A Vegan Diet Benefits and How to Avoid Nutritional Deficiencies
The health benefits of a plant-based diet are well-known and this diet is quickly becoming more and more popular for numerous reasons, but the question remains: Could vegans be at risk for deficiency of essential nutrients?
People are choosing a plant-based diet for numerous reasons including health concerns such as the high amounts of saturated fats in meat, religious beliefs, environmental and ethical concerns. There are numerous health benefits of obtaining a vegan diets. These tend to contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fibre which can be beneficial in any diet. Research has found however that vegans do tend to have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers associated with this eating pattern (Winston, 2009).
However, when cutting out animal products there are some specific nutrients to consider. Nutrients of concern are iron, calcium, vitamin D, protein and omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12.
healthpro recommends careful meal planning to address these nutrient deficiencies. Omega3 is present in a number of plant foods such as walnuts and flaxseeds, a high intake of leafy greens to will help obtain calcium levels, and vegans should also consider fortified food or supplements for specific nutrients especially vitamin B12 which can only be obtained by animal foods (https://www.healthpro.ie/inside-nutrition/explore-vitamins/vitamin-b12).
healthpro cookbook (https://www.healthpro.ie/cookbook ) is a valuable tool for anyone exploring or any one currently on a strict vegan diet, just click into the cookbook, click the Ve (vegan) symbol and our variety of delicious vegan recipes which have been analysed by our healthpro team will appear.
Furthermore, the healthpro healthy eating guide comprises of restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, delis, butchers and other food providers subscribed to our programme of menu analysis and labelling, healthpro Menu Mentoring. Eating to meet individual requirements has never been easier -customers can simply search by location, click on the Vegeterian (V) or Vegan (Ve), and view all the options! (https://www.healthpro.ie/healthy-eating-guide)
Winston, C (2009) Health effects of vegan diets. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Published on 5 December 2016 | Back to December Articles