interesting cheesy flavor. Pick vitamin B12-fortified varieties whenever possible.
  • Whole grains, cereals, and pseudocereals: These are the excellent source of complex carbs, fiber, iron, B-vitamins and several minerals.
  • Sprouted and fermented plant foods: Ezekiel bread, tempeh, miso, natto, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi and kombucha often contain probiotics and vitamin K2. Sprouting and fermenting can also help improve mineral absorption.
  • Algae: Spirulina and chlorella are reliable for getting the complete protein. Other varieties of algae are great sources of iodine.



2. Foods to Avoid:

  • Meat and poultry: Chicken, turkey, Beef, lamb, pork, veal, horse, organ meat, wild meat, goose, duck, quail, etc.
  • Fish and seafood: All types of fish, anchovies, shrimp, squid, scallops, calamari, mussels, crab, lobster, etc.
  • Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream, etc.
  • Eggs: From chickens, quails, ostriches, fish, etc.
  • Bee products: Honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, etc.
  • Animal-based ingredients: Whey, casein, lactose, egg white albumen, gelatin, cochineal or carmine, isinglass, shellac, L-cysteine, animal-derived vitamin D3 and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.


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What are the Health Benefits of Veganism?

The veganism is a great practice which can help to secure and protect the environment and animals. It is believed that through veganism the exploitation of animals is bounded and human beings are able to achieve better health. Let’s learn about some more health benefits.


1. Lower Down the Risk of Heart Diseases:

It is considered that eating a rich fiber diet can help in reducing blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels which eventually lowers down the risk of chronical heart diseases.


2. Helps in Reducing Weight:

Through a vegan diet, the calorie intake reduces in a tremendous amount which basically helps in cutting down the excessive fat in the body.


3. Better Kidney Functioning:

It has been observed that a vegan person have lower blood sugar levels and balanced insulin levels in the body which help in fighting against Type-2 Diabetes where better blood circulation causes better kidney functioning.


4. Fights Against Cancers:

The consumption of vegan diet can easily reduce the risks of cancers in the human body by 15% which is a strong number to battle against cancer.


5. Relieves Arthritis:

The people with arthritis were seen happy with more energy and less pain in the joints by consuming the recommended vegan diet.




What are the Cons of Veganism?

There are not many cons are found yet of following a vegan diet apart from failing to strictly follow it. Whereas many people have reported a lack of vitamins, minerals and protein have been encountered after following the vegan diet.





The veganism is a great practice which not only helps in conserving the environment and animals but also provides the adequate amount of nutrition in order to fight many disease and problems. The diet could be difficult to follow but is found worthy to bear.


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