A List Of Unhealthy Vegan Foods That Are Often Considered Healthy
Over the past few years, the vegan diet has gained massive popularity due to a variety of reasons, including health, ethical, and environmental motives.
The vegan diet stems from a concept called veganism, which is a particular lifestyle that ensures its followers exclude any product that was the result of animal exploitation or cruelty; whether this product is a food, a piece of clothing, or any other type, it’s all excluded.
As a result, many food elements such as meat, fish, and poultry are not allowed in the vegan diet.
Most vegan foods are promoted as healthy products that provide your body with all the necessary nutrients (especially protein) it needs, but,the truth is, a lot of these foods are not healthy at all!
For those of you who have made a commitment to stick to the healthy way of life, we have gone ahead to make a list of unhealthy Vegan foods that many people would consider healthy even though they may not be. Make sure to avoid or at least limit your intake of such foods if you want to be healthy.
Coconut yogurt is a delicious dessert that most people enjoy regardless of their diets. What most people don’t realize; however, is the number of calories and fats stocked in that small cup of yogurt.
We all know the devastating effects of excessive caloric and fat intake. High cholesterol levels will lead to an imbalance between LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). As a result, the risks of coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease will skyrocket.
Be very careful when consuming this seemingly “healthy” food, and remember, the key is moderation.
Frozen Vegan Meals
Many frozen vegan meals contain the same levels of sodium, carbohydrates, and fats as their non-vegan counterparts.
For instance, Amy’s Kitchen Chinese Noodles & Veggies contain 1/3 of your daily sodium needs! Also, it’s bombarded with 11 grams of refined sugar.
Let’s not also forget that many frozen vegan meals can contain preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients that can be detrimental to your health.
However, there are also some relatively healthy frozen vegan meals, so you should always pay close attention to the food label to choose the food tailored to your needs.
Similar to other foods on this list, vegan chips are loaded in calories, fat, and sodium. In fact, one bag of classic veggie chips (28 grams) contains 130 calories, of which, 60 calories come from fat.
Moreover, the same bag contains 230 mg of sodium, which can add up very quickly when mixed with other high-sodium foods.
In short, binge-eating vegan chips can be as damaging as eating conventional chips. Note that we are not saying you should stop eating vegan chips altogether. We are just advising you to watch out your macro intake and balance your meals.
According to Harvard Medical School (HMS), meatless burgers, such as Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger are extremely processed foods loaded in calories, fat, and sodium.
The Beyond Burger, for example, has 380 mg of sodium. That’s 16% of the total recommended daily limit.
Consuming these burgers regularly may increase your risk of several maladies such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
HMS concluded their article by stating that “Meatless burgers are good for the planet, but not always good for our health.”
Vegan Deli Meats
Anything meat-related in the vegan diet seems to have a common theme. The triad of high calories, high fats, and high sodium seems to dominate all meat analogs aimed for vegan consumption.
Let’s not also forget that many vegan deli meats can contain unhealthy chemicals such as preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, MSG and other nasty stuff.
Of course we are not saying you should stop eating vegan deli meats altogether. We are just advising you to check the nutritional label and go for the healthy option before you decide to buy any product. In the case of vegan deli meats, you should always opt for the low fat, low sodium option.
White Bread And Pasta
While these foods are not exclusively advertised for vegans, they are still heavily consumed by plant-based dieters.
In a 2015 study, scientists from the British Journal of Nutrition compared the effects of white bread versus whole-grain bread on obesity and abdominal fat.
Researchers stated that “The results of the present review indicate that reducing white bread, but not whole-grain bread, consumption within a Mediterranean-style food pattern setting is associated with lower gains in weight and abdominal fat.”
This piece of evidence may be a good push for us to switch from eating white bread to whole-grain bread. Of course, this recommendation is for both regular dieters and vegans.
Pasta has a similar biochemical structure to bread (both are high in carbohydrates). Therefore, the risk of obesity and its related complications are significantly increased in individuals who consume pasta in an unregulated manner.
Moreover, pasta has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women, but we cannot come up with any conclusions yet.
Are vegan desserts part of the unhealthy vegan foods to avoid? The short answer is: absolutely!
While you can reward yourself every now and then, uncontrollable indulgence in these treats is very harmful to your health.
Regardless of how advertisers promote it, the vegan cake is still a cake. It is loaded with bad fats, empty carbs, and calories. Eating too much of it carries the same health risks as eating a regular cake.
Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
A dish of vegan macaroni and cheese is different from the original dish when it comes to the chemical composition of the cheese; however, both types are dangerous to the body because of the high calories and sodium.
The highly processed cheese used in such product may also contain ingredients that are devastating to your body. With that in mind, vegan macaroni and cheese may not be a healthy alternative to the original mac and cheese.
While most people think of Granola bars as the perfect healthy snack, it still carries some health downsides.
Despite the intense marketing efforts to display Granola bars as the “healthy” choice for vegans, it is still a major source of refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Our bodies are not equipped with the necessary enzymes to properly metabolize added sugars, such as xylitol and sorbitol. As a result, the digestive tract will face trouble when trying to digest these sugars, which may lead to symptoms of indigestion, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Note that not all the granola bars are created equally. The key here is to check the nutritional label and make sure to go for the healthy option before you decide to buy any product.
Vegan cheese is a great treat for individuals who crave the taste of cheese; however, that’s all there is to it! A mere craving suppressor.
It is low in protein and calcium, high in sodium, and loaded in calories.
Additionally, the excessive processing of this food may render it extremely unhealthy when consumed on a regular basis.
Note that not all vegan cheeses are created equally. The quality and the degree of processing vary greatly from one brand to another, hence the need to choose reputable brands when shopping.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Because dairy-free ice cream is clear of milk and cream, manufacturers must use other ingredients, such as coconut, soy, almond, or cashew milk.
Out of these options, coconut milk is the industry’s favorite because of its high concentration in saturated fatty acids that give this dessert a creamy texture. Sadly, the same property that gives vegan ice creams a special shape and taste can promote high LDL levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Replacing your regular ice cream with a vegan (non-dairy) one may not always be a good idea. Some vegan ice creams can be as loaded in calories and fats as their dairy counterparts.
The key here is to check the nutritional label before you decide to buy any product. Always opt for the low fat, low calories option and remember, vegan ice cream is a calorie-dense food so make sure not to overeat.
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