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Vegan
A person who does not eat or use any animal products

Vegetarian
A person who does not eat meat or fish, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons.

Flexitarian
A person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.

Pros

  • Reduced meat consumption
    • Improved environmental impact by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions which are created through animal agriculture.
    • Ethical impact – no harm to animals for the meat and dairy products.
  • Improved gut health
    • Vegans and Veggies naturally eat more fruits and vegetables so by default will have more fibre in their diets which has been proven to promote a healthy digestive system.
  • More energy and quicker recovery rates
    • The vegan way of life is becoming ever more popular among the elite athletes of the world, with the likes of Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton and David Haye all big advocates of the Vegan diet. It is now regularly noted among coaching teams and support staff that athletes who have adopted this way of eating see improved energy levels and quicker recovery rates.

Cons

  • Potential Vitamin & Nutrient deficiency
    • If you remove meat, dairy and eggs from your diet you could be at risk of deficiency with certain nutrients such as Calcium, Zinc and B12. If you have decided not to eat meat, it is vital that you replace these food sources with those such as green leafy veg, Beans, pulses and soy based products to ensure you still have a full range of nutrients in your diet.
  • Iron Deficiency
    • Iron can be found in a range of non-meat based products such as green leafy vegetables and grains including quinoa. However, the inclusion of a large amount of legumes and pulses can result in high intakes of phytic acid which; in high levels can make it harder for the body to absorb vital nutrients such as iron.
  • Over consumption of refined carbohydrates
    • When people make a sudden change to a full Vegan diet; especially without doing their research first, it is very common for people to turn to the refined carbohydrates to replace the meat and dairy based proteins that have been removed from the diet. Try to counter this by choosing wholegrain options and ensuring you plate is also loaded with veggies and some form of protein such as soya products or beans and pulses.

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