A vegan diet has become quite popular these days. We often hear about someone’s weight loss journey with a vegan diet plan and want to try it immediately. Wait. Think again. Don’t look at veganism with rosy glasses on. Many still hesitate to start with it and are doubtful about its widely proclaimed benefits. So, let’s discuss Vegan diet side effects before starting with the journey of weight loss.
What is a vegan diet?
A diet that comprises only plant-based foods for nutrition and ditches any sort of animal food. This includes dairy, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and honey. But the big question is, is veganism completely safe?
Vegan Diet Plan – Side Effects
Well, there are instances of people having achieved envious body shape and optimum mental health. However, here we dispel the myth of veganism being healthy.
1. Low energy
When you opt for a plant-based diet, excluding animal-based food completely, your calories suffer. Continuing with smaller diet portions lowers your energy as well. So, you must consume a diet of 2000 calories, while being vegan. As your body doesn’t get the necessary nutrients, you are at risk of health issues. There are thus chances that you ditch the vegan diet to overcome these challenges.
2. Leaky gut issues
With a vegan diet, you are restricted only to legumes for protein as sources of protein are stricken off your diet. Although legumes are protein-rich, they have antinutrients such as phytates, lectin. These increase the intestinal permeability and leads to a condition termed as ‘leaky gut’ – one of the major vegan diet drawbacks. However, animal protein doesn’t contain antinutrients.
3. Hormone disruptions
Vegans turn to soy for protein as they say a big no to animal protein. Tofu and soy milk are important in vegan diets. But these are processed foods that impact hormones negatively due to phytoestrogens found in every form of soy. Imbalance in hormone levels can result in hair fall, breakouts on the skin, irregular menstrual cycle, and skin pigmentation.
4. Deficiency of nutrients
Lack of iron – Iron content in a vegan diet is a rare ‘low-heme’ variety that the body doesn’t absorb properly. So, among vegan diet risks, there is a risk of iron deficiency. This deficiency results in anemia and fatigue. Although they can resort to iron supplements to combat the deficiency, certain side-effects may be there.
Lack of Vitamin B 12 – As this vital vitamin is sourced from animals, vegans might be deficient in it. This can lead to several damages in the body that can’t be revoked. Again, vegans depend on vitamin B12 supplements for proper body functions.
Excessive carbohydrate consumption – Some vegans might have blood sugar swings because plant-based diets don’t have sufficient protein. They can also consume carbs excessively, especially when legumes are looked upon as the best protein sources.
With overconsumption of carbs, they are at risk of blood sugar dysregulation and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among other problematic symptoms.
5. Risk of Developing an Eating Disorder
Strict vegans might have Orthorexia Nervosa. One of the side effects of veganism is an eating disorder that involves an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Doctors who cure such disorders advise not to stay on a restrictive diet as vegans do.
6. Increased Risk of Depression
As a vegan diet lacks in omega 3 fatty acids and is packed with omega 6, vegans are at risk of depression for which they need to go through therapy sessions when required. Although they can make their diet rich in algae-based omega 3, these are not easily available and more expensive.
People are turning to veganism as a better lifestyle choice. But they need to stop and rethink their decision as there are various side effects of veganism. Such a diet might cause some nagging health issues. So, keep the above aftermaths of going vegan on your mind and weigh all the pros and cons before taking up any kind of diet plan.