Health Benefits and Disadvantages of A Vegan Diet

This is a collaborative post from Vegan Liftz. I have been compensated to post it. I personally am not on this diet, but I have been trying to find ways to eat more fruits and vegetables recently, and I thought the information would be inonteresting to some of you, as it pertains to optimal eating for health, bodybuilding, and fitness. Vegan Liftz specializes in plant-based diets and their relationship with health and bodybuilding in particular. They’ve been featured in Entrepreneur and other notable places.

Vegan diets have become a trend worldwide as many people are opting for it over other diets. A vegan lifestyle or veganism is defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, whether for food, clothing or any other purpose. For many reasons, several people are considering going vegan, whether because they advocate ethical treatment of animals or because they are hoping to reap the health benefits of such a diet. This diet is also highly sought by fitness-conscious people. Besides food, vegan supplements are becoming a trend as people are replacing dairy based health shakes with vegan shakes and protein bars. In fact plant-based protein bars are a quick and easy way to get protein into your diet and you can get some delicious vegan protein bar recipes and make them yourself. Research continues to emerge suggesting the health benefits this diet can bring and therefore we have listed down five important health benefits of veganism.

Vegan food
(Image Source: Pixabay)

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Losing Weight

Eating plant-based foods is a good choice over meat if you want to cut back on extra calories as the normal inclination in a vegan diet is to eat fewer calories. Vegan diets usually consists of vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and fruits which comprise fewer calories. This regimen improves digestive activity and increases the rate of metabolism as it is fiber rich. You will consume less saturated fat, because these diets lack meat and dairy. One benefit is that vegans feel full and satisfied after eating meals because they eat more nutrient-dense foods that are packed with fiber. These factors are essential in your pursuit to maintain Body Mass Index (BMI) and lose extra weight. Results show that vegans lose 4.4 pounds more on average than non-vegans.

Lowers Risk of Diseases

A plant-centered diet has fewer fatty acids and is easy to absorb, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Studies show that a plant-based diet significantly decreases the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) bad cholesterol. Vegans also have a lower cancer risk compared with meat-based diets. In a vegan diet, high volumes of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and vitamin C are reported to protect against a variety of cancers. Some studies also show that plant based diets reduce the risk of kidney related issues as it leads to proper production levels in vital organs of the body. Sticking to this diet can be a big asset to anyone who struggles with diabetes. Maintaining blood sugar levels is important for managing diabetes. A plant-based diet is very rich in fiber content that helps keep the levels of blood sugar in check.

Plant-based foods.
(Image Source: Pixabay)

Good Skin

Most vegans have attested to the immediate impact of going vegan on the skin. As dairy products are not a part of a vegan diet, it helps in reduction of acne. At the same time the water and fiber content in fruits and vegetables helps the skin to be replenished and get nutrients for the skin to be healthy and clear. Flaxseed contains natural oils that can help regulate the production of oil in the skin, and reduce the pores that are obstructed. Additionally, the fatty acids and lignans present in flaxseed help improve the overall skin appearance. Those who regularly consume orange vegetables, such as squash, carrots and yams, increase the consumption of beta carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that not only fights free radicals but also provides healthy glow to the skin.

Disadvantages of a Vegan Diet

  • Since this diet is so restrictive, many first-timers may find that they are more hungry than normal and may search for not-so-wise foods to fill up, such as highly refined carbohydrates, sugar, fatty foods and even vegan-formulated snacks.
  • Following a vegan diet, you may develop some vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acid and zinc deficiencies. These defects can affect the body in a number of ways, possibly leading to a weakened immune system, a higher risk of bone fractures, high blood pressure, rashes, or fatigue.
  • A particular concern is the decreased or even nonexistent levels of vitamin B-12 in a strict plant-based diet. Vitamin B-12 has many consequences for the smooth functioning of the central nervous system and for the regulation of metabolic functions, and it is very difficult to acquire adequate quantities of B-12 from fruit and vegetables alone.

A vegan lifestyle can help to prolong life, promote animal welfare and help in preserving and conserving the environment. A healthy plant-based diet is good for the overall human body and it is something worth considering, while being conscious of its disadvantages so that you can make up for those deficiencies with appropriate vegan products.

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