Very few people, if none might have chosen a vegan diet because they hated all the non-vegan foods they used to eat. It could be ethical factors that inspired some to go vegan while others might have recognized the health benefits of a vegan diet and decided to switch to that diet style. Hence there is nothing uncommon with vegans, especially the ones who recently chose that way of life, crave non-vegan foods. In this article, we discuss some effective ways to manage your food cravings.
Why Do People Have Food Cravings While On A Vegan Diet?
Understanding the exact reasons behind your food cravings is important. There already exist many theories about food cravings. Some studies link food cravings to nutrient deficiencies, genetics, or lack of willpower. A recent study has found a relation between our gut microbiome and the foods we crave for.
If any one group of bacteria in the gut grows into a large population, it will send hormonal signals to our brain that creates a strong desire to consume the foods that the bacteria require to live. For instance, the gut bacteria that were developed from a diet mostly consisting of fries and cheeseburgers will influence you to start eating those foods once you suddenly stop consuming those. Inadequate calories, lack of sleep, emotional stress, and restrictive eating habits are some other common reasons behind your food cravings.
How To Handle Food Cravings?
Improper lifestyle and unmet physical and emotional needs might lead to food cravings. That said here is how you can handle your non-vegan food cravings. Read on..
A vegan diet does not include any animal foods, which means all kinds of dairy products are misfits in vegan diets. When it comes to giving up dairy, it isn’t that easy for many. The presence of casomorphin, an addictive compound in dairy products is one reason behind the dairy cravings. Giving up dairy does not mean you are left with no sources of calcium. Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. The leafy greens are rich sources of calcium.
The only way to get rid of a food craving is to stop eating that food completely. The longer you avoid eating a particular food, the lesser you will crave for it. There are various vegan alternatives to dairy including vegan cheese, pizzas, and ice creams, all made of healthy vegan ingredients. Soy milk and almond milk are some plant-based milk options that can give enough proteins like animal milk.
Many people develop a craving for eggs because they are not getting enough calories or are eating too little fat. If you are seeking tips to handle the cravings for eggs, you are in the right place.
Take Adequate Calories
If you are not eating enough calories while on a vegan diet, you may end up craving foods like eggs that are rich sources of calories and fat. There are several vegan foods like nuts, seeds, potatoes, and legumes that help you get adequate calories.
Consume Adequate Whole Food Fats
Animal foods aren’t the only sources of fats. Whole plant foods like walnuts, avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and hemp seeds are some of the rich sources of fats. Eating fats in their whole form is always considered healthier than taking them in oil forms. This is because, although oils are rich in calories, they lack significant nutrients, fiber to be precise.
Try Vegan Egg Alternatives
You will find many vegan egg alternatives in the market. You can try if you find it too difficult to handle your craving for the egg.
Meat is a rich source of calories and switching to a vegan diet that lacks suitable plant-food alternatives will lead to a calorie deficiency. Meat does not contain any nutrients that cannot be obtained from plant foods. Vitamin B12 is an exception. Here are some ways to handle cravings for meat.
Consume Adequate Calories
Animal foods generally have higher calorie content, so we have to ensure that we get enough calories while on a vegan diet. Foods like potatoes, rice, nuts, seeds, and legumes are some high-calorie plant foods.
Consume Enough Whole-Food Fats
Several plant foods are excellent sources of fats. Some examples are avocado, almonds, seeds like chia, hemp, and flax, and walnuts. Eat fats in their whole form and not in the form of oils because oils lack nutrients like fiber and also tend to be high in calories.
Try Vegan Meats
Many companies are launching vegan meats that resemble animal meat in terms of texture and flavor. You can eat vegan meat occasionally if you are struggling to handle your craving for meat. Because vegan meats are highly processed, including them in your daily diet is not recommended.
Once we learn to handle our cravings, we will find it easy to continue our vegan lifestyle without struggling at all.