Benefits and Risks of Vegan Diet
Besides helping you lose weight, a well-planned vegan diet is nutritious and can provide many different health benefits. But, a poorly planned vegan diet may increase certain risks.
Vegan Diet Benefits
A plant-based vegan diet includes lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds which are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy plant compounds. When compared to diets suggested by health authorities such as the ADA, AHA, and NCEP, vegan diets seem to be about 2.4 times more effective at reducing blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Furthermore, numerous studies state that vegan diets lessen total and LDL “the bad” cholesterol levels. A diet with the capability to reduce both cholesterol and blood sugar levels may be especially beneficial, as it can decrease the risk of heart disease by around 46%. Research has shown that a vegan diet could reduce symptoms of arthritis like joint pain, swelling and morning stiffness.
Vegan Diet Risks
Well-planned vegan diet programs appear to be nutritious and safe for all phases of life. But badly planned vegan diets may boost the risk of nutrient deficiencies and poor health.
As an example, vegans are more inclined to experience a vitamin B12 deficiency. This danger seems especially obvious for vegans who don’t consume vitamin B12 supplements or consume vitamin B12-fortified foods.
Not well planned vegan diets can also be lacking in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, iron, and zinc. Consuming not enough amounts of such nutrients can bring about different health issues, including nervous system damage, hypothyroidism, anemia, bone fractures, and depression.
Vegans who do not consume fermented foods like sauerkraut and natto may also lack sufficient vitamin K2, a nutrient necessary for heart and bone health. Finally, genetics may have an effect on your capacity to prosper on a vegan diet.
Nearly 45% of folks poorly convert the beta-carotene present in carrots or other orange-colored vegetables to retinol, the active form of vitamin A. Likewise, some people’s genetics could make it more difficult to sustain adequate levels of choline, a nutrient necessary for heart, liver and nervous system health.
In case thinking about a vegan diet, it is best to strongly consider monitoring your nutrient intake in an online food journal and getting your blood nutrient levels measured. Only then can you improve your diet with fortified foods or supplements when you need to.
Brief Summary: Vegan diets in general consist of many nutrient-rich foods that can help lessen the risk of numerous diseases. But, it’s worthwhile to be sure your diet is well-planned to avoid nutrient deficiencies.