As more and more people make the life-changing choice to go vegan, the lifestyle is becoming much more mainstream than it was even just a few years ago. Before you make this decision for yourself, it is important to consider the pros and cons of making this choice and how it will affect your overall lifestyle.
What is a Vegan Diet:
This diet excludes meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy, making it one of the most restrictive nutritional plans. Staples of a vegan diet include grains, beans, tofu, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Looking at these staples and it is no wonder that making the choice to go vegan can deliver significant benefits to your overall health. While people who are vegan may miss some of their old favorite foods, the growing popularity of this lifestyle means that there are increasing options available to indulge your cravings. For example, vegan protein cookies are a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth while still complying with a vegan diet.
Pros of a Vegan Diet:
Natural Weight Loss
The health benefits of a vegan diet are clear. One of the most immediate advantages for people looking to shed a few pounds is that adopting a vegan lifestyle may naturally lead to weight loss. Because a vegan diet is lower in calories than most traditional diets, simply adopting this way of life will promote weight loss.
Reduce Risk of Disease
Vegans also enjoy a reduced risk of serious illness and disease. Because it is a plant-based diet, veganism is naturally low in saturated fats. This leads to lower rates of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. The diet may also reduce your risk of developing cancer. The high concentration of fruits and vegetables is also known to lower the risk of many types of chronic illnesses because of the benefits of the antioxidants.
Environmentalists have long promoted the benefits of the vegan or a plant-based lifestyle. It is no secret that the meat industry is a significant strain on the environment. Eliminating this component of the diet and focusing on foods naturally derived from Mother Nature automatically improves sustainability. Adopting a vegan diet reduces the destruction of wildlife habitats, avoids excessive amounts of CO2 production, and saves large amounts of water. As the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability in the food chain, look for this advantage to become more pronounced.
Cons of a Vegan Diet:
Once you decide to adopt a vegan lifestyle, it is important that you understand what nutrients you may possibly be missing so that you can supplement as needed. Excluding all animal products from your diet means that you may be lacking calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, and folate. Savvy vegans understand that they need to take steps to get these nutrients from other sources. Vitamin B-12 is widely available in many fortified foods such as cereal and plant-based milk.
If you have an existing medical condition, it is vital that you consult with your doctor before making the choice to go vegan. For example, reducing your calcium intake can be a major hindrance to your fight against osteoporosis. A medical professional will be able to advise how to balance this lifestyle choice with your current health needs.
Making the decision to go vegan will be a radical change in how you approach eating. Before you take this leap, it is important that you understand the degree of restriction. Vegans often find it challenging to eat out at restaurants. While that is becoming easier as more restaurants begin to cater to vegans and their dietary needs, you still need to understand how to approach eating out. It will also take time and persistence to figure out how to shop and cook to be in compliance with veganism. You need to be ready to take on this challenge if you decide to go this route.
Although the vegan diet is not for everyone, its obvious merits mean that it should be a consideration if you are looking to boost your overall health. Examining the pros and cons of this lifestyle choice will ensure that you can make an informed decision about if this is right for you.