Vegan refers to edibles that are free of animal products. It may also be used to refer to a person who practices the lifestyle of feeding on meals without any trace of animal product. A vegan does not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product. Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes these animal products or any other kind of animal-derived ingredient. Even some meat substitutes are off the menu as they contain dairy. If the vegans avoid these animal products, what do they eat then?
A vegan diet comprises of grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. For one to become a vegan, there is no a specified procedure. While some people may go directly from eating meat right away, others tend to struggle with their new commitment to doing so.
Is veganism an advantageous lifestyle to follow?
Many vegans argue that veganism is a lifestyle and not a diet as many think. Most people who adhere to vegan diet go ahead and lead a vegan lifestyle. Veganism carries some potential advantages. Most vegans claim veganism is a recommendable means of eliminating certain health risks associated with animal products.
According to vegans, many people assume that the only means of obtaining proteins, minerals, and calcium is by consuming animal products. These nutrition needs can be met through consumption of nuts, seeds, legumes, cereals, and soy products as supplements. Calcium and iron can be obtained by leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and whole meal bread as well as fruits and legumes. Vegan food lacks cholesterol, which is linked to heart diseases. Vegan diet comprises of vital nutrients including the fiber and antioxidants which boost the colon health.
Argument against going the vegan way
In as much as vegan diets are healthy, they are not sufficiently necessary. However, vegan may be inundated with unhealthy foods during food processing. While it is possible to obtain almost all the nutrients you need in a vegan diet, it is imperative that one make sure that he/she has important nutrients that one may lack.
Essential Nutrients lacking among the vegans
This is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies among the vegans. The iron present in vegetables is not sufficient enough to cater for the necessary nutritional requirements. Lack of enough iron in the diet may lead to anemia, associated with a deficiency in hemoglobin levels in the blood.
Although protein is found in a variety of plant food like the peanut, peas, avocados, beans, the amino acids present in the animal products are of high concentration and sufficient amount. It is important for everyone, particularly children, and active adults, to get enough protein.
Vegans lack adequate levels of this vitamin since it is absent in the natural food. Lack of this vitamin may lead to gastrointestinal or neurological problems.
Fat soluble vitamins A and D
There is a popular belief that carrots provide vitamin A. however, the vitamin produced by carrots is carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A. True vitamin A is only provided by purely animal products such as liver egg yolks. Many people believe that the carotene provided by the carrots is converted to a vitamin. This conversion is usually insignificant. It requires a huge amount of carotene to get converted to a standard vitamin A. Vitamin D, naturally referred to as vitamin D3, and is only found in animal products such as cod liver oil and dairy products.
These two vitamins are essentially important in that they regulate the immune system, enhance digestion and also fertility level. They also regulate hormonal balance.
This is a supplement to calcium. Calcium may not work effectively unless it is accompanied by vitamin K2 which transports it into the bones. Plants only provide vitamin K1 while vitaminK2 is obtained from animal products. You can obtain vitamin K2 from pastured egg yolks, liver, and milk.
Other means that leads on to become unhealthy vegan
Although vegan diet is said to be healthy due to a cut in weight, this is not always the case. Weight gain may result if one is not careful. Most foods in the vegan cafes are said to be low in animal protein. However, the problem will still crop up if the amount is not checked. Processed food that is said to be vegan has some concentrations oil, sugars, and salts that may contribute to unhealthy vegan.
Additionally, one of the item people run away from is that fat in the meat. Fat is fat, and it will also be found in the plants in the form of oil. The components of fats and oils are the same. High concentration of oils in the salad will have the same effect as the oil in the animal product.
Overall, it is clear that going vegan can be unhealthy. Although this conclusion may be debatable, it goes without saying that going vegan is a healthy lifestyle if undertaken with all the dietary precautions.