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This type of diet, based on natural products and avoiding all animal derivatives, has become almost a fad in certain circles, but does being vegan mean being healthier?
First, you have to understand what veganism means. This type of feeding by definition is a way of living where the forms of animal exploitation are excluded, in food, clothing or any other purpose, according to The Vegan Society. When we refer to a vegan diet, all the animal derivatives are banned: meats (including fish, seafood and insects), dairy products, eggs, and honey. A vegan diet is rich in products such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans, and legumes.
Leer en español: Ser vegano no siempre es ser más sano
It is important to understand that this type of food is different from a vegetarian. Global Healing Center explains that while a vegetarian excludes meat, chicken, and seafood from his diet, some exclude milk and eggs while others do not. They also use other products of animal origin such as honey or butter.
While a diet based on natural and nutrient-rich products may seem like the panacea for a healthier life, many people make certain eating mistakes that result in nutritional deficiencies. In Healthline they expose some of these common failures and the people who take a vegan diet:
- To think that the vegan is automatically healthier: that a product has the label "suitable for vegans," does not make it healthier. For example, we can find in the market quantity of vegetable milks that although they adapt perfectly to the vegan lifestyle, such as milk from almonds, nuts, soy or rice, if you do not pay attention to the table of ingredients, you can consume large amounts of sugar, up to 16 grams of sugar - or more - in one cup of product.
-Not eat a variety of natural products for convenience: veganism has also become a market opportunity. It is normal to find sections in supermarkets where you find many versions of foods in vegan versions: from soy sausages, yogurts to cookies. But the problem with these foods, as well as with milk, is that they are full of ultra-refined and even artificial products, which, while making vegan life easier because of its practicality, are no healthier than natural foods without processing.
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-To eat many refined carbohydrates: in this section, we must also name carbohydrates, which although part of any balanced diet, for many who start veganism become part of the daily diet, especially in its highly refined versions. Substituting meals from animal sources for bakery, pasta, and industrialized biscuits is a common mistake that is made, and these carbohydrates are just efficient in dietary fiber, which is important in any balanced diet.
Another common problem found in the vegan diet is vitamin B12 deficiency. This is found in large quantities in animal foods and is essential for the metabolic metabolism of the cells, the proper function of the brain and the formation of red blood cells. Global Healing Center again explains that the deficiency of the same can lead to cause anemia, depression, fatigue among other ailments. Being a compound found in foods of animal origin, those who adopt a vegan lifestyle must supplement this compound externally, in capsules or drops.
But these mistakes can be corrected with proper diet planning. It has undoubtedly been shown that a diet based on vegetables, fruits, and natural whole grains is beneficial for the individual and that it can be completely balanced. The grains have high concentrations of protein, and it is not necessary to eat foods of animal origin to acquire it, as well as the Omega 3 acids that can be found in certain seeds and nuts. If the necessary adjustments are made - planning, distribution and correct supplementation when necessary - ultra processed foods are avoided, the vegan diet can be highly healthy for the individual.
LatinAmerican Post | Clementine Ramos
Translated from "Ser vegano no siempre es ser más sano"