Mention a vegan diet just a few years ago and you might have gotten an eye roll or two. For many folks, the plant-based diet—which excludes all dairy and animal products—once conjured up visions of crunchy granola and Birkenstocks. But no more. While only about 2 percent of Americans describe themselves as vegan, the diet is becoming more mainstream, with celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Beyoncé claiming to be followers (well, at least part-time).
One of the most challenging aspects of eating a vegan diet is ensuring that all your nutrition needs are met despite eliminating major food groups from your diet. Following a vegan diet means cutting out all animal-based foods like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. It can feel restrictive and also be unhealthy without the proper knowledge and resources at hand.