7 Downsides Of Following A Vegan Diet & How To Overcome Them
In this article, we share some common downsides to following a vegan diet and how you can overcome these issues.
Preparing homemade vegan meals can be time-consuming, especially if you're new to veganism
Veganism is a lifestyle and dietary choice that avoids the use and consumption of animal products. This includes abstaining from consuming meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal-derived ingredients or by-products. Vegans often choose this lifestyle for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. When planned appropriately, veganism can be a healthy and nutritious way of eating.
Studies have shown that well-planned vegan diets can offer various health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes. It can also promote weight loss, improve blood sugar control, and lower cholesterol levels. However, there can also be potential downsides to veganism if not properly managed. Read on as we share some common downsides to following a vegan diet and how you can overcome these issues.
7 Downsides of following a vegan diet and how to overcome them:
1. Potential nutrient deficiencies
A vegan diet may lack certain nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, zinc, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. To overcome this, ensure you include fortified foods, supplements, or plant-based sources rich in these nutrients in your diet. Consulting a registered dietitian can also be helpful.
2. Limited food options when eating out
Restaurants may have limited vegan choices on their menus. Researching vegan-friendly restaurants beforehand and planning ahead can help you find suitable options. You can also ask for modifications to existing dishes or try ethnic cuisines that offer a wider variety of plant-based options.
3. Social challenges
Depending on your social circle, you may face challenges when attending gatherings or dining out with friends and family who may not understand or accommodate your dietary choices. Communicating your vegan preferences in advance, offering to bring a vegan dish to share, or suggesting vegan-friendly restaurants can help alleviate some of these challenges.
4. Emotional aspect
Transitioning to a vegan diet may involve giving up certain foods you have been accustomed to, which can be emotionally challenging. Finding new vegan recipes or exploring plant-based alternatives can help you find new favourites that align with your dietary choices.
Vegan specialty products or organic produce tend to be more expensive than their non-vegan counterparts. To overcome this, try focusing on whole plant-based foods instead of processed vegan alternatives, buy in bulk, plan meals in advance, and shop for seasonal produce to save money.
6. Time-consuming meal preparation
Preparing homemade vegan meals can be time-consuming, especially if you're new to vegan cooking. To overcome this, try batch cooking, meal prepping on weekends, or utilising time-saving kitchen appliances like a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Additionally, explore quick and easy vegan recipes that require minimal cooking.
7. Increased fibre intake
A vegan diet generally includes a higher intake of fibre, which can cause digestive discomfort initially. To help your body adjust, gradually increase your fibre intake and drink plenty of water. Including fermented foods like sauerkraut or taking digestive enzymes may also assist in digestion.
Remember, it's essential to listen to your body and monitor your nutrient levels through regular blood tests if needed. Consulting a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised guidance when following a vegan diet can also be very helpful.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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