What is Vegan Eating?
Vegan eating restrictions are the removal of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, honey, and gelatin from your diet. Vegans generally follow a plant-based diet, meaning they eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and oils (such as canola, olive, sesame, and hemp).
Veganism has become increasingly popular, and with good reason. Vegan diets have been shown to provide numerous health benefits, such as improved heart health, lower high blood pressure, and support in the fight against cancer. But, while veganism is a very healthy alternative to other diets, there are some cons to it.
Vegan Eating Pros and Cons
- Increased feelings of satiety
Vegan diets promote healthy eating habits that reduce body weight. This can be achieved, in part, by eating more fibre, which has a positive influence on satiety (feeling of fullness after a meal)
- High intake of fibre
Vegan diets consist of vegan products only—no meat, dairy, eggs, or fish—and are considered healthy due to their abundance of fibre, protein, and nutrients. They get their fibre through vegetables and fruits, which they eat as a big part of their diet, so their intake is on the higher end of the scale.
- Diet for weight loss
You probably already know that eating a vegan diet can help with weight loss. That is because following a vegan diet means cutting out foods like dairy and eggs, which are made of animal fat. But you might be surprised to know that a vegan diet is also helpful for reducing your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. A vegan diet is also great for the planet, and you will not feel deprived. Like fruits and veggies, many vegan foods are naturally low in calories.
- Low in protein and fat
Vegan eating is not for everybody. Some people may be vegan for religious or health reasons, and some may do it to lose weight. But one thing is for sure: to conform to the vegan diet, you must limit your intake of animal products. This means no beef, pork, or most fish. This also means no eggs, milk, or butter. Honey, cheese and yogurt are also out of the running. And because vegans do not eat meat, they miss out on essential vitamin B12 and protein, which means they have to find a way to supplement it.
- Possible deficiencies of essential vitamins
If they are vegan, then their diet is probably lacking essential nutrients. Some of the nutrients they need can include iron, calcium, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D, and niacin. Vegans may also avoid meat, dairy, eggs, and gelatin. Due to a plant-based diet, vegans have a harder time getting enough of certain vitamins. For example, vegans are more prone to vitamin B12 deficiencies. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve, brain, and red blood cell function. If they are very depleted in this vitamin and they go for a medical check-up, then their doctor may prescribe them B12 shots or tablets so they can replenish that vitamin.
- Difficulty achieving protein needs.
Vegans rely on a variety of plant sources for their protein, but most of these sources do not provide complete protein. Although some vegan sources do, they often contain incomplete proteins that are difficult for the body to digest. Many vegan proteins also contain poor amounts of essential amino acids, which are essential for the development of muscles. So, in the case of an athlete, they need to find ways that they can have the maximum protein intake that they can whilst sticking to their vegan diet, otherwise it may affect their performance and cause them issues.
You probably know that going vegan is becoming more popular and is a lifestyle choice for many. However, it is important to understand not only what veganism is but also the benefits and drawbacks before you dive in headfirst. A vegan diet consists of foods that are either plant-based or animal product-free, so remember that when you are looking for products, as you will need to make sure they are actually vegan.