Is A Vegan Diet Healthy?
It’s a valid question as there is so much information out there. Some claim the good of veganism and some claim the bad. Let’s discuss all the angles we can!
What is Veganism?
We should cover first what being vegan means. The main purpose when going vegan is you are choosing to at the best of your ability not to consume or purchase animal products. This is what true veganism is. If you went vegan for the animals and you don’t really care about the health aspect that’s totally fine- you still rock!
Junk Food Vegans
There is actually a term some people are called when they eat primarily unhealthy vegan food and that’s ‘junk food vegan’. This basically means that you can eat anything you want as long as it’s vegan and this can include candy, soda, cookies, processed foods, and more. That obviously is an unhealthy vegan diet.
Health Nut Vegans
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some who want to be healthy vegans! I know a lot of people assume you are malnourished because you’re vegan. There are many false rumors about the vegan diet.
Being vegan is like any other healthy diet- you have to put a little effort into it. One thing for sure is making sure you get all of your macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) as well as vitamins, and minerals.
I consider myself a healthy vegan. I’m vegan for animals, the planet, and also aim to be a healthy vegan so I can live my best, most vibrant, and most energetic life!
Let’s Discuss a Few Worries People Have about Going Vegan!
- Protein: Often people ask “How do you get your protein without meat, dairy, and eggs?” Protein is in ALL foods including leafy greens and fruit. Some plants like peas and soy can have a lot of protein. As long as you eat a wide variety of foods every day then you are likely going to get enough protein to be healthy. 0.8 grams is recommended per kg of body weight or slightly higher for more active individuals.
- Calories: Next people think they can’t get enough calories when eating a vegan diet. My question for those people is – What do you think vegans eat?
Vegan food is so much more than just fruits and vegetables. It is overnight oats, tacos, pasta, rice bowls, smoothies, ‘cheesy’ burgers, quinoa rainbow salads, and nice cream for dessert (banana ice cream). You can make any of these things into a healthy or unhealthy version just as you can do with ‘animal-based’ diets.
- B12: “Don’t you need B12?” – yes you do need b12. It’s important for every human to consume B12 in their diet. The crazy thing is that b12 doesn’t come from animal products on its own. It comes from the earth -it’s a bacteria that is found on the earth. Animals consume contents from the earth containing the B12 and then meat eaters get B12 in return. The current issue is due to modern farming practices as well as the over-sterilization of produce. We have depleted many natural ways for even animals to consume B12. In turn, farmers have started supplementing the animals with B12. So you can actually skip the meat and just supplement it just like the cows have to.
Now, if we rephrase the original question:
Can a vegan diet be healthy?
The Vegan Verdict!
A VEGAN DIET CAN BE HEALTHY!!!!
When planned properly you can get all the macronutrients, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and calories you need through a mindful whole-food vegan diet. In fact, you may find out that you feel better after you start eating a vegan diet. Many people will notice an immediate improvement in digestion and energy. People who exercise notice a difference in muscle recovery (plant foods are very alkaline and help prevent inflammation). Check out how a vegan diet can improve your health and fitness! After some time you will see in your blood work that cholesterol levels may have dropped. You will start to love and crave all the rainbow foods that the earth has to offer.
Check out this video of one of the best tennis players in the world Novak Djokovic discussing his vegan diet:
Quick Tips to make sure you are eating a healthy vegan diet:
- Eat a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruit, vegetables (especially leafy greens), nuts, seeds, beans, and grains. Learn about the benefits of edamame.
- Exercise regularly and eat enough calories while doing so.
- Experiment with new recipes to enjoy your food and have fun!
- Supplement if you find you aren’t getting enough of the following nutrients from your diet you can supplement B12, D3, K2, iodine, and omega 3’s just to cover your bases. I use the supplement Complement daily which contains all of these and more so I don’t have a medicine cabinet full of different ones. Try my discount JUSTFITVEGAN
- Add a Protein Powder This is not necessary for most people but if you worry about your protein content, add a protein supplement like organic pea protein to your day. My favorite is the vanilla flavor from Vedge. It tastes like vanilla cake batter to me! If you need a discount, try my code JUSTFITVEGAN
Go Slow and Go Vegan
Yes, a vegan diet can be healthy AND it can be so delicious and rewarding. It’s worth starting to make the switch and be sure to ask for help if you are unsure. Going vegan is something totally new and will take some relearning of a few things we were taught all our lives. It’s a mindful effort but once you get the hang of it, there is no difference from any other diet… Remember to be patient and kind to yourself. If you aren’t fully ready to go vegan yet, don’t stress. Aim to try one vegan meal a week. Once you find that’s easy then do two, and so on and so forth. It will improve your health and you’ll be making a difference even if you start slow. You’ve got this!
If you need any guidance on your journey, feel free to reach out!