Diets based on plant-based foods are not always healthy as we think, but (as in any diet) require planning. Therefore, we leave 15 keys to eating a healthy vegan diet.
Eating only plant foods can put at risk the share of many nutrients that predominate and have greater availability of animal foods. We must also know that not everything vegan is healthy.
Therefore, we leave the following tips for the vegan diet to be truly healthy:
Base the diet on real foods and not on products
In all diet we recommend get away from the ultraprocessed or highly industrialized foods because they are of lower nutritional quality and usually have more concentrated calories.
Therefore, a frequent mistake is to believe that a vegan commercial snack is healthier than one that is not 100% vegetable, as it is still a processed product that does not benefit the body's diet or health.
So, it is recommended base the diet on real foods, fresh, seasonal and without labels; limiting whenever possible products or ultraprocessed.
Eat at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables
Although we might think that vegans ingest enough fruits and vegetables, this is not always the case, so we advise at least eat five daily servings of these foods that offer so many benefits to the body.
With this minimum intake We guarantee the presence in the diet of nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, carotenes, vitamin A and other advantageous components such as antioxidants.
Choose whole grains instead of refined
The cereals They are usually the basis of any diet, and refined specimens that are assimilated quickly are not advisable if we seek to take care of health.
So, we recommend choose whole grains replacing refined flours and derivatives that are excessively addictive and can lead to metabolic diseases.
Include legumes in the usual diet
Legumes in vegan diets have great benefits, because on the one hand they are a excellent source of hydrates of quality and on the other, provide vegetable proteins in appreciable quantities.
As if that were not enough, many of them are great sources of vegetable iron and others quality micronutrients In addition to fiber, so its inclusion in any type of diet is beneficial for the body.
Choose healthy fat sources
In vegan diets (as in others), we can find very advantageous fats such as unsaturated fatty acids and within these the Omega 3, and also, saturated fats or trans fats.
The latter should be avoided in the daily diet while we recommend prioritizing the intake of healthy fat sources such as seeds, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, olives, peanuts or soybeans.
Include protein plant foods
Good quality proteins are one of the nutrients that predominate in animal foods. However, we can perfectly cover their share by choosing protein foods of plant origin such as dried seaweed, textured soy, soy flour, beans, beans, peanuts and peanut butter, among others.
In addition, to obtain all essential amino acids and thus ensure that proteins fulfill their function of repairing and creating new structures, it is recommended to combine in the diet cereals and legumes, or, seeds, nuts and cereals that together we allow to obtain high quality proteins on a vegan diet
Avoid free or added sugar
In addition to avoiding refined flours, if we seek a quality diet it is important to recognize and minimize free or added sugar and everything that contains it.
Table sugar, brown or integral, syrups, panela, syrups, fruit juices and everything that includes it represent sources of sugars of poor quality, which they are quickly absorbed in the body, can generate addiction and at the same time, harm the health if we abuse their intake.
Therefore, the best is consume natural sugars using fresh fruits and vegetables, dehydrated fruits or the like. Or, use sweeteners such as stevia to sweeten preparations.
Add ingredients rich in vegetable iron to the diet
Another critical nutrient in vegans is the iron, whose absorption is superior when derived from food of animal origin.
To cover the quota of this mineral, we recommend choosing foods rich in vegetable iron and in addition, combine them with vitamin C or, with sources of carotenes and vitamin A to increase the absorption rate.
Include sources of vegetable calcium in the diet
With calcium it happens similarly to iron, its absorption rate or availability is higher in some foods of animal origin such as dairy.
Therefore, we recommend choose good sources of calcium of plant origin such as seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, certain dried herbs and spices such as oregano or thyme, or legumes such as chickpeas, among other foods.
Its absorption can be improved with vitamin D, vitamin C and also, with the acidity of fruits for example.
Supplement with vitamin B12
Vitamin B 12 is a fundamental nutrient to prevent nutritional anemias and predominates in food of animal origin.
While there are plant foods that provide this vitamin, our body cannot take advantage of it as it does with animal sources. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult with a health professional and supplement vitamin B 12 to ensure the fee we need.
Consider enriched foods
To obtain nutrients that are scarce in vegan diets such as vitamin D, calcium, iron or others, fortified foods can be very useful.
Therefore, when we are going to buy a vegetable drink for example, we can consider an enriched option with any of the nutrients mentioned above if in our diet we do not have enough sources of them.
Although not always useful, in some cases fortified foods they can be of help to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Many vegan preparations are not as healthy as we think, and as in all types of diets, we recommend avoid frying that add fat and calories to the diet as well as can cause the loss of good nutrients.
Therefore, fried vegetables, fried and salted nuts or other similar preparations, it is better to reduce them to the maximum and replace, choose baked, grilled or toasted options.
Minimize alcohol intake
Although there are options not suitable for vegans, there are also 100% vegetable alternatives that concentrate a high amount of alcohol inside.
Since alcohol is not safe even in a small dose but is harmful to the body, we recommend minimize your intake and on the contrary, opt for alcohol-free options, reduced sugar and non-alcoholic cocktails or flavored waters in their replacement.
Choose water as usual drink
The calories and nutrients that we add with drinks can really spoil our diet. Therefore, in addition to avoiding alcohol we advise minimize the intake of sugary sodas, fruit juices or similar.
The usual drink should be water if we seek to protect the health of the organism or, carbonated water. And eventually we can consume other types of drinks but always limiting their consumption to a special occasion.
Avoid "ready-to-eat" and fast foods food
Cooking and eating at home should be the usual in our diet, trying to limit the consumption of products from fast food that, although they are vegan, they are rarely healthy or of good nutritional quality.
The same goes for the "ready to eat" preparations We found in the supermarket such as lasagna, hamburgers or vegan sausages or ice cream tubs.
These are 15 keys to eating a healthy vegan diet and protect, above all, the health of the organism.
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