There are currently around 1.5 million people in the UK who are living vegan lifestyles, with over 60% of Brits having purchased vegan foods in 2021 (source: Appinio). With this lifestyle gaining steam and more people becoming conscious of their environmental impact and what they eat, what exactly does it take to become vegan in 2023?
Luckily, it is much easier to choose a vegan lifestyle than it was even 5 years ago. The sales of vegan products in the UK are set to exceed £1.1 billion by the end of 2024, meaning that more people than ever have access to information and products to help promote a healthy change.
Here are some ideas if you’re thinking about making the change:
Tell Family and Friends
While it’s no one else’s business, if you decide to become vegan, telling your nearest and dearest will help them support you in this lifestyle change. It will make them more aware of their own choices when buying things for you such as food, clothing, toiletries etc. Plus, they can offer you moral support when needed and be a part of this change to help you succeed.
Make Vegetables The Star of Your Meals
While there are many different meat replacement products on the market, making vegetables the star of mealtimes means you can keep your calories in check and bulk out your meals while still getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. While you can get a vegan multivitamin to replace anything you might be deficient in or to boost your health, nothing beats getting your nutrients from whole foods.
Eat More Whole Grains
Replacing refined grains with whole grains can help you to benefit from additional nutrients such as iron and B vitamins that can be lacking in a vegan diet. Plus, whole grains are full of fibre, meaning they keep you fuller for longer and are lower in sugars, which can help you maintain or lose weight.
Include Plant-Based Proteins
Plant-based proteins include edamame, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, and beans, and including these in your diet can replace the animal-based proteins you will be missing out on. Protein is vital for building and repairing muscles and helps to keep you fuller for longer, meaning you can bulk out your meals and still support healthy muscle mass and growth without relying on vegan protein shakes or foods that might be full of sugar.
Check The Labels
You need to become a pro at reading and deciphering food labels to help you identify non-vegan foods and animal products in ingredients and products so you don’t accidentally eat anything that compromises your beliefs. Check out online resources like The Vegan Society and Veganuary to help you learn more about product labelling, the types of foods to avoid, and what you can indulge in without ruining this transition period.
Switching to veganism isn’t easy, but in this day and age, you can find some excellent support and food choices to help you make the switch without compromising your integrity or your tastebuds.
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