It was not all that long ago when a vegan diet was considered impractical. The lack of meat products including dairy and honey meant that a person might lose out on the needed proteins and other nutrients their bodies needed.
However, thanks to increasing interest in this type of diet along with a number of cookbooks that promote many vegan recipes, the sheer number of ways that vegans can enjoy their meals has led to a growth in their popularity in recent years. While still representing a small fraction of the population, there is no doubt that the vegan diet is here to stay.
The Advantages of the Vegan Diet
Lower LDL Cholesterol: Studies have shown that a strict vegan diet will help lower LDL cholesterol levels which are associated with heart disease.
More Fiber: The beans and other legumes provide plenty of fiber for the body which helps in the processing of food while assisting the digestive system.
Lower Blood Pressure: There are studies which have shown the beneficial effects the diet has on lowering blood pressure, which is associated in part with reduced LDL cholesterol levels also. For many, this is one of the main benefits of this diet.
More Antioxidants: Antioxidants are very beneficial to the body in that they fight the free radicals which prematurely age the skin, hair and nails. The result is a more youthful appearance as well as a detoxification of the body as well.
Better Self Control: One of the more interesting findings is that this type of diet actually helps promote better self control. By focusing on the process of selecting the right foods, the vegan diet really helps people to control the amount and type of food that they consume.
The Disadvantages of the Vegan Diet
Big Change: Going vegan can be a difficult process for many because it represents a true radical change in their diet. This is especially true if you cannot replace the protein through using soy products and the like.
Loss of Vitamins: In particular, vegan diets lack B12 which is a very important vitamin that needs to be supplemented in order to maintain the health of the body. The same is true for calcium and Vitamin D although there are natural, vegan sources available.
It May Interfere with Medical Condition: This is a radical change in your diet while having an existing medical condition such as diabetes or osteoporosis may result in a change in the way treatment may be delivered. You will need to consult with your physician before making such a change to ensure your treatment is on schedule.
Arguably, one of the biggest concerns is that going vegan might convince a person that their new diet is “perfect” which is far from the case. Going with a vegan diet does not necessarily mean that you will become healthier because there are still limitations.
However, there is no doubt that eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes and other non-meat related products will have a positive impact on your health. It will simply require more attention to your diet to ensure that you receive all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients for your body.