Five ways a vegan diet is good for you and how to cut out animal products

Millions of people choose to follow vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets in the UK. Last year, a record 582,000 people tried Veganuary, and 85% of participants said they would at least halve their intake of animal products after the month’s end.

While 86% of the population in the UK still eat meat, 14% follow a meat-free diet, and 1.5 million of those are fully vegan. A strict vegan diet eliminates all animal products from both diet and lifestyle, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, leather products, honey and or even animal derived additives such as E120.

There are some well-know and lesser-documented health benefits to following a vegan or plant-based diet. We’ve listed five ways that a vegan diet is good for your health and some top tips for cutting out the animal products.

Read more: The lesser-known ingredients that AREN’T vegan-friendly.

How is a vegan diet good for you?

  • Eating more fruit and vegetables means that vegans could be getting more vitamins and minerals than non-vegans
  • Consuming more wholegrains, soy, and nuts, can help to protect your heart
  • A vegan diet can help you lose weight if you wish to. This is because meat and dairy products are some of the most calorie-dense foods
  • By avoiding foods high in saturated fats, a vegan diet can help you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Some studies suggest that vegans are less likely to get cancer

How to follow a vegan diet

Vegan, or plant-based, diets do not contain any products which have come from an animal. So that means no dairy, meat, fish, eggs, and in some cases honey. This can be overwhelming for people who have always followed a traditional diet. Here are some top tips for switching to plant-based:

  • Make friends with vegetables. A lot of meals you are used to may begin with a piece of meat, which is added to with carbohydrates and vegetables. Vegan meals usually begin with a vegetable, or contain lots of veggies regardless. Branch out and try some new vegetables.
  • Embrace cooking. If you are not already a home chef, then going vegan might be a great time to give it a go. There’s less risk involved here, as you’re unlikely to get food poisoning from vegetables. Home cooking on a vegan diet is fast and cheap.
  • Try some meat alternatives. There’s an enormous UK market for plant-based “meat” products. Many of these are healthier than their meat counterparts and taste virtually the same. A good proportion of meat alternatives are also fortified with essential vitamins like B12. Read about the best vegan burgers on the market here.
  • Remember that it is okay to mess up. No vegan is 100% perfect. Lots of products have hidden animal products in them which you could miss. It’s up to you how much you want to adhere to a vegan diet, and slip-ups are expected.
  • Remember your proteins. If you’re eliminating meat and dairy from your diet, you need to be replacing that protein. Some vegans choose to use protein bars or powders, while others get all the protein they ned in their regular diet. some good sources of vegan protein are tofu, lentils, beans, and seeds, but there are limitless ways to incorporate protein into your diet.
  • Make sure you get your vitamins. Some people are able to get every vitamin and mineral into their regular diet as a vegan. Others can struggle, and choose to take a vitamin supplement. There are vitamin tablets for everyone and you can chat to your pharmacist to work out which is right for you.


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