Junk food is always bad for you, vegan or not. Vegan food, by definition, does not contain meat or dairy. That doesn’t mean all vegan food is good for you. Every day on social networking sites, you will see posts of lovely vegan cheesecake, fried vegan foods and other vegan junk food. Those things are bad for you, just like conventional junk food. They may not be as bad, but they’re definitely not something you should eat all the time.
Veganism is primarily about health.
If you truly care about your health, your focus should be on nutrient dense foods. Junk foods like cakes, chips and more can be vegan and still be bad for you. Yes, even those kale chips that you salt, coat in olive oil and bake. They’re better than conventional chips, but they’re still not a vegan diet staple. Vegan junk food is meant as an occasional “treat” to stave off cravings for the worse stuff. It shouldn’t be part of your daily diet.
Fat is fat.
Whether it comes from a vegetable source, or an animal source, fat is something that should be limited in your diet. Even olive oil, in excess, is bad for you. The human body needs some fat, it’s true. Still, even vegan cheese contains too much fat to be used on a regular basis. So, go ahead, use a small amount, occasionally, when you miss the taste of real cheese. Just don’t slather it all over every meal. You’ll be defeating your own purpose.
Sugar is sugar.
All sugars can be bad for you when over-consumed. Yes, even honey and agave nectar. Honey contains nearly exactly the same ingredients as sugar. Plus, consuming it is not vegan. Bees are routinely harmed in bee production, transport and more. Plus, they produce honey for their own nutritional needs, not yours. Your body processes man-made (or bee made) sugars identically. The best way to add sweetness to your food is with real fruit that has not been made into concentrated sugar.
Flour is flour.
The fact that your white flour is GMO free or derived from something other than wheat is wonderful. It doesn’t however, change the fact that it’s full of empty calories. So, before you go crazy making alternatives to cakes, cookies and bread without animal based butter and eggs, keep in mind that cakes cookies and breads aren’t all that great for your health, no matter what they’re made of.
OK, so they’re a little better.
It’s true that animal fat is worse for you than olive oil. It’s true that refined sugar causes more health issues than other sugars. It’s also true that your food should not be genetically modified or full of chemical pesticides and preservatives. Most vegan food meets these criteria, whether it’s junk food or not. So, yes, vegan junk food is better for you than conventional junk food. But, no matter how you slice it, it’s all junk. If you’re going vegan for your health, stay away from vegan junk food. It’s worse for you than you think.
Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.