A week after bagging the title of ‘Creative City of Gastronomy’ by UNESCO, Hyderabad is now crowned with the title ‘Most Vegan-friendly City’ from PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) India.
In the city where kebabs, haleem, chicken biryani, bheja fry and mutton paya have made a name for itself, the recognition as a vegan-friendly place is surely a big win for city’s vegans. “This is such heartwarming news for all the vegans. The city that is famous across the world for its Biryani has today been recognized as the most vegan-friendly city by PETA. This shows the acceptance the city has given us and how it has made our living easy,” says Medha Gayatri.
What is veganism?
The term ‘vegan’ was coined in the year 1944 by a group of vegetarians in England. Vegans chose not to use or consume products of animal origin such as dairy, fish, meat, eggs, honey and gelatin. They follow a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and an infinite number of food items prepared by combining them.
“Numerous researches indicate that people who eat a vegetarian diet tend to have lower LDL levels and less incidence of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes while increasing antioxidant intake,” says Dr. Deepa Agarwal, Consultant Nutritionist, Tanvir Hospital. Vegan eating usually increases the intake of wholesome foods, which is a great opportunity to get plentiful antioxidants, dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals. “It may promote greater self-control requiring commitment and dedication,” she says.
Veganism in the city:
There are a handful of eateries in the city – Terrasen Cafe, FabCafe, Sage Farm Cafe and Bon Appediet – giving a boost to veganism.
“The city which is largely known for meat being crowned as ‘Most Vegan-friendly City’ is something to feel great and excited about,” says Dhanesh Sharma, owner of Terrasen Cafe. When he first started Terrasen cafe, people would say the city has not many vegetarian or vegan food takers. Gradually however, more awareness was seen and restaurants started offering more vegetarian food options. “We completely exclude products of animal origin in our restaurant. Ingredients such as soy milk and palm jaggery is used instead of the regular milk and sugar,” he says.
Know before going vegan:
Going vegan is a huge change and can sometimes be even more complicated. “It is advisable to consult a physician and a nutritionist when starting and implementing a vegan eating plan,” says Dr.Deepa. There has to be a balance of diet, exercise and a proper fitness regime. “Read the labels carefully and transition gradually to vegan eating so that the body can adapt to it,” she says.
Include adequate plant protein in the diet. Combine plant sources of iron with ingredients high in vitamin C (such as red bell peppers, oranges and strawberries) so that the body can absorb the iron well,” advise the nutritionist.