Eating healthy means staying healthy! But how do you understand what is healthy to eat? Well, there are a variety of dieting patterns that can help you fulfill your nutritional needs and satisfy your taste buds.
You have also noticed many people started vegan diets; what does that mean? Why are they beginning vegan diets, and what is a vegan diet? A vegan diet is completely based on plant foods or products. It benefits health and also reduces environmental issues. This is the reason people started following a vegan diet plan.
“Vegan Diet Plan“ covers all the nutrient requirements without causing a nutrient deficiency. It has various other advantages as well.
This post is a perfect guide if you want to know much more about vegan diet plans, their benefits, etc. So, scroll down to read everything about a vegan diet plan.
1. Vegan Diet
Going vegan means avoiding foods directly or indirectly obtained from animals. The meaning of vegan may vary from person to person, but generally, it is a plant-based diet. For some, it is restricted to food and eating patterns, but for some, vegan means eliminating everything related to animals, whether it is food, clothing, or other animal products.
A vegan diet is all about consuming plant foods or vegan foods. It contains enough nutrients that are needed for your body’s functioning. That is why a vegan diet is good for health. More importantly, it doesn’t cause any nutrient deficiency.
Vegan food means the elimination of animal-derived foods like meat, chicken, and dairy products as well. You have to understand that vegan diets meet the essential nutritional requirements of your body. It not only fulfills your nutrient requirement but also improves your health. So, without considering whether to begin a vegan diet or not, just start it.
1.1 Nutrients Covered in Vegan Diet Plan
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
1.2 Veganism vs Vegetarianism
Vegan and vegetarian both things look the same but have differences. Meat is avoided in both diet patterns. But veganism is about nixing dairy products as well. In a vegetarian diet, dairy items are not excluded; eggs are also not avoided.
Vegetarianism has many variations, but for most vegetarians, this diet pattern avoids certain foods obtained from the slaughtering of animals. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt, and eggs are acceptable with vegetarianism but not veganism. This diet plan is not much stricter than a vegan diet.
Veganism is quite strict and restricted to certain foods. An important thing about veganism is avoiding eating and wearing things directly or indirectly associated with animals. For some people, veganism is about consuming plant foods and products. In this way, they live a vegan lifestyle.
2. Top 3 Vegan Diet Plans for Better Health
If you want to start a vegan diet, here you can use this vegan meal plan as a guide for preparing your vegan diet plan. This diet plan covers the planning for a week. You can follow this one-week diet plan for one or more months as per your choice, with slight food variations.
2.1. 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan for Beginners
This 7-day vegan meal plan is ideal for beginners. With this plan, you can easily start your vegan diet plan.
- Morning Breakfast: Cooked oats with water or plant milk are good for breakfast. Add some fruits and nuts on top of this.
- Lunch: Whole grains pasta with cucumber salad.
- Evening Snacks: Kale chips or edamame pods.
- Dinner: One bowl of Falafel salad.
- Morning Breakfast: Peanut butter and chia seeds.
- Lunch: Veggie salad, including cabbage and broccoli, with white beans or Brussels sprouts.
- Evening Snacks: Guacamole and seaweed crisps.
- Dinner: Chickpea tacos with Italian green beans.
- Good morning breakfast: Peanut butter toast with banana.
- Lunch: Quinoa and avocado salad with beans, cilantro, and tomatoes.
- Evening Snacks: Vegan protein and berries shake.
- Dinner: Roasted cauliflower and potato curry soup
Morning Breakfast: Oatmeal mix with quinoa and chia seeds.
Lunch: Brown rice with chickpea curry.
Evening Snacks: One small plum and pumpkin seeds.
Dinner: Cucumber and lentil salad with olive, kale, parsley, and tomatoes
- Morning Breakfast: Apple slices, pumpkin seeds, nut butter, and blackberries.
- Lunch: Black beans, veggie burger with steamed broccoli.
- Evening Snacks: Peanut butter and sweet potato fries.
- Dinner: Collard greens salad.
- Morning Breakfast: Porridge with fresh veggies
- Lunch: Fried veggies with quinoa.
- Evening Snacks: Green veggies salad with roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Dinner: Quinoa with chickpea curry.
- Morning Breakfast: Whole grains toast and avocado.
- Lunch: Green salad
- Evening Snacks: Roasted dry fruits.
