Are You Vegan? Just Don’t Make These 5 Common Vegan Mistakes
Being a vegan or eating mainly plant-based dishes is a major decision that more and more people are making and committing to.
People do it for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from medical to ethical ones. It may be a challenging diet to follow, but so far, there are many scientific articles that reveal its health benefits.
Why Going Vegan?
We have been eating mainly plant-based or vegan dishes with a few exceptions for a few years now. It’s what they call the flexitarian diet. Until 2017 we ate animal products in 2 to 3 meals a week and felt great. Though after seeing so many studies and the two documentaries “What The Health” and “Earthlings'” my hubby and I decided to go vegan for 99 percent of our time. Sometimes we make an exception for Cambodian wild honey and eggs from our neighbor’s chickens which freely roam his and our garden.
Ever since we embarked on a healthier way of living my hubby hasn’t had multiple sclerosis flare-ups and he was also able to successfully come off his sick-making weekly interferon injections in 2014. These days we control our health issues with nothing else but whole foods. Amazing isn’t it. We haven’t felt any better in our lives and no issues for my hubby whatsoever.
Though I have mentioned this before, animal products can be part of a healthy diet but over time we just started eating too much of it and the sources aren’t as clean and chemical-free as before. When our ancestors ate meat on occasion it was pure, no hormone- or antibiotic-infused meats. Chicken meat is even coated with arsenic these days… yikes. If you haven’t watched the 2 documentaries above I strongly recommend doing so.
I’m not asking you to become a vegan, that’s a decision we all have to make for ourselves, but if you still eat meat at least drastically reduce your intake to not every day and make sure it comes from organic sources only. No big farms where animals are injected with health-damaging chemicals such as growth hormones and antibiotics. Furthermore, these animals are crammed into cages and treated in a horrible way.
Though the number of people who decided to go vegan and go against these horrible practices is rising by the day, going vegan is not always the healthier option since there are still a number of mistakes and misconceptions that vegans are likely to come across.
Here Is A List Of The 5 Most Common Vegan Mistakes
1. Falling short of the vitamin B12 RDA
Vitamin B12 deficiency is still the most common dietary deficiency associated with a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. This is mainly because our body’s natural source of this vitamin comes from animal-based food.
Getting enough of this vitamin is essential. It is involved in bodily processes such as maintaining healthy blood cells and regulating DNA replication.
Avoid this mistake by eating vegan-friendly food sources containing vitamin B12 like food fortified with Vitamin B12 or taking nutritional supplements.
ALSO READ: Vitamin B12 Deficiency, A Silent Epidemic
2. Not consuming enough calories
This is one of those vegan mistakes that are commonly overlooked by many. Generally speaking, those in a mainly plant-based diet eat fewer calories than those who eat meat.
Pure or 100 percent vegans face an even higher risk. While this is going to help you lose weight, such prolonged deficit in calorie intake can sap your energy. This may lead to nutrient deficiencies and metabolic issues.
3. Not drinking enough water
Regardless of your diet, water is vital for maintaining your everyday functions. This is especially important for vegans, as they eat more dietary fiber. Adding more water to a fiber-rich diet is essential to prevent digestive issues such as bloating and constipation.
It also helps you feel full as you adjust to a vegetarian diet. Here are 2 general tips for drinking water: drink before you feel thirsty (thirst is the first sign of dehydration) and spread out your water intake throughout the day to stay hydrated.
4. Not eating enough whole food
While vegetarian diets encourage people to eat fresh food at all times, some vegans don’t really eat enough whole food. There are many processed foods that are made especially for vegans. However, more often than not, their nutritional value is lacking. Also, they often contain preservatives, colorants, and other nasty ingredients you want to avoid in your diet.
While there is nothing bad about eating those “specialized” ingredients on occasion, make sure that you keep an emphasis on eating whole and natural foods. Not only do they have more nutrients, but they also have other health benefits.
5. Assuming that being vegan automatically makes them healthy
While there is a very tangible benefit to converting into a vegan diet, a lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that they are already healthy as long as they follow this diet religiously.
There are more factors involved in maintaining good health and staying away from illness and disease. Being a vegetarian or a vegan alone is not enough to ensure this. Knowing your food options, as well as getting enough exercise and managing stress, is important for maintaining your health.
As said before, don’t fall into the trap of vegan processed food. Just as the gluten-free diet the vegan diet is a hype these days and the food industry has smelled some money there. Every day new artificially produced or processed vegan foods enter the ever-growing market. Say no to pre-made veggie burgers, fake meats, vegan ice cream, or other vegan convenient foods and embrace fresh whole foods instead.
Being a vegan can be good for your body as long as you do it right. Correct these vegan mistakes (and others that may not be covered by this article) and this diet should work wonders for you.
Do you have any other tips, tricks, and mistakes to add to this list? We love to hear them in the comment box below!
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