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  • Susan Fruhman

Is Veganism Healthy?


A vegan diet consists of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds. Essentially this diet removes anything which has come from an animal, whether it is a bi-product or in the form of meat or fish. A vegan diet can be really beneficial if done properly, it means you will incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet. As with any food plan, it is essential that a vegan diet is carefully thought out and executed in order for it to be beneficial and not damaging. Here are a couple of important things I think you should bear in mind when considering adopting a vegan food plan.


It’s Personal


All of us are different on the inside and out; all of our bodies have different requirements and this is essential to building a food plan. Though veganism offers some great health benefits, it isn’t for everybody. Some people can suffer from tiredness and lethargy when adopting a vegan diet. Furthermore, some people can lose weight quickly, which may not be healthy. A vegan diet can also compromise immunity, which can lead to health problems. I think it is important to bear in mind that if food is a particular love of yours and you enjoy eating meat and fish, then don’t simply cut it out immediately as it can make people quite unhappy and leave you feeling despondent and uninspired by your daily meals. That said, a vegan diet can work really well for certain individuals and they can benefit from an increased intake of fruit, vegetables and all other manner of natural products.


Finding That Much Needed Balance


When it comes to forming a well-balanced and nutritional food plan, it can be difficult to make sure that you are eating and drinking the right products in the right amounts. Furthermore, when you remove key components of your diet such as meat, fish and dairy, it can be even more difficult to ensure that you have that nutritional balance. It is important to remember that a vegan diet may need supplementing, with certain vitamin and mineral products, particularly Vitamin B12 and Iron.


A well balanced vegan diet is hard to perfect and it is important to remember that different sources of proteins work for different people. Some people will not benefit from a vegan diet as the proteins which can be found in nuts and seeds alone may not be suitable for them. It is also really important to remember that a vegan diet full of highly processed meat substitutes is not healthy!


If you are vegan or wish to become vegan then make sure you do your research and see a nutritionist every few months to make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients. If you are considering veganism then I would really recommend Becoming Vegan, by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. This book is great as an introduction and has some really good suggestions on recipe books in the bibliography.


Can It Work?


Yes, despite veganism not being for everybody, it can work really well for others. Even some of the world’s most elite athletes manage to train and exercise on a vegan diet. Footballers such as Chris Smalling and Hector Bellerin play at elite football clubs and are both very vocal about their vegan diets. Lionel Messi follows a very strict plant-based food plan which he claims has helped him with training. Outside of football, other athletes such as Serena Williams seem to excel on vegan diets. It is important to note however, that these sportspeople’s diets will be carefully calculated by their own personal nutritionist and therefore their vitamin, protein and mineral levels will all be monitored closely. On the right food plan a vegan diet can be beneficial and won’t slow you down.


Can You Go Vegan?


Cutting animal products out of your diet is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are considering going vegan then talk to a nutritional therapist to ensure that it is the right way for you. Clients come to me with all sorts of requirements and food issues. What I often find is that they aren’t listening to their bodies and making the suitable changes that they require. If you would like to find out more about how I help my clients formulate their ideal food plan, then get in touch today.

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