#ASK THE EXPERT
Going Vegan: What You Need To Know

Thinking of starting on a plant-based diet? Here are some practical tips.

By Sasha Gonzales      19 April 2021

Q: How can we transition to a plant-based diet, especially if we’re so used to eating animal products?

Rohini: It’s up to you if you want to take slow, small steps or embrace veganism overnight. Look for where you can swap meat, dairy, fish and eggs for protein-, iron- and zinc-rich foods such as lentils, tofu, tempeh and beans. Don’t be too restrictive, and experiment with some of the new vegan meat and cheese alternatives on offer. Be sure to take a vitamin B12 supplement, too, because vegan diets tend to be deficient in this vitamin. To stay on track and overcome challenges, it’s also important to make the process fun by experimenting with new recipes and remind yourself why you became vegan in the first place.

Q: What are some mistakes people make when transitioning to a vegan diet?

Rohini: One mistake is not eating enough, which can result in fatigue or unintended weight loss. Whole plant foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, tofu, lentils, seeds and nuts are high in fibre so they’ll leave you feeling fuller for longer, and, depending on how they’re cooked or prepared, you can eat more without worrying too much about calories.

Another common mistake is eating too many refined carbohydrates. Choose complex, unrefined ones like brown rice, oats and whole-wheat noodles, and starchy veggies like pumpkin and potatoes with the skin on.


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