If you’re not a vegan, you may be repelled by the vegan diet. A life without meat can seem boring, especially if your only impression of veganism is living off nothing but scrambled tofu and boiled vegetables…
The truth is, veganism (and vegan food) has come a long way in recent years.
The number of vegan alternatives on the market today is astronomical, so if you’re a vegan, you’ll know there’s an alternative to pretty much any of your once favorite meaty treats, delectable cheeses, or frothy cow’s milk coffees. Intrigued?
Here’s a brief look at all the yummy goodness our vegan friends can chow down in a day…
What Can Vegans Eat?
Vegan diets exclude animal products and their byproducts, which means not just meat is off the table. Vegans will also avoid eating things like eggs, milk, honey, and butter. Other foods that vegans can’t eat include:
- Gelatin found in sweets and other confectionery
- Confectioners glaze (this is made from shellac, which comes from crushed bugs)
- Egg wash
- Natural flavors from chicken or dairy
If you’re not vegan, this may seem a little restrictive. However, vegans still have plenty of foods to enjoy, including:
- Nuts and seeds
- Legumes and lentils
- Fruits and vegetables
- Vegetable oils
- Herbs and spices
- Condiments and sauces
- Anything else that’s not made from sentient creatures
What About “May Contain” Products?
It’s not uncommon to find foods that claim to be vegan, but that comes with that infamous “may contain milk”, or another warning. Even for vegans, these labels can be confusing. However, in most cases, vegans can consume these foods.
Seeing this label does not mean that milk or other animal products may be added on a whim. It usually means that your product has been made in the same facility as dairy or other animal products, which means there is a small chance of cross-contamination.
So, by law, manufacturers must include this earning, especially for those who may have dairy allergies. Otherwise, their ass is on the line.
In other words, manufacturers are covering their backs – those with allergies should avoid these foods, but vegans are safe.
Popular Vegan Diet Staples
If you’re friends with a vegan, there’s a strong chance they don’t survive solely off of vegetables, fruits, and grains for every meal. However, before manufacturers started catering to the rising popularity of veganism, this was often the case.
Instead, most vegans will consume a balanced diet, and like us, consume equal parts nutrients and junk food. Some vegans still crave meaty alternatives, and thankfully, there are now plenty to choose from. Some popular vegan foods include:
- Vegan burgers (these can be made from anything including mushrooms, tofu, beans, and legumes, to black beans butternut squash, and more)
- Vegan bacon (vegan bacon is usually made from wheat, potato, pea or soy protein. Flavorings can include paprika onion, garlic, and more)
- Vegan chicken (vegan chicken nuggets are a popular option, usually made from tofu, wheat gluten, and spices)
- Soya, oat, and almond milk: these are the most popular alternative to cow’s milk for vegans. However, some vegans also enjoy rice milk and chickpea milk.
What About Cheese?
Most cheese lovers don’t just LOVE cheese – they can’t imagine life without it. So, how do vegans cope without cheese?
As most of us know, cheese has a pretty unique flavor and texture that can be hard to recreate…
If vegans do want to replace cheese, they’ll often go down the store-bought route and go with a popular brand like Daiya, Tofutti, Vitalite, Cathedral, or something else.
We’ll be honest, finding a good vegan cheese substitute is hard work. Not all of them manage to capture the flavor and texture of real cheese, and honestly, we’ve yet to find a single one that tastes like the real deal.
However, the world of vegan food is continuously evolving, so we wouldn’t be surprised if manufacturers cracked the recipe in the next few years.
Yes, Vegans Can Still Have Fast Food
Back in the day, a Big Mac was a Big Mac. If you ordered a cheeseburger with fries, that’s exactly what you got, and it was hard for vegans to have a little slice of junk food heaven because practically no fast-food establishments catered to them.
Now, the game has completely changed.
Fast-food restaurants are bringing out a variety of vegan alternatives, such as the Mcplant from Mcdonalds, vegan pizzas in Domino’s and other pizza restaurants, and veggie and plant-based burgers in Burger King, to name a few.
There are even vegan-dedicated fast-food restaurants where everything on the menu is, you guessed it, vegan. Most of this tastes pretty damn good, too – in fact, if you haven’t already tried the Mcplant, you’ll be blown away by just how beefy it is!
A Quick Note On Nutrients
All the fast-food vegan alternatives that have burst onto the scene recently are game changers for vegans. However, as tasty as they are, you still need to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and grains to get your nutrients.
If you’re vegan or considering a vegan diet, ensure you’re consuming enough healthy foods and fortified cereals, and taking supplements to keep yourself fit and healthy.
The Bottom Line
The vegan diet can be just as diverse and fulfilling as a meat-eaters. Vegan food has improved tenfold in recent years, proving that you don’t need meat to satisfy your cravings!
As long as you balance those tasty vegan alternatives with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, you can keep yourself healthy while enjoying all the tasty goodness the vegan diet has to offer.
Plus, you’ll be saving the animals (and doing your body a favor) while you’re at it. Veganism has so many benefits, and it’s now tastier than ever to say goodbye to meat. What’s not to love?!
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