SUNDAY SHUTDOWN #36 THE VEGAN DIET
I was asked by one of my high school friends to cover this. And with good reason too. I have previously discussed it in my post on The Gamechangers movie on Netflix if you’d like some further reading.
The vegan diet gets hailed as the be all and end all of healthy eating sometimes. And whilst there are elements of it we can all take into our current lifestyle I wanted to set the record straight.
The main things to think about
- Excluding all animal products from the human diet isn’t suitable for most people, it can leave the diet lacking vital nutrients and also be a form of controlled obsessive eating masking other problems like eating disorders.
- Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient which only comes from animals. We cannot make it in our own body. Therefore if we don’t consume animal products we must take a supplement. This is fine in principal, we do it for other nutrients too. However it’s worth noting that when we obtain nutrients from food we get other nutrients too. So in this instance, we get B12 from animal sources but we can also get protein, dietary fats, iron and zinc to name a few.
- Dairy is the main source of iodine for the human population. It can also be obtained from things such as seaweed however not in the same quantities. To date we have no data on how iodine deficiency may or may not affect those adopting a vegan diet. Iodine is important for brain development, particularly for pregnant women and their babies.
- From an environmental perspective, yes consuming less meat is advisable. But if we all just stopped consuming animal products, we’d be in a bit of a pickle too. Take the current state of affairs in the UK.
- Dairies are having to throw away excess milk because it’s not in demand as much as it was. This is because the hospitality sector has near on closed down. Imagine if everyone stopped consuming milk. That’s just one example.
- What about for losing weight. There is no superior diet for losing weight. It comes down to consistently being a in a calorie deficit.
- You can safely consume a vegan diet, I’d just ensure you get some advice to ensure you aren’t lacking any macro or micro nutrients. .
So my advice….
Consume less meat. Consume less dairy. Don’t exclude them completely unless its for a medical or ethical reason.