What do Vegans Eat?
A Vegan is someone who abstains from eating animals or using animal products. Being a Vegan differs somewhat from being a Vegetarian. While neither Vegans nor Vegetarians eat meat products or anything that makes up the body of an animal, Vegans take it one step farther. Not only do Vegans not eat meat, they also refrain from eating anything that comes from an animal, such as eggs or milk based products. This puts several restrictions on the Vegan diet, limiting them to eating only plant based foods.
Typical Vegan Diet
A typical Vegan diet includes all types of grains, beans, legumes, fruits , vegetables, and any of the numerous combinations one can create from all of these foods. There are also several popular food items available in a Vegan version that does not contain meat or animal products. Items such as hot dogs, cheese, mayonnaise, and ice cream are available in Vegan versions.
A Vegan breakfast menu might include similar menu items a non Vegan might eat, with some minor alterations. For example, cereal and milk is a popular breakfast food choice. Many popular cereals meet the Vegan requirement of not containing any added milk, honey, or Vitamin D that is animal based. Pay close attention to ingredients lists to find out if the cereal is truly appropriate for a Vegan diet. Instead of cow's milk, use a soy based, rice based, almond based, or coconut based milk product. Oatmeal prepared with water and served with nuts, fruit, and non-dairy milk is also a good choice. Fresh fruit, vegetable juices, non-dairy yogurt versions, and granola are all other great breakfast choices that fit into the Vegan lifestyle. Breads, muffins, and toast could also be on the breakfast menu.
For lunch, a person following a Vegan diet may choose from a wide variety of foods. The classic peanut butter and jelly is always a good option, as well as a healthy tossed salad. Making a whole grain wrap stuffed with vegetables, sprouts, hummus, or guacamole is also a healthy Vegan option. Throw in some nuts or seeds for added protein and to make your meal interesting. Meat and dairy free soups are also another popular lunch choice.
Dinner options for people eating a Vegan diet might include
cooked legumes such as peas, beans, or lentils. Cooked grains such as rice,
corn, pasta dishes, or potatoes may be served. Any one, or a combination of
several vegetables would also go well with dinner. Bread or rolls would also fit
into the diet. A nice dinner might include whole grain pasta with marinara
sauce, a whole wheat roll, with a side salad or serving of steamed
With a few substitutions here and there, a Vegan menu can be fairly similar to that of a regular diet. Some people who desire to switch over to a Vegan lifestyle may at first try to ease the transition by becoming a regular Vegetarian who still includes eggs and dairy in their diet. Then, over time as they become accustomed to the changes, they can gradually wean out dairy, eggs, and other animal containing products not allowed in the Vegan diet.