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I was just thinking and writing about this issue the other day.  This article is MUCH more articulate than my own writing.  Enjoy! Copied from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/

cheesecake

One misconception about eating a vegan diet is that you won’t gain weight by eating vegan foods. True, vegan diets can be incredibly healthy, but it can be easy to get carried away by all of the things you are able to eat on a vegan diet, such as coconut milk ice cream. Too much of a good thing can add up and contribute to a larger waistline if your vegan diet isn’t balanced and contains too much sugar, fat and carbohydrates. Here are five things you should eat in moderation on a vegan diet.

1. Nuts

Nuts have fiber and protein that will help keep you full, and healthy people know that a handful will keep them satiated and energized. When eaten in moderation, the healthy fat in almonds can help trim your waistline. The key word is moderation. It’s easy to overdo it on eating nuts since they’re easy, delicious finger food to mindlessly grab while you watch Netflix. However, a one ounce serving contains 162 calories and 14 grams of fat, so mind portion size.

2. Pasta

Eating a vegan meal can be as cheap and easy as making pasta with canned marinara sauce. I recently graduated from college, so I definitely had my fair share of that meal as a student. Pasta is easy to overeat — have you ever sat down with a heaping bowl of noodle and ate the entire thing? While pasta can be hearty and delicious, it’s also a high calorie food. A 2 oz. serving of regular pasta contains 75 calories, 2.94 g of protein and 14.21 g of carbohydrates, according to the USDA Nutrient Database.

3. Avocados

Avocados contain the healthy monounsaturated fat that lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good cholesterol (HDL). This fat also helps lower your risk for heart disease. Putting some guacamole on your taco will help you get this essential, healthy fat. But don’t let that garlic, onion, lime and salty taste of the guac on your black bean chips fool you into eating it by the spoonful.

4. Vegan Packaged Cheese

Vegan cheese alternatives can be processed and made with preservatives and other unnatural ingredients. Buying packaged “fake cheese” and sprinkling it on food can be a quick way to enjoy the cheese taste you miss as a vegan. However, that can come at a price if you go too far.

Look at the ingredients of a cheese alternative. Let’s take Daiya cheese as an example. Though it’s dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free, it is not free of oil. Daiya Jalapeño Garlic Havarti Style Wedge, for instance, contains palm fruit oil, expeller pressed canola and/or safflower oil and coconut oil. A small, 3cm cube will give you 13% of your daily value of saturated fat. Try making your own vegan cashew cheese instead.

5. Raw Desserts

Vegan desserts made with fruit, nuts and sweeteners like dates and coconut oil can be delicious and healthy. However, the sugar and fat in raw, vegan desserts can add up for the waistline, especially if you are already eating enough fat at other meals.

If you need something sweet every day, get into the habit of consuming raw cacao. It’s the most antioxidant-rich food in the world, containing over 300 important compounds, including protein, fat, certain B-vitamins and minerals such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper. Try adding cacao nibs on top of parfaits.

Large-scale studies including the Adventist Health Study, the Oxford Vegetarian Study, the Health Food Shoppers study, and the Heidelberg Study have shown that overall, vegetarians tend to be thinner, in better health, and have a reduced risk of chronic diseases and greater longevity when compared with omnivores. In moderation, these foods are just fine and should be welcomed in any vegan diet. But, you’ll want to be careful — reap the whole health benefits of your plant-based dietby watching your intake of some foods such as oils, sugar, pasta and fats.

Image source: Pumpkin Cashew Cream Cake with Chocolate Sauce (Raw Vegan)

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