As a nutritionist, I notice that more and more people are interested in vegetarian and especially vegan diets. Vegetarian is nothing new – in society; this form of nutrition is widely accepted. Even on the go, it usually does not cause any difficulties to eat without meat and fish.
The vegan lifestyle – i.e., going one step further and consuming plant-based products exclusively – is currently experiencing a veritable “boom”. Those who eat vegan foods do not eat animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products and honey. The motives for this are as diverse and individual as the people themselves. Everything from ethical reasons to health and trend awareness to allergies and intolerances of animal components is included.
Vegan diet – what’s wrong with this trend?
Is a vegan diet healthier?
Or is the opposite in the end? It is definitely a bad idea to omit all animal products without replacement and not worry about suitable plant alternatives. This is already true of the vegetarian diet and is intensifying with vegan. Those who shy away from effort, organisation and thorough planning around food risk any signs of deficiency, which can be noticeable in many ways. Sophisticated combinations of foods are more important than usual, and supplementation may also be required.
The vegan diet is not automatically healthier: if, for example, “fast food classics” such as burgers, hot dogs, etc., are simply “veganized”, there is not necessarily a nutrient gain over the traditional mixed food.
Vegan diet. What do I have to pay attention to?
If you want to eat a vegan diet, you should pay attention to the naturalness and wholeness of the products. A high proportion of fresh, natural foods is ideally the basis. The high quality and quality of the products (e.B. sufficient raw food) guarantees optimum bioavailability.
If you add so-called “superfoods” to your daily diet, there are an enormous amount of vital substances in it. Superfoods are foods that have an above-average content of nutrients and are therefore particularly beneficial for health. On the one hand, these are tried-and-tested, well-known products such as avocado, randen (beetroot), blueberries, walnuts and dark chocolate and on the other hand, exotic, lesser-known such as. B goji, acai and Aronia berries, matcha tea, chia seeds, maca powder, etc. These are popular ingredients for “green smoothies”.
The plant-based diet can prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease, as it is usually less high in fat and salt. Cholesterol and saturated fats are absorbed significantly less than in mixed foods. The high intake of fibre (from vegetables and whole grains) and abundant fruits and vegetables (more phytochemicals) can also have a positive effect on health.
Does a vegan diet automatically make you slim?
This question often appears in my nutrition consultations. Scientific studies on this do not yet exist. Basically, animal foods are almost always higher in fat and calories than vegetable foods. However, eating vegan is no guarantee of a dream figure. Vegans can struggle with weight problems as well as omnivores. However, health-oriented vegans often eat a very conscious diet and consume less sugar, saturated fats and white flour than mixed foods. In terms of the figure, a balanced, full-fledged and healthy diet is important for every diet.
What exactly needs to be paid to a purely plant-based diet?
If the plant food is put together in a balanced way, it is considered a healthy diet. Nevertheless, it makes sense to have iron and vitamin B12 levels checked from time to time and, if necessary, to take appropriate supplements.
Suitable vegetable protein sources include legumes such as. B lentils, beans, peas, peanuts, lupins, and chickpeas, preferably combined with whole grain grains. B quinoa amaranth. This increases the usability of the protein from food and the conversion into the body’s own protein. Tofu is especially popular as a meat substitute, but the amino acid profile in soy products is not optimal. Seitan (consisting mainly of wheat or spelt gluten) performs much better.
Vegetable oils such as rapeseed, walnut or linseed oil, as well as nuts and seeds, provide high-quality omega-3 fatty acids. Besides, care should be taken to ensure the adequate supply of the following nutrients: zinc (e.B. in nuts, oatmeal, whole grains), iodine (e.B. by iodized table salt and algae), calcium (e.B. in mineral water, green vegetables and nuts) and vitamin D (sufficient sunlight for self-synthesis).
My personal conclusion: If you live strictly vegan, it would be a good thing to acquire sufficient nutritional knowledge—the better the level of nutrition, the lower the risk of impairment due to malnutrition or malnutrition.
On my own behalf: When I am asked why I eat vegetarian food, I (a travel lover who constantly suffers from wanderlust) always give the same answer with a smile: Because vegetarians and vegans are the first to be served their food on air travel.