All diets need to be well planned and animal-free diets are no exception. Here are 9 tips to help you to design a healthy animal-free way of eating.
1. Center your meals around protein-rich foods.
2. Consume a variety of whole plant foods (fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocados etc.)
3. High-carb, low-carb (and medium-carb) animal-free diets are viable. But I would recommend that you consume some fat-rich foods (e.g., avocados, nuts, vegetable oils) to improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (namely D,E and K as well as beta-carotene).
4. Choose unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, whole meal bread/pasta. Avoid refined carbohydrates (sugars, syrups, white flour, white pasta, fruit juices, especially containing added sugar): they are associated with poor health outcomes.
5. Do not eat more than 1 teaspoon (6g) of salt per day.
6. Be aware of nutrients of concern: vitamin A, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iodine, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc.
Include specific foods regularly or supplement to ensure that you get enough of these nutrients.
7. Initially use a nutrient tracking app (e.g., cronometer or myfitnesspal).
8. When it comes to vegan junk food, either: a) closely monitor and tightly control the amount of vegan junk food you eat; or b) eliminate from your diet completely.
9. Do not ignore other aspects of a healthy lifestyle: resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, sleep hygiene, stress management, minimisation of harmful substances.