Eating a vegan diet is a health trend that does not appear to be going away anytime soon, with many fast food chains now offering vegan options these days.
But, are there any real health benefits to following a vegan diet?
Vegans don’t eat any red meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, eggs, dairy or animal by-products (such as gelatine, often found in sweets, desserts and even some alcoholic drinks), which leaves their diet almost completely plant based with their diet consisting of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables.
The vegan diet is generally considered to be higher in fibre and lower in cholesterol, protein, calcium and salt, all of which can have health implications if consumed to excess, however. although the diet can be very healthy, it won’t automatically be healthier if you just cut out meat and dairy products.
Vegans and vegetarians have a higher risk of B12 deficiency, because this essential vitamin is generally found in meat, fish eggs and dairy foods, so it is important that vegan diets include the following:
- you 5-a-day portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
- base meals on potatoes, wholegrain bread, rice, pasta
- include some dairy or dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts
- eat some beans and pulses
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- drink plenty of water – the government recommends 6 to 8 cups/glasses a day
If your diet isn’t planned properly and you are worried whether you are getting the nutrients you need, Vegan blood testing ensures you are meeting your nutritional needs and gives you the opportunity to amend your diet or start taking the correct supplements.
Vegans need to particularly aware of getting enough iron, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and calcium, but if they plan their meals carefully, there is no reason that there would be any problems.
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Do you eat a vegan diet?