In recent years, we have seen an influx in people becoming more conscious of their shopping and their eating. The meat industry is one of the biggest influencers in the world’s CO2 emissions which is why people are now turning to a vegan diet. A vegan diet is a vegetarian diet that removes all animal products and by-products from their diet and lifestyle. This includes honey, eggs, dairy, leather and much more.

Many choose this diet for health reasons, but others do this for ethical reasons including the reduction of animal cruelty and eating more sustainable options of food. Whilst there are many health benefits to a vegan diet, many find it far too difficult to maintain. A vegan diet also has a range of serious disadvantages that some may decide that they outweigh the benefits. In this article, we will go through some of the top advantages and disadvantages of a vegan diet.

Advantages of a Vegan Diet

Improved Heart Health

Vegans and vegetarians are up to a third less likely to die of heart disease. Red meat is well known that it can affect your heart in a range of different ways. A vegan and vegetarian diet can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, encourage a healthier weight and reduce the chances of Type 2 Diabetes which all aid in reducing the chances of heart disease or a stroke.

Possible Weight Loss

There are many studies that suggest that a vegan diet can aid in losing weight. Obviously, a vegan diet alone can’t aid in weight loss but the overall lifestyle can. When one adopts a vegan lifestyle, it removes a lot of the unhealthy foods that contain high levels of fats, saturates and empty calories. A study compared weight loss between a vegan and a controlled group that included animal protein. The evidence shows that a vegan diet was an effective tool to reduce body weight and maintain healthy body weight. 

Disadvantages of a Vegan Diet

Possible Nutritional Deficiencies

There are many disadvantages to a vegan diet, yes, it can be healthy, but it has been proven to be severely deficient in some essential nutrients that you must be aware of. One nutrient that is severely low in a vegan diet is calcium, which is essential for bone formation. Muscle contraction and much more. You can increase your volume by eating green leafy vegetables, pulses or you could alternatively, take some calcium supplements

Vitamin B-12, also known as cobalamin is another nutrient that will be lacking in a vegan diet. This is due to it primarily being found in animal products. Vitamin B-12 is needed for healthy nerve functioning and blood cell production. This can lead to pernicious anaemia. Vitamin B-12 can be found in some plant-based foods including seaweed and mushrooms, but it is recommended that someone on a vegan and vegetarian diet may need to take a vitamin B complex supplement to achieve healthy levels of all B vitamins.

Difficult Eating Out

If you enjoy going out for nice meals with friends and family, then this is about to change dramatically, and possibly get much harder. Yes, there is a huge influx of restaurants and eateries that offer plant-based alternatives, but when you go to a birthday or special occasion, chances are you won’t be eating much. This can in turn cause you to be left out of occasions as people don’t know how to cater for a vegan.

By Pedrosa