Unhealthy vegan food exists

Unhealthy vegan food exists

The secret is out — the benefits of eating a plant based diet are numerous. And in response to the wave of interest in this stereotypically healthy way to eat, hundreds of companies are jumping on the bandwagon. You can now find prepared foods labeled as vegan in nearly every aisle of the grocery store. But don’t rely on this label to determine the products’ nutritional value because there are plenty of unhealthy vegan foods on the market. “There are numerous research-proven health benefits to a vegetarian diet, but only if you’re doing it properly and not substituting meat with processed or high-fat vegetarian products.” [1]

The fact that a product contains zero animal products does not mean it’s good for you. Plenty of your favorite vegan foods may be unhealthy due to the amount of fat, sugar, additives, and calories they contain. This is why it’s important to do some research on the topic to find prepared food options that are not only vegan but nutritious as well. 

Most people convert to veganism because they want to start living a healthy lifestyle which most certainly can be done on a plant-based diet. With a little information gathered online and label reading in the store, you can find substitutes for your favorite vegan foods that are also good for you. 

From appetizer to dessert

Some examples of unhealthy vegan food are those items that are “accidentally vegan.” For example, corn chips and tater tots are technically plant-based. They both, however, contain a large amount of fat and calories and relatively little in the way of nutrition. The same goes for certain foods that have been specifically created to meet the demand for vegan options. Certain brands of cookies and dairy free ice cream include a large amount of sugar to add to the fat and calories they contain.

Another trendy, plant-based food is the Impossible Burger. While mass marketing has whipped up the public’s interest in this meatless burger, is it truly a healthy option? In a 2019 article that compared the Impossible Burger to a traditional cheeseburger, the author concluded that it was not nutritionally superior. “The burger’s high level of saturated fat is the biggest detriment to its perceived health halo, along with its sodium content and lack of whole food ingredients.”[2]

Maintaining the healthy lifestyle

There’s a growing body of research the extolls the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. As a consumer, it’s your job to make sure that you’re doing it in a healthy way. Instead of relying on processed, unhealthy vegan meals, choose what goes into your body wisely. This doesn’t mean that you can only eat whole foods from the produce aisle. Good packaged meal options do exist, and a little time and research will help you find the best ones. 

Along with your plant-based diet, consider taking good quality supplements for vegans that can help ensure you meet all the nutritional requirements that support optimal health. 

[1] Is It Better to Be a Vegetarian? webmd.com

[2] What Is the Impossible Burger – And Is It Even Healthy? www.CookingLight.com