Switching from your current diet to a plant-based one may seem challenging and overwhelming. But if you’ve seen Forks Over Knives, you know that science shows one of the most powerful steps you can take to improve your health, boost energy levels, and prevent chronic diseases is to move to a plant-based diet.
While some people like to dive in and go plant-based overnight, the sudden lifestyle shift isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for more information on plant-based and veganism, you can check out the beginner’s guide to veganism.
To ensure you have a smooth diet transition, we have compiled a short list of five common plant-based mistakes you need to avoid.
1. Not taking Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for brain function, cell metabolism and is needed to form red blood cells and DNA. However, Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products.
When switching to a plant-based diet, ensure you include fortified foods containing Vitamin B12. You can increase your vitamin B12 intake by consuming fortified non-dairy milk, fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, vegan spreads, and supplements.
2. Not planning your meals
Meal planning and prepping is the best way to reduce stress when starting a plant-based diet. Create a weekly meal schedule to help ease into your new diet.
You can start by taking meals that you are familiar with and replacing the non-vegan ingredients with plant-based ones. Remember, start easy and keep it simple!
For example, try veggie burgers, pesto pasta, stir fry, lentil soup, bean burritos, peanut stew, vegan mac and cheese, and more.
3. Not reading package labels
If you don’t already read package labels, it is imperative that you start checking labels before purchasing packaged food.
Take a few minutes to read what’s included in the ingredients, and make sure you avoid products that contain high amounts of fat, oil, salt, or sugar.
4. Choosing refined instead of whole grain
Most people choose refined products, such as white bread, white rice, processed crackers, etc. Instead, pick whole or intact grain products.
Research shows that consuming 90 grams of whole grains daily cuts the risk for all causes of mortality by 17%.
5. Consuming highly processed foods
When it comes to eating whole-food, plant-based meals, people find it easier to consume overly processed and packaged foods as they are more convenient.
Step back and think about it because when you consume high amounts of processed foods, you are causing more harm than good. And it will negatively affect your health in the long run.
Now that you know the common mistakes to avoid, you are ready to start your plant-based journey. Don’t forget to consult your dietitian to help you choose the right diet plan.
Before starting your vegan diet, always ask an expert to help ensure you get the right mix of nutrients in your new eating plan.
Are you looking for plant-based meals and meal plans? Check out our website!