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Are Vegetarian Diets OK?

Are Vegetarian Diets OK?



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I can’t believe the number of times I have been asked that question but it has just come up again in the context of recent complaints about the health and environmental hazards of eating meat. So here, once again, is my nutrition academic’s take on the nutritional implications of vegetarian diets.

Full disclosure: I eat meat. Humans are omnivores and I am one nutritionist who fully subscribes to basic, if banal, principles of healthful diets: variety, balance, and moderation. As I explain in my book, What to Eat, if you eat a variety of foods within and among groups – meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and grains – you don’t have to worry about nutritional details. As long as calories are adequate and the foods are relatively unprocessed, the different kinds of foods complement each other’s nutrient contents and provide everything that is needed in reasonable amounts and proportions.

With that said, it is not necessary to eat meat. Meat is not an essential nutrient. I can think of plenty of advantages to eating no meat, eating less meat, or eating meat produced in ways that are far better for the health of animals, people, and the planet.

Why anyone would question the benefits of eating vegetarian diets, or diets that are largely vegetarian is beyond me. People who eat vegetarian diets are usually healthier – sometimes a lot healthier – than people who eat meat.

But before getting into all this, there is the pesky problem of definition. What, exactly, is a vegetarian? As it happens, people who call themselves vegetarians eat many kinds of diets. The least restrictive vegetarians do not eat beef but occasionally eat pork or lamb. Next come the groups that eat no red meats, or restrict poultry, dairy, fish, or eggs. The most restrictive are vegans who eat no foods of animal origin at all.

Nutritional implications depend on the degree of restriction. The least restrictive diets, those that exclude meat but include fish, milk, or eggs, raise no nutritional issues whatsoever. People who eat such diets are likely to have a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers than the average meat-eating American, and a risk of osteoporosis no higher.

Only the most restrictive vegetarian diets raise nutritional concerns. Vegans, who eat no foods of animal origin, need to do three things:

  • Find an alternative source for vitamin B12 (supplements or fortified foods).
  • Eat enough calories to maintain a good weight.
  • Eat a variety of grains and beans to get enough protein.

Vitamin B12 is found only in foods of animal origin – meat, dairy, eggs, or fish. With this one exception, fruits, vegetables, and grains provide plenty of the other vitamins and minerals. Vegans who obtain enough calories from varied plant food sources should be taking care of those nutrients as well as protein.

On the protein question: Foods from animals are higher in protein than those from plants. Their proteins are of somewhat better quality, meaning that they more closely resemble human proteins. If calories are adequate, protein is rarely a problem. Protein is hardly lacking among Americans. The protein requirement is about half a gram for each pound of body weight, which works out to 55 grams for a 120-pound woman and 65 grams or so for a 180-pound man. On surveys, women report eating a daily average of 70 grams of protein, and men 100 grams, and these amounts are likely to be underestimates. Even vegans get more than enough protein from grains, beans, and vegetables as long as they get enough calories.

In relatively unprocessed foods, protein is closely linked to calories. Diets with enough calories usually contain enough protein unless the diet is unusually restrictive or includes a lot of junk food. Think about it: entire civilizations – in ancient Egypt, China, and Mexico, for example – were based on wheat, rice, beans, or corn as sources of protein. We used to think that vegetarians had to be careful to combine plant foods (beans and corn, for example) to get enough protein but we know now that variety and calories take care of it.

Developing countries are another matter. In places where food is scarce, children thrive better when they are fed a little meat (or dairy, fish, or eggs) along with whatever else they are eating, but a richer plant-based diet also works well.

That brings us to children. Is it OK to feed vegetarian diets to kids? This too depends on what is meant by “vegetarian.” If the diet restricts just beef or red meat, it poses no problems. Dairy foods, fish, and eggs are adequate substitutes. And keeping sodas and junk foods to a minimum is always a good idea.

