7 Top tips to start a healthy vegan diet


Going vegan doesn’t mean you need to follow a boring lifestyle. Nor does it mean you have to miss out on protein. Here are seven top tips to enjoy a healthy vegan diet.

The vegan diet is becoming a popular lifestyle choice for many. There’s a focus on living healthier and more fulfilling lives and cutting out many animal products can help with that. However, there’s still a stigma around vegan diets about them being unhealthy. The view is that you don’t get enough protein because you cut out animal products—one of the top sources of protein.

It’s time to step away from the negativity. There’s no need not to get a balanced diet when you start your vegan lifestyle. Just follow these top seven tips to make it healthy.

(Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for H&M)

More from Foodie News

#1. Keep your meals varied

One of the best things you can do is ensure your meals are varied. If you get plenty of different fruits and vegetables, focus on different whole grains, and add plenty of meat and milk substitutes, you will increase the chances of a healthier lifestyle. A good diet is balanced and mixed.

This tip will also prevent the boredom setting in. If you feel like you’re just eating the same things over and over again, take a look at your meal plan. This could be the time to change things up a bit. Try a different meat substitute, add a new vegetable, or even consider a new grain.

#2. Add quinoa and soy

There are lots of non-animal products with protein, but only two that are considered complete proteins. These are the ones that have all nine essential amino acids. Stock up on soy products and quinoa for your meals on a daily basis.

At first, this sounds like you’re not getting a varied diet, but there are a lot of soy products out there. Consider milk alternatives, tofu, and some protein powders for healthy shakes. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have!

This doesn’t mean the other plant-based proteins aren’t good. You still want to add them in, but make sure quinoa and soy are added.

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Cat Cora)

#3. Swap refined for whole grains

Pasta and white bread are common options for all of us—and not just when following a vegan diet. However, they’re not great for us. Refined grains increase the blood sugar levels and cause more issues with insulin levels. They also cause the energy highs and dips.

Watch your favorite shows on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

Swap them out for whole grains. Stock up on quinoa, brown rice, couscous, and wholemeal bread. These foods are also good for your iron levels, which can dip when you cut out animal products. You don’t get the constant fatigue because you won’t create an iron deficiency.

#4. Don’t assume vegan products are good for you

There’s a misconception that because something doesn’t have animal products in then it’s going to be good for you. People who start a vegan diet think that all the vegan products on the shelves are good for them. Check the labels before you start buying, just like you would when following a gluten diet.

Vegan diet-friendly products can be filled with unnecessary sugars and refined carbs. You can still get saturated fats in vegan butters and lards. They’re just not the same types of fats and sugars that you’ve been getting before. Do your research before you switch to a vegan lifestyle.

#5. Look out for fish-free omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are among the best fats for your body. Yes, your body does need some fat; only a little, but still some. Omega-3s are packed with antioxidants that help to support your cells, especially your brain. You’ve likely heard the reason to eat fish is for the omega-3 fatty acids, but fish doesn’t work for a vegan diet.

The great news is there are lots of vegan-friendly products. We’re talking walnuts (and actually a lot of nuts), soy products, and flaxseeds. These products are full of a lot of other nutritional benefits, so they’re definitely worth having around.

(Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

#6. Consider a vegan supplement

There will be some nutrients that you can’t get in your diet. Vitamins B12 and D are the hardest two to get, because animal products are among the best sources. It’s not impossible but you can make it easier with one step: vegan supplements.

Make sure the supplements are definitely for vegan diets. You’ll get vitamin A through them and most non-vegan supplements have an animal-based form of it. You want the plant form that comes in the supplements specifically made for the vegan lifestyle.

#7. Have fun with it!

The most important tip is to have fun. Your vegan diet doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it shouldn’t be boring. Life only happens once, so you want to make the most of it, right? Plus, when you have fun, you’re going to set your mental health right.

Try new foods, experience restaurants with plenty of vegan options, and make new friends who are interested in the vegan lifestyle too. Check up on the places to avoid and find ways to make your favorite dishes without animal products. You’ll be surprised at the things that come up!

Next: Why vegan is easier than you think

Are you starting a vegan diet? What tips did you follow when you started? Share in the comments below.