For some time now, they have had it much easier than just a few years ago: Vegans. They find vegan menus on the menus of restaurants, order their soy latte in vegan cafés, buy groceries in the supermarket around the corner and cook according to recipes they find in vegan cookbooks. It seems that vegan food has finally arrived in everyday life.
But there are still uncertainties and prejudices against vegan nutrition. Questions such as "What do vegans eat at all?" and "Isn't that unhealthy in the long run?" will have been encountered by everyone who consciously abstains from animal food. In the following lines you will therefore find exciting facts on the topic of vegan nutrition. How healthy or harmful is it really to do without fish, meat, eggs, dairy products and honey? Here you can find out!
Reasons for a vegan diet
Eating a vegan diet means removing all animal products from the shopping list. In addition to the above-mentioned foods, this includes in many cases leather as well as care products and cosmetics that contain animal ingredients. But why do more and more people advocate a vegan diet or a vegan lifestyle? The reasons of many vegans are either health or ethical. Below you will find the most important and most frequently mentioned reasons.
Vegan nutrition for animal welfare
For many, factory farming is at the top of the list of motivations for choosing a vegan diet. They do not want to support the suffering of animals in mass production. Even responsible organic farming is strictly rejected by real vegans. After all, in the end the animals are still slaughtered, milked or similar.
Vegan nutrition for health
Another reason for a vegan diet is to do something good for yourself. The consumption of meat and dairy products is suspected of promoting common diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Statistically speaking, anyone who leaves meat and dairy products out has a good chance of escaping these diseases. But there are other pitfalls lurking, such as deficiency symptoms - more on this later.
Vegan nutrition for the environment
Animal breeding is not exactly environmentally friendly. It causes about as many greenhouse gases as all road, air and freight traffic on the water together. Vegans therefore contribute directly to relieving the environment by not using animal products. In addition, animal husbandry is anything but efficient, since vast amounts of water, grain and soy are used.
Advantages of vegan nutrition
A sharp reduction in the consumption of animal food would therefore solve many problems at once. A vegan diet prevents the suffering of many breeding animals, reduces environmental pollution and improves one's own health by lowering the risk of diabetes, preventing kidney and intestinal diseases and even positively influencing joint inflammation. Some vegans even feel more balanced, better able to concentrate and generally more satisfied since their dietary change. Of course, all this can only be achieved if the vegan diet is balanced and does not lead to deficiency symptoms.
Risks of vegan nutrition
Vegans today are probably better informed than ever about the difficulties and risks of their vegan diet. Especially the aspect of nutrient deficiency should be considered. A purely vegetable diet can lead to a reduced supply of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B12, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
If these vitamins and nutrients are lost without replacement, serious damage can result. For example, persistent iron and protein deficiencies affect the hormone system, a lack of zinc affects the immune system and metabolic processes, and too little calcium damages bones and teeth. A lack of nutrients can even lead to irreparable damage to the nervous system.
For this reason, a purely plant-based diet is not recommended for sick people, pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, adolescents in the growth phase, extreme sportsmen and women and senior citizens. Even as a healthy adult, you should always take supplementary nutrient preparations with a vegan diet over a longer period of time. If you are unsure whether your vegan diet covers important vitamins and which nutrients you lack, you should have a medical blood test done.
Trend, marketing or attitude to life?
The vegan diet is in vogue. It has established itself in everyday life, is offered in restaurants, cafés and supermarkets and is used quite cleverly for marketing purposes. Instead of deficiency symptoms and renunciation it stands for health and pleasure. It is important not to be blinded by the question whether vegan nutrition is suitable for you. Because a vegan diet is not something you just want to do in passing.
On the contrary, it requires good planning, especially at the beginning of the change of diet. After all, if you overnight leave out essential nutrients contained in fish, meat, eggs and dairy products, you have to offer your body alternatives. Above all, those who have not previously been on a vegetarian diet or have given up lactose, but want to manage without animal foods for the first time, must expect a changeover.
Basically it can be said that vegan nutrition is an attitude to life. You are not vegan because it is trendy or because your best friend is doing it. You follow this diet because you are convinced that you are doing something good for yourself and your environment.
Vegan diet: yes or no?
The question of a yes or no answer cannot be answered uniformly, nor can the question of whether a vegan diet is healthy or harmful. The answer varies from person to person and depends heavily on how willing you are to engage with vegan nutrition.
It can be healthy, environmentally friendly and tasty - but other types of nutrition can do the same. Likewise, vegans can eat the wrong things - or live unhealthily by not eating important vitamins. It depends therefore completely alone on you and your conversion of the veganen nourishing way.