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Tips to Maintain a Healthy Vegan

Being a vegan is becoming trendy these days. More and more celebrities are jumping on the vegan wagon to promote their own lifestyle or on behalf of animal charities. Many people believe that going vegan and buying foods labelled suitable for vegans are automatically healthier than other foods. But do you really know what is contained in those dairy-free cookies or those vegetarian sausages? Regardless of whether or not it contains animal-based products, most pre-packed and processed foods that contain a long list of ingredients are unhealthy. What a lot of health conscious vegans are unaware of is that extremely unhealthy additives designed to mimic the original flavours and textures can be found in many vegan-friendly products.
For instance soy-based sausage and meat-free pies are typically marketed as being a healthy alternative for people trying to avoid meat-based products. But soy-based meat substitutes are not only loaded with highly-processed soy, which typically comes from genetically-modified (GM) soybeans, but they are also filled with other flavouring and preservative chemicals like modified starches, various derivatives of monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial colourings (to make them look like actual meat), synthetic vitamin fortifiers and other chemicals.
Processed foods aside, some vegans tend to indulge in vegan ‘junk food’ such as doughnuts, cookies, milkshakes, cakes, chips, candies, chocolates etc. These days you can get tons of vegan versions of your favourite desserts or snack on the market. Better still, the internet is overflowing with vegan recipes of indulging, not so healthy vegan foods. So you can make loads of them and eat to your heart’s content. Just because they are vegan does not mean they are to be eaten as part of your daily meals. Careful planning and discipline is the key to stay healthy.
So here are 6 tips to maintain a healthy vegan diet.
1. Eat unprocessed foods. Make sure you mix in some raw with cooked food.
2. Cut down on oil and vegetable fat during cooking or on salads. Steam your vegetables instead of frying.
3. Eat smaller portions as overeating will put on the pounds and make you unhealthy in the long run. You will gradually get used to eating smaller portions and actually take time to savour the taste. It is alright to indulge in your favourite dessert but take smaller mouthfuls.
4. Do not overcook your food as minerals and vitamins will be lost. Choose foods rich in iron, vitamins and minerals to substitute for meat products.
5. Cut out sugar especially refined. If you have to use sugar, go for raw. Replace sugar with maple syrup or agave nectar in some recipes.
6. Juicing – Try a green Juice to start the day!
For optimal health, stick to unprocessed, whole foods. Raw or cooked.

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