Protein for Vegans
If you are thinking veganism is just a trend, I’d say it’s a “movement”—one that’s here to stay. Most vegan clients I have helped over the years will affirm they are vegan for both ethical and health reasons. Many I’ve spoken to call it a lifestyle and say it’s a “kinder way to live.” I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I eat mostly plant-based foods and this has impacted my health in a positive way.
However, when animal-derived foods are eliminated, it can potentially be a one-way ticket to health problems if one’s diet consists of refined carbs, fats and sugar-laden processed foods—part of what has come to be known as the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.—and, yes, it is sad). Because, vegan or not, a diet of junk food that’s calorie dense and nutrient poor will result in nutritional deficiencies.
It’s simple to be a smart vegan if you educate yourself on the importance of protein, B12, and iron. (Ask a health professional what’s right for you.) Protein is the macronutrient most commonly lacking among my vegan clients. Since animal foods are a complete source of protein and have all the essential amino acids—the building blocks of every cell in your body—when you don’t eat eggs, dairy, chicken, meat or fish, you need to be creative with protein choices. Go with a variety of these: