Are you planning to be a vegan? Whether for environmental or health reasons, there are many benefits to veganism. However, you shouldn’t neglect some of the challenges of this diet. It’s essential to be aware of all aspects of veganism, both the good and the bad, before diving into it.
After all, you don’t want to realize that the diet is not what you signed up for just a month later, do you? So while becoming vegan may be a generally good idea for your health and the environment, think about the difficulties you might have to face. For example, are you ready to plan your meals to get all your essential nutrients and cook a lot more?
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the vegan diet!
Why Should You Go Vegan?
We often associate some benefits with veganism: weight loss, sustainability, and reduced risks on specific health problems.
Promote weight loss
Dietitian Reed Mangels says that weight loss is an immediate result of veganism, mainly because it “[knocks out] high-fat dairy products.” With that said, a common misconception is that a vegan diet will magically make you lose weight. It isn’t the case at all!
Plant-based foods are generally lower in calories, which will help you shed some of those extra weights. But, of course, you can still gain weight if you consume more calories than you need. Remember that a vegan diet is not an excuse to overeat and indulge in high-calorie foods all the time.
It’s better for the environment
One of the most apparent benefits of veganism is its smaller environmental footprint. The meat industry uses up more water, land, and food resources for animal feed than direct human purposes.
Being a vegan will immediately reduce the demand for meat, and as more people consume less meat, this industry will eventually grow at a much slower rate.
Reduce health risk on certain illnesses
A lot of research has proven that a vegan diet can reduce the risks of several health problems, from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to obesity, which could cause a whole array of diseases. Many also believe that a vegan diet can lower a few types of cancer.
While science has not proven all of these benefits, being vegan will help you eat more fruits and vegetables, which is healthier than eating lots of meat.
Things to Consider Before Going Vegan
Veganism is not all sunshine and rainbows. From lacking important nutrients to the need for new cooking methods, make sure you know what it means to give up meat and animal products.
It’s harder to get some essential nutrients
Although you’ll be getting plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, don’t forget about some more common nutrients in animal foods—for example, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, and folate.
While you can get some of these from specific plant sources, it is best to complete your diet with vitamins and supplements. As such, you can ensure you won’t suffer from bone or muscle loss.
You may binge eat the wrong things
Many people overlook this aspect, but taking up a new diet can often lead you to feel mental hunger. It may be more challenging to balance your new diet and find enough calories to fill you up.
The result is that many new vegans turn to high-sugar and high-fat products, such as packaged snacks that “sound” healthy. For example, French fries, bread, and chocolate are vegan, but overeating them won’t do any good for your body!
You have to cook more and learn new recipes
Are you ready to have to re-learn how to cook? It’s true that eating out as a vegan can be much trickier, especially if there are not many vegan restaurants where you live. As a result, you might have to cook more than you did before.
Not to mention learning which substitutes and alternatives work for different dishes. After all, many of your go-to recipes will need modifications now that you are turning vegan. But, not to worry, as there are pretty many vegan recipes and cookbooks you can get.
You will need to learn substitutes for foundation items like butter and eggs and experiment with fruits and vegetables you’ve never heard of before. With time, you might find that you love cooking, or you might quickly identify the take-out restaurants in your area with vegan options.
So, Is Veganism For You?
We would say that veganism is a good diet that anyone should consider. However, a fully vegan diet may not be for everyone. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate more vegan recipes in your everyday meals while reducing your meat intake.
Like with any diet, veganism can be hard to maintain if you are overly restrictive and make too many changes too soon. So if you decide to be a vegan, focus on creating long-term changes by making it a part of your lifestyle. Good luck!