Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

12 Mistakes to Avoid on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

Popular
iStock

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

A balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can provide many health benefits.

These diets have been associated with weight loss, better blood sugar control, a decreased risk of heart disease and a lower risk of certain types of cancer (1, 2, 3, 4).


However, it can be challenging to maintain a well-rounded vegetarian diet that provides all the nutrients you need.

This article uncovers some of the most common mistakes people make on a vegan or vegetarian diet, and how to avoid them.

1. Assuming That Vegan or Vegetarian Products Are Automatically Healthier

Unfortunately, just because a food product is labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan" doesn't necessarily mean it's healthier than the regular alternative.

For example, almond milk is a popular, plant-based milk that's often a staple in vegan diets.

However, while almond milk is low in calories and enriched with several important vitamins and minerals, it is not necessarily healthier than cow's milk.

For example, 1 cup (240 ml) of low-fat cow's milk contains 8 grams of protein, while the same amount of unsweetened almond milk contains only 1 gram (5, 6).

Sweetened almond milk can also be high in added sugar, with 16 grams of sugar in just 1 cup (7).

Other vegetarian products, such as soy-based veggie burgers, nuggets and meat alternatives, are often highly processed, with a long list of artificial ingredients. So they're often no healthier than other non-vegetarian processed foods.

Despite being vegetarian, these products are also often high in calories, yet lacking the protein, fiber and nutrients necessary for a balanced meal.

While these products may ease your transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet, it's best to consume them in moderation with a diet rich in nutritious, whole foods.

Summary: Many foods marketed as vegetarian or vegan are often highly processed, high in added sugar or lacking in nutrients. If you include these products in your diet, eat them only in moderation.

Next Page

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guido Mieth / Moment / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
A California newt (Taricha torosa) from Napa County, California, USA. Connor Long / CC BY-SA 3.0

Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.

Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images

Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
A customer packs groceries in reusable bags at a NYC supermarket on March 1, 2020. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.

Read More Show Less
Ingredients are displayed for the Old School Pinto Beans from the Decolonize Your Diet cookbook by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. Melissa Renwick / Toronto Star via Getty Images

By Molly Matthews Multedo

Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.

Read More Show Less