Veg Pledge FAQs
Veg Pledge is a fundraising challenge where you go vegetarian or vegan for one month and get sponsored to do so. Once you've signed up we'll send you a fundraising pack and online Giving Page to help you raise money for life-saving research.
- Ask your friends and family for sponsorship
- Host a veggie dinner party in return for a donation
- Share your online Giving Page on your social networks
- Cook a vegetarian or vegan dish for your work colleagues in exchange for sponsorship
These are just a few ways to raise money. Sign up for your free fundraising pack with plenty more tools and ideas!
If you’re going Vegetarian:
A vegetarian diet means you can eat anything apart from meat or fish. We’ll be supplying participants with recipes and tips to help them make the switch to vegetarian easy and enjoyable!
If you’re going Vegan:
A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants. Vegans don't eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.
A well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can be very healthy, as diets high in plant foods like fruit, veg, wholegrains and pulses and low in processed and red meat can help you to keep a healthy weight and reduce the risk of cancer. But your diet won't automatically be healthier by cutting out meat and fish or all animal products. Like everyone, vegetarians and vegans should make sure they:
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates. Choose wholegrain versions where possible.
- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts). Choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options.
- Eat some beans and other pulses, eggs for vegetarians, and other proteins.
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads like rapeseed or olive oil, and eat them in small amounts.
- Drink plenty of unsweetened fluids like water
- Cut down on foods high in fat, salt or sugar like fast food
With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian or vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements. However, if your diet is not planned properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients. Vegetarians need to make sure they get enough iron, vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids – see below for foods rich in these. For those following a vegan diet it is important to think about where you are getting calcium, vitamin B12, iron and omega 3 fatty acids.
Although red meat contains the most easily absorbed iron, other good sources of iron include:
- pulses, such as beans, lentils and peas
- dried fruit, such as raisins
- dark-green vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens
- wholegrains, such as brown rice and brown bread
- cereals fortified with iron
As plant sources of iron aren’t absorbed as well as animal sources, it is a good idea to pair these things with a source of vitamin C, which increases absorption. For example - leafy green veg with pulses.
While meat is high in protein, there are lots of other good sources of protein, and vegetarians and vegans can get enough protein in their diet by eating a variety of these foods. Good sources of protein include:
- pulses like beans, lentils and chickpeas
- cereals, especially wholegrain (e.g. whole wheat, oats and brown rice)
- soya products (tofu, soya drinks and textured soya protein, such as soya mince)
- nuts and seeds
For vegetarians only:
- dairy products (choose reduced fat and sugar versions)
There isn’t good evidence to suggest soy or soya products increase the risk of breast cancer, and you can enjoy them as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Fruit and vegetables are the main ingredients of a healthy diet, so if you’re eating more of these that’s great. But just because something is vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy, or healthier than a meat or fish alternative.
Processed and red meats do increase the risk of bowel cancer, but we don’t see the same link with fresh chicken and fish. So try switching to these after your Veg Pledge challenge, or eggs and pulses like beans, for healthy sources of protein.
The word ‘superfood’ is actually just a marketing term, with little basis in science. Though some foods are healthier than others and a healthy balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of cancer, no single food is a silver bullet for being healthy or preventing cancer.
Cutting down on processed and red meat reduces the risk of bowel cancer, but this doesn’t mean you have to cut out meat and fish altogether once you've finished your Veg Pledge. A healthy diet comes in many different forms, and it’s important to find one that works for you.