This is a big era for vegans and vegetarians looking for great food without meat or dairy.
The recent surge in vegan recipes and meatless diets has changed the landscape of the food industry and many economic analysts say the changes are permanent.
As more and more people seek to curb their carbon footprint, food companies and vendors offer culinary options that do not source animal agriculture, which is one of the leading carbon-emitting industries.
Additionally, a vegan diet has been linked to improved health and reduced obesity rates.
Some health experts even believe a whole foods, plant-based diet improves the physical well-being of people with diabetes and heart disease.
For these reasons, as well as improved product selection in the meatless industry, vegan nutrition continues to trend with each passing year.
Cleansing and detoxing your body and mind
There is a more general trend that is contributing to not necessarily just meatless and vegan diets but overall greater health.
Increasingly, people are looking to detox from pollutants in our modern lifestyle like drugs and other chemicals in our daily lives.
Counter the bad effects by eating better and feeling better.
The era of meatless burgers
You’re probably aware by now that there has been a massive wave of meatless burgers.
They range from store-bought products like Beyond Meat, Morning Star, and Quorn to restaurants and fast-food chains are offering meatless burgers.
Even Burger King, Carls Jr, and White Castle Burger have joined the fray with meatless burger options and this trend is expected to continue.
In the past, vegetarian patties for burgers were available but generally disliked.
New innovations in ingredients and assembly have greatly improved meatless burger taste.
Even meat-eaters now regularly consume these products, which bodes well for the future of vegan cuisine.
Seitan, tempeh, tofu, and other soy-bAsed favorites
Beyond burgers, quality meatless ingredients abound.
Old classics, like seitan, tempeh, and tofu, are now regularly used by vegan chefs and other vendors to produce high-quality cuisine in local restaurants, food trucks, and grocery store products.
There was a time when only the most hardcore vegans and vegetarians knew about seitan, but these days more and more diners request soy protein products to substitute for meat.
While all of these products are plant-based and meatless, there are differences between them.
For example, tempeh is made from whole soybeans that are fermented via a fungus called rhizopus oligosporus.
Tofu is made with soybeans as well but is not fermented.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten, which means gluten-free diners should stay away.
Whole foods plant-based diet
Just to be clear, a whole foods diet does not have anything to do with the store Whole Foods, although they do carry a lot of the most popular types and brands of whole foods.
While a whole foods diet is not necessarily a vegan or vegetarian diet, the two can overlap and, quite frequently, a vegan diet will consist largely of whole foods.
A whole foods diet consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grain, legumes, seeds, nuts and minimally processed foods.
Very often, such a diet will exclude refined foods like sugar, white flour and processed oil.
Additionally, a whole foods diet is usually plant-based (meaning no meat or animal by-products) and based on locally sourced, organic ingredients.
A whole foods and plant-based regimen is considered one of the most healthy ways to eat.
Everything from weight loss to improved diabetic conditions has been attributed to a whole foods diet.
Studies routinely prove that these foods - especially when combined with regular exercise - help to reduce obesity.
When added to meatless habits, a whole-foods, plant-based diet may also be able to help people with heart disease, inflammation, and even cancer!