How to Become a Vegan | Holland & Barrett

Does the idea of going vegan appeal to you, but you’ve not quite done it yet because you’re not sure how to go vegan?

What can you eat? What can’t you eat? And how can you make sure you’re still eating a healthy, balanced diet?

How to become a vegan

Going vegan involves cutting out food that comes from animals, e.g. meat, dairy and eggs, and only eating plant-based products. For instance, fruit and veg and nuts and grains.1

As we all know, animal products can be a good source of vitamins and nutrients. But if you’re not eating them, because you’re following a vegan diet, it’s important you get this goodness from elsewhere.

If your diet isn’t planned properly, you could easily miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and iron. 2

List of vegan foods – the obvious and the not so obvious

Do you have a first clue as to which foods make the food list for vegans or not? Some products may be obvious and some, not so obvious. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Vegan food you will most probably have heard of:

  • Vegetables – carrots, cabbage, kale and cauliflower….veggies are a vegan’s best friend and a great source of vitamins, such as A and K, as well as potassium3
  • Fruit – are in the same league as veggies when it comes to vegan eating; you can eat as many of them as you like (this includes frozen fruit too)4
  • Beans – such as lentils, black beans or chickpeas, which can be boiled or blended and added to most dishes, such as soups, stews and salads 5
  • Grains – brown rice, quinoa, spelt, millet and bulgar are all vegan food staples, providing nutrition, flavour and texture6
  • Tofu – is great for both cooking and baking. Cut it up into chunks for stir-fries or stews or blend it for sauces, dressings or puddings7
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Vegan food you may not have heard of:

  • Jackfruit – is a fruit that has the same texture as pulled pork. You can marinate and roast it, just like pulled pork8
  • Seitan – comes from the protein gluten in wheat and has a meaty taste and texture9
  • Tempeh – made from soybeans, it tastes nutty and mushroom-like, with a meat-like substance10
  • Aquafaba – is essentially the juice you drain from your chickpea cans, which happens to be great for vegan baking because of its egg-like qualities11

Then there are these ‘surprising’ food items too…

Mustard, Heinz tomato ketchup, Coca-Cola, Warburton’s crumpets, Bisto gravy granules, Jus-Rol pastry, Biscoff spread, Cadbury’s Bournville chocolate, Green & Black’s dark chocolate, Betty Crocker baking mix and most meat-flavoured crisps (e.g. Twiglets, Bacon Hula Hoops, Pringles BBQ sauce) and so on…12

Vegan list of food – the essentials:

We aren’t going to list every single vegan product (because we’d be here for a very long time), so here’s a shortlist:

Vegan baking

  • Engevita Yeast Flakes B12 125g
  • Holland & Barrett Molasses 454g
  • The Groovy Food Company Premium Agave Nectar Light & Mild

Vegan bread

  • Seedful Organic Gluten-Free Loaf 350g
  • Everfresh Sprouted Wheat Bread 400g
  • Amisa Organic Spelt Melba Toast 200g
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Vegan grains

  • Holland & Barrett Buckwheat flour 500g
  • Sowan’s Millet 500g
  • Bobs Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats 400g

Vegan vitamins

  • Holland & Barrett Iron 15mg with Vitamins & Minerals 100 Caplets
  • Holland & Barrett Chewable Vitamin C with Rose Hips 250 Tablets 500mg
  • Holland & Barrett Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral 120 Tablets

Vegan pasta

  • Biona Wholegrain Spelt Penne Pasta 500g
  • Amisa Organic Corn & Rice Spaghetti 500g
  • Orgran Gluten-Free Rice Spirals 250g

Vegan spreads

  • Meridian Organic Seville Orange Fruit Spread 234g
  • Holland & Barrett Malt Extract 445g
  • Meridian Natural Yeast Extract 340g

Vegan butter

  • Pip & Nut Peanut Butter 1kg
  • PPB Powdered Peanut Butter Original 180g
  • Meridian Almond Butter 1kg

How to tell if food is vegan

It should clearly state it, either by saying ‘suitable for vegans’ or by having the Certified Vegan logo on it somewhere.13 Always check the small print and steer clear of whey, casein and lactose, as they all come from milk.14

Are you feeling a bit clearer on how to be a vegan now? Yes, it’s a whole new world in itself, but it’s a world you can easily navigate your way around, once you know how (and you if have our vegan list of food by your side).

Last updated: 22nd September 2020

Sources

1  https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-vegan-diet/
2 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-vegan-diet/
3 http://www.eatingwell.com/article/279566/9-healthy-tips-to-help-you-start-eating-a-vegan-diet/
4 https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm#common
5 https://www.thekitchn.com/15-essentials-for-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-pantry-pantry-tips-from-the-kitchn-73562
6 https://www.thekitchn.com/15-essentials-for-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-pantry-pantry-tips-from-the-kitchn-73562
7 https://www.thekitchn.com/15-essentials-for-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-pantry-pantry-tips-from-the-kitchn-73562
8 https://allplants.com/blog/food/weird-vegan-ingredients-and-where-to-find-them
9 https://allplants.com/blog/food/weird-vegan-ingredients-and-where-to-find-them
10 https://allplants.com/blog/food/weird-vegan-ingredients-and-where-to-find-them
11 https://allplants.com/blog/food/weird-vegan-ingredients-and-where-to-find-them
12 https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/food/food-news/vegan-food-list-5513
13 https://www.ilovevegan.com/resources/is-it-vegan-a-guide-to-ingredient-lists/
14 https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/balanced-diet-vegan



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