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5 Mistakes to Avoid on a Plant-Based Diet


Eating a plant-based diet is a lot of fun. There is a whole new world of vegetable love at your disposal when you choose plants. They are the basis of the ecological food pyramid or biomass pyramid: they are the producers with the most energy available, but some adherents to a plant-based lifestyle shun these marvelous organisms. Others stave off their hunger with sweets or commercially manufactured food stuffs, essentially they are “junk food vegans.” This doesn’t have to be you though! Below are some tips to help you stay on a path of plant-based wellness throughout your life.

1. Overdoing it on the Refined Carbs

Yes, French fries and potato chips are vegan. Can you see Mr. Spock eating French fries? I don’t think so. I’m sorry, he’s Vulcan, but he was a plant-based eater which makes him a Vulcan vegetarian. I digress. Most bread, rice, and pasta are vegan too, but that doesn’t mean you can gorge yourself on them and still be healthy! That’s not logical. If you have heard of Dr. McDougall’s The Starch Solution, you probably think that he advocates for a carb heavy diet, no matter the carb, but that is not the case. He scrutinizes white rice and refined grains just as much as other plant-based, health food gurus; he is fine with white rice if you eat it as a replacement for meat, ice cream, and cheese (sorry vegetarians). Fiber is your friend, and it is glaringly absent from refined carbs and your favorite fried goodies. As in all things though, moderation is key. We don’t want to see you sprinting with your high fiber intake to the nearest restroom any time soon.

2. Consuming Plant-Based Fats with Gusto

Nut butter (not nutter butters), coconut oil, plant-based fats, oh my! Don’t eat a whole 16 oz. bag of raw almonds just because they are raw, and you think you’re hungry, while watching a movie with your brother. Don’t put coconut oil on everything just because the package says it’s scrumdiddlyumptious. Did you just grind your own almond butter at the store, thinking it was cool and fun? Don’t eat the whole container in one sitting. Your gut, and colon, will thank you later. Plant-based fats have their place but not in every meal. Nuts have led to heart problems, and oil is not a whole food. Put that coconut oil on your skin or oil pull with it, and satisfy your coconut craving with coconut water. Remember, you are what you eat. You don’t want people to call you a big nutjob.

3. Treating Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, and Preservatives as Friends

Stop buying things in packages, boxes, and bags! Leave them under your Christmas tree for Mr. Grinch instead. Foods contained in these types of packages tend to be chock full of nasty, possibly carcinogenic chemicals, that can lead to allergy-like hypersensitivity reactions and other reactions. Some commercial food additives aren’t even disclosed by manufacturers like “natural” flavors. What the heck are those? The whole world is natural from a scientific perspective; hence the phrase “the natural world.” If you don’t care about not knowing what’s in your food, though, you can continue to put your health at risk. What’s that television commercial song phrase? They’re naturally delicious…I don’t think so!

4. Seeing “Vegan” and Automatically Assuming “Healthy”

You go to Whole Foods, and you see their vast array of vegan products! Just gaze upon their shiny, pristine case of vegan cupcakes and muffins! Although there are a multitude of vegan treats and products on the market, they are not necessarily good for you. Many vegan products contain, among other things, palm oil which kills orangutans while evaporated cane sugar is just about as “healthy” as regular white sugar.

5. Buying Every Mock Vegan Meat Available

Shrimp Soup, Shrimp Stew, Shrimp Gumbo, Shrimp Sandwich…all vegan, of course. That’s great, Bubba, but do you know exactly what’s in these odd concoctions? I thought not. Soy is the common additive in these so-called meat impostors which is not as healthy as you might think. Soy has been known to cause your lower lip to expand and get caught on a trip wire (just kidding). No, seriously, the main isoflavone in soy, genistein, has been found to have hormone-disrupting properties; it mimics estrogen, causing premature puberty and reduced fertility, as well as disrupting fetal development. Most soy crops are genetically modified as well: 91 percent of the soy grown in the U.S. is GMO. Yikes! Still not convinced you should lay off the mock meats? Read this fellow Green Monster’s article and inform yourself!

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!


Image Source: Cyclonebill/Flickr

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78 comments on “5 Mistakes to Avoid on a Plant-Based Diet”

Click to add comment
7 Months Ago

You need to be cautious about when posting political issues regarding foods (SNAP). Low income families do not want healthy foods. I know this by experience growing up in poverish area aND being on welfare. People want to by processed foods, its not that they dont have acess, it\'s what they like, you can give them all the money they want and they will still buy junk food, meat, dairy, soda. Don\'t post things you know much about, please remove the post, this is a very biased article, clearly trying to undermine this admin to make it appear that families are going to starve, these people are not starving, they are fat, unhealthy and a drain on funds for people who really need the help.

1 Years Ago

Please do your research on soy. It should not be demonized as the media has. It\'s not a hormone disruptor, and anyone who suggests such is unfamiliar with the most recent literature on soy and its numerous health benefits and cancer-reducing properties. Check out my recent article on Soy for some of the most common myths, busted.


Doaa Shalaby
3 Years Ago

I suggest you to paying this golden book is 5 Foods that KILL Stomach Fat , this book contains a list of all the foods and bad habits that make you fail in the diet , and how to eliminate it. follow this link

And If you want to follow the diet can loss you 53 pound in 6 weeks. follow this link.

Brenda Hare-Ireland
4 Years Ago


Heather Mendez
4 Years Ago

IAm Bethel

Carli Chapman
4 Years Ago

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12 Jan 2017

Can you tell me if this is still available? i would be very interested, especially now that i jus fund out that my husband has lymphoma.

Aliny Garcia
4 Years Ago

Joy Garcia

Shelly Bobb
4 Years Ago

I'm somewhat guilty.

Cat Grace-Crisologo
4 Years Ago

I gained a bunch of weight thinking that since nut butter was healthy, I could eat it every night...not so, for me, at least.

Lucy Ann Maher
4 Years Ago

Philip Jones Oh dear


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