Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Pros and Cons

Pros of a Vegan Diet

     The benefits of being a vegetarian and consuming a vegan diet are obvious. Here are some of them:

Excellent nutritional value: Plant-based foods are known for their high nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibre and various phytochemicals. Other than providing carbohydrate and protein, they also offer healthier forms of fat.

Improved moods: People who consume vegan diets usually feel better about themselves. After eating unhealthy foods, people could have more worries and concerns. In fact, vegans score low in various mood profiles and mental depression tests.

Lower risks of diseases: Modern Western diets are often associated with elevated risks of hypertension, heart disease, cancer, gallstones, type 2 diabetes and more. In fact, by consuming a vegan diet, people can reverse the effects of consuming an unhealthy diet.

Balanced hormones: The levels of estrogen could be elevated in women who consume higher levels of animal fats. It is believed that higher levels of estrogen could contribute to the higher risks of breast cancer.  

Cons of a Vegan Diet

     Unfortunately, there are always drawbacks to anything in our lives. Here are challenges that people face by being vegans:

Incomplete and insufficient protein intake: Meat, dairy products and eggs are excellent sources of protein. For vegans, eating only nuts and beans to gain protein may not be enough. There are certain amino acids that are available only from non-plant foods.

Potential iron, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12 deficiency: Meat, especially shellfish and beef, is a great source of iron. People with an iron deficiency may have impaired brain functions and increased fatigue. Men need 8mg of iron daily, while females need 18mg each day.

Problems when eating out: In the UK alone, less than five percent identify themselves as vegans. This means that it will be more difficult for vegans to eat out because many restaurants don’t offer real vegan options.

     When you weigh the pros against the cons, you will see that a vegetarian diet offers many benefits that contribute to better health. Choosing a diet for yourself should be based on what you like and what your needs are.

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