The million-dollar question surfaces once again! Is veganism good or bad? While the aye-sayers strongly defend veganism, the nay-sayers refute it equally strongly. In order to come to a decision, you need to know the pros and cons.
In many parts of the world, veganism has become a way of life and those that have adopted a vegan lifestyle claim to have achieved numerous benefits by turning to an essentially plant-based diet.
Advantages of a vegan diet
Studies show that athletes and bodybuilders that follow a vegan diet boast of increased energy levels and a sense of well-being. There is evidence to show that these individuals recover from injuries faster and have been known to improve performance levels too. The phytonutrients present in veggies and plants not only accelerate the rebuilding process but also stifle the free radicals that cause so much damage.
Dietary reviews have shown that vegan diets are normally associated with lower LDL cholesterol. Veganism has helped to lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Since plant foods are easier to digest than animal foods, vegans are less likely to feel heavy and full after a meal. As a result the overall process of digestion takes place at an accelerated rate and problems such as bloating and acidity are less likely to arise. As plant food tend to be low on saturated fat, vegans are likely to achieve fitness and weight loss goals, faster. Moreover, as vegan diets do not include dairy products, the chances of developing acne is diminished. In fact, it has been known to improve skin condition and complexion. Also, if you’re environmentally conscious, then a vegan diet is the way to go.
That’s the rosy part of the vegan scenario- let’s peek and see what people have against it.
Most importantly, vegan diets miss out on important minerals and vitamins and they may be low in calcium and vitamins. People get protein from products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy- vegans miss out on the protein. When these are deficient in the body, there could be loss of bone and muscle mass. Also, if you have an existing medical condition, then vegan diets could pose problems. Not many vegan restaurants can be found- so eating out, joining friends at parties could become a problem.
However, if you still want to go the vegan way, you can- you can get your share of calcium from fortified soy products or leafy greens. Add vitamin D and B12 supplements to your diet or drink soy milk that’s been fortified with vitamin D. Vegan diets may be hard to follow and adapt and may be carb-focused- too much so.
So, though vegan is not a bad diet to follow, it’s important that it blends well with your lifestyle and goals. Never try to achieve total veganism in one shot– do it gradually and step by step but make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into before embracing it.