Veganism is a type of vegetarian lifestyle where not only meat is eliminated from the diet but also eggs, honey and dairy products. It also excludes foods and any other product that is processed using animal products or detrimental to animals in any way.
The Vegan diet tends to be varied and includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, seeds and legumes. The general belief is that vegans lack protein in their diet, however it is simple for them to meet protein recommendations using such foods as lentils, chickpeas, nuts, soy products, leafy greens, rice, etc. as long as the calorie intake is adequate.
People choose a vegan diet for a variety of reasons that may include health, ethical or environmental ideologies. The Vegan philosophy rejects the idea that animals are a non-sentient commodity and believe that we have the responsibility to promote a more caring and humane world.
For more information on veganism refer to https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm
Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, triticale and oats and causes a wide variety of health issues in people who have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant.
Avoiding gluten can be more complex than just avoiding breads and cereals however as many processed foods include gluten. It is important when buying food to check the labels and sticking to the products that are labelled “gluten free” or display the Coeliac Australia Endorsement logo. To ensure that you able to follow a gluten free diet you need to become very aware of what you are purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask if you are unsure as the health of you and your family can be at risk.
Many safe and healthy gluten free flours are available to replace gluten saturated grains including:
- Besan (chickpea) flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Amaranth flour
- Rice flour
- Buckwheat flour.
For more information on a gluten free diet refer to http://www.coeliac.org.au/gluten-free/
Intolerance to dairy products usually lies in the inability to digest lactose. All animal milk contains the sugar called lactose which is broken down in our gut by the enzyme lactase. In many cases people may not produce enough lactase to digest the sugar which in turn causes the sugar to ferment in the gut causing digestive issues.
Avoiding lactose is not as easy as it seems. We can remove milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, etc. and replace it with alternatives such as soy products, coconut yoghurt, nut milks and cheeses but many processed foods include dairy products so it is important when buying processed food to check the labels and ensure that there isn’t any dairy products included in the product you are buying.
Coffee and cake can also be a trap for those needing to be dairy free however most good coffee shops will have a variety of cakes and milks that will meet all dietary requirements. If you are unsure you can always ask the café attendants.
For more information on a dairy free diet refer to http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/spotlight-dairy-free
To ensure a wholesome well-balanced diet for you and your family Pure Food Essentials recommends that you prepare and cook it yourself. This way you can be sure that you are using the freshest, purest and safest products available.
Organic food is grown or produced without using synthetic chemicals (such as pesticides or artificial fertilisers). They do not use genetically modified (GM) components or expose food to irradiation. Animal welfare and environmental sustainability are also important issues for organic farmers and producers.
There have been several studies showing that organic food has higher levels of nutrition and there is a growing trend for shoppers to purchase organic food for health reasons and concerns about the use of chemicals and pesticides in their daily food intake.
Before a product can be labeled as organic it needs to be inspected and tested by a government approved certifying body to ensure it meets the organic standards required.
For more information on organic food plese refer to http://www.organicfood.com.au/content_common/pg-what-is-organic.seo or http://www.nasaa.com.au/