You may perhaps have finally decided to follow a vegan diet. There are many people including celebrities who can be found to have shifted to this diet type. But the question is how to make a healthy transformation to ensure you do not get sick in the process. The vegan diet requires you to eliminate eggs, dairy and meat that are likely to leave you confused as to what to eat. You do require consuming a balanced diet to stay fit and healthy. Following a few expert tips will enable you to stay vegan.
Practicing vegan diet
Perhaps, you have heard that consuming less meat and having more vegetables is healthy. It could be that you plan a vegan diet that is free from al animal products. It includes eggs and dairy, either to lose some weight or to enhance your health. Practicing vegan diet is sure to prove to be healthy only if it is filled with whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Proper planning will be crucial to ensure essential nutrients are not missed out by your body. Also, you should not consume processed vegan foods only.
Simple tips to follow to practice vegan diet
To stay healthy, you need to plan your vegan diet properly. This is achievable by following some tips provided by the industry experts.
- Consume different types of foods:
A balanced meal is something that should include different types of healthy food items. This way, your body can derive all essentials nutrients to grow and stay healthy. For instance, beans can provide fiber and protein while leafy greens are excellent sources of essential vitamins K, C & A. Also select rainbow colored produce to derive the benefits. Vitamin A is present in sweet potatoes that helps maintain healthy eyes. Blue berries have in them brain boosting anthocyanins while red tomatoes offer lycopene that keeps the heart healthy and strong. Prepare well-balanced grain bowl. Then top quinoa or brown rice with mix of roasted or sautéed veggies and beans.
- Have more vegetables:
There are many who simply do not prefer to include many items in their plant-based diet. Their focus is more n what they can’t eat rather than what is possible by them. Meat does not necessarily make a great meal. Even veg-packed meals can prove to be a winning choice. There are a whole lot of them available in the market. You can buy those that are seasonally available as they are good for health. They are filled with vitamins like K & A including minerals such as potassium. Thus, you can be assured that you calories will be kept in check. Being rich in fiber, you are sure to feel more satisfied.
- Try to source new plant-based protein:
Being a vegan, you need to find and include more of plant-based proteins in your diet. Animal protein sources like cheese and milk contain high unhealthy unsaturated fat. However, vegan protein sources are not only found in plentiful, but also include tempeh, tofu, lentils, edamame (soybeans), beans, chickpeas, etc. Proteins are also available in nuts such as walnuts and almonds as well as seeds like pumpkin and sunflower. Some are of the opinion that it is not possible for vegans to consume lots of protein. But those consuming varied diet and including consciously different types of plant-based protein will not face such issues. According to the Medicine Institute, women are recommended to consume 46 gms of protein every day while men are to have 56 gms. Some protein filled plant-based food items include the following:
– Dry oatmeal cup (1/2 cup) contains 5 gms protein
– Peanut butter, 2 tbsp contains 8 grams protein
– Chickpeas, 1/2 cup contains 5 grams protein
– Cooked quinoa, 1 cup contains 8 grams protein
– 24 almonds contains 6 grams protein
– Cooked whole-wheat spaghetti, 1 cup contains 7 grams protein
– Tofu, 1/2 cup contains 10 grams protein
Men may include cooked lentils of half a cup to derive daily body protein requirements of 9 grams.
- Whole Grains:
It is necessary to eliminate refined grains from the diet like white bread and white pasta. Instead have whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. It enables you to derive Vitamin B and iron. Moreover, whole grains offer extra fiber that enables you to stay full while helping to shed extra weight.
- Fish-free Omega-3s:
Although you are likely to consume different types of vegan healthy food items, but deriving several essential nutrients might be tough. There are two omega-3 fatty acid types, namely, EPA and DHA that are vital for heart health including brain and eye development. Fatty fish such as salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids. The human body does produce this essential nutrient on its own, but in minute amounts from ALA. It is possible to derive other Omega-3 type present in plants such as soy, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, etc. There are also a wide range of foods that includes breakfast bars, soymilks that are rich in DHA. EPA/DHA supplements are also created from algae.
- Vegan food items are not necessarily always healthier:
Your waistline might not benefit by consuming vegan cookies when compared to regular cookies. Garlic bread prepared from vegan margarine is not equally heart-healthy like that of bread made with butter. Again processed vegan items contain in them saturated fat-laden coconut and palm oil. You should rather stick to consuming nutritious, whole vegan foods like hummus, carrots, dried fruit and nuts. It also includes whole grain tortilla chips accompanied by guacamole. Vegan treats are fine, but not necessarily ‘healthy’. You may prepare easy recipes like Peanut Tofu Wrap.
- Vitamin B12:
Its function is to convert food in our bodies into energy. It helps in brain function while being available in animal foods like fish, meat, dairy foods, eggs, poultry, etc. Some B12 can be derived from having energy bars or fortified cereals. Before taking any supplement, you should consult your doctor first. For Vitamin B12, DV for most adults is 2.4 micrograms.
It will be better to consult a good and experienced nutritionist to plan your vegan diet chart to ensure consumes healthy ingredients always.