Vegan food lacks protein and makes you lose weight: Los Angeles-based food expert Mariko Amekodommo busts the myths

As vegan food becomes more mainstream, it creates endless options for those who choose plant-based living. You can find almond milk and coconut yoghurt on the shelves of most markets across India, and food and delivery options now feature vegan dishes and plant-based restaurants. .

Before making the switch to a vegan diet, people will rightly have questions as they take the plunge. There are mixed messages on social media about benefits and risks, as well as uncertainty about how to start and how to get the necessary nutrients.

Mariko Amekodommo, an international culinary expert, told ET Panache: “Over the past 6 months, I have been inundated with messages from people wanting to switch to a vegan diet. As an international culinary expert who studied vegan diets and recipes around the world and owned a vegan restaurant business in Los Angeles serving celebrity clients and brands, I’ve seen and heard it all. of vegan food.

Here, she busts some common myths about going vegan.

i will lose weight
Vegan food can actually cause you to gain weight when you eat packaged foods. Most are high in carbs and sugar, without the added protein to stabilize your blood sugar. You will be hard pressed to find vegan breads, sweets and snacks. “Over the years I’ve received messages from people wondering why they’re gaining weight on a vegan diet, so I told them to write down everything they ate (and how much) and get back to me in a week. As I suspected, they found delicious vegan snacks in stores and ate tons of sweets and potato chips,” says Amekodommo.

If you choose a vegan diet for weight loss, stick to whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes. If you like sweets, make your own vegan fruit ice cream or chocolate date truffles.

Vegan food does not contain protein

People always worry about not getting enough protein when switching to a vegan diet. Amekodommo says that’s far from the truth. “For most vegans, the protein source of choice will be legumes and legumes. You’ll soon find them the cornerstone of a vegan diet, but don’t worry about eating dal and rajma chawal for the rest of your life. I love making chips and crackers from lentils, and making an amazing chocolate cake with besan flour. If you’re willing to experiment in the kitchen, you’ll have no trouble making delicious (and unique) protein-rich vegan recipes,” Amekodommo shares.

Vegan food is healthier than its animal counterparts

Have you read the labels of these “fake meat” products? Scrolling through the label of 20 ingredients supposed to replace a chicken burger (which contains 1 ingredient) you will find genetically modified soy and highly processed additives to name a few. With higher levels of sodium, saturated fat and calories than traditional chicken, you could eat vegan – but at what cost? “If you can’t do without a good, juicy burger, I’ve made fantastic versions of them with grains, vegetables and spices. The texture and taste will stand up to these pre-packaged products and you will be able to pronounce the actual ingredients of what you are eating,” advises Amekodommo.

And finally…should I make the switch
“Whether you want to switch to vegan food or continue without vegetables…my advice is the same. Be diligent in reading the labels of what you eat and understand the ingredients you put in your body,” says Amekodommo. Home-prepared fresh produce will always be a favorite option and if you do decide to indulge in sweets and packaged snacks, keep them in moderation.” Vegan diets have many benefits, such as increased energy, boosted immunity , weight loss and disease control. If you want to try, be sure to eat whole foods, get proper nutrition, try new recipes at home, and enjoy the process,” adds Amekodommo.

BOX: Recipe
Chocolate and Avocado Vegan Ice Cream Recipe
This is one of the quickest and most indulgent guilt-free vegan dessert recipes. Experiment with adding other flavors such as chopped fresh mint, coconut, toasted almonds, or chocolate chips.


This is one of the quickest, most indulgent, guilt-free vegan dessert recipes.

2 cups ripe avocado, chopped and frozen

2 tablespoons of nut butter. Try cashews, almonds or peanuts

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons of liquid sweetener. Try honey, agave, or date syrup for best results.

Blend all ingredients in a blender or blender until smooth. Freeze 20 minutes before serving.

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Tanya S. Norvell