- Dinner: Brown rice with vegetable paella.
3. Weight Loss Vegan Meal Plan
This vegan meal plan is very effective for weight loss. For weight loss, this meal plan works efficiently. Try out this vegan meal plan to begin your weight loss journey.
3.1 Day 1
- Breakfast: 1 glass of peanut butter smoothie.
- Lunch: White beans and veggie salad.
- Snacks: Roasted almonds.
- Dinner: Asparagus pasta salad with creamy feta.
- Breakfast: Strawberry-pineapple smoothies.
- Lunch: Veggie Burrito Bowl with green rice.
- Snacks: Roasted edamame in pods
- Dinner: Carrot and red lentil soup with olive orange vinaigrette.
- Breakfast: Oats with blueberries and dry fruits.
- Lunch: Tofu Burrito Bowl with cilantro rice.
- Snacks: Soymilk without sweetener.
- Dinner: Sweet potato peanut soup.
- Breakfast: Peanut butter with whole wheat toast.
- Lunch: Bean and rice burrito.
- Snacks: 1 small cup of edamame in pods.
- Dinner: Vegan chickpea curry.
- Breakfast: Whole wheat bread with banana slices.
- Lunch: Veggie quinoa burritos
- Snacks: Roasted dry fruits without salt.
- Dinner: Arugula-citrus salad.
- Breakfast: Banana-blueberry smoothie.
- Lunch: Garlic roasted cauliflower with spicy baked tofu.
- Snacks: One cup of broccoli florets.
- Dinner: Stuffed sweet potatoes.
- Breakfast: Strawberry-pineapple smoothies.
- Lunch: Butternut squash with black beans.
- Snacks: Half cup of edamame in pods.
- Dinner: Zucchini noodles with tofu and veggie curry.
3. High Protein Vegan Meal Plan
A vegan diet plan is not limited to a particular meal plan; you can add variety. This high-protein vegan meal plan is the best for all those who need more protein. If you do cardio workouts and exercises, this meal plan is good for maintaining your energy level. You can try out this meal plan.
3.1 Day 1
- Breakfast: Chickpea flour pancake
- Lunch: Sweet potato and peanut soup
- Snacks: Half cup of edamame in pods
- Dinner: Grilled cauliflower steaks with almond butter.
3.2 Day 2
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries.
- Lunch: Baked broccoli with sweet potato salad.
- Snacks: Edamame in pods.
- Dinner: Veggies stuffed with peppers.
3.3 Day 3
- Breakfast: Chickpea avocado toast.
- Lunch: Veggie collard green burritos
- Snacks: Roasted dry fruits and nuts.
- Dinner: Vegan cauliflower soup.
3.4 Day 4
- Breakfast: Blackberry smoothies.
- Lunch: Veggie rice with lime.
- Snacks: Sun-dried tomato hummus.
- Dinner: Black bean and corn salad.
3.5 Day 5
- Breakfast: Banana and peanut butter sandwich.
- Lunch: White bean salad with quinoa.
- Snacks: Avocado tomato bruschetta.
- Dinner: Vegan tofu salad.
3.6 Day 6
- Breakfast: Cashew chocolate shake.
- Lunch: Arugula lentil salad.
- Snacks: A half bowl of blackberries
- Dinner: Mushroom stew with coconut milk.
3.7 Day 7
- Breakfast: Banana with peanut butter.
- Lunch: Roasted corn and veggies.
- Snacks: Sliced cucumber.
- Dinner: Black bean soup.
4. List of Foods to Include in Vegan Diet Plan
To begin with a vegan meal plan, you must focus on certain food items to include in your diet plan. So, here is the list of foods you need to accomplish your vegan meal plans.
- Fresh fruits: Oranges, blueberries, kiwis, apples, peaches, pomegranates, grapefruits, etc.
- Frozen fruits: Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, etc.
- Fresh vegetables: Cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, onions, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, etc.
- Frozen vegetables: Corn, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, butternut squash, green beans, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Brazil nuts, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Protein powder: Brown rice protein, hemp protein powder, etc.
- Legumes: Black beans, kidney beans, white beans, lentils, chickpeas.
4.4 Whole Grains
- Brown rice
4.5 Bread and Pasta
- Brown bread
- Brown rice pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pasta
4.6 Dairy Alternates
- For Milk: Rice milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk, flax milk, and others.
