I was asked to write an article for Michelle Ahayah, so I decided on Eating A Vegan Diet -To Get Blood Sugar Levels Normal. I have lots of experience with diabetes, I have been dealing with this disease for years now, I do my very best when it comes to nutrition. I try to follow a Vegan diet to help keep my blood sugar levels in check. I eat 3 meals most days. I’m aware I should eat all my meals, however sometimes I just don’t feel like it.
So you probably are asking yourself, what the heck? I also deal with PTSD and constant lower back pain that causes me to sleep more often then I should. I’m talking depression medications for the PTSD. I also take pain medication for the back pain. Plus a bunch of other medication for the diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol etc.
So the reason I became a vegan is because I studied the benefits of a high alkaline diet and I want to be rid of all this other stuff I am on, taking insulin shots daily is just no fun at all. I plan to live a longer life by eating fruits and vegetables rather than animal carcass’.
This article will hopefully debunk a lot of myths, wives tales, and hoopla that is out there to take our focus off of better nutrition.
Debunking Vegan Foods And Snacks
- Oreo Cookies are vegan and a great snack if you want something made without milk. THIS IS TRICKY, Oreo’s contain no animal by-products, however they do warn that they may contain trace amounts of milk as they are made/packaged in a plant that also handles products containing dairy. Cross contact makes it impossible to guarantee that the delicious treat you consume doesn’t contain trace amounts of milk. A lot of vegans will choose to support ‘May Contain’ products in the hopes of encouraging businesses to carry more vegan friendly products.
- Red candies are not vegan. THIS IS TRUE! Red food dye, known as carmine or cochineal, is made from a bug. But don’t worry, there are plenty of red candies that don’t include the ingredient and instead use red dyes that are free of insects. Some vegan-friendly candies include Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, and Swedish Fish. Just remember to always check the label.
- Kettle Corn is not vegan. THIS IS FALSE . Kettle Corn is a vegan friendly snack consisting of corn kernels, salt, sugar, and vegetable oil.
- All meat and dairy replacements are vegan friendly. THIS IS FALSE! Products will often use phrasing like meat-free or dairy-free to appeal to vegan and vegetarian customers, but some ingredients may still be present that make these foods not safe for vegans. Beware of dairy-free cheese products, which often contain casein and whey (milk derivatives). In addition, some popular veg-friendly brands are only acceptable for vegetarians. Be sure to check packages for ingredients like milk and eggs, unless the package is specifically labeled vegan.
- Pasta Noodles are not vegan. THIS IS TRICKY! Most pasta is just wheat and added vitamins. On occasion, a boxed dry pasta will list it may contain eggs or dairy products, and this is up to the individual to decide if it’s vegan. Additionally, many fresh pastas (found in the refrigerated section) contain eggs in the dough stuffed pastas often include cheese or meat. Again, check your labels diligently!
Vegan Friendly Dining
As a plant based eater. It is always a challenge to find some place to dine out it. This list will help you hopefully make a better choice.
A&W: Whether you are in the mood for a hearty burger or want to indulge in their all day breakfast, A&W offers several delicious options for plant based guests!
Burger King: they offer a breakfast geared for the vegan. You can get french toast sticks with hash browns.Or chose the Quaker oatmeal, just ask them to make it with water.
Olive Garden: salad with breadsticks, be sure to use oil and vinegar dressing. Steer clear of the croutons. Then pick your favorite pasta dish with marinara sauce.
Dominos: Consider trying the pacific veggie pizza, hold the cheese. We are also considering taking our nut cheese into a pizza place ( new, unopened) to see if the location will put it on for us. You could also try the sweet mango habanero, garlic, or barbecue dipping sauce as an option.
Chipotle: Go for the vegetarian bowl or burrito with black or pinto beans, tofu “Sofritas,” fajita veggies, with your choice of salsa. Don’t forget the chips with guacamole!!
Denny’s: Try the veggie burger without cheese with butter, or go for the garden salad with the light Italian dressing. Also, the Fit Fare Veggie Skillet can easily be made vegan — just ask them to hold the egg whites!
P.F. CHANG’S: The vegetarian lettuce wraps, Buddha’s Feast, ma po tofu, coconut curry vegetables are all the
bomb. Try the Shanghai cucumbers for a refreshing side dish.
White Castle offers a vegan veggie slider chock full of veggies like zucchini, carrots, broccoli!
Little Caesars While their veggie pizza (sans cheese) is a good start, don’t be afraid to really load up on veggies, add some banana pepper rings, jalapeno peppers, or pineapple.
Panera Bread Try the blueberry pomegranate smoothie (sans yogurt), the vegetarian black bean soup, or the Mediterranean quinoa salad with almonds.
The Cheesecake Factory Grab a vegan cobb salad or the kale and quinoa salad (hold the parm). If you’re craving something heavier, order a veggie burger, but be sure to ask for sourdough or wheat bread be sure to hold the cheese with mayo (sub avocado).
Papa John’s Topped with green peppers, onions, black olives, crimini mushrooms, roma tomatoes, the Garden Fresh Pizza is sure to hit the spot (just don’t forget to pass on the cheese).
Taco Bell Try the seven-layer burrito (sans cheese with sour cream), a spicy-potato soft taco fresco-style, or the black beans with rice. BONUS: The cinnamon twists are 100 percent plant-based!
Subway Make a veggie sub piled sky-high with all the veggies topped with spicy mustard dressing. Don’t forget to add some avocado! BONUS: The minestrone soup is vegan!
*As always, be sure to let your servers know that you’re vegan, as menu items are subject to change. Many are happy to make recommendations for substitutions.
