When switching to vegan diets, people tend to make a lot of mistakes which can result in them failing in their efforts and falling back to their previous habits. So if you are also planning to avoid animal products and follow vegan diets, it is important for you to avoid these mistakes so that it will be possible for you to stick to healthy eating habits.
The following are some such common mistakes made by people when they make a transition to vegan diets:
Not Planning Ahead
When switching to vegan eating, it is important for you to realize that it is very easy to fall back to your daily habits, especially if you do not plan ahead. You have to think of different scenarios that can occur in your daily life when following a vegan diet. Some of the important things you have to consider are listed below:
- What will you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day?
- What will you pack for lunch at work?
- What will you eat for dinner when you are too tired to cook?
- What will you do in different social situations like family get-togethers, going out with friends, etc.?
Assuming That All Vegan Foods Are Healthy
Vegans eat only plant-based foods. There is a tendency in people to assume that all plant-based foods are healthy. It is true to a great extent, as foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, cereals, spices, etc. are highly nutritious and can be beneficial for reducing the risk of many diseases. However, there are many processed foods such as veggie burgers and nuggets that contain a large number of artificial ingredients. Such foods can be high in calories and they might lack nutrients needed for your body. So they are no healthier than non-vegetarian foods.
Hence, if you are looking for healthy eating habits, it is better to avoid such foods from your vegan meals. Instead, you can include whole grains and other moderately processed foods in your diet.
Not Consuming Enough Vitamin B12
Most vegans tend to suffer from different problems associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. This nutrient is naturally found in most animal products, but it is not present in plant-based foods. Fortunately, it is now possible for you to get some plant-based foods that are fortified with this particular vitamin, which includes soy milk and some breakfast cereals. Hence, you have to include them in your diet for getting enough vitamin B12 that your body requires.
If you cannot get enough vitamin B12 from your diet, then make sure to take supplements to avoid the deficiency of this nutrient.
Eating Very Few Calories
Most plant-based foods are naturally low in calories. Therefore, it is important for you to eat enough food to meet your daily calorie requirements. Vegans tend to take fewer calories when compared to vegetarians and people who eat both plants and meat.
If you do not take enough calories that your body needs, it can result in many negative effects including fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, and a slower metabolism. So make sure to eat enough food to meet your calorie and nutrient requirements.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Many plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, etc. are high in fiber. Your body needs plenty of water to remove it from your digestive tract. Hence, if you do not drink enough water, it will be difficult to eliminate fiber from your body and it can result in different problems like constipation, gas, and bloating.
Not Including Enough Whole Foods In Your Diet
When the foods are highly processed, they can lose the nutrients present in them. So you won’t be able to get vitamins, minerals, and other compounds essential for your body. Make sure to include whole foods in your diet instead of processed foods to get enough nutrients. Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. in your vegan meal for increasing the nutrient intake.
Forgetting About Iron
Meat products are a good source of iron and they contain heme iron which can be easily absorbed by the human body. Even though many plant-based foods contain iron, it is present in a non-heme form which can be difficult for your body to absorb. So vegans should take extra care in taking foods that are high in iron like lentils, fortified cereals, beans, seeds, nuts, oats, leafy greens, etc.
Pairing iron-rich foods with foods that contain vitamin C can be useful for increasing the absorption of iron. This vitamin is present in many fruits and vegetables. So taking them along with your iron-rich foods can help to boost the absorption of this mineral.
Consuming Too Many Refined Carbs
Many people who are switching to vegan diets tend to replace meat products with refined carbs like pasta, bagels, bread, crackers, etc. They will be low in nutrients and can increase the risk of different health conditions like diabetes. So it is better to limit the use of refined carbs for promoting your health.
A lot of people make mistakes when switching to vegan diets. Make sure to avoid them when switching to vegan diets so that it will be possible for you to follow healthy eating habits.