The Unhealthy Vegan

‘Going vegan’ will not automatically make you healthy. There is such thing as an unhealthy vegan. Many people think that vegans are food obsessed health nuts. For many vegans, this might be true, but not everyone who eats a plant-based diet is healthy.

Vegan Does Not Equal Healthy

Not everyone on a vegan diet does it to be healthy. Plenty of people follow vegan diets/lifestyles because they don’t want to be a part of system that perpetuates the killing and cruel treatment of animals, and their choice to go vegan for that reason is awesome. Others simply know that there are health benefits to eliminating meat and dairy from their diet, but their interest in the health aspects of veganism end there.

With the plethora of processed, sugary, vegan junk food on the market, simply choosing to avoid any food that comes from an animal does not guarantee you are eating healthy food. Cheesecake, ice cream, and pizza can all be made vegan. If your diet consists of mostly those foods you won’t be getting the nutrients your body needs.

Chocolate cake unhealthy vegan

Being vegan means abstaining from any food, clothing, makeup, furniture, etc., that is from an animal or has played a part in animal cruelty. While people primarily think of the dietary aspects of the vegan lifestyle, nothing about a vegan diet actually has to be healthy; as long as it’s free of meat and dairy (including fish, eggs, etc) it qualifies.

Like ANY diet, a vegan diet can be done in a healthy way or an unhealthy way.

The Unhealthy Vegan Diet

Here’s an example of a vegan diet; free from all animal products, but high enough in processed, sugary foods, and lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts & seeds, whole grains, and overall nutrients, that it would not be considered a healthy diet.

Breakfast Fried hash browns with vegan pancakes and maple syrup
Snack Vegan chocolate chip cookies
Lunch Vegan sandwich bread, tofurkey, vegan mayo, lettuce, tomato
Snack Rice cakes with peanut butter
Dinner Vegan cheese pizza
Dessert Coconut milk ice cream

Overall this diet isn’t terrible, and many of the meals on their own could absolutely be part of a healthy vegan diet plan- but if this is what your day looks like you’re sadly missing out on a lot of nutrients.

Pancakes unhealthy vegan

The Healthy Vegan Diet

Here is a more natural vegan diet, high in raw food, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and most importantly, high in nutrients; which, when we are considering health, is the most important part.

Breakfast Fruit bowl with cantaloupe, grapes, papaya; followed by whole grain toast with almond butter
Snack Smoothie made with hemp protein powder, banana, avocado, spirulina, flaxseed, agave, beet, coconut milk yogurt, & mango
Lunch Baked sweet potato and a raw salad with zucchini, spinach, tomato and oil & apple cider vinegar dressing
Snack Carrots and cucumber slices with hummus
Dinner Quinoa with tahini, broccoli, kale, celery, and edamame
Dessert Fruit bowl with kiwi, apple, and orange slices

To Conclude

Often people will make the switch to a vegan or plant-based diet thinking they will lose a lot of weight or be much healthier; and in many cases this is true- but if your day is filled with unhealthy vegan junk food and food that is highly processed you’re going to be getting more calories than you want and far less nutrients than you need.

If you want to shift your diet towards more plant-based foods that’s fantastic! There is plenty of room for balance between the vegan sweet treats you like and the fresh, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods. With some research and experimentation you can make a vegan diet that suits you perfectly.


The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and should not be considered any type of medical advice. The information provided in this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease, and should not be substituted for professional care. If you suspect or have a medical condition, consult an appropriate health care provider.


Sarah Soper

Registered Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for healthy food, sustainability, fitness, and non-toxic living.

Leave a Comment