The vegan or vegetarian diet has been promoted in recent years as being healthier than traditional diets that include meats. For many decades, vegan diets have appealed to those who want to refrain from consuming foods derived from animals, poultry and fish. However, more people are now considering the virtues of going totally vegetarian in their diet for health reasons.
Is the vegan diet really better for your body than one that includes meats? While there is no clear answer, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to consuming a vegan only diet.
The Pros of a Vegan Diet
Better Control in Dieting Effort:
One of the biggest issues with diets that are restrictive is that people will grow tired of them after a while and revert back to their normal eating habits. However, those who choose the vegan diet were better able to control their eating habits thanks to the fact that most vegan foods take a little longer to consume which slows down the process of eating. This means that vegans tend to be more aware of what is going in their mouths while cutting down on impulse eating habits.
Lower Blood Pressure:
In 2009, the American Dietetic Association concluded that eating a vegan diet helped lower the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease. This is because a vegan diet is far lower in LDL cholesterol that promotes higher blood pressure and a greater risk of buildup in the arteries and veins. The report showed a lowering of blood pressure as well as less risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as compared to those who consumed meat.
Lower Cholesterol Level:
There have been studies showing vegan diets lower LDL cholesterol as compared to those who consumed meat. Those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes were able to lower their LDL levels by upwards of 21%, although the American Dietetic Association’s study only showed a 9% drop. Still, the net effect was a drop in LDL levels across different studies.
The Cons of a Vegan Diet
Fewer Vitamins and Minerals:
Vegan diets are generally devoid of important vitamins and minerals such as B12, D and calcium. They can consume vitamin and mineral supplements as a response to not getting it from the foods that they eat, but it does add more to the food budget.
It can be difficult for vegans to eat at restaurants as many of the menu choices involve meat or meat products of some type. This means that vegans must be careful about what they consume when they go out to eat.
Going on a vegan diet can be difficult for many because it represents so many changes to their eating habits. Making such a switch may be a bit too much for some people to make, especially if they love eating meat products.
In addition, eating a vegan diet might interfere with certain treatments of medical conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis which means that you should consult with your physician before switching to a vegan die. Otherwise, you might exacerbate the medical condition that you are suffering from while going vegan.