Contributed by- Aanchal Agarwal, Dietician
When someone aims to lose some extra kilos, first and the easiest method available for them is dieting. And dieting too has a lot of variations. Amongst the chaos, the vegan diet has become really popular these days. But the question is what a vegan diet is and what makes it so special. The vegan diet is a completely plant-based diet that includes all meals and beverages made only from plant products. The vegan diet completely eliminates all animal-based products including dairy.
Most people wonder, what is the difference between a vegetarian diet and vegan diet? Unlike vegetarians, vegans do not consume any food that comes from animals which includes dairy and eggs. The veganism aims at eliminating any kind of harm to any living being. A vegan plate is all about excluding meat, poultry, fish, and dairy and replacing them with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains.
People opt for a vegan diet for many reasons. But the most important element of going for a vegan diet should be its health benefits. One should always consider all the positive and negative aspects of a diet. It will help know the good, bad and ugly truth about it and will help the individual to find the diet which is the most suitable.
Let us discuss the truth about a vegan diet and why and why not one should go for the vegan diet plan.
Here are the benefits of the vegan diet and why one should consider going vegan.
- It reduces the intake of saturated fats which is beneficial in lowering cholesterol level and reducing the risk of heart disease.
- The vegan diet is rich in fiber which aids digestions and leads to healthier bowel movements. A fiber-rich diet helps in lowering the risk of colon cancer.
- The vegan diet is also rich in various nutrients like Magnesium, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Phytochemicals which are all required to maintain a healthy body.
- Vegan foods are also full of antioxidants which are good for a healthy heart and helps in lowing the risk of infections and some type of cancers.
- With a vegan diet plan, one can manage their blood pressure levels. Both high and low blood pressures are life-threatening and proper management is a must.
- The vegan diet is also popular for its weight loss benefits as it limits the intake of unhealthy foods.
- Risk of heart diseases is reduced as vegan diet provides a lot of benefits to a human body which helps in keeping the heart healthy.
- A vegan diet is proved to help those with arthritis pain by providing relief.
- A healthy vegan diet is good for the kidney as the major risks like heart disease, bad cholesterol, diabetes, and weight is under control.
- The vegan diet is also recommended for better management of sugar levels as plant-based foods help the body to use insulin better and help those suffering from diabetes.
Here are the limitations of the vegan diet.
- Switching to a completely plant-based diet has its own limitations because many major components required by the body are missed out.
- It can have an impact on energy levels of the body and can make one look sluggish.
- With lower energy, one would be less active on the switch.
- Sudden hunger pangs and intense cravings can come when following the vegan diet plan.
When following the vegan diet, there can be some extremely unpleasant consequences too.
- One can suffer from various deficiencies of nutrients like Iron, Zinc and Vitamin B12. These nutrients are required by the body for proper functioning but reducing their intake can have an adverse impact.
- Arachidonic acid is critical for healthy cell-to-cell junctures in the skin and intestinal tract, and for life-saving inflammation response. Best sources are animal fats and organ meats. Vegan diet lacks this necessary nutrient.
- When dining out, it can be very tricky to find restaurants and food outlets that have food suitable for the vegan diet. Even planning meals at home can be tricky. One should seek doctor’s advice to know the right amount of nutrients required by the body to plan the meals and avoid any deficiencies.
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