Even when you’re eating right and following a vegan diet, there are still some vegan foods to avoid. There are plenty of junk foods out there that are technically vegan, but you really shouldn’t be eating them very often. Check out these seven vegan foods to avoid next time you hit up your grocery store or convenience store.
What’s better than creamy vanilla frosting sandwiched between two sumptuous chocolate cookies? How about a peanut butter cookie? You might think these decadent treats are full of butter or dairy, but often these foods are vegan. However, this doesn’t mean you need to indulge in them on a regular basis. These cookies are usually loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives, making them one of the many vegan foods to avoid.
2. Vegetable Oil Based Vegan “Butters”
You might not believe what you read when you see labels like ‘vegan butter,’ but don’t be so fast to jump on the vegan butter bandwagon. These butters are full of partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils like palm oil and canola oil are actually the kinds of oils that contribute to heart disease and diabetes. You’re better off having some avocado or some all-natural fruit spread on your morning toast instead!
3. Sugary Cereals
It might come as a surprise when you realize your favorite childhood cereal is actually vegan! But don’t rush for that box of Froot Loops quite yet. These cereals are loaded with refined sugar, which no one needs in their diet—not even a vegan. Instead of eating these gross cereals that will only create a spike in your blood sugar, try something like steel cut oatmeal in the morning. It will taste just as sweet with a drizzle of real maple syrup or raw honey, and will have loads of fiber to keep you full all morning.
4. Conventional Nut Butters
Conventional nut butters are perhaps some of the worst foods you can eat as a vegan. These nut butters use both hydrogenated oils AND refined sugar, which is perhaps one of the worst combinations you can put in your body. Instead of wasting your money on these products, invest in organic nut butters that don’t use additives or preservatives. Better yet, try eating raw nuts! They’re a great source of healthy fat and protein.
5. White Bread and Rolls
Most conventional white breads and rolls contain flour, water, and a little yeast, which make them vegan. But white breads and foods like pasta aren’t the best choice if you’re following a vegan diet. Refined carbohydrates create a spike in blood sugar, which can contribute to weight gain. They also contain other weird ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, cellulose, and other additives that simply don’t belong in bread. When choosing grains, opt for whole grains or legumes that pack much more fiber and a bigger nutritional punch.
Yes, soda is technically vegan. But that doesn’t mean you should be drinking it! Soda can leak calcium from your bones, lead to tooth decay, and lead to weight gain—even if you drink diet soda. Water is a far healthier choice than any soda you can possibly imagine. Freshly squeezed veggies juices, green smoothies, and herbal teas are also good choices.
7. Non-Dairy Creamers
If you’re a coffee drinker like me, you might be inclined to use some non-dairy creamer in your morning espresso shot, but these are fake, overly processed creamers that use lots of corn syrup to get that sickly sweet feeling. If you love a rich creamer in your coffee but don’t know what to do, try organic, full-fat coconut milk. You can find it in just about health food store.
A vegan diet isn’t as foolproof as you’d think. Thanks to so many processed foods that happen to be vegan, it can be hard to plan a healthy vegan diet. What are some of your techniques for avoiding these vegan junk foods?