The vegan food market has expanded recently. This can be a good thing as people who eat less meat do tend to live longer, healthier lives.
The vegan diet is for those who avoid eating all animal products due to ethical, animal welfare, environmental and/or health concerns. It can be done well but it takes planning particularly for children, teenagers, older people and athletes. Vegans are at risk of missing out on vitamin B12, iron, zinc and omega 3 fats.
Here are some vegan snacks I have found in Leeton and Griffith, NSW. Remember unprocessed vegan food is the place to start if you are looking for a vegan snack- fruit, vegies, nuts, seeds and legumes. Vegan dips include hommous as pictured here which goes well with vegie sticks.
Processed vegan snacks usually consist bars and balls. They contain dried fruit for sweetness and to stick them together. Then nuts, seeds and coconut are usually added.
Then there are the non dairy milks (see my blog from June 2020) and non dairy yoghurts. Remember to look for 300 mg calcium per 250 ml serve as non dairy milks don't contain any natural calcium. Neither of the vegan yoghurts pictured here (Nakula and Dairy free Yo Pro) contain calcium so they offer no benefit to keeping your bones strong.
When teaching clients how to read food labels I encourage them to buy food with less than 10% fat and sugar (or less than 10g per 100g). These processed vegan snacks are higher, ranging from 10-40% fat and 15-40% sugar. The lowest in sugar and fat I could find was The Bar Counter blueberry choc fudge bar (black packet) with 20% fat and 19.5% sugar. The Kez's kitchen gluten free naked snack bars have a very high 44% sugar and don't taste that great. Take note though that the fat is mainly the good stuff (unsaturated) and the sugar is mostly natural from dried fruit.
These bars and balls are all good sources of fibre at around 2-3 g per serve (we need 25-30g a day).
Then there are the vegie chips which people assume are healthy because they are made from vegies. These ones have less fat (20%) than regular chips (30-35% fat) but you'd be better off eating steamed or roasted vegies with your dinner than a packet of vegie chips.
So if you are eating vegan foods look go for the unprocessed food if you can.
By the way, I wouldn't recommend the triple berry snackaballs- the salted caramel ones taste better!
Leanne is an experienced dietitian who is passionate about helping people eat well.