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You might think that going plant-based like Tom Brady or eating a vegan diet like Cam Newton is super healthy. But if you don’t do it the right way by sticking to fresh produce, veganism can be quite unhealthy.

Substitute the Right Way

You need to substitute meat with something so that you feel full, but don’t just start buying Tofurkey. Any sort of imitation meat requires more processing than regular meat in order for it to taste good. Fake meat also has added sodium, preservatives, and other chemicals that aren’t found in real meat. To get your protein, go for beans, nuts, and real tofu.

There Is No Magic Food

Despite what marketing companies say, there is no such thing as a magic bullet food. You can’t just eat a narrow group of vegetables forever and get all the nutrients you need. To do a vegan diet the right way, you need eat a variety of vegetables. You need to learn to cook these vegetables so you’re not stuck with boiling and adding salt (gross). You can bake Brussels Sprouts with horseradish, olive oil, and sea salt. You can saute broccoli with a healthy dose of garlic. Or try making cauliflower pizza crust! 

Don’t Use Butter Substitute

Margarine is butter-substitute and it is more dangerous for your body than real butter. This type of synthetic fat isn’t found in nature, so your body simply dumps it all into your arteries. Try using jams or nut-butters instead of margarine. Your heart will thank you.

Snacks Are Not Meals

Vegan snacks are still snacks. They are processed food that has very few nutrients and won’t fill you up. If you decide to become a vegan and live off of snacks, you run the risk of missing nutrients. This isn’t the fault of the diet, it’s because of poor food choices. Eating snacks all day long as a non-vegan isn’t healthy for you, just as eating vegan snacks all day isn’t healthy for you either.

Be Very Careful

The products at grocery stores today make becoming vegan seem so easy. But in reality, to do it successfully as a lifestyle change, you’ll need to do some research, talk to your doctor and learn to cook in different ways. Just like you can’t drive a car for long on a spare tire, you can’t live your life eating meat and animal product substitutes.

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