Another day, another A-lister touting the benefits of a new diet or bizarre health fad, but the latest Hollywood food trend may not be so crazy. The rich and famous are raving about part-time veganism with big names like Beyoncé and J-Lo dipping their toes into the animal-free diet, but does that mean that you should give it a go, too? Find out more about the vegan diet, including the celebs who love it and tasty vegan recipes for you to try.
What is veganism?
Vegans follow an animal-free diet, meaning staying clear of all meat and animal products including dairy, eggs and even honey. Proponents of the diet say that it’s better for the environment, comes with plenty of health benefits and could even save you money.
Possible health benefits
Can forgoing animal products boost your health? The research is unclear, however studies have shown that a diet high in a red and processed meat is linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. But before you ditch the burgers for good, read on about the celebrities embracing a part-time vegan diet.
Are there any downsides to the diet?
Possibly - those following a strict vegan diet need to make sure that they’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12, for example, can only be found naturally in animal foods so vegans need to ensure they eat a variety of B12-fortified foods (like certain soy milks and energy bars) or take a B12 supplement. You should always consult a doctor before radically changing your diet.
Which celebs have tried it?
Veganism isn’t just for hippies - celebs like Alicia Silverstone, Natalie Portman and even Bill Clinton have turned to plant-based diet citing health and environmental reasons. But if you'd like to give this trendy diet a go but don't think you could forgo bacon forever, make like Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé, who have both embraced veganism temporarily (both went strictly vegan for 22 days). Cutting back on your meat consumption and increasing your veggie intake may be linked to lowering cholesterol and losing weight. Check out some tempting vegan recipes below…
Vegan recipes focus on incorporating lots of healthy vegetables in interesting ways - the trick is to add flavour-packed sauces and dressing, plus lots of interesting textures so that you don't get bored. It's important for vegans to get enough protein in their diet, which can easily be found in beans, grains and tofu. If you'd like to cut back on meat for a while, there are plenty of delicious substitutions that you can add to your diet so that you don't feel like you're missing out - try making a veggie burger with sweet potatoes, beans and quinoa instead of meat, or a vegetarian cottage pie (just leave out the creme fraiche). Veganism isn't as restrictive as you might think!
This cucumber, strawberry & poppy seed salad recipe has it all - crunchy seeds, sweet fruit and refreshing veg.
Don't forget about dessert! This scrumptuous vegan parsnip, fruit & nut cake is spiced with cinnamon, and packed with juicy dried fruit and crunchy pecans.
Ditch the breadcrumbs in this falafel salad with tahini dressing recipe and you have a filling and flavour-packed dish. Better yet, replace with egg-free panko flakes!
Stock up on vegetables and vegan products at Asda.