A vegan lifestyle is touted as the next big step towards an animal-cruelty-free cum sustainable lifestyle. Veganism essentially rises above mere diet and focuses on a holistic lifestyle, which takes a step towards a better world for humans and animals alike. The diet itself comes with a lot of bling, from being lauded as the most environmentally friendly diet to its blatant stance against animal cruelty to the possible health benefits.
The obvious baby step will be to cross off products from your dietary list if you are new to this lifestyle. Yes, you have to part with fried chicken, beacons, and even eggs. Well… no surprises, for these are obvious choices. But there are also some non-obvious choices like milk and honey that also get kicked out of the list. But that’s not all. Even in the vegan food section, few items must be avoided primarily for health concerns.
Foods That Are Not Vegan
As mentioned earlier, veganism is a lifestyle where you refrain from using any stuff that has the slightest possible inclination towards the use of animals in their production or processing. If you are starting, your list may be limited to staying clear of meat and poultry. But as you grow in the lifestyle, you become more conscious about other things as well. Here are some foods and their products with no alarming signs yet are not a part of a vegan diet.
- Milk based product like ice-cream/ cheese/ yogurts/ butter
- Apple juice
- Soda/ cola/ beer/ wine
- Chocolates/ candies/ jelly
- Certain vitamins
However, you can have a sigh of relief as most of them (almost all) have vegan alternatives. There is a vegan alternative to meats, too, so that you can slowly adapt to the vegan lifestyle without much pressure. But the question is, are they good? And do they fall into the same principles of veganism?
Vegan Food That A Vegan Should Avoid!
Veganism is touted as a healthy diet owing to the intake of plant-based food. But the factor of health absolves all meaning if the food is junk. Similar to our daily lifestyle, the vegan lifestyle is not oblivious to the fast-food sector. From developing the plant-based alternative that gives richer flavor than the originals to the indulgences, there are many vegan foods that you must stay clear of in your diet from a health point of view.
Before beginning, let’s have an overview of the fats. Fats can be classified into two types broadly- saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats. Hence, replacing or lowering the intake of saturated fats with healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will protect your body from cholesterol-related issues.
Here are a few vegan food products with a high amount of saturated goodies, making these treats not a treat for your health.
The basic idea of faux substance is to mimic the taste and the texture of the original. To give an authentic flavor that matches the original, the product must be laced with additives and other chemical alternatives.
Fake meats found themselves increasingly popular at a time when a lot of people switched boats to a vegan diet with a healthy lifestyle in mind, but we’re not ready enough to give up the delicacies. With the advent of fake meats, now people did not have to give up on meat for dinners (which is not of significant concern), but at the same time, burgers did not have their last goodbyes yet.
Though they have successfully crafted vegan burgers that are more delicious than the originals, there is no denying that they contain a large amount of saturated fat and sodium. Hence, though they may be good for the environment, the same cannot be said for health.
Fake Ice Creams
Milk is an essential component of dairy products, namely people’s favorite- ice-creams. But switching to a vegan diet, just like you cross off milk from the list, you need to part with all its goodies. But thanks to the human will (yes, where there is a will, there is a way), we can enjoy the treats for long without guilt.
Welcome dairy-free frozen desserts that made an appearance on popular demand and are now winning the hearts of vegans. But the only downside is, you are gorging on a lot of saturated fat.
Switching the traditional milk with plant-based alternatives like coconut milk, soy milk…etc., is their secret. The rich flavor of coconut makes the treat richer but, at the same time, high on saturated fats. These are directly related to increased cholesterol levels in the body, making you at risk of various heart diseases.
Similar to ice-creams, yogurts also use alternative sources of milk as the raw material. So, while flavor and taste are guaranteed at the expense of saturated fats, the product lags behind many nutritional benefits.
Most of the alternative sources have little to no protein in them. Though these are a guilt-free indulgence for a vegan, they offer not much choice for neither nutrition nor health.
Whether it is vegan or not, the high salt content of the crispy treats makes them not a suitable choice for a healthy lifestyle. Just because a product has a plant-based source, it does not become healthy. The crispy products are as unhealthy as their non-plant-based alternatives.
To ensure your indulgences are not ruining your body, limit the intake of salty goods or replace the fries with oven-baked or air fryer. Switching to vegetable oil like olive oil, which has good fats, would be better if you prepare them at home.
You must beware of not just fats but also sugar when you eye cookies as your midnight snacks. Cookies bring a load of sugar that might satisfy your cravings but take your healthy diet down the drain.
Being a vegan restricts a lot of choices from the menu. But as you start to embrace the lifestyle, you won’t find it challenging to find vegan-friendly dining spots at affordable prices. However, it is essential to do your duty and check the labels of all the products you use without blindly trusting the taglines. Check for both animal products and types of fat to ensure that the product doesn’t compromise the health of both animals and vegans.