Pretty much, this means that anyone who follows a vegan lifestyle should refrain from consuming and using all products made from animals (e.g bacon and leather,) as well as all products made by animals (such as milk and butter.) For strict vegans, this also applies to honey; consuming honey is seen as taking advantage of the bees’ labour, especially since the insects are often harmed or killed in the process of harvesting the product. It is for this same reason that many people have chosen to boycott avocados.
Health benefits of being vegan
Because you increase your vegetable intake on a vegan diet this has an array of health benefits. Firstly, eating a colourful rainbow of vegetables helps provide more fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E. It also helps lower blood sugar levels, improve kidney function, often results in weight loss and may also protect against some cancers.
Celebrities who are vegan:
- Miley Cyrus - vegan
- Jason Mraz - vegan
- Olivia Wilde - vegan
- Russell Brand - vegan
Still interested? The list keeps going here.
What is the definition of being vegetarian?
The latest Roy Morgan Research reveals that “between 2012 and 2016, the number of Australian adults whose diet is all or almost all vegetarian has risen from 1.7 million people (or 9.7% of the population) to almost 2.1 million (11.2%).”
So what is vegetarianism? A vegetarian diet is based around a plant-based diet which removes all meat and fish. If someone is a lacto-vegetarian they still eat dairy and if they are an ovo-lacto-vegetarian dairy and eggs are still included.
Health benefits of being vegetarian
Jessica Spendlove, sports dietitian at Health & Performance Collective, explains that one of the main benefits of eating a vegetarian diet is that it is “rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.” This is due to the large quantities of vegetables, legumes and fruits that are consumed.
Jess continues that there is also “evidence showing plant-based diets have a positive relationship with reducing risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of cancers.”
Celebrities who are vegetarian:
- Natalie Portman - vegetarian
- Lea Michelle - vegetarian
- Chris Martin - vegetarian
- Kristen Bell - vegetarian
Want to find more? The list continues.
How would someone go about transitioning to a vegan or vegetarian diet?
For those wanting to make the transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet, Jess Spendlove, who is also the dietitian for the GWS AFL team, recommends “switching over time rather than making drastic adjustments.” For example “aim to have one or two plant-based days per week, and then seeing how you feel and respond.”
There is an abundance of evidence supporting an increasing amount of plant-based foods in the diet and “while some people may like to switch to a completely plant-based diet, others may find a more flexible approach which still includes animal protein, but has more plant-based meals, might benefit them.”
What does one need to be aware of before switching to a plant-based diet?
“The risk of certain nutritional deficiencies is increased when following a purely plant-based diet.” Talk to your doctor or accredited practising dietitian before many any drastic lifestyle changes.
Looking for recipe inspiration? Browse our collection of vegan and vegetarian recipes.