What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet consist of vegetable, fruits, grains, and other food products made only from plants. So no meat or dairy products in this diet. Many follow this particular diet as a conscious effort to reduce the consumption of animals and animal products. Thereby, reducing their carbon footpath. However, veganism might not be the right choice for your body.
Fault in your diet (the vegan one!):
Missing out on key nutrients –
In a vegan diet, you avoid all types of food products made from animals, including those that are the only source of vitamin A and vitamin D. These vitamins are not found in plants directly and our body might not be able to convert the little amount available through plants or mushrooms. Also, there is a huge risk for your body as it might lack important nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are easily available through meat, fish and dairy products.
Relying heavily on soy –
The main concern with consuming soy in any form is the phytoestrogen content. Phytoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body that could cause a chain reaction of hormone imbalances. Although there have been many studies about the effects of soy on the hormones, the fact that soy is completely harmful to the body is still under dispute.
Having to use the bathroom more –
Being high in fiber due to staples like pulses, whole grains, and starchy vegetables, the vegan diet can cause havoc with your normal digestion. Uncomfortable experiences of gas, bloating, diarrhea or possibly constipation are very common when switching to a vegan diet.
Is vegan food any good?
Help lose excess weight –
The calorie intake with a vegan diet is generally reduced making it a very effective tool to lose weight. There have been several studies with different kinds of diets including a vegetarian diet (dairy products are consumed but not meat or fish), that have proved that vegan diets are the most successful in weight loss.
Gain a healthier heart –
Generally, vegans tend to consume more whole grains and nuts that are known to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels that may reduce the risk of heart diseases. Studies have shown that as long as you follow a healthy plant-based diet, your risk for coronary heart disease is minimal.
Protection against certain cancers –
It is believed that certain aspects of a vegan diet can provide protection against prostate, breast and colon cancers. This is mainly because when you follow a vegan diet, you tend to avoid consuming smoked or processed meats and meats cooked at high temperatures, which are thought to promote certain types of cancers. Studies with regards to this observation are still underway. However, regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is healthy for the body as WHO states that one-third of the aspects causing cancer can be controlled with a healthy diet.
Vegan diets provide a bunch of health benefits but the exact reasons for the occurrence of these benefits are still unspecified. This calls for research on a larger scale. There may be some low points to a vegan diet but with the right supplements and help from an expert dietician, anyone can successfully follow a vegan diet.