Are you thinking of starting Veganuary? Whilst eating a more plant-based diet is beneficial it is important to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding to go vegan.
Our nutritionist explains the benefits and risks of a vegan diet below so you can make the right decision for you.
Benefit: Reduced risk of illness
Studies have shown correlations between those following a vegan diet and reduced risk of disease. This includes high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
The reduction in disease risk from a vegan is related to the low levels of saturated fat in plant products and reduced consumption of refined and processed foods that are avoided as they tend to contain animal derived ingredients. These nutrient-poor and energy-dense foods are often replaced with plant-based whole foods, that contain more nutrients and less inflammatory ingredients, supporting health.
Risk: Lacking in essential nutrients
Certain nutrients are found in larger quantities in animal products in comparison to plant products. This includes minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12. However, it is important to point out that there has also been a decline in nutrients in soil over the years, leading to plant foods having a lower nutritional value than they used to.
Elimination of all animal products can lead to certain nutrient deficiencies that can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness and dry skin and therefore it is important to consider supplementation.
Benefit: Better for the environment
Not only is there a lower carbon footprint for plant-based foods but no animals are harmed in the preparation of vegan meals.
Risks: It can be a challenge to get all the benefits of a vegan diet
Variety is key to health and vitality. Your microbiome thrives off a variety of different plant foods. When starting a vegan diet some people struggle to come up with different meal ideas as they are so used to being able to eat anything and everything. This can lead to a boring and monotonous diet, lacking in variety which can negatively affect health and mindset around mealtimes.
Benefit: Improved digestion
Plant-based foods are high in fibre. Following a 100% plant-based diet, therefore, makes it a lot easier to increase your fibre consumption, aiding digestive health. Fibre makes it easier for food to pass through your digestive system and helps you to pass stools more easily.
Risks: Going vegan doesn’t instantly mean healthier
Staying healthy when following a vegan diet can be difficult. It is important to plan your meals and supplement correctly. Grains and pulses are plant-based sources of protein however you need to combine different plants to ensure consumption of all essential amino acids as plant-based protein sources are limiting in one or more essential amino acids. Combining plant sources enables one plant source to provide those limited in the other. E.g Combining peas with rice.
Grains and pulses, however, are not suitable everyone as for some people they can cause bloating and stomach cramps.
Consuming a more plant-based diet can aid health due to increased intake of fibre and polyphenols and reduced consumption of refined and processed foods. However, as some nutrients are only present in animal products there is a high risk of developing nutritional deficiencies when following a vegan diet which can contribute to symptoms of ill health. Elimination of animal products combined with poor soil quality can make it even harder to ensure consumption of vital micronutrients (minerals and trace elements). If you are going vegan, make sure that you are supplementing correctly and planning your meals appropriately.
Veganism is not for everybody but by reducing your consumption of animal products and processed foods and increasing your consumption of plant-based whole foods, you can increase the variety and fibre content of your diet to benefit your health.
At Cellnutrition we provide 100% natural, pure vegan supplements that work in your body at the cellular level. Cellnutrition Quinton is a marine based complete mineral supplement that provides all 78 minerals and trace elements that are essential for your cells to thrive and function optimally. The minerals and trace elements are in a fully bioavailable form so they can be used by your cells efficiently and effectively. Certain minerals including iron, selenium and zinc are often lacking in a vegan diet. Without all 78 minerals and trace elements, each mineral cannot work to its full effect as they work synergistically.
Omegabiocell369 provides a balance of essential fatty acids (Omega-3,6 and 9) in an ultra-pure form. Although Omega-3 is present in some plant-based foods, the body can struggle to convert Omega-3 ALA from plants into EPA and DHA. Omegabiocell369 is created with a unique patented technology delivering Omega-3,6 and 9 in a form that is easily absorbed by your cells and without any toxins.
Taking Cellnutrition Quinton and Omegabiocell369 daily provides your cells with the perfect foundation. Looking after your health starting with your cells helps to make everything else work better for you. This means you can absorb more nutrients from your food and feel like a better and healthier version of you.