Vegan diets are another matter and I can think of plenty of reasons why they are controversial for children. Supplements can take care of kids’ needs for vitamin B12 and other nutrients, but calories can be a serious problem. Children sometimes have a hard time when they have to get all their food energy from vegetables, grains, or beans. I advise vegan parents to pay close attention to calories, to make liberal use of olive oil and nut butters, to make sure plenty of beans, grains, and potatoes are available, and to monitor their children’s weight in comparison to lines on standard growth charts.

Except for the most restrictive diets, I wouldn’t worry at all about vegetarian diets for adults or for kids. They have plenty of what’s good for health and a lot less of what is not so good. The health advantages can be impressive. So eat your veggies!


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.


7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes

Many people lose weight when they transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet—no counting calories or increase in activity required. In fact, research consistently shows that vegans and vegetarians weigh less than carnivores. That’s because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber from plant foods, and this nutrient has been linked with making you feel more satisfied after meals, as well as regulating blood glucose levels. A healthy plant-based diet packed with whole grains, pulses, soy foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds is moderate in calories, which can contribute to a healthy weight. However, many people find that making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t automatically lead to weight loss. It’s important to remember that we are all very unique, with different body types, genetic profiles, and metabolic rates. Some of us need fewer calories (energy) than others. And vegan foods like brownies and ice “cream” can provide just as many calories as non-vegan versions of these foods. Even healthful foods, like grains, nuts, seeds, and avocados, can add up in terms of calories if you are consuming too many of them. While I don’t recommend that you should become overly focused on calories, there are a few things you can keep in mind if you are pursuing weight loss on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Check out these 7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips & Recipes to learn more!

7 Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few of my best tips for keeping your weight loss on track with a plant-based diet.

1. Vegetarians, Don’t Overload on Dairy Products. Cheese, cream, and sour cream are often the default options for vegetarians. But beware, high-fat cheeses can contain up to 120 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat per ounce. Heavy cream has 52 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in a single tablespoon. And these are both very small portion sizes—one single serving of cream-based soup or cheesy lasagna can have several times this portion size.

2. Use Caution with Nut and Seed Servings. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are a good thing. Just keep close track of how much you’re consuming. Limit your servings to 1 – 3 per day (depending on your calorie needs), and remember that one serving is ¼ cup nuts or seeds, or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

3. Watch Your Fats. Adding a moderate amount of healthy plant-based fats is a healthy habit. But limit your amount to 1 teaspoon of plant oil (i.e. olive, sunflower, canola) per serving, and no more than 5 servings per day, including in cooking. Dumping olive oil over your pasta, slicing an entire avocado into your wrap, or adding a ½ cup of walnuts to your salad can really push up the calorie load of your meals.

4. Keep Your Grains in Check. A healthy plant-based diet absolutely includes plenty of whole grains, but only about 5 – 8 servings per day for maintenance (a bit less for weight loss), depending on your specific energy needs. So, make sure you’re not overdoing cereals, breads, and grain servings throughout your day. Keep in mind that many people (and especially restaurants) can dish up four servings of pasta per portion, and dipping into the bread basket before meals can add a few extra servings of grains before you know it. A serving of grains is generally ½ cup cooked grains or pasta, or one slice of bread or a small tortilla.

5. Go Crazy for Veggies. The one food group you should eat without caution is non-starchy vegetables, including greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, summer squash, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. These plant foods average about 25 calories per serving, and their bulk, water, and volume can help you feel more full and satisfied.

6. Fruit for Dessert. Skip the dessert and enjoy a serving of seasonal unsweetened fruit to hit your natural sweet spot. At about 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong!

7. Balance Your Diet Wisely. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with the help of my eating plan in The Plant-Powered Diet, which includes the recommended number of servings you should choose each day.

For other plant-based recipes for healthy weight, check out the following satisfying meal recipes, which contain less than 500 calories each:

Check out my book, Plant-Powered for Life, for other fabulous, healthy plant-based recipes.