Brandi Hutchinson | Staff Writer
Attention all vegans, vegetarians, and healthy eaters: It is a common misconception that food produce that is vegan or vegetarian, withholding dairy and meat, are automatically healthy, but that isn’t always the case.
Did you know that Oreos are vegan? As well as Starburst candies, Skittles, Doritos, Pringles and Pot Noodle soup.
It is very easy for vegans and vegetarians to believe that they are overall healthy eaters just because they exclude meats from their diets. However, that is a common mistake. Many unhealthy vegan snacks are loaded with sugar, fats and sodium.
Ridding your diet of processed meats is a very smart decision when it comes to the level of carcinogens found in deli meats. However, it is still very important to remember to have a well-balanced diet.
To maintain the status of a healthy vegan/vegetarian, try incorporating essential vitamins and supplements into your diet such as: barley juice powder, maca root powder and Hawaiian Spirulina.
Instead of consuming raw sugar or corn syrup, try to replace these sugars with agave nectar, honey, or 100 percent sugarcane juice as a substitute. Instead of consuming Pot Noodle meals, you can replace them by making a healthy, less-sodium-filled ramen of your own. Try vegetable broth, noodles, tofu, vegetables and a little sriracha as a healthy alternative.
Vegans, vegetarians and healthy eaters need to check the nutritional label, so you can examine the ingredients that will be in your body. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, think twice about ingesting them.
For breakfast, instead of a sugary toaster strudel, try an acai bowl with cacao nibs, strawberries and almonds with a little spirulina blended in for a super delicious and healthy way to start your morning.
For quick lunches, instead of stopping at Chipotle and getting a sodium-filled Sofritas taco salad bowl, make a hardy and nutrition packed salad. Include, greens, kale, quinoa, avocado, and lemon juice and tahini for salad dressing.
For dinner, instead of greasy vegetarian pizza from Domino’s, make your own vegan pizza with Daiya vegan cheese, avocado and tempeh bacon. Instead of dense pastas with lots of dairy, try cauliflower mac.
There are many ways to incorporate nutritious food into every meal of the day.
A fan of dessert? Good news, being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean that you have to give up sweets. Instead of eating rows of Oreos in between classes, try pan-fried cinnamon bananas, homemade banana ice cream or vegan chocolate chip cookies.
For non-vegans and non-vegetarians, if you have friends or family members who do not eat meat, be sure to remind them to get plenty of good proteins and to be on the healthy end of vegan or vegetarianism.
No more assuming that food items that are marked vegan on their labels are healthy. Remember to read the labels, educate yourselves on ingredients and only feed your body the nutritious and delicious foods.
Once you gain a basic understanding of ingredients and healthy supplements, you can pass the knowledge on to other vegans and vegetarians who may have the same issue.