- For Yogurt: Cashew, flax, coconut, soy yogurt, and others.
- For Cheese: Vegan parmesan cheese.
4.7 Egg Alternates
- Chia seeds
4.8 Healthy Fats
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Flax oil
- Pepper powder
- Chili powder
- Maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Dry fruits
- Dark chocolate
- Sprouted almonds
- Nut butter
- Whole grain crackers with cashew nuts.
- Roasted chickpeas
- Chia pudding
- Fresh fruits
- Dried seaweed snacks
- Whole wheat pita
- Trail mix
5. Benefits of a Vegan Diet Plan
A vegan meal plan covers your nutritional needs and gives various health benefits. Due to the amazing health benefits of a vegan diet plan, most people change their eating habits and start vegan meal plans.
5.1. Lower the Risk of Heart Diseases
For a healthy heart, fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich food are essential. That is why a vegan diet plays a significant role in lowering the risk of various cardiac diseases.
Heart health is associated with blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Any imbalance in these levels causes heart disease. Studies also found that the risk of heart disease is 75% lower in vegans than in vegetarians or non-vegetarians.
Vegan food helps reduce these factors that will increase the risk of heart disease.
5.2. Effective in Weight Loss
To reduce fat, fruits and vegetables are good to consume. Many people started vegan diet plans for quick fat loss. For weight loss, you must focus on a low-fat and high-fiber diet. You can achieve this through vegan diets.
Studies show that a vegan diet encourages fiber content, whole grains, and vegetables, which will help reduce excess weight loss.
5.3. Prevent Certain Types of Cancer
Studies found people consuming more plant foods than nonvegans have a 15% less risk of developing cancer. Vegans eat more legumes, which decreases the risk of cancer.
Avoiding meat also reduces the chances of cancer. Animal-based foods or meats are responsible for certain cancers; the most common are breast cancer, blood cancer, and prostate cancer.
5.4. Maintain Blood Sugar Level
Blood sugar in the blood is circulated throughout the body to provide energy to the body. Through blood, it reaches different body cells and provides energy for functioning. However, too much blood sugar leads to complications. Diabetes is the result of high glucose or blood sugar levels.
Hence, it is very important to maintain glucose levels to lower the risk of diabetes. Studies suggest that plant-based diets significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
5.5. Improves Kidney Functions
It has been found that people eating a plant-based diet have fewer chances of kidney failure than meat-eating people. High meat intake causes an increase in dietary acid that is ultimately related to chronic kidney disease.
On the other side, consuming fruits and vegetables neutralizes the acid level and reduces metabolic acidosis’s negative consequences. Plant-based diets are also suggested for kidney disease patients due to the high magnesium and potassium content in these diets.
5.6. Also Effective in Arthritis Pain
A healthy vegan diet also helps in reducing inflammation and joint pains. It not only reduces swelling but also lowers the risk of arthritis. It shows effective results in the pain of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Vegan diets have anti-inflammatory properties that make them good to consume to fight against any inflammation, even arthritis.
5.7. Controls Cholesterol Level
A cholesterol level up to normal in your body is considered good for hormone production. Generally, the body maintains the cholesterol level to accomplish body needs; you do not need to consume it externally. That’s why it is always recommended to consume low-calorie food.
A healthy person’s normal blood cholesterol level is 150 mg/dl. The increase in this level results in the occurrence of such problems as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Since it is not good, do not consume high-caloric food.
The vegan meal plan best lowers cholesterol as it contains soluble fiber. Fruits, vegetables, beans, barley, and oatmeal are good sources of soluble fiber. So, consume them if you want to control your cholesterol level.
5.8. Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or Hypertension is the major cause of various diseases, including heart strokes or heart failure. Several studies suggested that a plant-based diet lowers blood pressure and maintains it at a normal level.
Studies also found that the risk of high blood pressure is high in non-vegetarians. Therefore, eating plant-based foods instead of animal products is best.
6. A few Tips for a Vegan Diet Plan
After knowing the amazing health benefits of a vegan meal plan, you want to try it. And if you are already a vegan, use these tips for the effective benefits of your vegan meal plan.
