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Beware of the Plant-Based Health Halo

Hello Loyal Soup People! As most of you know, I’m a big advocate for eating a plant-based diet. Whether you just go meatless on Mondays, eat veg before dinner, or go fully vegan, I feel you are making an incredibly healthy choice for yourself, for the planet, and for the animals. However, this week I want to make you aware of “health halos” that are often associated with vegetarian and vegan food. Some plant-based items are quite unhealthy and should be either avoided or eaten in moderation:

– Mock meats – While a lot of culinary advances have been made in this area, many imitation meat products are highly processed and loaded with salt, calories, and fat. If you avoid deli meat for health reasons, don’t look to mock meat slices as a replacement. In many cases you’ll be replacing one type of salty, unhealthy preservative with another!

– Desserts – I have a sweet tooth and love to enjoy dessert. However, you should not eat an entire pint of “ice cream” just because it is made from coconut milk! Vegan desserts often have just as much fat and calories as regular versions – sometimes more!

– Vegan cheese – Like the mock meats, imitation cheese is quite often made from unpronounceable ingredients and is full of sodium and fat. However, there are amazing, new nut-based cheeses on the market that are wonderful. They are made with simple ingredients, are absolutely delicious, and very closely resemble their dairy-based counterparts. These cheeses can be a bit more expensive, but in my opinion, worth the extra price!

Approach plant based eating as you do any other type of diet. Look for clean, simple, ingredients. Yes, Oreos are indeed vegan. But definitely not health food!!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!