If you visit the supermarket regularly, you’ll probably have noticed that there’s a lot of ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’ products on the shelves these days – certainly a lot more than there was, say, five years ago. So, what’s the story? Why are more and more people filling their trolleys with these goods?
The answer is that veganism is on the rise. According to The Vegan Society, the number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. If you’re not familiar with the term, a vegan is someone who eats no animal products, such as meat, fish, dairy or eggs. Some vegans take the lifestyle a step further, too, by never buying products made with animal ingredients, like leather shoes, for example.
2 main reason why people decide to go vegan
So, what’s the reason why so many people are deciding to go vegan? Well, actually there’s often more than one reason. A lot of people want to cut down their meat intake for health reasons. For others, it’s about animal welfare and concerns around intensive farming methods. Social media has a role to play too, with famous faces such as Ariana Grande and Lewis Hamilton all championing the health benefits of going vegan. Then there are the benefits to the environment. Meat production is shown to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
A well-balanced vegan diet can give you all the goodness your body needs
The basic principle of a good diet is that it should be varied and balanced. As a vegan, you’re not going to be eating any meat, or any dairy, which means you need to get the nutrients you’d otherwise get from those food sources from somewhere else. The good news is you can enjoy a healthy vegan diet by eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eating beans and pulses for protein, eating starchy wholegrain pasta and rice, and then low-sugar soya drinks and yoghurts in place of the dairy versions.
Going vegan is an opportunity to get creative with your cooking
If you like to cook, then actually going vegan can be really exciting. It forces you to focus on flavour, which means getting creative with herbs and spices. If you eat meat, then often the meat you eat is the central flavour of the dish you’re preparing. But if your central ingredient is a vegetable, or a starchy carbohydrate, you have to be more inventive with flavour to really bring that ingredient to life. And that’s ok... the supermarkets are full of herbs and spices from all over the world, and you can find all sorts of delicious recipes online.
Start small by making simple switches
The idea of switching to a vegan diet might seem like too big a change for you. But you’d be surprised how making a few small switches can set you on the right path. For example, start by changing the milk you drink from dairy to a soya, or nut-based variety. You could also give plant-based meat substitutes, such as jackfruit, tofu or Beyond Meat, a try. Discovering vegan alternatives to the foods that you already eat, and realising that you quite like them, will give you the confidence to go completely vegan when the time is right.
Cook all your vegan food on a FlavorStone Diamond pan
If you’re considering switching to a vegan diet for health reasons, one quick win is to cut down on your saturated fats. You tend to find saturated fats in animal-based products, such as meat, sausages, cheese and butter. If you cook with butter or lard, it’s worth making the switch to a healthier alternative. Or even better, to cook with no oil at all. That’s not always possible if you don’t have the right non-stock pan, because you’ll find your food tends to stick as it cooks. That’s not the case with the FlavorStone Diamond, however. The premium non-stick coating means you can cook with virtually no oil at all. Plus, the square design gives you 25% more cooking space – perfect for when you’re batch-cooking spicy bean stews, or other delicious vegan meals.