Lately, there seems to be a surge in veganism amongst friends and family around me! From vegetarians to extreme carnivores, turning vegan always seems to be a topic of discussion. The reasoning behind “going vegan,” varies from wanting to lose weight, and improve cholesterol and other health factors, to animal rights and ethics. While omitting animal/animal-based products from your diet can be of benefit to your body, it is important to be aware of what you are replacing those foods with.
Whole, plant-based foods are great for your health as long as they are not laden with salt, sugar, and oil. However, often times I have noticed commercial vegan foods to be filled with just that! FYI—just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you. But, you can definitely achieve a healthy lifestyle with proper nutritional guidance and education. The key vitamins and minerals to look out for in a vegan diet are Vitamin B12, D, Calcium, and Iron. These nutrients are widely found in plant-based foods, but it is important to note that larger quantities are necessary for consumption and absorption when compared to those needed in an animal-based diet. This can cause overconsumption of some nutrients in order to meet the needs of others. Therefore, some nutritional supplementation may also be required.
In addition, making sure adequate protein and calorie needs are met is crucial in maintaining proper tissue repair and function. As with any dietary or lifestyle change, it takes time to learn and the learning to become a habit. Once you have it down your possibilities are endless……..