A Whole Foods Vegan Diet: The Ultimate Guide
Healthy eating is a lot easier to keep up when you make whole foods a big part of your dietary intake, but for some people, it can seem hard to adjust to. Processed foods are much more widely available and can seem temptingly easy choices with the hectic lifestyles we’re accustomed to these days. So to make things easier we’ve got some easy-to-follow tips that will make sticking to a vegan whole foods diet a lot easier.
Dodge Processed Foods
Just because you’ve gone vegan doesn’t mean you can’t fall victim to unhealthy eating habits. A good rule of thumb for whole foods shopping is to avoid buying products with more than five ingredients. Try and avoid foods that have undergone many stages of processing past their original state. There are still a lot of moderately processed foods that can accompany a whole foods diets, like trail mix, peanut butter, hummus and kale chips. Just try and make them a smaller part of your diet than fresh eating. Be sure to avoid products with excessive amounts of added sugar and heavily refined grains as well
Stock Up On Fresh Produce
Fresh produce should really inform the majority of your food intake. There are lots of fruits like bananas, apples and oranges; and vegetables like cucumber, carrots and celery that you can snack when you’re on the go. Nutritionally rich foods like kale, spinach, collard greens, and mushrooms should be eaten as much as possible. Vary your ingredients to keep things interesting in the kitchen.
Nuts & Seeds Are Your Friend
Nuts and seeds are crammed full of nutrients, whilst providing a great source of protein and healthy fats. They can be easily added to most meals as a garnish or eaten as a snack to keep hunger at bay. Go for raw almonds and walnuts, and flax, chia, sesame,hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Try adding them to smoothies, salads and your morning porridge to pump up the health benefits of all your meals.
Pick Your Carbs Wisely
Carbohydrates have picked up a bad reputation of late within fad dieting circles, but they can, in fact, be very beneficial if you consume the correct ones. What you want to avoid are bread, pasta and cereals made with heavily processed grains. Opt for the “brown” counterparts that retain the nutritious wheat germ. Other great carb sources include sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, buckwheat and sorghum wheat. Check what carbs you’re consuming against their glycemic index rating. The lower their index, the longer they take to break down, leaving you fuller for longer with a steady supply of blood sugar.
Ditch The Sugar
Sugars are used in almost all processed foods you can think of, even ones marketed as organic, gluten-free, etc. Properly going over to a whole foods diet will help eliminate much of your sugar intake. This can have several benefits: sugar is any empty source of carbohydrates with no nutritional benefit that our bodies haven’t evolved to process properly, and consuming too much can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure. Eat whole foods and satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead. Try replacing white sugar with organic agave nectar, organic stevia or wherever possible.
Lean On Beans
Beans and legumes are a great addition to any whole food diet. They’re loaded with complex carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins, and are easy to adapt to a variety of dishes like soups, stews, curries and salads. Use lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans to bulk up a meal and keep you feeling fuller for longer
Prior preparation can make maintaining a wholefood diet a lot easier. Find some recipes you like the sound of and get them ready for the week ahead so you can easily eat around your schedule. Having whole food meals ready to go makes it a lot easier to avoid the temptation of eating processed convenience foods as well.
Maintaining a fully whole foods diet can take some discipline, but don’t be disheartened. You’ll start noticing the benefits immediately, from looking and feeling better to having more energy throughout the day and losing that post-meal lethargy. If you make some mistakes, don’t worry. You should aim to be changing your life for the long-term and there’s bound to be some bumps along the way. Take some time out of your day to research recipes and ingredients and then put that knowledge into practice.
Avoid “Replacement” Foods
While it’s great that there are vegan-friendly meat replacements on the market, not all of them are actually that great for your health. Tofu has been found to raise the level of the female growth hormone estrogen in people who eat it a lot and is a harmful crop for the poorer countries that farm it in that it tends to ruin the soil. Setian,while being able to mimic the texture of meat, is essentially pure gluten with a negligible nutritious benefit. It’s fine to enjoy these in moderation, but try not to make them a cornerstone of your diet.
Thank you Jerry Fisher for Contribute great article.
Inspirational Vegan Quotes:
“When I see bacon, I see a pig, I see a little friend, and that’s why I can’t eat it. Simple as that.”
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