6.1. Consume More Fiber
Fibre is a highly consumed byproduct in vegan diet plans. Vegans get more fiber than nonvegetarians or meat eaters. Vegan people fully depend on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds & nuts. The high fiber content in the body is related to the lower risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Crohn’s disease. That is why we focus on consuming fiber-rich foods.
6.2. Intake of Healthy Fats
Unsaturated fats belong to the “Good fats“ category and are responsible for reducing the risk of various health diseases. Vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts are the best sources of good fat or unsaturated fat. Plant-based foods contain mostly unsaturated fats that will help in heart disease prevention. Despite that, it also provides healthy cholesterol.
Consuming saturated fats will lead to heart disease because of increased cholesterol levels. Palm oil and coconut oil have high saturated fats, so vegans do not use these oils in meal preparation.
3. Add More Protein
Protein, a “building block of the body,” is essential for bones and muscle strength. Lack of protein leads to various health issues, for example, growth retardation, skin degeneration, muscle wasting, and many more. Adding more protein to your vegan diet plan is very important.
For vegans, it becomes necessary to add protein-rich food to their diet to avoid protein deficiency.
4. Take Supplements if Needed
Although a vegan diet plan is full of all the nutrients required for better health and body, sometimes your body needs enough nutrients through a perfect vegan meal plan. In that case, you must take some supplements to fulfill your daily nutrient requirements.
Here are some supplements that will help meet the body’s nutrient demand.
Vitamin K: In blood clotting, vitamin K plays an important role. Without it, blood clotting can’t happen. Not only that, but the chances of bone fractures also increase due to low vitamin K levels in the body. So, never ignore the intake of vitamin K-rich foods such as broccoli, green leafy vegetables, figs, blueberries, vegetable oils, lettuce, and soybeans.
Vitamin D: The primary and natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. It is good for bones, health, and skin. For vegans, it is best to sit for a few minutes under sunlight to gain enough vitamin D. Some vegan food options for vitamin D intake are mushrooms, fortified cereals, and fortified soy or almond milk.
Vitamin B12: Generally, this vitamin is found in animal products. As a result, vegans and vegetarians suffer from a deficiency of vitamin B12. This vitamin plays an important role in the growth and development of cells of the brain and nerves. Another important role of vitamin B12 is to form blood cells. Hence, for them, it is necessary to take vitamin B12 supplements.
Calcium: For healthy bones and teeth, this mineral is essential. In a vegan diet plan, calcium intake gets reduced due to milk elimination. Calcium also contributes to the process of muscle contraction and blood clotting. Therefore, it becomes very important to consume calcium in your daily diet. Fortified plant milk, fruit juice, and tofu are good sources of calcium for vegans.
Iodine: This mineral is mostly found in seafood, iodized salt, and dairy products; therefore, for vegans, it becomes difficult to intake enough iodine. That is why it is observed that vegans have low iodine levels. Iodine deficiency has health consequences, including goiter and reduced intellectual development. For vegans, iodized salt is the best option for iodine intake. Remember, “Himalayan salt or kosher salt” does not contain iodine, so do not consider including them in your diet plan.
Zinc: Zinc is essential for better metabolism, immunity, and wound healing. Both plant and animal products are sources of zinc. Even though vegans can’t get enough zinc through their diet, this is because your body can’t able to absorb zinc properly from plant foods. That is why vegans need to take zinc supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, or “Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA),” are essential for cell membrane formation and a healthy eye, heart, and brain. It is also good for immune health. Omega-3 also reduces the risk of chronic diseases, so taking omega-3 fatty acids supplements is good. ALA-containing vegan food options are walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, olive oil, canola oil, etc.
Iron: Red blood cells carry oxygen, which plays a significant role. Hence, iron is essential for the blood circulation system. Without it, RBCs cannot perform their function properly. Although vegan diet plans contain iron, that is not enough for your body, so iron supplement is required for vegans. Here are some examples of vegan foods that contain iron, tofu, spinach, nuts, beans, cruciferous vegetables, lentils, fortified cereals, potatoes, and others.
Undoubtedly, a vegan lifestyle is good for both health and the environment. A vegan meal plan is best for a healthy lifestyle. It keeps you healthy and provides a strong immune system to fight diseases. Health, ethics, and environmental reasons are also deciding factors in becoming vegan.
You know about vegan diet plans now, so it will be easy for you to begin your vegan diet plan. So, Go Ahead!