There is no such thing as a diet always being healthy. Some vegan diets are very unhealthy just as is some keto diets. Whether you’re eating vegan or otherwise if you’re not getting a wide variety of amino acids, minerals and nutrients you may not be eating a truly healthy diet. There are vegan junk food diets, just like there are traditional diets that are junk food based and all of these are unhealthy.
To ensure you’re eating a healthy vegan diet try to get in all the following nutrients:
While you don’t need as much protein as some people think, at least five to 8 percent of your daily caloric needs should be in the form of protein. Thankfully, plant food has a lot of protein in it already so if you’re eating enough calories you should be getting plenty of protein without doing anything extra. But, you if you’re concerned you can add in some protein-rich food like pumpkin seeds, lentils, and quinoa.
Regardless of popular diets, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet and are abundant in plants. They are the main component of fruit, vegetables, and starches like potatoes and corn. The type of carbohydrate you want to avoid is simple carbs which are found in white rice, chips, table sugar, and other packaged foods.
Everyone needs some fat in their diet because healthy fat enables your body to absorb and process vitamins and minerals. But, you don’t need much fat. Most people only need about 10 percent healthy fats in their diets to maintain a healthy weight, soft skin, and hair. Most food has fat in it naturally. If you add any fat you want it to come from natural sources like olives, avocados, coconuts, and bananas. You don’t even need to add any processed fat if you don’t want to. There is no reason to drizzle olive oil on anything or cook with coconut oil to get enough fat in your diet.
To get enough minerals in your diet it’s imperative that you simply eat enough calories and a variety of plant food on a vegan diet. Everyone needs to get enough calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The good news is for most people you don’t have to do anything extra over eating a variety of plant food to get the right minerals in their body.
There are also at least 13 essential vitamins that everyone needs and for the most part, you can get them from your diet when you’re eating enough calories for your body type, height, and weight as well as activity level. Ensure that you are getting enough of each of the 13 essential vitamins paying special attention to B12 and D3.
Everyone needs to drink enough water. The guideline of 64 ounces per day is a good rule of thumb but if you weigh more than 150 lbs. you may want to add a half an ounce to an ounce per pound of weight to your water regimen. If you’re drinking enough water, you should pee seven to eight times per day and it should be almost clear to very light yellow and not have a bad odor. Once your body is used to getting enough water you can also follow your thirst cues. Note: Some B supplements can make your urine dayglo.
Everyone needs to eat enough fiber. The good thing is that if you’re eating a plant-based diet, a healthy vegan diet, you’re getting enough fiber. Eating enough fiber helps prevent strokes, keeps your weight down, and helps you eliminate regularly. You should get a minimum of 25 grams a day of soluble fiber and 47 grams a day of insoluble fiber. This may seem like a lot but if you’re eating a healthy vegan diet it’s a snap.
Additionally, whether vegan or not most people should supplement with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3. Get your blood tested to be sure but note that most B12 deficiencies don’t show up for a long time so it’s better to just go ahead and supplement to be on the safe side. No diet is healthy regardless of the type if it’s filled with packaged food and lacking in any of the components mentioned above.