Health

Veganuary: What’s the hype?

The UK has gone crazy for the Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll, but what are the benefits of eating vegan food in your twenties?

Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll. Source: Greggs.

Some may call it a fad but it seems like veganism is here to stay and is vastly on rise with current figures estimating over 3.5 million people in the UK identify themselves as vegan.

Vegans are people who live a raw unprocessed lifestyle which aims to avoid chemical based food that, some nutritionists would argue, are not designed for human consumption. Often referred to as a plant-based diet, eating vegan involves eradicating the consumption of all animal based products, this includes; meat, dairy, eggs, honey and gelatin (often found in sweets – like Haribo).

But of course it’s not just about eating and drinking vegan, it’s also about buying vegan too. Faux-fur, faux-wool and faux-leather are also requirements of the vegan trend, ensuring that cruelty-free living is lifestyle change not for the faint-hearted.

I, myself, only know a few people who have ‘dabbled’ with becoming vegan. Most notably my younger sister, Maddy, who decided to document and study the health effects of a 50 day vegan diet for part of her EPQ during her A-levels.

Easy overnight oats. Ingredients: Plant based milk, oats, frozen raspberries, vanilla extract, chia seeds and fruit

Some of the findings from Maddy’s 50 day vegan diet study were:

  • She ended up eating on average less calories a day than she previously did on her omnivore diet
  • After 50 days she had a loss in body weight of 5.7%
  • She also lost inches around key areas of her body, significantly her waist
  • Her body fat ratio increased
  • Her muscle mass ratio decreased
  • Blood calcium increased which suggests possibility of stronger bones in later life if effect continued and this diet was a long term lifestyle change

Please note, Maddy did consult with her GP before taking part in this 50 day vegan diet and also took B12 supplements. It’s also important to note these findings are anecdotal and all effects are subject to variability of individual differences.

Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potato

At this moment in time, I would find it extremely difficult to maintain a vegan diet for the whole of January, due to being a tea lover, a chocolate fan and eating meat at least once every single day. But as vegan foods are becoming more readily available in supermarkets and local cafes I would like to incorporate more vegan recipes into my diet to ensure I am benefiting from some of the heath benefits listed in this article. I can only see this increasing over time and whilst I would never be able to go the full-hog, I’d absolutely love to experiment with more vegan foods.

Are you tempted to take part in Veganuary? Comment below!

Vegan Oreo Chocolate Fudge Cake with Dairy-Free Vanilla Icecream – 
I know what you’re thinking… how on earth is this vegan right?

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