Is The Vegan Diet Healthy For Me?

The Vegan Diet Examined

Once upon a time Veganism was something crazy that only eco-warriors were into, but everyday millions of people are saying NO to meat and dairy. Being a Vegan has become very ‘popular’ lately and a lot of people are choosing to go Vegan for perhaps all the wrong reasons, but of course many make the switch for entirely valid reasons. If you are reading this then perhaps you are also considering becoming a Vegan ? Before you jump on board there’s a few things you should know about this no meat, no egg, no dairy lifestyle.


WHAT IS VEGANSIM?

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet. With regards to the diet this includes abstaining from:

  • - All meat
  • - Dairy products
  • - Eggs
  • - Gelatin based products
  • - Honey
  • - And much more
    (which the Vegan must be aware of)

THE PROS

  1. IT’S HEALTHY: Even though vegan diets aren’t 100 percent perfect, they certainly can be healthy. The health benefits range from low cholesterol levels, improved Body Mass index, reduced chances of contracting Type 2 diabetes and SO much more.
  2. GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS: Weight loss is all about losing that extra body fat. Since the vegan diet cuts out most processed foods and saturated fats, it encourages the body to reach a healthy weight. The increase in vegetables and fruits helps to boost the metabolism and repair the digestive system.
  3. INCREASED INTAKE OF IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS: Vegetable diets are always rich in a wide range of complex nutrients. From dietary fibre to vitamins, carotenoids and folic acids. The vegan diet ensures that the body is receiving all the nutrients and micro-nutrients it needs to maintain optimum health.
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THE CONS

  1. HARD TO STRIKE A BALANCE: Finding a balanced diet isn’t easy once you go Vegan. Many important minerals, for instance calcium, iron, magnesium and omega 3 are found in animal products. A cleverly balanced diet is needed to replicate this should you go Vegan. Understanding the nutrients you need and what each plant produce provides, will help you strike a balance faster.
  2. SOURCING THE VEGETABLES: There are many fancy Vegan foods that aren’t common to come by. Many are only found at farmers markets or health foods stores. So finding all these ingredients you need to whip up a balanced diet isn’t that easy. You might have to take scheduled trips to the grocer’s or place special orders to get all the vegetables and cereals you need to continue to have a balanced diet.
  3. DIFFICULTIES WHEN DINING OUT: Going out with friends or family is meant to be easy and fun right? Well when you are vegan it can become challenging. Not all restaurants accommodate for the vegan diet. Numerous times you will find yourself in a situation where you really can only have a salad!

WHAT CAN I EAT?

You can eat anything of plant origin. This includes vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes and root tubers.

 

WHAT CAN’T I EAT?

Full vegan diets ban you from eating any animal product. Any meat and dairy products are out of bounds. Other animal extracts like fish cod liver oil are also a no-go.

1 DAY VEGAN MEAL PLAN EXAMPLE

BREAKFAST:
Green apple & oatmeal
SNACK:
Ginger banana smoothie
LUNCH:
Vegan soup with white bean hummus, basil, fresh thyme and whole grain bread
SNACK:
Raw veggies or tortilla chips with mango salsa
DINNER:
Bean stew with sweet potatoes and a mixed green salad

 

Author: Claire Trojkovic
Author Bio: Claire is a personal trainer from Australia and one of the top Nutrition Souq editors. She’s a fitness and travel expert with a degree in Literature and a Certificate 4 in Fitness and Nutrition. Her particular interests are yoga, bodybuilding, diets, weight loss, herbal remedies and travel. She also manages and writes on her own blog and has written guest articles for various online fitness publications.