Contributed By: Meher Manasa
Vegan, most of us have heard of this form lifestyle and how most of who follow this advocate this to be the healthiest. What do Vegans eat? Vegans are restricted from eating anything that is derived from animals direct or as a by-product of the same. Vegans do not consume meat, dairy, honey, eggs, etc. Every internet trend might not be the healthiest choice hence here we are to help you understand the consequences of going vegan, cold turkey.
As for plant-based diets, vegans are often expected to choose plant-based proteins for their regular protein intake and restrict themselves from consuming any meat produced/derived protein. The consequences of plant-based protein are that they contain anti-nutrients that aid in a leaky gut. The leaky gut syndrome occurs when the lining of the small intestine is damaged and all the food and toxins are directly absorbed into the blood.
Once restricted from consuming dairy and its products most vegans opt for a soya version of them all. Soya milk, Tofu, etc., This results in a mindless increase in soya intake. Extreme soya intake can cause hormonal imbalances, including a rise in estrogen and thyroid hormones. Hormonal imbalance once caused can need medical advice immediately as it can cause a lot of digestive and reproductive issues.
3.Mineral deficiency :
With no meat consumption, the Iron levels in the body tend to drop down and if not attended to immediately with regular good quality supplements this can lead to Anemia and loss in hair. Zinc is another important mineral whose levels tend to drop in vegans as consumption of only plants restricts zinc absorption. Hence, vegans are advised to consume 50% more iron-based food.
4.Higher chances of depression:
Omega-3 fatty acids, present majorly in fish and eggs when restricted from diet and not replaced appropriately with supplements can aid in depression. Vegans tend to overcompensate the Omega acids by consuming nuts that have Omega-6 fatty acids, this may aid in depression.
5.B-12 deficiency :
Another important vitamin important for the survival of the human body is B-12 which is primarily satisfied through consuming meat, all kinds. It is very important to find a food supplement ( which is always very expensive and rare ). B-12 supplements are often derived from Fish / Fish Oil and this does not qualify to be vegan.
Veganism is a lifestyle choice and is considered extreme by most nutrition specialists. People with eating disorders are advised to stay away from this as it is a very restrictive lifestyle. Hearing success stories of being vegan might motivate one to switch over but one must keep in mind that what suits one might not suit another. Depending on certain personal lifestyle choices, they cannot accommodate being a vegan and it is counterproductive to choose a non-sustainable lifestyle.