Go ahead. Eat the vegan cookie dough.
By Stepfanie Romine, author of "Easy Vegan Meals by SparkPeople: The No-Stress, No-Guilt Way to Reap The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet"
- You can eat cookie dough and cake batter without fear of salmonella. (Just don't double dip or ruin your dinner!)
- Less saturated fat and virtually no cholesterol. Plants contain no dietary cholesterol, and saturated fats are found primarily in tropical plants, so your consumption will noticeably decrease.
- Vegan protein is much cheaper than animal protein! Beans, tofu, and even tempeh are often $3 or less a pound. Even fancy vegan "sausages" cost less than $5 for four links, each of which has enough protein to be two servings.
- If you have food allergies, you can avoid half of top food allergens. Four of the top eight food allergens (milk, eggs, fish and shellfish) are not vegan, and they must be listed on labels. (On the flipside, many vegan products contain nuts, so if you're allergic, read labels thoroughly.)
- Virtually no cross-contamination risk. SparkPeople member INFO-JUNKIE agrees: "The thing I like best about vegan cooking is that you don't have to worry about the contamination of meat juices or cutting up the raw chicken. I used to have a separate knife and cutting board for meat, but now I've gotten rid of them."
- No more mystery meat. For every time I've been served a pathetic vegan meal when away from home (limp iceberg salads, bland burgers, plain rice cobbled together on menus), I've also been served an outstanding vegan meal in unexpected places: at weddings, on airplanes, at conferences. While everyone else pokes at the rubber chicken, you're enjoying a feast of vegetables!