Healthy vs Non-Healthy Vegans
We have been doing a little research lately and keep seeing articles about how vegetarians and vegans have "higher risk of stroke" or "are more likely to be nutrient deficient". Which is interesting because there is so much research that says the opposite. So why do we see such polar results in these studies?
Well remember to look into where the research money is coming from. Where the source of the research funding comes from can really sway the outcome of a study. But also remember there are so many ways to be vegan, some healthier than others.
Let's look at what person A and person B eat in a day. Person A starts their day with multigrain toast with avocado slices on top. They have mixed nuts for a snack before lunch, and for lunch they enjoy a hearty salad with spring greens, garbanzo beans, avocado, tomatoes, olives, hemp hearts, and tahini and lime for dressing. They have 2 bananas for a snack and for dinner they enjoy veggie tacos including Mexican style quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, black olives, romaine lettuce, avocado, and hot salsa all in heated corn tortillas. For something sweet they make themselves a little smoothie with bananas, strawberries, blueberries and almond milk.
Now let us take a look at Person B. Person B has white bread toast with Biscoff spread on top, and later has a snack of un-frosted Poptarts. For lunch they have meat substitute chicken nuggets with ketchup and a bag of potato chips. Later they get a snack of Pringles. For dinner, Person B has a meat substitute burger with a side of french fries, and later has a few Oreos for something sweet.
Yes, all the items Person B ate are vegan. Do you see the difference in the two diets? Both vegan, but they have completely different nutrients. Person A is getting a wide range of nutrients from their food and are eating foods in a natural form. Person B is eating food that has been highly processed, has little nutrients, and has many unnatural items added to it. So if a study wanted to deem vegans "unhealthy" which person would they be looking for to include in the study, Person A or Person B? (The answer is Person B, by the way).
So if you are going vegan or are currently vegan and you might be more like Person B, we suggest looking into eating a more "whole food" diet. Start eating foods that are as close to their original form as possible. We are not saying that you should never have anything Person B ate, but those foods should not be the main part of your diet. All things in moderation. Remember to eat a wide range of whole foods to get all the nutrients you need to leave your body working at it's best.
Check out this article that gives many options of whole foods that cover key nutrients your body needs: https://www.moreorlessvegan.com/post/tips-for-new-vegans