Is Vegan Fact Or Fad?

First, we need to clarify the difference between vegan and plant- based. Vegan excludes all animal products (meat, dairy, fish, eggs, etc), while plant- based limits animal products to a smaller portion and focuses, first, on plant foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc). If someone were to choose to be vegan, they would need to strategically plan their nutrition so that they still receive vitamins, minerals, and protein they would miss from excluding animal products. In that case, I would highly recommend to consider working with me as a one-on-one client to make sure there are no nutritional holes in your diet. However, for the rest of this tip, I want to focus on encouraging plant-based diets.  

There is no shortage of research to support the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Specifically, it has been associated with decreased risk of chronic disease, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, and some cancers. This diet also aids in weight loss and weight management, which can be helpful in preventing or mitigating chronic disease. 

There is often controversy on the topic of consuming adequate protein and essential amino acids on a plant-based diet. It is important to keep in mind that plant-based protein is not as easily absorbed by the body as animal protein. It is also argued that most plant-based foods are not complete proteins, or proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. There are actually several complete plant-based proteins, including quinoa, tofu, tempeh, edamame, chia seeds, and buckwheat. Another way to ensure you are consuming all nine amino acids through a plant-based diet is to focus on complementary proteins. This means pairing different incomplete proteins together to create a complete protein. Some examples include lentils & brown rice, hummus & bread, cheese & almonds, and black beans & corn. is a recipe for a vegetarian Burrito Bowl dish (it combines the complete plant-based protein, quinoa, with the complimentary proteins, black beans & corn). Enjoy!!

Hi, my name is Katelyn Greenleaf, Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist

NuLeaf Nutrition strives to...

1. Provide scientifically-backed information to help athletes find a nutrition plan that fits their individual health/fitness goals.

2. Educate people in achieving optimal nutrition in attempts to prevent the development of chronic diseases. 

3. Improve total health by emphasizing balance in the diet and physical activity.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • My Logo
  • Instagram