You can switch to veganism at whatever pace you wish.
Whatever your reason for switching to veganism might be, the pace at which you decide to switch to a vegan diet can have a vast impact on your overall experience with veganism. Your current diet and personal preferences have a large impact on how easy or difficult it is for you to make the switch and stick to it. If your current diet comprises few meat and dairy based products and if you’re not particularly attached to foods made from these items ingredients, then making the switch may not be very difficult. However for most people who’ve been eating meat and dairy products for many years, the switch might be difficult. Hence, depending on your situation, you should switch at whatever pace seems comfortable to you, which could be anything from eating vegan once a week to slowly switching to a complete vegan diet. Speaking of switching to veganism, identifying whether a product is vegan or not is a rather important ability, about which you can learn from our blog - Vegan Products Ingredients Check- The Ultimate Guide – Vegan Dukan
Yeah, you’ll have to take some supplements
While Vegan diets are as wholesome as all vegans and most scientists would have you believe, there are very few nutrients which are found abundantly in animal based products but not in plant based products. Another situation that you could deal with, is a difference in the bioavailability of nutrients present in plant based foods. Let’s talk about the supplements which you could need to start taking.
Vitamin B12 - Vitamin B12 is one of those rare nutrients which is naturally present only in animal foods. While ill informed people might choose to not give B12 any importance, B12 is an extremely important nutrient which impacts everything right from our cardiovascular system to the functioning of our central nervous system. So saying that Vitamin B12 is good for us would definitely be an understatement.
Iron - Though we’ve covered iron deficiency and vegan diets in detail in our blog ... We'll give you a quick summary. Iron from plant foods gets absorbed more slowly by our bodies and hence you can suffer from an iron deficiency if you don’t consume enough iron in your diet.
Protein isn’t in short supply
Yeah. you heard that right. Plants have protein too. Though you can read our blog - Vegan Protein - An Oxymoron? – Vegan Dukan for an in-depth analysis on the protein in vegan diets, in summary, a plant based diet can also be extremely protein rich. Protein intake is very easy with plant based diets as there are a large number of plant based foods which are rich in protein. So while the foods which you consume for protein might differ from earlier, your protein content will not. Infact, plant protein is a much healthier source of protein than animal protein, as has been proved by many scientific studies.
Craving for the things you ate earlier is normal
Even once you switch to a vegan diet, feeling intense cravings for the meat and dairy foods that you’ve eaten for most of your life is completely normal. There is absolutely no reason for you to feel guilty about craving any of those foods. In fact in the earlier phase of your transition, you can even choose to consume non vegan foods every once in a while so that the transition becomes easier, instead of immediately forcing yourself completely off non vegan foods.
Vegan food can be as delicious as food from other diets with fewer compromises
When you let others know that you’re planning to go vegan, many will tell you and assume that all that you get to eat now is boring, bland food. This might scare or put off some individuals but we’re here to let you know that this is simply not the case. What needs to be understood is that food generally tastes good not because of its own characteristics, but rather because of the spices and cooking techniques that are used while preparing it. Therefore, as is obvious, vegan food can be made to taste absolutely delicious, that too without most of the health compromises that come with non-vegan foods.
Having a reason to switch to veganism makes the transition much easier
For non vegans, making the switch may or may not be easy. However, one thing that most definitely helps with the transition is if you have a reason for transitioning to veganism. When people transition to veganism due to public/peer pressure or without fully understanding themselves why they’re going vegan, the entire process of making and sustaining that transition becomes extremely arduous. Everything, right from not being able to eat some of your favourite foods to your body and mind getting used to the absence of certain foods, all seems pointless and very hard to continue. On the other hand, having a reason that’s your own and that you stand behind, gives the transition a purpose and makes the transition much easier.
More processed = Less healthy
We understand that having solace in terms of vegan junk food is truly a blessing for most new age vegans. However, while these vegan alternatives of non vegan foods are definitely relatively healthier, there is no denying the fact that most of them are still processed. Therefore, while consuming such vegan foods, you end up losing a lot of the benefits that unprocessed, natural vegan food would give you. It is best to look at these foods as a stepping stone towards a healthier diet and not as the end goal towards a healthier diet.
A vegan diet is not always more expensive
Vegan food is often accused of being expensive. This is partially true because food products that are specifically vegan do not yet have as much demand as their non-vegan counterparts, and hence cost more per unit. However, as we alluded to before, this is only half of the story. While specifically vegan products are relatively expensive, there are a wide variety of food products that have been sold in the market and dishes that have been made in our houses that have been vegan for long. Most home food that doesn't involve milk and is not cooked in ghee is already vegan. Most salads and other dishes made at home are also vegan. So we guess it’s pretty clear that all vegan food is clearly not expensive.
You can still go out and eat
Yes, you heard that right. There are vegan restaurants that are popping up, especially in metro cities across the country. While they may be much fewer in number than non-vegan restaurants, you’ll definitely be able to find some near you which serve great vegan food in great ambience and at good prices. If this option doesn't work out for you, you could always go to non-vegan restaurants and have them make small tweaks to their dishes to suit your requirements. And if even this option seems too cumbersome, then you could always just go out to your nearest street food vendor and enjoy loads of delicious , surprisingly vegan food for literal street prices. If you’re shocked to know that street food can also be vegan, we’ve compiled an entire list of street foods which is vegan, which you can check out by clicking here - Vegan Restaurants in India – Vegan Dukan
Reading food labels would help you make even healthier choices
There is a common misunderstanding under which people believe that all vegan food is equally healthy. However, that could not be farther from the truth. While vegan food is almost always healthier than non-vegan food, there is a lot of variation in terms of how healthy various vegan foods are. Clarity on the health levels of all such products can be achieved easily by reading the nutrition labels of products. This not only gives you more information and evaluate whether the claims of a company are true, but also allows you to better compare all of the various vegan alternatives by yourself.
Taking small steps is better than not taking any steps at all
Some people conduct their research on the transition to veganism and get extremely overwhelmed since they feel that the transition is going to be an extremely arduous and long process and hence end up dropping the whole idea. What we want to make clear is the fact that there is no necessity for you to switch to veganism overnight. Infact, it is always recommended that you take small steps instead of giant leaps to ensure a successful, and sustainable transition, irrespective of what the transition may be to. In terms of veganism, instead of completely stopping the consumption of non-vegan foods, you should begin at a slow pace, for e.g by replacing one non-vegan meal per week with a vegan meal and keep continuing down this path at your pace so that the transition becomes much easier.
The vegan diet is no less than other diets. And it's definitely not a fad
People often compare the vegan diet to other diets which aim to help you achieve short term goals, such as the keto diet which aims to help you lose weight quickly, and end up feeling that the vegan diet is inferior. However in doing so, people generally miss the point of the vegan diet. The vegan diet is not a hack for you to achieve your short term goals. Rather it is a more permanent switch that one should make for better health in the long run. Hence, unlike other diets which are only created with the aim of achieving short term goals, the Vegan diet is not a fad. Instead, it is researched and scientifically proven to be a superior diet to pretty much all other diets which exist, since its main focus in on eating natural, whole food and not processed foods.