Veganism is a matter of choice, but being vegan is not always healthy!
Eating is a matter of survival; it can be an act to satisfy your tongue and belly, but savoring your taste bud too much becomes a problem. Olive oil might be good for health and skin, but too much of everything is terrible. So being vegan is fine; it shows your concern for the environment and respect for all forms of life. But all vegan foods may not be healthy.
Unhealthy Vegan Food
Demand for meat alternatives and plant-based food is growing over the years; it’s good but be careful about what you choose. Here are some vegan foods you must avoid.
Frozen Meat Substitutes / Fake Meats
Fake chicken nuggets may pretend to substitute the original chicken nuggets, but they are unhealthy processed food. These nuggets are high in sodium, full of preservatives, loads of harmful processed oil, and artificial ingredients. These frozen delights are even low in vitamin B12, proteins, iron, and minerals.
If you thought vegan desserts are suitable to satisfy your sweet tooth, well, they might be worse than your traditional cakes and tipsy pudding. The eggs and butter in vegan sweet puddings are replaced by gums, starches, pectin, added flavors, and colors. All these ingredients will increase your sugar level and calories.
Veggie or vegan chips are as bad as traditionally processed chips. These chips are fried and added with lots of salt. These chips contain several calories and plenty of saturated fats, terrible for your heart and weight. Eating too many of these chips can also increase the risk of diabetes and cholesterol.
Some plant-based burgers with frozen meat substitutes may not be suitable for your health. Many of these alternatives contain more saturated fats and additive chemicals to match the flavors of traditional burgers. These burgers have 300-350 calories with almost 20 grams of fats (mostly saturated). These burgers may taste good but will put your heart at risk and may also be a cause of diabetes.
As the name suggests, this is eviler than animal-based food. Seitan is made entirely from hydrated gluten; this fake meat may be a good source of protein; however, the problem is too much sugar. The standard label seitan contains almost 10 grams of sugar and excessive salt (400 mg) per 100 grams of products. It also contains unhealthy added flavors and preservatives.
Deli meat is terrible for your health, and so is vegan deli meat. Tofu meats are high in sodium, and in many cases, also loaded with sugar. Many vegans opt for tofu meats for protein intake, but these heavily processed foods are full of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Dairy-free yogurts may be lower in fat, but it contains a lot of sugar; almost as much as you need for an entire day. Coconut-based yogurts have less sugar, but they are rich in fat. These yogurts have added flavors like raspberry, vanilla, or chocolate, which are nothing but artificial colors and preservatives in most brands.
Vegan Choco Chip Cookies
Vegans avoid the excellent old cookies for their eggs and dairy to choose saturated fats, artificial flavor, and excessive sugar. Each vegan cookie is twice as harmful as the traditional one. Vegan cookies contain 17 grams of sugar, 8 grams of fats, and a whopping 460 calories per serving.
Frozen vegan meals contain excessive sodium, preservatives, and added flavors. Most frozen foods are high in carbs; you should always opt for a protein-rich diet as a vegan. Frozen food diets will always create a nutrition concern for your health. However, not all frozen foods are bad; however, choose a label with less sodium, fewer preservatives, and having at least nine grams of protein.
Non-Dairy Ice-cream Bars
Non-dairy vegan bars have 18 to 20 grams of fat per 100 grams of the product. The fat is full of additive chemicals and different types of flavored sugar. One serving size of a standard bar contains around 320 calories. Not only do these bars have too much sugar, but they also have added chemicals and preservatives.
Healthy Vegan Alternatives
Cashew Milk Yogurt
Plant-based yogurt such as cashew yogurt is an excellent alternative to creamy vegan yogurt plant-based yogurt has around 13 grams of plant proteins. If you like coconut yogurt, it is also good, but stick to half a cup a day; don’t go overboard.
Dump the vegan chips packet and try popcorn instead. Another option is carrots, beetroot, or kale chips. These do not have sugar, sodium, or excess calories. It is even better to make them in your home using an air fryer.
An incredible vegan way to satisfy your sweet tooth craving is by choosing non-dairy coconut caramel frozen yogurt. It tastes good and is a healthy option.
Most vegans are always concerned about their protein intake. It is a myth that plant-based foods are deficient in proteins. Look for vegan food products made of legumes or beans; these are rich protein sources. Quinoa is also a great option as it contains amino acids and is rich in fiber.
If you want to skip tofu, try tempeh. It is a great plant-based protein for vegans, and fermentation makes it perfect for your probiotic needs. A pack of tempeh contains just about 140 calories with 16 grams of proteins and 4.5 grams of fat; tempeh is also rich in fiber and iron.
Whole Wheat, Flax, And Oat Bread
Next time you are making a burger or a sandwich, choose this bread or flour. This bread is low in carbs with the goodness of flax superfood. A regular-sized bread contains proteins, fiber, zero saturated fat, and just 80 calories.
Wild Blueberry Pistachio
These are healthy and delicious snacking options. Wild blueberry pistachio has fewer calories, less sugar, less fat with the goodness of pistachio, protein, and fiber.
Go For Fruits And Nuts
Fruits are always an excellent choice for snacks and breakfast. Fruits alone can supplement your daily needs of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fruits are also incredible to maintain weight. When eating fruits, grab a handful of nuts to supplement healthy fats and proteins.
Get Your Calcium
If you thought milk and eggs are two sources of calcium, think again. Most stimulated plant milk and tofu are rich sources of calcium. If that’s not enough, you can get your daily dose of calcium from oranges, figs, tahini, almonds, and beans.
Vitamin B-12 Supplements
The deficiency of vitamin B-12 can cause dementia, stroke, weak bones, and inflammation. Plant-based food does not contain Vitamin B-12, although a small amount is provided by fermented food but not sufficient for your daily dose. If you are a strict vegan taking vitamin B-12 supplements is essential.
Being vegan is a matter of choice, and in a way, projects your ideology and concern for the environment and respect for all forms of life. Switching to a vegan diet may not necessarily make you healthy. The key is to choose your plate wisely.