A balanced vegan diet is essentially based on five food groups: Fruits, cereals, legumes, soy products, and seeds with nuts. In addition, it contains a reliable source of vitamin B12 that can be ingested in fortified food or supplement form.
These five groups must be present in the daily diet and in a varied way. This ensures that the needs of as many nutrients as possible are met. It also serves to provide as many other health promoting substances as possible. On the other hand, dietary fiber and secondary crops make it possible to diversify the diet, making it satisfactory.
What about foods that don’t fit into one of the five categories?
Some foods cannot be directly classified into the five category categories. These include, for example, varieties of plant milk, with the exception of soy milk (legumes and soy products category), cream substitutes, certain meat alternatives, sweeteners, and other products.
Although the five groups are the essential foundation of the vegan diet, this does not mean that you stop consuming other foods. In practice, the other foods serve as a complement to the foods considered basic. So it is important to include these foods in the diet, at least in minimal amounts.
What about sweets, snacks, and alcohol?
As you might expect, these foods are not part of the foundation of a healthy diet, vegan or not. Therefore, its consumption should be restricted to the maximum if it is not possible to eliminate it. Although its moderate consumption can be harmless and mean an enjoyment for the palate, it is advisable not to consume it. Avoiding these foods can also reinforce the awareness of choosing between the good and the bad.
Should we include the five basic foods in every meal?
A diet according to basic foods does not mean that all of these must be consumed in one meal. This is often true, but the principle of healthy eating simply means eating a colorful variety of foods. Therefore, these foods should be eaten in varied quantities and dishes, ensuring their presence in the total.
Fats, carbohydrates and proteins – what is the ideal amount?
How high should the proportion of fat, carbohydrates and protein be in the vegan diet? It is not possible to speak of an exact amount for all, but it could be approximated. Individual preferences vary based on experience. While some people can, for example, consume a higher fat content in the diet without problems, others may have problems with less fat and a higher proportion of carbohydrates. There are also groups of people who prefer a diet rich in protein.
From a scientific point of view, there is no global optimal distribution of the macronutrients mentioned in the vegan diet. The recommendations of nutritional organizations for the reduction of fat consumption refer to animal and processed fats. But the health benefits of properly following an especially low-fat vegan diet can hardly be scientifically justified. It is crucial to meeting energy needs, as well as the need for protein, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
Raw and cooked food?
Both types of cooked and raw food can be used in a healthy diet, its intake will depend on various factors. When heated, the content of certain vitamins is reduced and certain amounts of minerals are lost during cooking. But certain foods are better tolerated or only edible when heated and cooked. For example, certain toxins or undesirable substances such as Enzyme Inhibitors are denatured by heat. Therefore, raw and cooked foods should be present in the varied vegan diet.
A healthy diet consists primarily of fast-assimilating foods, but it definitely cannot always be 100% complete. Unprocessed and lightly processed foods should form the basis of a healthy vegan diet. These types of foods are particularly rich in micronutrients, minor crops, and dietary fiber.
However, more processed foods also have a place in a healthy diet. It can even be very beneficial to incorporate these foods into your diet. These benefits are especially visible in the stages of life with higher calorie requirements and tolerability problems. In addition, this makes a healthy diet “more practical, here, too, the motto is:” the mix does it.