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The Negative Side of Going Vegan

Adopting a vegan lifestyle can be both animal-friendly and environment-friendly. Thus, more and more people are turning to a vegan diet due to its multiple benefits. But, as with all other diets, going vegan also has its negative side. In this article, we discuss these cons. A vegan diet is animal-friendly and environment-friendly. (Source: Pixabay)

The Vegan Diet

The vegan diet’s premise is quite simple. A person who follows it can only eat plant-based foods. This means vegans cannot eat anything with animal meat in them or any byproducts of animals such as milk, cheese, and eggs. 

Eating only plant-based foods has proven to have great health benefits. Additionally, this ultimately helps the environment. The carbon footprint of an individual who is vegan is significantly smaller than one who is not following the diet.

Veganism also extends to a person’s way of living. Many vegans do not use any products made from animals, or those that have been tested on animals. Examples include shampoo and make-up. 

The Dark Side of a Vegan Lifestyle

With all these positives, there are still negatives to going vegan, though. Changing your lifestyle can be a daunting task. So, here are the issues you may encounter when you decide to become a vegan.

Weight Gain

We all know that veganism can promote weight loss because of all the healthy greens and grains you will be eating. You will notice this change almost immediately. But this sudden decrease in weight can actually be detrimental to your health. How so? 

Vegan diets are known to be restrictive because of all the foods you cannot eat. This can make you hungrier than usual. You may end up reaching for unhealthy vegan foods (yes, they exist) that contain a lot of sugar. This increase in sugar will lead to weight gain. 

This is why when you switch to a vegan diet, it should be done gradually. Take a few weeks or months to fully transition into the diet so as not to shock your body. It is also important to plan the shift and stick to the diet.

Nutrient Deficiencies

A vegan lifestyle can lead to hair loss. (Source: Pixabay)

Many vegans enjoy healthier and longer lives because of the nutritional value of the food they eat. But eating only plant-based foods can cause vegans to lack some minerals and nutrients their bodies naturally need.

Vegans usually lack the following nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Omega-3
  • Fatty acids
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate 
  • Proteins
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Zinc

These nutrients are commonly found in meat and dairy. Without these, health risks such as loss of bone and muscle mass will occur. For instance, a lack of B12 may result in weakness, fatigue, and constipation. A lack of iron, Vitamin B, and Zinc, meanwhile, can lead to hair loss. Although dark greens can be a source of iron, it is still harder for the body to absorb the nutrient in plants than in meat or fish.

If you plan on making your newborn or child a vegan, make sure to consult your family doctor first. Your physician can help you find the right supplements for these nutrients and even plan out your diet. For information on how many carbs you need to be eating as a vegan, read this. 

Difficulty to Maintain

Maintaining a vegan lifestyle is a difficult task. For one, it is especially hard to do when you are surrounded by people who do not follow the same lifestyle. If you are the only one doing it in your family, for example, it may be harder to resist the temptation of eating meat. 

Second, not a lot of companies have vegan options for the essential things in life such as washroom needs or clothing items. It is easy to just succumb to the options that are easy to you. Not to mention, it would be a lot cheaper. 

To maintain a vegan lifestyle, you must stand firm and resist the temptations around you. Just remember, it is a process that takes time and patience. 

Fewer Options

Although restaurants and markets that cater to vegans have been increasing, the options are still not as easily accessible. 

Eating Out

Vegans find it difficult to eat out most of the time. Not a lot of vegan restaurants are available in non-cities, and when they are, they are usually a bit pricier than usual. 

There are “normal” restaurants that have vegan options on the menu, but they are often far and few. Not to mention, most menus do not cite what ingredients are put in the dish, making it more difficult for a vegan to see their options.

Prepping Your Own Food

This is why many vegans turn to the marketplace for plant-based ingredients that they can cook themselves. Markets have better options for vegans as they always have fresh produce in stock. The downside is you will have to make your meals from scratch. This can be a hassle to busy professionals as not everyone has the time to prep and cook their food. 

Parties

It is also difficult for a vegan to go out and join gatherings where food served. Since most people are still not vegan, options at dinner parties are still very limited. This can often lead the vegan to bring his or her own food to the party instead. 

Products

There are also significantly fewer products that cater to vegans. From soaps to clothing to shoes, the choices are very limited. This is why it is easier for a vegan to accidentally grab a non-vegan item. 

Your Life, Your Choice

At the end of the day, it is your life you are living and your body you are taking care of. It is essential to weigh the pros and cons of adopting a vegan lifestyle for you and your family. As long as you are happy and healthy, there is no problem with any lifestyle you choose.  

About the author

Susan Paige

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