The toughest thing about being fit and healthy is about ensuring that you are doing the right things to benefit you. One of the toughest aspects of undergoing any new diet is ensuring you actually feel better as a result of these changes. Being a vegan is something that many people think is automatically a gateway to a healthier life, but the reality is that there are right and wrong ways to do vegan. When you go vegan, some people think that you are automatically healthy, but the reality can be completely the opposite. What does it take to ensure that you stay healthy when you go vegan?
Opt for Minimally Processed Foods 80% of the Time
The fact is that going vegan means you should predominantly live off foods that are plant-based. The problem is that now there’s a variety of processed foods that have the plant-based tag. You are better off choosing foods that are whole and plant-based, but that’s not to say you can’t enjoy treats! The great thing about being vegan is that you can still have a chocolatey treat. Brands like Eat It Like are vegan-friendly, and it also helps to know that when you are opting for dark chocolate that is vegan-friendly, you’re going to get more antioxidants out of your little treat.
Know the Components of a Healthy Plate
A vegan diet involves the right ratios of macronutrients. Vegan or not, the macronutrients are always the same: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Being a vegan means you should naturally have more vegetables on your plate and it should take up approximately 50% of your meal. But you also need to have a good dose of quality carbohydrates in the form of sweet potatoes or rice, as well as protein. The concern that you are getting enough protein is a very real one in a vegan diet. Unfortunately, while there is protein in vegetables, the amount you have to eat in order to get your recommended daily amounts requires many, many plates. Good quality plant-based proteins like quinoa and legumes go a long way.
You should be able to hit your nutritional targets with a vegan diet, but there is one vitamin that vegans should consider supplementing. Because vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods, you should think about getting a high-quality B12 supplement. Additionally, calcium is another thing that can be lacking but you can find calcium in tofu, almonds, as well as beans.
Listen to Your Body
So many people go vegan thinking it’s a quick way to be healthy. If it doesn’t feel right or you are more tired than normal, it’s very likely that your diet could do with some fine-tuning. It’s so important to make sure that you are eating enough, especially as plant-based foods are lower in calories. You may wish to increase your portion sizes and add more snacks just to make sure that you are eating the recommended daily amount of calories.
It can feel difficult going vegan, and it can be more difficult to stay healthy. But this is where some of these can make a big difference.