Does A Vegan Diet Have Health Benefits? Dieticians Decodes

If you do choose vegan lifestyle, make sure you are taking into consideration all the pros and cons.

Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Jul 03,2022
Updated at: Jul 03,2022

People have been opting for veganism as a lifestyle now, it may be under the influence of following the latest trend or you may feel it is the right choice for you. Veganism can be a drastic change from your usual diet so before you dive into it, it’s advisable to measure the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision for your future. 

Pros of Vegan Diet

Better Heart Health

According to Dietitians Kajal Wattamwar and Bushra Qureshi from Healthy Steady Go, Vegan diets can boost heart health in several ways. A study proved that eating more of plant based foods over animal foods reduces risk of heart attacks and death in adults. Animal products — including meat, cheese, and butter — are the main dietary sources of saturated fats. According to the American Heart Association,  eating foods that contain these fats raises Cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and storke. Plant foods are also high in fiber, which the study linked with better heart health. Animal products contain very little or no fiber, while plant-based vegetables and grains are the best sources.

Also Read: Planning To Go Vegan? Here Are Plant-Based Milks That You Can Try

Reduces weight

Studies have shown that vegans are more readily reducing weight and maintaining a healthy weight than non-vegans. Vegan foods are low in calorie content and high in fiber content. This helps you in the reduction of the excess body fat that gets accumulated in the body. Plant-based foods contain a lot of complex carbs which makes you feel fuller for a longer period, so you don’t have the urge to snack often and also triggers the thermogenic effect and burns more calories during digestion. Most vegan food items are low in saturated fat and veganism also demotes the intake of processed food which prevents you from adding unwanted calories to your body. 

Lowers the blood sugar levels and risk of type-2 diabetes

Vegans have lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity which reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The vegan diet is dominated by a mix of a plant-based diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dried nuts, and lentils. Researchers have found that the plant-based diet maintains blood pressure, builds a robust immune system and alleviates systemic inflammation. These food items are high in magnesium which is linked with lowering the risk of diabetes in an individual.

Also Read: Avoid These 7 Mistakes If You Are On A Vegan Diet

Boosts your mood

Feeding on a plant-based diet will also help you elevate your mood. When you consume food regularly without hurting animals, you will gain a clear conscience and grow to be more compassionate in life. Vegan foods also increase the levels of feel-good hormones and lower the levels of cortisol in the blood, which is related to stress. This helps you fight the daily stress and anxiety and reduces the risk of depression.

Gives you vibrant skin

Pimples and other common skin issues like acne are mostly caused by dairy products. Avoiding dairy and animal products and switching to a plant-based alkaline diet increases the intake of vitamin and antioxidants-rich food items which help in maintaining a healthy, glowing and more vibrant skin. Vegans are also claimed to be high in energy and along with better quality sleep.

Cons of Vegan Diet

Risk of nutrient deficiency

Eliminating animal foods, and following a vegan diet can lead to deficiency in certain nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc and Vitamin D3. To follow a strict vegan diet, you need to combine food items so the lack of nutrients doesn’t affect your health backwards. Also take advice and proper consultation from a qualified dietician to meet all your nutrient requirements and supplement whatever is lacking.

Also Read: Plant-Based Diet Or Vegan Diet: Which One Should You Choose?

Not sustainable for every group of people

Veganism excludes the intake of animal products and not every social and cultural group can opt for it. Eliminating multiple food groups can also create an issue with your medications. So if you have any health concern’s, do take the green sign from your doctor before trying it out. Similarly, it’s not highly recommended for pregnant &  lactating women along with toddlers and kids.

May Cause Vitamin B-12 and Omega-3 deficiency

Vitamin B-12 is found in abundance in meat and barely in any vegetarian food. Vitamin B-12 predominately helps in blood cell formation and neurological development. The symptoms of this deficiency are not very hard to detect considering the awareness created around it now a days. 

Omega-3 is found in fishes and eggs and in very low quantity in vegetarian food. This omega-3 fatty acid is required for blood clotting, proper brain development, reducing cholesterol in the body and many more. 

Image credits- freepik


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