Vegan food is healthy food. However, not all vegan food is created equal. For example, some foods are higher in fat and cholesterol than others, while some foods contain more Vitamin C than others. This is why it is so important to eat a variety of foods when cooking vegan. In addition to knowing that diversity is important to healthy eating, it is wise to understand the basics of the vegan food guide pyramid.
Vegan Food Guide Pyramid
A food pyramid is a visual way to think about foods. Foods that should be eaten in limited amounts can be found at the top of the pyramid. As the pyramid reaches down, it becomes wider, showing that foods in the lower portions of the pyramid can be eaten in larger quantities.
Vegetable oils, fats and nuts are at the very top of the vegan food pyramid, as are salt and sweets. These foods should be eaten in very limited quantities. This does not mean that they should not be eaten at all. You should have a little fat in your diet. Walnuts and canola oil, for example, are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
The second tier in the vegan food guide pyramid consists of soy and tofu products, legumes, seeds and beans. This second group contains proteins, Vitamin B, zinc and calcium. Some of the fortified dairy products may also contain Vitamin D. You should have two to three servings of the second tier foods every day.
The third tier in your food pyramid consists of vegetables and fruits. You can eat three or more servings per day. Don't forget to include citrus fruits for Vitamin C and kale and broccoli for calcium. Sweet potatoes are also part of this category.
The bottom level of the pyramid consists of cereals, grains, rice and pasta. You should eat between six and eleven servings daily.
Since vegetarian food is not usually a source of Vitamin B-12, look for foods fortified with B-12 or take a supplement. In addition, keep in mind that sunlight will help your body produce Vitamin D naturally, so if you live in an area that is sunny year around, Vitamin D-fortified foods may be of less importance to you.
Being a vegetarian is more than just a moral choice to protect animals or to rage against distasteful conditions in farms and the like. There are many health benefits to making the choice to eliminate meat from one's diet. The benefits of being a vegetarian are numerous and can help a person live a long and full life.
Tempeh is a healthy and delicious meat alternative that not enough Americans are eating. It is firm and hearty in a way that tofu is not, and with more protein and fiber, it's better for you, too.
Seitan is gaining popularity amongst vegans and vegetarians, partly because it contains so much protein, and partly because the texture is often considered preferable to tofu or tempeh. Once you learn the basics of how to make seitan, you can experiment with different flavorings and shapes, making your own "steak" or "chicken" seitan cutlets.