This article explores different individuals and why most people can, but some people may need to watch, going on a vegan diet.
While it is very “woke” at this point to go vegan, for ethical, environmental or health reasons, it’s recommended that one does some research around whether it is the right diet for your particular individual physiology.
Benefits of going vegan
Generally speaking, a vegan diet done right, i.e. a vegan whole-foods diet has a plethora of benefits. According to several studies, vegan diets have been associated with weight loss, have shown to offer some protection against type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. It has also shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. These benefits may be related to the fact the vegans tend to eata lot morefibre and nutrient dense foods than non-vegans, though other factors may also be involved. What’s more,a whole-foods vegan diet provides more antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds that benefit health more generally. A vegan diet also appears to be richer in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E .
Factors to consider for breastfeeding mothers children
Careful thought should be given if you're a breastfeeding mother or if the entire family is to go vegan, including young children. A whole food vegan diet needs careful planning to include all the essential nutritional building blocks for optimum health. A carefully planned menu will ensure adequate amounts of protein, calcium, B12, Omegas, zinc and iodine are consumed as deficiencies have nasty consequences.
Consider your genetic makeup
There are other reasons why you may think twice about going vegan….your genetic makeup and the composition of your gut bacteria may influence your ability to derive the nutrients you need from a vegan diet.
Those who have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency will find it hard to manage their B12 levels on a vegan diet without supplementation. As would those diagnosed with zinc deficiency. People with chronic alcohol addiction or conditions such as cancer, Crohn's disease, diabetes, and celiac disease are most at risk of being deficient in zinc.
If you have irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) then a diet rich in plant-based foods may aggravate the symptoms of IBS.
Those who want to pursue veganism should avoid fruit juice and follow a low FODMAP diet rich in potatoes and oats.
Those on a low-carb diet for medical reasons will also find it difficult to follow a vegan diet, which can often be high carb, exacerbating candida and negatively affecting insulin resistance.
As the above illustrates, a vegan diet may not be for everyone. It’s important to understand what a good, well-planned vegan diet looks like, while also asking yourself some key questions about your health, physiology and what it means for you to thrive.Written by Alexi von Eldik, Founder - Cru8