I think one of the biggest misconceptions people generally have about Veganism is that they equate Vegan with Health and both aren’t necessarily mutually inclusive.
You can be a healthy Vegan or what I call a “junk food Vegan”or perhaps a little of both. The thing is, a lot of the time people choose a plant-based diet due to health related issues. They believe getting rid of all meats and animal products take them to the road of health and happy living. Even though it is definitely a good start, there are other factors to consider.
First, let me tell you there is no such a thing as the perfect Vegan…except me, of course lol. Okay, okay…just kidding. People choose Veganism for a variety of reasons. Perhaps those who chose this lifestyle for health reasons do not understand why those who are ethical Vegans would eat so much junk food and yet call themselves “Vegan”. However, whether they like it or not, they are still Vegan…unhealthy and all.
For me, it is all a matter of finding the right balance regardless of what type of Vegan you are. Even if you are an ethical Vegan and morally nobody has an issue with what you put in your body, think about the fact that if you take good care of yourself you will have more energy and time to spend doing some activism for the animals. 😉
A lot of Vegans think they are eating healthy because they eat no meat or animal products…but they increase significantly their consumption of hydrogenated oil and sugar, making their diets even unhealthier than prior to going Vegan.
Now, don’t take me wrong I am not the food police. 😉 Everyone likes a little junk food here and there and personally, I don’t see the big deal if done on rare occasions. The problem becomes one when you are cooking with a lot of hydrogenated oils and consuming products with lots of sugar on a daily basis.
Think about it, who eats just a little roti, one doubles or one French fry or a half slice of cake? Some of these products have ingredients that make you highly addicted. If you are consuming these products on a daily basis, you will be prone to heart disease just like any other meat-eater in the planet. Yikes! So please watch out in the consumption of these products and exercise!
It is amazing to me when I started cooking Vegan meals, how unnecessary is to put oil in a lot of dishes. I make curry potato without any oil and without compromising on taste, same for pizza and even pelau.
When you have to sauté onions or sweet peppers or any other veggie, use a little water instead (or vegetable stock) you will be surprised how great it works. It is so simple and yet healthy. What I usually do, is let the onions get a little brown (I like it that way, sort of caramelized) and add a little more water if necessary.
For baking, you can replace the oil with bananas or applesauce which is the most common substitute when baking cakes. You will hardly notice the difference, although box cakes tend to be crumbier if you are using an egg replacer but delicious nonetheless.
Please make sure to research about oils and the impact they have in your overall health.
When I make muffins, I replace sugar with super ripe bananas. The more spots they have, the sweeter they will be. They are absolutely fantastic.
I do the same when I make my homemade granola, porridge, pancakes or waffles.
Now, as I said previously we all eat some “unhealthy” foods sometimes but let’s be careful. Veganism isn’t an automatic license to increase oil and sugar.
At the end of the day, we all want to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life therefore, we all need to make the right choices that take us in that direction. 🙂