You might have adopted a vegetarian diet, but crave sweets and fatty food. You may even feel hungry shortly after your meals. But, how can this be if eating fruits and vegetables is so healthy? This is exactly what happened to me in the beginning soon after I left the dinner table…
‘How many calories does your body need?
Different people need different amounts of calories to be active or stay a healthy weight. The number of calories you need depends on whether you are male or female, your genes, how old you are, your height and weight, whether you are still growing, and how active you are, which may not be the same every day [1 niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/take-charge-health-guide-teenagers]’.
If you get a ‘sweet tooth’ I would avoid high fructose corn syrup. But, there are other sweeteners and syrups, that should be avoided. Solve the problem by not using anything with added sweeteners. Get your sweets directly from whole intact fruits, instead. That’s our safest bet.
We also need to take good care of our teeth. And, starchy and sugary processed and refined foods can stick to the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth metabolize carbohydrates creating an acidic condition which can dissolve tooth enamel eventually causing cavities. It is refined carbohydrates like bread, cookies, crackers which can and often do cause dental caries similar to gooey candy.
“New as well as long time vegans and vegetarians make the mistake of eating too much dried fruit and refined carbohydrates for energy. A soft drink and bag of chips qualifies as vegan or vegetarian food, but are junky empty calorie snacks. They also might eat too many avocados, seeds and nuts because they simply aren’t getting enough calories each day. We can get a ‘fat tooth’ as well as a ‘sweet tooth’ for too many sweets and fats. If this is you, you may need to eat more ‘right calories’. What I do is eat brown rice and potatoes” ~ your author
I believe the body doesn’t discern between different sugars. I think it treats sugar as sugar the exception being the body metabolizes sugar from fruit differently because it has fiber. Fiber slows down sugar absorption into the bloodstream, which is a good thing. What this means is anything sweet that’s not plant based ‘intact’ whole food may raise our blood sugar too quick, especially liquified sugar in soft drinks. Sugar spikes and lows are not healthy over the long term.
Brown rice and potatoes have what’s called ‘resistant starch’ which breaks down into glucose when digested. It ‘resists’ digestion in the small intestine. Gut health is improved because the food ferments in the large intestine instead creating more beneficial bacteria than bad. Plant fiber acts as a prebiotic feeding good bacteria. Fiber is an essential nutrient.
To conclude, we have all heard too much salt, fat and sugar isn’t healthy. So, what can we do about this? You could make all your meals from scratch like I do using plant based whole food. Recipes, here.
As for anything else you buy, be sure to scrutinize labels reading all the ingredients. Some ingredients we don’t recognize not knowing how to pronounce them. These, I would avoid. I believe we are better off excluding processed and refined food.
A few examples of the many names for sugar…
Corn syrup solids
Fruit juice concentrate
High fructose corn syrup
Source- 1 URL niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/take-charge-health-guide-teenagers
Website Title National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Article Title Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers
Date Published December 01, 2016
Date Accessed March 20, 2019
Note- consult your doctor before you change your diet.