The Greasy Vegan: Not All Vegan Eating is Healthy

I don’t mean to shock anybody here, but it’s pretty easy to be an unhealthy vegan.

but, it says Veggie on it!

Need proof? Most french-fries are vegan. Frozen vegan goodies like Amy’s Kitchen can have outrageously high sodium counts. Some vegans eat peanut-butter all day long ( I call these the Skippy Vegans). Boxed vegan junk food (like Good Health Veggie Stix) are still nothing more than junk, albeit animal-friendly junk. Plus, if you don’t make a conscious effort to get all your essential vitamins, you could end up eating kale all day long and still be intensely unhealthy, with dangerously low body fat (these vegans need to eat more peanut-butter), brittle nails, thinning hair and bad skin.

So, for starter-kit vegans or even long time kale-crunchers who aren’t feeling their best, here are some tips:

If you’re just starting out, write what you eat. It might seem a little OCD (okay, anal) but it will allow you to look back on what you ate that day/week and thing “gee, I didn’t get enough protein,” or “holy soy! I need to cut back on the tofu,” or “more greens, please.” Eventually this will become second nature, but for now, make a little log.

Watch your  fat. Things like nuts, avocados and coconut milk are delicious and high in  healthy (HDL) fats, and this is great. However, they also contain some saturated fats (LDL) (especially coconuts) and if you decide to eat them everyday all day your body will not thank you. Take a look at serving sizes — if that cherished can of coconut milk says that 1/4 cup has 50% of your saturated fat and you have been dumping a cup into your morning smoothie everyday, you may want to re-evaluate the situation.

image by sugarshakes

Greens, greens, greens! If you’re not on a b-12 supplement than you should be eating buckets of greens daily. Some easy ways to do so are enjoying a green smoothie in the morning, some sautéed greens with most meals (it’s impressive how an entire bag of spinach cooks down to a few scrumptious mouthfuls) and of course, raw salads as often as you can. Go buy a salad bowl as big as your head and stuff it  with cruciferous tidbits.

Be a protein machine! Make sure to include things like beans, peas, high-protein veggies (broccoli, asparagus, greens) and whole grains into your diet daily. Nuts and seeds are great too, but remember to mind the fat.

Now, once you’ve made sure you’re giving your body what it needs, please do indulge. A life without chocolate cake and waffles is no life at all….

About the author  ⁄ Zoe

Zoe writes about food and sex on SexyTofu.com.

7 Comments

  • Reply
    January 26, 2011

    Great post today! Some good information, sure didn’t know about the coconut milk, which is my favorite, I am going to have to re-think that one. But thanks!

    • Reply
      February 21, 2011

      yeah! The kinds they sell in the carton now don’t have as much fat, as they are diluted and have additives. The pure stuff from the can though is nearly all fat..delicious, but just keep an eye on how much you have!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2011

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your blog. It definitely takes more to be a healthy vegan than just avoiding animal products. After becoming vegan, my favorite fine-dining restaurants became irrelevant, but I would still go out to pubs because they served fried mushrooms and chips (aka french fries). Also, many vegan-safe convenience foods found in stores, such as canned beans, breads, etc, are very high in sodium, sugar and fat, and are not necessarily whole-foods. I believe spreading the message will lead to more healthy choices, don’t you?
    William

    • Reply
      January 30, 2011

      Agreed! Many think eating a diet free of animal products is depriving, but I feel it is the exact opposite. I eat a plethora of colorful, flavorful and exciting foods that also happen to be good for me! It isn’t about what you remove from your diet, it’s about what you add to it.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011

    By the way Sexy, would you happen to know whether the low-fat coconut milk sold in cans is just regular coconut milk diluted with water? If so, I would feel pretty stupid paying the same price!

    • Reply
      February 22, 2011

      Ever cracked a can of full fat coconut milk to find a delicious, thick cream on the top? (I like to scoop it out and eat it with a spoon – totally decadent!) Anyways, I believe that the way they make light coconut milk is by removing this cream and then canning what is left over. I still like to read labels to make sure no funky additives are included. You can also buy the full fat kind, remove the cream yourself (save for a voluptuous ‘milk’ shake, maybe?) and cook with the watery part.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2012

    Preach! I felt good when I became a vegan but since I started really paying attention to what I eat, I feel great–I actually have to make it a point to eat veggies that aren’t green though. They appear to be the only ones I really love, so I’m trying to reintroduce some of the other goods back into my diet.

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