A vegan diet is as natural as it comes, good on you and on the planet, with numerous environmental and health benefits. At Gosh! we love all things natural, and our mouth-watering range of products are all made with 100% natural ingredients.
Whether you’re here to go vegan, or fill your flexitarian diet with more plant-based goodness, you’ve come to the right place! Stay tuned for the full guide on Going Vegan for Beginners.
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What is a vegan diet?
Understanding exactly what vegans can and can’t eat is half of the problem as you begin your transition into a vegan diet.
With so much terminology floating around, it is easy to get lost amongst the noise, but put simply; practising veganism means choosing to avoid the use of animal products or exploitation of animals for any purpose.
Sustaining a vegan diet can often seem like a daunting task, but it should be an opportunity to eat a vibrant range of foods. At Gosh! we believe every little helps and we welcome everyone from the flexitarian dabbler, the hard steak lover or the full time herbivore to our table. Veganuary is the perfect time to try adding more vegan food to your diet.
What vegans can’t eat
This means vegans avoid eating any foods that are animal derived. Meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and more are therefore off the menu. Thankfully, there is a lot out there that vegans can eat, and in an ever changing world, we are becoming more accommodating to those seeking out a vegan diet than ever before.
What vegans can eat
Vegans can eat anything plant-based or without animal ingredients. This means legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, white and brown rice and so much more can be used within vegan recipes.
Going vegan doesn’t mean all of your guilty pleasures are off the table. At Gosh! we love coming up with healthier adaptations of junk food. If you’re looking for the perfect weekend meal to keep those cravings at bay, you should check out our fakeaway recipes over on our website.
Check out our Simple and Stress-Free Seven Day Vegan Meal Plan to help you get to grips with some plant-based recipes in your first week.
Here are some foods you should be targeting as you begin your transition into vegan lifestyle:
Nuts, seeds and nut butters
Gosh!’s products don’t contain nuts as we pride ourselves on being free from the top 14 allergens. However, it’s important to point out their nutritional value! Nuts are a great snacks for vegan eaters, but can also be incorporated into main meals. Seeds are much the same, and nut butters such as peanut butter can be added easily into sauces.
All three are a great way to maintain levels of protein. Check out Gosh!’s Guide to the Best Vegan Protein Sources to find out how else you can get enough protein in your plant-based diet.
Our go to seeds and nuts include chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and cashews- all great for a snack in-between meals.
One of Gosh!’s top tips is using nutritional yeast in your vegan meals to emulate a cheesy flavour that you might be missing from your dairy days. Many shop bought options include B vitamins which are important in a healthy diet.
Legumes include lentils, beans and peas and are a great food to fill out chillis, curries, soups, pastas and so much more!
Is a vegan diet healthy?
A vegan diet is healthy if the right foods and products are chosen- providing you with all of the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Just because a products says it’s plant-based however, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Many vegan products have a health halo around them, while in reality they’re not that good for you.
Gosh!’s products are ones you can trust- made from the highest quality natural ingredients, high in fibre, low in saturated fat and a source of protein. When followed properly, with products like ours, a vegan diet can remove some of the risks that are associated with animal products. Eating plant-based comes with a wide-range of important health benefits, including:
Animal products like meats, cheeses and butter contain high levels of saturated fat. Eating foods containing these fats increases our cholesterol and in turn the risk of developing heart problems.
Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes all contain very little amounts of saturated fats and are therefore more beneficial to the long-term health of our hearts.
Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes
The lack of saturated fat and cholesterol within plant based diets, when balanced with enough fibre, protein and exercise can help lower blood glucose levels and significantly help those who are managing diabetes.
Lowering the risk of some cancers
Studies suggest that sticking to a plant-based diet can help reduce a persons likelihood of developing cancer by up to 15%. (1) Plant-based foods are high in nutrients like fibre and vitamins that protect against cancer and vegans are likely to eat far more of them than meat-eaters.
Soy products are also said to aid in protection against breast cancer. (2) Again, vegan diets are likely to contain far more soy and are therefore at lower risk of developing such a cancer.
Vegan diet for weight loss
Many people turn to a vegan diet to lose weight, and it’s no surprise as some research suggests vegans have lower BMIs (body mass index) than those eating non-vegan diets (1).
Vegan-diets tend to contain more nutrients and less calories than meat-based diets, due to the fact more vegetables, beans, legumes, and fruit is consumed.
Essential vegan supplements
Despite the number of good things that come with maintaining a vegan diet, there are a couple of supplements that you should know about before you embark on plant-based living.
Plant-based food come packed with so much that is good for you, but unfortunately tends to lack two essential vitamins- vitamin B12 and D3. Both are really important in maintaining your health and they should not be overlooked.
Fortunately, vitamin B12 and D3 can both be supplemented and bought easily over the counter!
Eating out as a vegan
Another big worry for new vegans is the eventual event of eating out. Unlike what you eat at home, it can’t always be controlled, and no one likes to be the awkward one at the table.
Many restaurants are now very accommodating towards the vegan-diet, with more and more adapting their menus to make sure no one is left out come dinner time. There are however the odd one or two that aren’t so accommodating.
If you’re worried about eating out, we would recommend checking out the menus of restaurants online before you go. This way, if there’s a problem you will know about it before hand. If you don’t have access to reaching the menu online, you could always call ahead.
Whilst not ideal, asking for meat and dairy products to be removed from items on the menu is also an option. Chefs are usually happy to do this and it could be a quick fix if you find yourself struggling to find plant-based options.
Getting the family vegan
If you’re pursuing a plant-based diet, the chances are you’re going to be taking someone with you- whether it’s friends, kids, partners, or other family.
Entice the kids with vegan snacks to introduce them to eating healthy. Teach them about the important environmental issues that you can help tackle by going plant-based. Get in the kitchen with them to make tasty vegan treats. We recommend vegan banana bread, carrot cake or cupcakes.
If you’re trying to get partners, friends or family involved then why not throw a dinner party and cook a healthy vegan dish. A flavourful vegan chilli, curry or pasta dish could be just what they need to get on board.
We recommend this sausage roll recipe to get your family going in the right direction!
You should introduce them to it slowly, remember change isn’t always easy and for some people the idea of switching diet so drastically can be very daunting.
Gosh!’s vegan range
At Gosh! we’ve created a range of products that will make your transition into vegan-living a whole lot easier.
Plant-based burgers, sausages, bites and snacks are just some of the foods we’ve got on offer; easily substituted for meat alternatives to feed the family. Our products are always made from natural ingredients, free from allergens and in some cases are high in fibre, a good source of protein and low in saturated fat. Not to mention, they’re delicious!
Whether you’re ready to go full-out vegan, or you just want to make some initial steps towards eating plant-based- every little counts!
Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or anything else, as long as you’re beginning to cut down your meat-intake, you’re doing something good.
It may not come quick and easy so try not to put too much pressure on yourself or others around you. Take it slowly, learning little by little.