Does a vegan diet suit all? Who can’t go totally vegan? Can it be a disaster too?
While a vegan diet can provide a wide range of health benefits and is suitable for many individuals, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Some people may thrive on a vegan diet and find it meets all their nutritional needs, while others may face challenges due to individual health conditions, nutrient requirements, or personal preferences.
Certain groups, such as pregnant or lactating women, infants, children, and older adults, may have higher nutrient needs and need to be especially careful to obtain all essential nutrients on a vegan diet.
People that should avoid a vegan diet include those with specific medical conditions or nutritional needs that may be challenging to meet with a solely plant-based diet. For instance, individuals with zinc deficiency, if your diet is gluten-free, if you are allergic to soy or nuts or if you are a picky eater.
A vegan diet can be nutritionally adequate but it may lack in some of the aspects if not planned properly;
- Nutrient deficiencies: Without careful attention to proper food choices and supplementation, a vegan diet may lack essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin D.
- Protein intake: Vegans need to be mindful of obtaining enough protein from plant-based sources to support their body’s needs.
- Caloric intake: Some people might inadvertently consume too few calories on a vegan diet, leading to malnutrition and weight loss.
- Refined and processed foods: Relying heavily on processed vegan foods or refined carbohydrates can lead to health issues.
- Disordered eating patterns: Some individuals may develop restrictive eating habits, leading to disordered eating patterns.
- Lack of variety: A monotonous vegan diet that lacks a diverse range of foods may not provide adequate nutrition..
What does it mean to follow a vegan diet? Who all can follow it?
Following a vegan diet means abstaining from consuming any animal-derived products. This includes all types of meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and other animal-based ingredients like honey and gelatine. Instead, vegans focus on consuming plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and plant-based alternatives like soy milk or almond milk.
People choose to follow a vegan diet for various reasons, including ethical concerns about animal welfare, environmental considerations, and potential health benefits. Vegans believe in minimizing animal exploitation and reducing their environmental impact by opting for a plant-based lifestyle.
As for who should follow a vegan diet, it is a personal choice. Many individuals thrive on a vegan diet and find it to be a healthful and fulfilling way of eating. It can be suitable for people of all ages, including infants, children, teenagers, adults, and older adults, as long as it is well-planned and nutritionally balanced.
This influencer was following raw vegan diet, how it can impact one’s body?
A raw vegan diet is a specific type of vegan diet that involves consuming only uncooked and unprocessed plant-based foods. This diet emphasizes the consumption of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and certain soaked or dehydrated foods.
The main principle behind a raw vegan diet is that cooking food can lead to nutrient loss and the destruction of enzymes, which are believed to aid digestion and other bodily functions. Therefore, adherents of this diet believe that consuming raw foods in their natural state provides maximum nutritional benefits.
But , we should keep in mind that raw vegan diet can be restrictive. It can also be challenging because it eliminates a lot of traditional cooking methods. People who are Following a raw vegan diet should also keep a regular check on intake of vitamin B , omega 3 , calcium and iron.
How does these influencers misguide people and how it can harm in many ways?
One of so many ways that influencers misguide people is by saying that people lose weight by following a vegan diet. This is not completely true because there are a lot of options that people can switch too if they want to and can eat as much as they used to while following a normal diet.
Another way is by claiming that vegan diet can cure a health condition without specific scientific evidence to prove that.
Influencers also make is look very easy and call this diet a quick fix for health but they do not give enough emphasis on the importance of balanced nutrition.
Influencers also downplay the role of supplements leading to nutritional deficiencies.
The biggest gap comes when influencers forget to discuss about the essence of personalism. The knowledge that influencers pass on is mostly generalised and lack the essence of personalised dietary choices based on individuals health conditions and preferences
What’s a balanced vegan diet could be?
A balanced vegan diet should include a variety of nutrient-rich foods to ensure all essential nutrients are adequately obtained. Here’s a sample daily meal plan:
- Overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, and topped with fresh berries and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.
- A glass of fortified orange juice for added vitamin C and calcium.
- A handful of mixed nuts and seeds.
- A piece of fruit, such as an apple or banana.
- A quinoa and chickpea salad with mixed vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and leafy greens) dressed with lemon-tahini dressing.
- A side of steamed broccoli for added nutrients..
- Carrot sticks and hummus.
- Dairy-free yogurt topped with fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Baked tofu or tempeh marinated in a savory sauce (tamari, garlic, and ginger) served with roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
- A small serving of quinoa or brown rice.
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you have specific dietary restrictions, health concerns, or require more calories due to increased activity levels, a registered dietitian can create a personalized meal plan to suit your individual needs and ensure you’re meeting all nutrient requirements on a vegan diet.