There has been a lot of talk about the different ways to stay fit and healthy. We are becoming more and more conscious about our surroundings and ourselves. We choose what we wear and what we eat, where to live and what to do to make our life safe and happy. Many people have started following various diets and exercise regime to remain fit and healthy. One of the most talked about diet is that of Vegan Diet. But on a long term is vegan diet really healthy for your body?
What is a Vegan diet?
A Vegan diet constitutes of all the byproducts of only plants. It is a type of vegetarian diet that includes wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables. Milk, honey and eggs are strictly banned. It is a lifestyle choice where people deliberately choose to avoid everything that is produced by animals.
The Vegan diet has many benefits. Some people follow it because of the unethical treatment of animals, while others choose it for the healthier diet options. Before you decide if the vegan diet is good or bad for you, read all the advantages and disadvantages of vegan diet.
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Advantages of Vegan diet
- Helps Reduce Cholesterol Significantly
Veganism helps reduce LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein). People who complain of bad cholesterol must try the vegan diet. It helps control the cholesterol that ultimately lowers the BP and leads you to a healthy heart.
- Increases Antioxidants intake and photochemical
We are what we eat, so if we stress on fruits, vegetables and legumes along with beans, we are including more and more antioxidants and good photochemical. More colour in your plate leads to more colour on your cheek. It is a great opportunity to get dietary fiber and vitamins that they have to offer.
- Promotes Self-control and aids in weight loss
Controlling what you eat also promotes control over other aspects of life. It enhances your level of commitment and dedication. Vegan diet also aids in weight loss as there are no high fat dairy products, but has lower calories.
- Reduces the risk of certain diseases
Because of no saturated fats in the meal, you lower the risk of type 2 Diabetes and Hyper tension.
- It is environment friendly
Water is scarce and we know that more water is required to produce animal protein than the grain protein. By adopting the vegan diet we are also helping our environment save water. It is more doable.
Every diet has disadvantages as well. Veganism has its own share of cons.
- Huge change
Vegan diet brings in a radical change in your diet. In case you are allergic to a certain ingredient, it makes it difficult to follow. Many people are allergic to Soy, in order to work around it would be challenging for a vegan diet follower.
- Medical disturbances
Vegan diet can interfere in medical conditions like Osteoporosis and Diabetes.
- Going out is difficult
Be it to dine out or visiting a friend or even on holidays. Getting the kind of food you want becomes challenging.
- Less essential Vitamins and Minerals
Vegan diet has low Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. They are also essential for our body thus lack of them leads to deficiency.
- Weight loss can lead to Weight gain
While starting the new vegan diet, you have to control your cravings. In order to do so, sometimes you grab the unhealthy choices of carbohydrates that will not aid in weight loss but would pile on the weight. This rarely happens but one must be sure and have excellent self control.
- Vegan Diet is Challenging
Planning the different proteins and balancing them is quite challenging. Intake of high grain proteins can lead to bloating, and digestion problems. The metabolism takes time to adjust to the change in diet plans.
Apart from the advantages and disadvantages of the vegan diet, there is a very important question – Is choosing this diet ethical for the sake of animals and environment or is it just another fad?
Many activists believe that vegan diet helps in protecting our environment. Some of the benefits of Vegan diet for our earth are:-
- Reduces the impact of climate change
Natural resources are scarce and we know that more water is required to produce animal protein than the grain protein. By adopting the vegan diet we are also helping our environment save water.
- Avoids Rain-forest destruction
More and more rain-forests are cleared everyday to make space for raising animals.
- Cruelty to Animals
It’s a fact to obtain meat, the animals are slaughtered insanely. When the cows and hens are not able to produce they are disposed of. Some Vegans do not like to eat meat because of the cruelty enforced to animals.
- Greenhouse Effect
Clearing the forest and raising animals for slaughter leads to more gasses that lead to greenhouse effect and ultimately pollution.
There are two sides of a coin. Unfortunately, there are certain ill effects of Vegan diets on the environment. Let’s consider the below scenario.
It takes more natural resources, in order to produce the equal amount of calories and vitamins in our diet as that of the animal produce. For instance, if you consume a single portion of meat to complete your meal, the quantity of vegetables you would require will be more. That puts a pressure on the Earth to produce more fruits and vegetables.
It also disrupts the balance of food chain. As most of the production is consumed by human population, less is left over for animals to feed on, thus affecting the entire food chain. Whether to choose vegan diet, vegetarian diet or any other diet should be your personal decision. That depends upon the health and medical reasons. Ethics, political or social reasons should not govern the way you eat, sleep or dress up. Your Body Is You Own. If you know what your body needs, you must follow it. Do remember that no diet should be started without talking to the doctor or a reputed dietitian.
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