Daily Requirements For A Vegan Diet
Seeds – Nuts 1-2 servings a day: Seeds ,nuts are not only great sources of protein and iron; they also support a healthy immune system. Some of the best sources are peanut butter, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds. Tip for a midday snack grab a handful.
Vegetables 4+ servings daily: Vegetables are pretty much the healthiest foods on the planet. Some of the most nutrition-packed are kale, broccoli, spinach, peppers.
Fruit 2+ servings daily: Fruit is great for hydration it’s a fantastic source of fiber, potassium, plus antioxidants. Apples, oranges, blueberries, blackberries are some of the most nutritious.
Grains, Starchy Vegetables 5+ servings daily: Grains, starchy vegetables are great sources of fiber, iron, plus protein. Brown rice, pasta, oatmeal, sweet potatoes are a few of the healthiest options.
Beans ,Lentils 3+ servings per day: Beans, lentils provide a hefty dose of protein. Many are also great sources of iron. Kidney beans, split peas, tofu (tofu is made of soybeans) are some of the best sources.
I have provided a short video on why chose to be vegan. It helps make a real statement regarding following a plant based diet.
Other Foods That Are Good To Eat For Vegans
Vegans that are health conscious, substitute animal products for a diet rich in plant based ingredients. Some of them include:
- Legumes: Foods such as beans, lentils, peas are excellent sources of many nutrients that are beneficial plant compounds. Sprouting, fermenting with proper cooking can increase nutrient absorption.
- Seeds: Especially hemp, chia and flax seeds, which contain a good amount of protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
- Calcium-fortified plant milks and yogurts: These help vegans achieve their recommended dietary calcium intakes. Opt for varieties also fortified with vitamins B12 – D whenever possible.
- Tofu, tempeh, seitan: These provide a versatile protein-rich alternative to meat, fish, poultry plus eggs in many recipes.
- Nuts, nut butters: Especially unblanched, unroasted varieties, which are good sources of iron, fiber, magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamin E.
- Algae: Spirulina or chlorella are good sources of complete protein. Other varieties are great sources of iodine.
- Sprouted or fermented plant foods: Ezekiel bread, tempeh, miso, natto, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi or kombucha often contain probiotics vitamin K2. Sprouting or fermenting can also help improve mineral absorption.
- Nutritional yeast: This is an easy way to increase the protein content of vegan dishes plus add an interesting cheesy flavor. Pick vitamin B12-fortified varieties whenever possible.
- Fruits – vegetables: Both are great foods to increase your nutrient intake. Leafy greens such as bok choy, spinach, kale, watercress, mustard greens are particularly high in iron, calcium.
- Whole grains, cereals, pseudocereals: These are a great source of complex carbs, fiber, iron, B-vitamins, several minerals. Spelt, teff, amaranth, quinoa are especially high-protein options
Downsides With Potential Health Concerns
B12: Vitamin B12 is only naturally found in animal products such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products—all foods excluded on a vegan diet. Inadequate intake of vitamin B12 can cause symptoms such as megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, loss of appetite, and potentially severe neurological symptoms. Luckily, vitamin B12 is fortified in many vegan foods such as certain plant-based milks, breakfast cereals, soy products. There are also vegan vitamin B12 supplements that can be taken to make up for the gap of B12 sources in the diet. The key is incorporating those fortified foods on a regular basis, or using a vitamin supplement if needed.
Iron: Vegans may be prone to developing iron deficiency because they are eliminating sources of heme iron (from animals), which is more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron (from plants). So not only are iron amounts lower in plant foods, but that iron isn’t absorbed as well. One thing to do to improve non-heme iron absorption is to consume iron-rich plant foods with a food rich in vitamin C.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fatty acids play key roles in heart health, brain, eye health, as well as reducing chronic inflammation. The best sources are fish, eggs, sea vegetables, but they can also be found in some nuts or seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts. Adequate intake of those plants foods are key,. Also DHA supplements may be needed.
Calcium , vitamin D: Often found together in foods, these two nutrients also work together to maintain bone health. Inadequate intake of one has an affect on the other’s ability to perform tasks. It’s key that vegans seek out plant-based foods fortified or supplemented with both of these.
The vegan diet can be a healthy eating pattern for individuals who ensure they are meeting all of their macronutrient, micronutrient needs, such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids. The environmental + ethical benefits to a vegan diet are positives on top of the health benefits. However, individuals shouldn’t feel pressure to follow a vegan diet if it doesn’t sound appealing.
The research supports similar health benefits when all forms of vegetarian diets are consumed—even those that contain dairy or eggs. It’s important to note that people can still follow the confines of veganism while eating a diet of unhealthy, processed foods. Also, a healthy vegan diet likely requires more time in the kitchen cooking while planning meals out than a standard diet.
I think we covered a great deal of useful information about this topic on Eating A Vegan Diet -To Get Blood Sugar Levels Normal. I also want to thank Michelle Ahayah for asking me to put this together for her website. Please leave comments, both Good or bad. We need to know how this was for you, so we can improve as we go along.
My name is Brian Elliott You can find my website at https://diabetic-victory. com Thank you for your time and have a great day.
Hey guys, I really want to thank Brian for taking the time to share this post with us today! Follow the link above to visit Brian’s website where you will find tons of other articles surrounding health through plant based living.
His site particularly focuses on the importance of adopting a vegan diet do both prevent and/or combat diabetes. A lot of really good information for people at every level of health.
I want to know, what is your favorite thing to order when you are eating out? Know a vegan restaurant that wasn’t mentioned above? Share it with us in the comment section below!
~The Vegan Mama