VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN
A healthy diet means something different to everyone. Nowadays being vegan or vegetarian is the trend. However, is cutting whole food groups out of your diet that beneficial to your health? The short answer is: neither yes, nor no.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS?
While vegetarians do not consume meat (some might still consume fish), vegans don’t eat anything that has come from an animal. This includes eggs, dairy, even honey. Some vegans extend this philosophy to their daily lives by not using any leather, wool or cosmetics with animal products. The reasons for this can be ethical, ecological, religious or financial.
BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN
Vegans and vegetarians consume more fruits and vegetables and with them more vitamins (A, E, Folic Acid), magnesium and fiber. They usually have lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol. This is a prerequisite for a reduced risk of heart attack and other types of heart disease. These diets are suitable for optimizing weight and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This diet is particularly beneficial for people with kidney disease due to lower protein intake.
According to hundreds of studies, fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. However, there is no clear evidence that switching to a fully plant-based diet will protect you from cancer better.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS?
To get the most out of a vegan or vegetarian diet, you have to keep it balanced. For example, French fries and energy drinks are vegan but not good for you.
Because of the consumption of eggs and milk, vegetarians rarely experience protein, some vitamin (B12, D3, and K) and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies. There is some risk for vegans and this is why they might need to take dietary supplements.
Children need a lot of energy. When they are on a plant-based diet, it is possible that they might get full before being able to consume all the calories and vitamins they need. If their food is not properly selected, they can easily suffer from malnutrition, vitamin B12, and D3 deficiency, as well as some minerals. Such experiments sometimes end in the emergency room. Be very careful about your children’s diet and always consult with a pediatrician.