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Educational Tip

Vegan Diet

By Gali Health in partnership with @plentyandwellwithnat, medically reviewed by Kate Schlag, RD

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Vegan is a style of eating that eliminates all animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. How It Came to Be
  2. Let’s Eat
  3. Foods to Steer Clear Of
  4. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
  5. Flare Friendly Foods
  6. Common Swaps
  7. Weekly Tip
  8. Research

HOW IT CAME TO BE

 

The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 and describes a style of eating that excludes all animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, and even honey.

Some vegans also choose to exclude all animal products from their lives, such as clothing or furniture that’s made from animal hides (like leather). They also try to use beauty and other products that are cruelty-free.

People choose to be vegan for a variety of reasons, including ethics, sustainability, environmental concerns, and health-related issues.

LET’S EAT!

On a vegan diet, you can eat all foods except for meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, honey, and any other foods derived from animals. Vegan diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains, and soy.

STEER CLEAR OF

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Collagen
  • Bone broth
  • Gelatin
  • Honey
  • Other animal-derived products

VEGAN CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

(* they are also gluten-free!)

  • 1 “chia egg” (1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make your chia egg, mix the chia seeds with the water and set aside until gelatinized.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or foil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the pure maple syrup, peanut butter, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. If the chia egg seems thick, add that now too.
  5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, let cool and enjoy!

FLARE FRIENDLY FOODS

White rice

Scrambled tofu with turmeric and salt

Vegetable broth-based soups

Smoothies

Oatmeal with smooth nut butter and ripe banana

Plain rice cakes with avocado or smooth nut butter

Ripe banana with smooth nut butter

Steamed and pureed sweet potato or steamed and pureed carrots

COMMON SWAPS

Honey: agave or maple syrup

Eggs: scrambled tofu, vegan egg substitutes (can be found at many stores)

In baking, substitute with “chia eggs” or “flax eggs” (mix 1 Tbs of chia seeds or flax seeds with 2 Tbs water and let sit until gelatinized)

Meat: tofu, tempeh, seitan (contains gluten), vegan meat alternatives you can find in most freezer sections at the store, beans and lentils, lentil and bean pastas that are high in protein

Bone broth: vegetable broth

Whey or collagen-based protein powders: plant-based protein powders

Dairy products: There are many vegan milk, creamer, butter, cream cheese, cheese, frosting, and yogurt substitutes at most stores

WEEKLY TIP

Starting a new style of eating is a hard transition, so the best thing you can do is give yourself compassion and self-love during the process and remove the idea of “falling off the wagon.” There is no “wagon” to fall off of, this is just life!

If you want to go vegan and make the decision to have some cheese one day, do not beat yourself up. Life ebbs and flows and you won’t always be perfect, and that is 100% okay. The idea of “falling off the wagon” makes changes daunting because it feels like each little “wrong” step is a massive failure. It’s not! Do your best and be kind to yourself along the way.

RESEARCH

Anecdotally, some patients with IBD have reported improved symptoms and remission after following a vegan diet. There are several proposed mechanisms for such a relationship. Because the prevalence of IBD is higher in countries with a Westernized diet, which tends to be higher in meat, dairy, and refined grains and lower in plant-based foods, some researchers have hypothesized that a plant-based or vegan diet might improve symptoms in patients.

In one case study, a young adult who followed a diet exclusively made of grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit entered clinical remission, defined by improved quality of life, a reduction in symptoms, and mucosal healing, after 6 months of subscribing to a vegan diet. This relationship may be mediated in part by the gut microbiota. While ingredients common in processed foods tend to promote the growth of pathogenic and inflammation-causing bacteria, compounds that are abundant in plant-based foods tend to decrease it. A diet rich in animal proteins and dairy and low in fiber has been found to increase such pathogenic bacteria, and a proliferation of those bacteria has been associated with IBD.

However, such associations are only correlative, and randomized clinical controlled trials should investigate the causal relationship between a vegan diet, its effects on the microbiome, and the subsequent effects on IBD pathogenesis.

For more information and tips on living with inflammatory bowel disease from the medical and patient communities, download the Gali friend for IBD mobile app and she will create a personalized feed of articles just for you!

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