Healthy Eating on a Vegan Diet

by (Dietitian and Sports Dietitian)

Vegan DietPlant-based and vegan diets are becoming more and more popular each day. In fact, according to Google Trends, searches on the word ‘vegan’ have increased by almost 200% in the past 5 years. Some of the reasons are the rise in the awareness of animal welfare and the impact of our food on the environment but people are also ditching animal products as a way to improve their health.

The Benefits:

There is some research to show that vegan diets can reduce your risk of obesity, artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer. These benefits, however, depend on you having a well-balanced eating plan with enough nutrients.

The Risks:

As with any change in your eating habits it’s very easy to miss out on crucial vitamins and minerals when reducing the variety of foods that you eat. Meats, for example, are rich sources of protein, easily digestible iron and vitamin B12. Dairy products are also rich in vitamin B12 and contain high levels of calcium.

The side-effects of not getting enough nutrition when eating vegan could be:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision loss
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Tingling in hands and feet
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