Potential Dangers of a Vegan Diet

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 13, 2014
Quick Bites

  • Vegan diet leads to a drop in protein levels.
  • Lack of protein can have dangerous health risks.
  • A vegetarian diet makes one have constant cravings for food.
  • Almost all vegans have vitamin B12 and iron deficiency.

Vegans have been up on pride lately with the increase in bird flu cases and other digestive problems arising as a result of consumption of infested meat among meat eaters. It is true that a vegetarian diet has lots of health benefits; it has fibre, folic acid, potassium, vitamins C and E, lots of phytochemicals and magnesium.

vegan diet

If you take a vegan and a meat eater, you’d see that the vegan is thinner, has lower levels of serum cholesterol, lower blood pressure and a highly reduced risk of heart diseases. But then there are also some demerits of a vegan diet that a lot of us have not really given much attention to. Let’s us help you discover some of them.


A Dangerous Drop in Protein Levels

You must have heard it from primary school that protein is the building block of our body. Now, the best source of protein is found in meat and poultry. But, if you are strictly a vegan, you lose a major source of protein from your diet and whether you are getting as much protein from a cup of lentil soup really cannot be guessed or even guaranteed.

Unlike protein present in animals, no plant product really contains a complete amino acid profile. Vegetarians, however, are not completely deprived of protein in their food options. They will be able to extract just enough protein if they eat certain vegetables every day. Now that for us humans, who hype the sense of taste over the presence of nutrients, is hard to adjust to. Protein deficiency results in impaired healing of wounds, build-up of fluids to extremes, fatigue and decreased muscle mass.


Iron and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

It has been found by researchers that almost all the vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B-12 and iron, though this can be easily countered by the help of multi-vitamins every day.

demerits of vegan diet

Constant Cravings

Even though most vegans are thinner than meat eaters, there are some who engage in excessive binging of fast and junk foods to address the constant cravings that they experience. Food cravings usually happen because there is something that the body needs and is not really being given.

Other Side-effects

Some other side-effects of a vegan diet as reported by a lot of people include a non-existent sex drive, non-specific loss of interest in daily activities and poor quality of sleep. These are all said to be a result of lack of nutrients that the body needs.

Like every diet, a vegetarian diet has both benefits as well as disadvantages. You must consider both of these aspects before really heading down this path.


Image courtesy: Getty Images

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