The long term effects of any diet are determined by the quality of the food that you eat. The vegan diet is no different.
Some vegans may fall into a pattern of eating a lot of processed “mock meats,” crackers, chips, fried foods and sweets. While these options can be technically vegan, they are lacking many of the vital nutrients your body needs to function at it’s peak.
On the other hand, a properly balanced and prepared vegan meal plan can be one of the healthiest options around! With a plant based diet, you will be getting a substantial dose of fiber, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. To be a successful vegan, education and preparation are key.
- Include a protein rich food in each meal. This could be beans, nuts or nut butter, seeds, tofu, tempeh, sprouted grain bread or a vegan protein supplement (pea, hemp, rice, soy).
- Fill up on leafy greens. Ounce for ounce, greens like spinach, collards and kale are a great source of protein (surprise!), calcium and phytonutrients.
- Focus on whole grains. For example, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oats, buckwheat and barley are all whole grains. These nutritional powerhouses have not been processed and therefore, have not been stripped of their healthy, outer shell that is loaded with essential fatty acids, protein and fiber.
- Eat healthy fats. Don’t shy away from unsaturated oils like olive and canola, nuts, olives or avocados. Plant based diets can be very low in calories and healthy fats can be a way to keep you energized and properly fueled.
As you can see, a well planned vegan diet is loaded with disease fighting foods, making the long term effects positively positive!