There’s a misconception that everyone vegan eats super healthy and is incredibly fit. Although a lot of people who eat a plant-based diet are healthy, it by any means doesn’t mean everyone is. Vegan food means it doesn’t contain meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. But it can still contain loads of sugar, corn syrup, and other unhealthy additives.
Often the “mock meats” and non-dairy cheeses contain a list of ingredients you probably wouldn’t be able even to pronounce if you tried. Being vegan is the same as not. You should allow yourself to eat those unhealthy foods once in a while, but overall be conscious of the food you’re putting in your body.
So, how do you eat a healthy vegan diet? Many people who want to become plant-based struggle with the idea of getting enough protein in. Processed vegan foods, like the mock meats, tend to be higher in protein, but worse for you overall.
Being vegan means your plate should look pretty similar to how it would look if you weren’t, and that means starting with half your plate full of vegetables. It’s no secret that most vegans eat a diet that’s pretty full of vegetables, but vegetables are of the best things out there for you! They contain the necessary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
After you add half a plate of whatever non-starchy vegetables of your choice, move on to grains. Grains can be a great source of protein if you choose them right. Choose complex carbohydrates because they’re high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Carbs give you the necessary energy you need to get through the day, so remember- carbs are your friend! Opt for grains like quinoa, brown rice, or chickpea pasta.
Last, you need to add your protein source. This is where things might get fuzzy for those trying to switch to a plant-based diet because typically this is where chicken/fish/all other meats would go. However, there are a plethora of plant-based protein options, that aren’t processed and taste delicious. Tofu, tempeh, lentils, and beans are great options with minimal ingredients and are still high in protein. Allow yourself to eat that mock meat burger once in a while, but most of the time, go for the less processed and more natural protein options.
So, eating a plant-based diet isn’t so difficult after all. A plant-based plate should look pretty similar to a regular plate, and still contains all the same necessary nutrients. If you’re considering going plant-based, don’t be afraid to give it a try- it’s pretty easy after all!