Contraindications of the vegan diet

Before starting a vegan diet you need to have a basic understanding of nutrition.

More and more people decide to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet . In the UK alone the rate of people in 2015 who decided to join this lifestyle increased by 350% . The reasons that lead a person to want to stop consuming meat of animal origin and its derivatives are very broad, from environmental awareness , empathy towards animals or better health, thousands of people are deciding to opt for a diet of vegetable origin.

Many celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman or Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande have been declaring themselves vegan for years and encouraging their followers to also be more conscious with the food they eat, however, there are many nutritionists who alert the population that a vegan diet may not be the best option for good health .

This is mainly due to a lack of information . It is easy to start a diet of these characteristics if you are famous and have a nutritionist or a cook who knows what you should eat daily to obtain all the vitamins and nutrients that our body needs , but if you are the one who prepares the meals, things change there.

This is why before starting a vegan diet you need to have basic knowledge of nutrition so that you know where you can get the proteins, vitamins and other nutrients that you previously obtained from animals and that now you must get from an alternative plant source. In this article we are going to discuss the negative consequences that a vegan diet can have if we do not have that knowledge, and what are the vegetable alternatives that we must take daily if we do not want to suffer some type of nutritional deficiency.

Lack of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps the proper functioning of neurons and red blood cells. The amount of vitamin B12 that an adult should consume depends on factors such as age , but could be roughly around 2.4 mcg. Insufficient intake of this nutrient can cause tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, and anemia . However, its most serious consequences are in the neurological field since the lack of vitamin B12 is associated with damage to the nervous system that can cause depression, memory loss and even movement problems.

People who follow a vegan diet can suffer from a deficiency of this nutrient throughout their lives since it is only found in animal meat, however, this statement is not entirely true, animals themselves do not produce B12 but rather Breeders inject this vitamin so that people when they eat their meat can obtain this nutrient.

In addition. B12 accumulates in our body and can remain for decades without the need to take this nutrient on a daily basis, especially if a vegan diet has been started at a late age, so vegans who suffer from insufficient this vitamin are really scarce . However, taking a B12 supplement that can be obtained at any pharmacy can make up for this lack of vitamin.

lack of protein

Proteins are molecules made up of amino acids that account for approximately half the weight of the body’s tissues and are present in all cells of the body and participate in practically all the biological processes of our body. These molecules are essential for our body and must be taken on a daily basis as they help the growth, synthesis and maintenance of various tissues and body components such as vitamins, lasts and enzymes.

The foods that have the most protein are meat, fish, eggs, milk, and soybeans . Likewise, some vegetables, legumes and cereals also have protein , although to a lesser extent. A person who follows a vegan diet may suffer from a lack of protein in the body if they do not know where to get it from by not taking any type of food of animal origin.

However, currently with the increase in the vegan and vegetarian population, various products high in vegetable protein have reached the market that can supplement the function of meat in vegans, such as textured soy , which is mostly protein and contributes of this molecule practically identical to that of a chicken fillet. Like everything in life, the lack of knowledge is what can cause us problems , and in vegans this is the main reason why they may have a lack of protein, but with information it is not necessary that they eat foods of animal origin to have all the nutritional needs covered.

Lack of calcium and Omega-3

Calcium is the most abundant mineral macroelement in the human body. Most calcium resides in bones and teeth , but it can also be found in blood , muscles, and the fluid between cells. Calcium deficiency can cause bones to weaken over time and we can even suffer from osteoporosis.

The products that contain the most calcium are dairy products and some vegetables such as kale or broccoli, but to a lesser extent. A person who follows a vegan diet can suffer from calcium deficiency as long as they do not take alternatives to this such as vegetable drinks , for example, soy, or foods such as tofu which contain high amounts of calcium.

On the other hand, Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that the body needs , but cannot produce by itself, which occurs especially in fish or vegetable oils . These fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of the heart and blood circulation.

On average, an adult needs to take a daily gram of Omega-3 something that can be easily obtained from green leafy vegetables such as lettuce or cucumber, from vegetable oils such as olive and from some dried fruits such as walnuts or almonds . For a person who follows a vegan diet to obtain enough Omega-3, it will simply be enough to eat a handful of nuts a day , or take some type of salad dressed with olive oil.

Lucy Taylor
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I began to be interested in nutrition from a very young age (I am currently 25 years old), but it was not until adolescence that I knew that I would dedicate my life to this career. I am the mother of a beautiful 5-year-old girl whom I adore and plan to instill in her all the values ​​that guide us towards a healthy and balanced life. I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where I currently live, and have my own practice where, of course, I practice my profession as a nutritionist.

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