From an early age I started me worrying about the ethical implications of animal exploitation, so over the years I wanted to be vegan and vegetarian too. This is because usually after a year or so to stop the consumption of animal products I always end up staying with some kind of anemia, iron deficiency, folic acid, which is then very difficult to treat and only heals when I come back eating animal products, and in particular, eggs and milk. So I have always wondered if is it healthy to be vegan. I consider cruel to have to subject animals to any kind of suffering, but honestly, one cannot spend life waiting for the next anemia. I limit to the maximum the intake of animal products but still consume them for failing to find an alternative. I would love to be able to become vegan and reject any animal products, but unfortunately feel it is not only difficult but dangerous so…
Is it healthy to be vegan?
When all around us tell us that we need animal products, can cost to believe that a vegan diet is healthy. But the truth is that with some planning, a vegan diet is perfectly suited for all stages of life and offers several nutritional advantages. It is the very American Dietetic Association, the largest organization of nutritionists worldwide, claiming it .
So the question is: Is it healthy to be vegan?
There are millions of healthy vegans who are living proof that a plant vegan diet is perfectly adequate for the human species. In the US alone, it is estimated that there are about 4 million people in a vegan diet, and especially in Eastern countries, many people have had vegan diets (or almost vegan) for thousands of years, particularly for spiritual reasons / religious ( Jains, Buddhists, and others).
The earth gives us all the food we need. As it gives cows, chickens or pigs that are used for food. The nutrients obtained from foods of animal origin are nutrients that these animals were seeking from cereals and plants that they fed. And like them, we too can (and should) get the nutrients directly to the source.
Of course some nutritional deficiency can happen, but this should not be seen as an obstacle that forces us to give up veganism. In fact, there are more nutrient deficiency among omnivores (eg, fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium) than among vegans. The big difference is that no one calls into question the omnivorous diet because of health problems of a high percentage of omnivores, but the vegan diet is immediately questioned because of the health problems of a marginal percentage of vegans.
A vegan diet is perfectly healthy and potentially much healthier than an omnivorous diet. In this society, it is very easy to have a mediocre omnivorous diet, but make a vegan diet requires some planning and change some habits. Many people who have had a vegan or vegetarian diet speak of nutritional deficiencies that made them return to the omnivorous diet, but that is usually a result of lack of information, a poorly diversified diet or a disability that already existed in omnivorous diet / vegetarian (and which increases a little balanced vegan diet). A vegan diet that is limited to exclude animal products almost always results in nutritional deficiencies. It is necessary to ensure an adequate intake of cereals, vegetables, legumes and fruit.
Iron deficiency is relatively common in diets omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan, especially in women (because of blood loss during menstruation), but can be resolved with iron supplements and / or increased food intake rich in iron (such as lentils, chick-peas, beans and cabbage dark-green leaf), which should be eaten together with foods rich in vitamin C to maximize absorption (by contrast, drinks like tea and coffee meal inhibit iron absorption). Soon after the transition to a vegan diet, the body is not ready to absorb iron plant effectively (is used to absorb animal iron), so you must expect some time to adapt.
In relation to folic acid, this is a nutrient that is often deficient in an omnivorous diet, contrary to what happens in a vegan diet, which is usually rich in folate. Vegetables of dark green leaf, legumes (beans, chickpea, lentils) and whole grains are very rich in folic acid and are quite commendable in any diet.
Below, you can see a infograph that will answer a lot of your “is it healthy to be vegan” questions:
Fortunately, there are more information about vegan nutrition now and you can find it on this site accurate and up to date information. Do not neglect to consult the Daily Recommendations and Suggested supplements for vegans.
If you still have doubts about if is it healthy to be vegan, you can check out this great video.
If yours “is it healthy to be vegan” questions were answered and you are on board and want to go vegan, check out our shop for amazing vegan food and vegan recipes.