Vegan diet - these are the advantages and disadvantages

Many people now do without meat. But some go a step further and consciously opt for a vegan diet. We'll tell you whether this diet is healthy or whether the disadvantages outweigh the disadvantages.

What is a vegan diet anyway?

While vegetarians only abstain from eating meat, vegans go one step further and eat no animal-derived foods. So you not only do without meat and sausage, but also milk, eggs and similar products. There are now around 1.1 million people in Germany who consciously eat vegan. First and foremost, these are people who care about the well-being of animals. But health reasons also play a role for many vegans.

In a vegan diet, animal products are replaced by plant-based ones. However, that does not mean that the choice of food is severely restricted, because there are now numerous vegan alternatives for schnitzel, meatballs and the like in the supermarkets. The following foods can also be on the daily menu for vegans:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Grain
  • Nuts and seeds

Vegan Diet Benefits

On closer inspection, the vegan diet offers you numerous significant advantages. The prerequisite is, of course, that you know exactly what the food is and that you eat consistently vegan. If this is the case and you have worked out a balanced vegan diet, you can eat vegan, healthy and low-calorie at the same time. This means that a vegan diet can even help you lose weight . Purely plant-based foods have also been proven to make you feel better overall. An improvement in your intestinal flora is another advantage that should not go unmentioned. And of course very important: You do not support factory farming or deforestation of rainforests. Instead, you are committed to sustainability and thus environmental protection - one of the most important reasons for a vegan diet at all. Most people who follow a vegan diet do so for ethical reasons; surely you are one of them. The housing conditions for cattle or chickens in Germany are sometimes catastrophic - with your vegan diet you are demonstratively opposed to factory farming and, conversely, you ensure that no animals have to suffer.

Vegan diet disadvantages

Many doubt that a purely vegan diet can be healthy. In fact, vegans have to consider a few things when it comes to their diet. Similar to the well-known food pyramid for a balanced diet, drinks are also at the top of the vegan food pyramid. Adequate hydration is particularly important for vegans; it should be at least two liters a day. Give preference to water, unsweetened fruit juices, spritzers or tea. As a vegan, make sure that you drink mineral water that is particularly rich in calcium. By not consuming dairy products, you could be deficient in calcium. Special soy, rice and oat drinks are also usually fortified with calcium so that you can include them in your diet. A vegan diet can also result in a lack of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • vitamin D
  • vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • iron

Especially the lack of iron could be a problem. Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen in the blood. The main source of iron is meat; Vegans should therefore access another source of iron.Legumes, spinach and oatmeal are therefore the foods that should be on your menu several times a week. Vegans can also be deficient in essential omega-3 fatty acids and iodine. Both are commonly found in fish and seafood; both foods that vegans also avoid. In order to still absorb enough of it, we recommend iodized table salt for the preparation of your food. Walnut, sesame, and canola oil are also good suppliers.

You should prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency with dietary supplements. Normally, the vitamin B12 required for the body is obtained through food. Vegans, however, cannot do that; the help of high-quality nutritional supplements is therefore essential.

Fruit and vegetables are the second most important in the vegan food pyramid. It is best to eat a sufficient amount of this every day. Experts recommend consuming 300 grams of fruit and 400 grams of vegetables a day. Since this amount is often not easy to implement in everyday life, you can alternatively rely on fruit or vegetable juices. Fruit and vegetables are so important because they provide vegans with numerous essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Finally, level three of the food pyramid consists of potatoes and grains. Vegans can also have a go at rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Whole grain products are also highly recommended, as they fill you up for a long time. Protein products, nuts and seeds also play an important role in a vegan diet. It is best to choose legumes several times a week, as they are very good sources of protein. So beans, peas and lentils should be an essential part of the diet; as well as tofu or soy milk. Nuts of all kinds are valuable sources of protein and also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. But don't eat too many of them, because nuts have a comparatively high number of calories.
As you can see, as a vegan it is particularly important to eat a balanced and healthy diet. It is best to put together your individual nutrition plan to prevent various deficiency symptoms. The risk of malnutrition is therefore a major disadvantage of the vegan diet. Therefore, this diet is not suitable for all people. Both children and pregnant women should not eat vegan. Another disadvantage: You have to deal intensively with your food and should know the ingredients of all foods exactly. You have to invest a certain amount of time, especially at the beginning. Vegans don't always have it easy in everyday life: You're invited to eat with friends or in a restaurant? Then there are not always vegan dishes on the menu and you sometimes have to make compromises. Last but not least: The vegan diet can be more expensive than a "normal" diet. Above all, the special replacement products available in specialist shops are usually expensive for the manufacturers.

There are now numerous portals on the Internet that specialize in vegan recipes. Would you like to prepare healthy vegan dishes for yourself and your family every day? This is definitely cheaper than the commercially available vegan substitutes. However, it may be that such recipes are completely different from anything you have known before. Vegan brownies made from kidney beans, for example, certainly take some getting used to at first. But try it out and let yourself be drawn into the new taste experience. Even ice cream is now available in a vegan version; So you really don't have to do without anything.

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