Vegan is in vogue and for all the right reasons. It is not only about making a fashion statement but also about becoming conscious of our own health. It also has to itself a great degree of empathy for the suffering silent , the animals , who too are equal co-habitants to humans on this planet and deserve their moment in the sun as well.
In the golden words of Albert Einstein ,“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” It is surely a tough choice to make for many but an increasingly important one.
According to a 2006 study published by the American Diabetes Association in the Diabetes Care Journal , low-fat vegan diet drastically improved glycemic and lipid control in type 2 diabetic patients. In the following analysis , we make an attempt to find suitable vegan substitute to the popular animal-derived food products for our readers. Let’s begin !
1. Vegan Substitute For Milk
One of the most popular supplements consumed all over the world. In 2017 , 827.88 million tonnes of milk was produced globally as per the data provided by the National Dairy Development Board.
It has been consumed for ages for its nutritional significance and benefits like being rich in calcium , phosphorus, vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin B12 but off the late many decades , there have been questions raised about the morality of its usage , the kind of effects that our food habits have on the cows , our environment and more importantly on our health.
This has led to a surge in non-dairy substitutes of Cow milk like Almond milk (has few calories and very less protein , easily digestible) ,Cashew milk(has unsaturated fat good for diabetics and heart conscious) ,Coconut milk(lowers B.P. and cholesterol), Hazelnut milk (antioxidant-rich vitamin E and folic acid present in it which help in RBC production), Oat Milk (slightly sweet, lowers cholesterol and improves digestion) etc.
2. Vegan Substitute For Cheese
It is the most sought after food globally , be it a pizza , pasta , ravioli , burgers or sandwiches , it is an unmissable ingredient. A must have staple for popular food chains and almost every household has one in their kitchens.
The global cheese market in 2018 was estimated to be worth US$ 61.9 Billion , which set to grow even more. It too is an animal derivative and if often high in lactose , a sugar which is not digestible for many.
Some worth-trying alternatives to cheese are Almond Cheese(perfect to swap with ricotta, goat and cream cheese) ,Cashew Cheese(perfect to swap with Brie cheese) ,Hemp Seed Crumble Cheese(perfect to swap with Parmesan cheese) ,Garlic and Herb Cashew Cheese(perfect to swap with Blue cheese), Daiya Cheese(perfect to swap with Mozzarella cheese) etc.
3. Vegan Substitute For Eggs
One of the most consumed animal products after milk and cheese are eggs. In 2018 , 6.47 million tonnes of eggs were produced in the U.S. as per the UN FAO report. Almost everyone starts their day by having an egg and it might be non negotiable for many.
It is also important to know that eggs contain Saturated Fat , which is known to increase the cholesterol levels , cause cardiovascular diseases , raises the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes among a lot of other risks.
Some delicious alternatives like Apple Sauce (for use in cooking instead of eggs) , Aquafaba(the thick liquid left after cooking chickpeas is called aquafaba and can be used in place of egg whites as proteins are structure-wise same) ,Black Salt (a type of Asian volcanic salt that has similar taste to eggs and can be used instead) , Ripe Bananas and Tofu to name a few can be used in place of eggs.
4. Vegan Substitutes For Meat
328.90 million metric tonnes of meat was produced worldwide in 2019 as per the Statista data. It is a stunning number which is set to go up in the coming time. It is also a reminder about the dangerous effects of meat consumption on humans as it poses serious risks to health.
As per a 2013 study which was completed after 11 years , found that vegan diet can cut the risk of heart disease by 32% . There are numerous studies which point to contracting life threatening diseases after meat consumption like Cancer , etc.
Alternatives like Tofu , Soya Protein , Tempeh , Seitan , Lupin Protein , Oat Flakes etc. can be added to ones diet in place of meat.
5. Vegan Substitutes For Butter
The total butter fat production in the world in 2014 was 21.1 million MT . Excess butter production can lead to obesity, hypertension, heart disease and cancer.
Use of butter has been blamed to cause a spike in cholesterol which affects the heart health.
Alternatives like Extra Virgin Olive Oil , Dairy Free Margarine , Vegetable Shortening (in baking) , Vegan Butter Sticks etc. can be used in place of regular butter for a healthier and vegan experience.
6. Vegan Substitutes For Yogurt
One of the most go-to meals during breakfasts , yogurt is also an animal protein. It contains Casein , which is known to leach Calcium from the bones and reverses all the benefits yogurt actually intended to give to the consumer.
It is widely sold as a milk-based protein world over and is a natural choice for millions of people globally.
Alternatives like Soy Yogurt , Coconut Milk Yogurt, Almond Milk Yogurt , Cashew-Based Yogurt , Oat Milk Yogurt , etc. are considered fully vegan and safer choices in comparison to the animal-protein based yogurt sold in supermarkets.
7. Vegan Substitute For Sugar
The most popular of all the foods , an important component of desserts and the showstopper ingredient of cakes , Sugar wears so many hats to its credit but is also known as white poison and good reason.
It is known to cause numerous health issues like Diabetes , Obesity , Cancers , Headaches and Anxiety to name a few. There have been reports of sugars being refined using bone char from animals which is strictly impermissible for a vegan.
Alternatives like Beet Sugar , Fructose , Natural Organic Sugar , Date Sugar etc. are vegan friendly and good for health conscious individuals.
Vegan is the way to go forward , not just in the interest of our health but also for the love of animals , who have lived with us for millennia , ever since the universe came into existence.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin comes to mind ,”You are what you eat” and rightly so. Adopting the aforementioned alternatives to the above mentioned animal-based food can do us a world of good and would also help our environment by reducing the carbon footprints.
To sum it up by citing a 2019 Global Vegan Survey , 79.8% of those surveyed had went vegan in the last 5 years. Join the bandwagon and reap its benefits.