My love for food runs deep and the topic is never far from my lips and if I’m not putting it in I’m spouting off about it. One of my fabulous clients mentioned the negatives of eating vegan and so I have done a little analysis. I’ve read the pros and concluded the cons, and it’s fair to say I won’t be making any drastic changes anytime soon.
So the four main positives I came across were;
It may help lower cholesterol. I believe I am correct in thinking that increasing your fibre intake through fresh fruit and veg decreases the bad cholesterol. (LDL)
A possible reduction in blood pressure. Studies have shown this to be so but I would like to propose a thought; that committing to a vegan diet would suggest that the individual is very in tune with their health and the choices they make. I would assume, that this could be the reason for these health benefits rather than the content of the diet.
I’m no expert but I’m just thinking outside of the box!
An increase in the antioxidants due to increased veggies. This is very true however there is nothing to prevent the carnivorous from upping their intake of sweet potatoes, yellow peppers avocado et al.
An increase of discipline and self control which is very true there are many things which are forbidden in the vegan world. Self discipline is a virtue and it is learnt and learnt again!
And now for some negatives…
I would find vegan life very limiting, I like to eat out and I sometimes fancy meat, eggs, a cream cake or two. That’s not to say everyone would.
A lack of essential vitamins and mineral. Plants provide a lot but not necessarily all we need, vitamins D, and B12 along with calcium need to be factored into vegan diets. It’s also super important to combine our vitamins to ensure our bodies have all they need to process and make use of them. An example might be to eat citrus along with iron rich foods can aid absorption.
Protein. cutting all animal products can ultimately lead to a lack of protein which we need for growth and repair as well as sustaining our diet and blood sugar levels.
Mental Health There has been some evidence to suggest that a vegan diet may present a higher risk of mental health problems. Whilst I don’t fully understand all of the figures I can see that a high percentage of anxiety and depression has been found. However as we are aware vegan doesn’t mean healthy and this may well be due to other lifestyle factors or dietary decisions.
Misleading. Committing to a vegan diet could potentially lull us into thinking we are leading a healthy diet but this is not always the truth. It’s always worth considering am I getting enough when the message let out by the media on a consistent basis is to consume less, sugar free, gluten free etc etc.
All this being said I wouldn’t want for anyone to think that I am for one second pooh-whooing a vegan diet. There are many nutritious recipes and a lot to be said for seeking a healthier more balanced diet that suits you. Information isn’t alway knowledge, go forth and challenge the information you are presented with. Listen to your body for we are all individual and have different need and requirements so make sure to do what works for you and makes you feel good and happy.