Expert advice Nutrition
Is Opting To Be Vegan, More Expensive?

Shiny Surendran

MSc, Grad Dip Sports Nutrition (Intl Olympic Committee), Accredited Sports Dietitian - Sports Dietitians Australia, Level 2 Kinanthropometrist - ISAK, New Zealand

3 min read

Veganism is currently very popular but there is a prevalent perception that a vegan diet is costly. Whatever may be your reason to turn vegan, there’s one question that may have crossed your mind for sure. Is it cost-effective or expensive? If you make a list of your staples and then compare the prices of each item with their vegan replacement, it may shock you a bit. Therefore many people may think of this cost as counterproductive and just support the cause without actually adapting.

What is being vegan?

The definition is pretty simple. Avoid anything that comes from animals, especially dairy and meat products. The vegan diet also calls for organically farmed fresh produce that is free of GMO (Genetically modified organism) or any other chemicals like pesticides. Since they are ethically farmed, these foods are priced a little higher than the products filled with chemical compounds.

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For argument’s sake, if we say that being vegan is expensive, imagine paying for medical bills that are caused due to eating less nutritious food. Being a vegan makes you stronger and fit inside out and saves you from a lot of chronic diseases. To top it all, it improves the quality of your life.

To keep to a budget just ensure you stay away from trying out too many processed vegan products and experiment less with unique vegan recipes.

The onset of issues like diabetes, sugar, high cholesterol levels etc. by the time we are 35 years old is quite daunting! Each meal you eat in the vegan diet nourishes you and heals you. This is because food can heal and prevent a spectrum of diseases. Being vegan is not fancy; it is making the best of the produce available in your vicinity. All it takes is to avoid dairy products and animal products. The cost spent on nutritious food outweighs the diseases your body may develop in the long run, unless you shift toward living a healthy lifestyle.

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A vegan diet need not be expensive. A lot depends on the choices you make while shopping for your food. If you are going to buy the more costly vegan substitutes and only buy organic food or pick up your vegan foods from special stores, you will definitely end up spending much more!

In fact, a vegan lifestyle can turn out to be less expensive as vegetables and plant-based products like pulses and beans are much cheaper than meat. To keep to a budget just ensure you stay away from trying out too many processed vegan products and experiment less with unique vegan recipes. This will lead to buying ingredients that you wouldn’t need for other regular foods and thus turn out to be expensive. So remember, there are always effective ways to reduce your expenditure on the foods you buy. All it needs is some planning and creativity on your part.

How to find food substitutes

For example, for those with a sweet tooth, it is hard to resist sweets like rasgulla or peda as dairy is used as the base for these sweets. Bur all you have to do is replace dairy milk with nut milk. The easiest to find is coconut milk. If you prefer a change of flavour, you can also try to extract milk from peanuts or millets. You can also try recipes with ragi, jowar, bajra, rice and pulses along with sesame seeds, peanuts and cucumber and melon seeds. All of these foods are abundantly available and can easily be included in UR diet.

The mantra

Your body requires nutritional food, exercise, ample sunlight, hydration and structured exercise every day. This can be achieved by customising three things according to UR body type. Answer these three questions and pave the way to a healthy and fulfilling life! What to eat? How much to eat? How often to eat? This is the formula that will ensure UR sustainability and stability for life!