Vegan food pyramid: A balanced diet
Generally speaking, it can be argued that a plant-based diet is healthier than a carnivorous diet. Today we will have a look at the vegan food pyramid to make sure that our eating habits meet our dietary needs.
There can be healthy and unhealthy vegans just like there are healthy and unhealthy omnivores. The human body needs a variety of nutrients, minerals and vitamins in different quantities and you need to know to provide.
With Vegans increasing in numbers in the past few years, the food industry has taken notice and started catering not only to their needs, but also to their desires. You can find vegan junk food in practically every supermarket.
Vegan junk food can be as processed and as rich in refined sugar and fat as regular junk food. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have any! But, these food groups should be consumed in low quantities.
On the other hand, fruit, vegetables and whole grains should account for more than 50% of your daily diet.
If I could only give you one piece of advice, it would be to a stick to a whole foods plant based diet. Try to stay as far away from refined products as possible.
Let’s have a look at the vegan food pyramid and break it down.
- Leafy greens and other vegetables should be the basis of your diet. There is no such thing as ‘too many’ veggies! Focus on getting as much of them in as you possibly can. They are full of essential vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens are the most nutrient packed foods on planet. They contain more nutrition per calorie than any other food. Eat your veggies!
- Fruit is also crucial in a well-balanced plant based diet. Fruit are rich in antioxidants and fiber. Try to incorporate a variety of seasonal fruit in your daily diet as each one tends to have different nutritional value. The more colorful your plate, he better!
- The whole grains category which can be seen at the bottom of the vegan food pyramid includes foods like oats, and rice. You should be consuming between 180-230 g of carbohydrates a day depending on your body type and daily activity. Whole grains do not only provide us with the complex carbohydrates we need, but also protein, zinc and B vitamins. Building your meals around a whole grain dish can make them both healthy and flavorsome! Can you think of anything better than a bowl of pasta with basil and tomato sauce? Mmm, my mouth just filled with saliva…
- One or two portions of legumes, nuts, seeds and beans should be included in your daily diet. As you can see it’s a big part of the vegan food pyramid. Peas, beans, lentils, and almonds are great examples. And let’s face it, who can resist digging in the peanut butter jar? This food category provides you with iron, protein, calcium, zinc, B vitamins and essential oils.
- Fortified dairy substitutes should be consumed in moderation as they are usually high in sodium and fat. On the plus side they are somewhat rich in calcium.
- Finally foods rich in sugar and fat should generally be avoided in large quantities as they have very low nutritional value. They are essentially is empty calories and should only be consumed as a rare treat.
Remember to read the nutritional information labels on whatever you buy as many foods you normally thought were sugar-free, tend to contain ‘hidden’ sugars. Stay tuned as soon we will be adding some low cal – low sugar delicious desserts to our recipe section so you can indulge guilt-free!
If you have any queries please feel free to send me an email or leave your questions in the comment section below. I would be more than happy to address them.