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The pros and cons of a vegan diet

The pros and cons of a vegan diet

vegan plant-based bowls | pros of a vegan diet | London Doctors Clinic

What is veganism?

Veganism is a way of living which involves refraining from the use of all animal products in order to minimize cruelty to animals, often exercised through adopting a change of diet. 

A vegan diet is a largely plant-based diet which excludes any animal products. The amount of people adopting a vegan diet has increased rapidly over the past few years. This change has not only come as a result of the increased concern for the welfare of animals but also due to the positive health and environmental benefits that following the diet generates. 

Benefits of a vegan diet:

Weight-loss:

If you make to sure to adopt a well balanced vegan diet better weight loss can be achieved than through a caloric restricted diet because of the high fiber content. The high fiber content will also help to improve your bowel movement and make them more regular.

Lower saturated fat intake:

A vegan diet if properly practiced will be high in antioxidants and low in overall saturated fat and cholesterol. This is helped by the lack of meat and dairy in your diet which makes it easier to reduce your consumption of saturated fat.

Lowering your saturated fat consumption is favourable to your health in several ways. It’ll reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower your blood pressure, which in turn can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In addition to this, there is also research which suggests that going on a vegan diet plan can decrease your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

However, it is vital to remember that plant foods which are less healthy, such as fries and drinks containing high sugar content are not as nutritionally beneficial and have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Helping to lower pollution:

Alongside all the masses of health benefits, by reducing your meat consumption you are also not adding to the severe pollution produced within the meat industry.

 

The cons of a vegan diet:

A vegan diet plan can prove tricky to follow:

Controlled meal plans can prove very beneficial but everyone needs variety in order to keep them interested.

The ability to make varied vegan recipes is made tricky by the struggle to easily identify suitable products.

Though, the presence of egg and diary are always clearly identified, the inclusion of ingredients which are made from animals such as Rennet and Isinglass are not always clearly identified. 

Don’t fear though, as the trend is increasing more and more vegan alternatives are being launched which is making it easier for consumers to adopt a vegan diet and get variety.

Important nutrients can be missed:

When considering adopting a vegan diet you must be aware that you will likely have to put in more effort in order to get all the nutrients needed by your body.

Whilst adopting a vegan diet will likely up your intake of a variety of nutrients, there is a few key nutrients that are not found as widely in plants as they are in animals products. Below is a list of these key nutrients and where to find them:

Nutrient

Which vegan foods will you find it in?

Vitamin D

Certain mushrooms and cereals

Vitamin B12

Almond, coconut and soy milk

Omega-3 fatty acids

Plant oils (flaxseed oil and soybean oil), nuts and seeds.

Iron

Leafy greens, vegetable oil and cereals

Calcium

Leafy greens (except spinach), soya beans, tofu and nuts

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common for vegans and can lead to anemia and neurological symptoms. If you feel like you may be missing out on any nutrients it may well be worth getting a vegan blood test.