the truth of the vegan diet

When it comes to nutrition or diets, there are several within reach and for all kinds of tastes. According to the food that a person consumes, in biology there is a classification of living beings: carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Scientists say that humans are the species that most represents the latter category, because they consume both meat and plants.

But when it comes to people this classification that is learned in school becomes a little more complex. There is a large population in the world that considers itself vegetarian. That is, it does not consume animal proteins. According to the statistical firm Statistical, 33% of the entire population in India, is vegetarian; in the United Kingdom it is 25% and in the United States, 5% stopped consuming animals. But there are also vegans.

What does it mean to be vegan?

A vegan person, apart from being a vegetarian, do not consume products derived from animalssuch as milk, eggs, and even honey, which is produced by bees.

These people represent 8% of the planet’s population, more than 600 million, according to a report by the United Nations (UN) in 2019. However, there has been a belief that this type of diet is ‘incomplete’ and that the body needs animal protein to function properly.

To know if this diet brings health benefits, it is necessary to review which are the essential components that human beings should consume. Eder Abbott, nutritionist and dietitian, speaking for Fuchsia explained that “under normal conditions, a person needs a proper balance of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are those that the body needs in greater quantity, which are: carbohydrates (wrongly called flour), proteins and lipids (fats). Micronutrients are those that the body needs in smaller amounts, such as vitamins and minerals.

Vegan food and ingredients. – Photo: Getty Images

In general, when people think of the word strength, a food such as meat, which is called an animal protein, comes to mind. However, one of the characters in the story who most needed strength to survive, surprisingly enough, were vegetarians. According to a study published by the BBC, the gladiatorial diet was based on grains and plants.

To reinforce this idea, Dr. Abbott answered one of the most important questions in this matter: Is animal protein necessary? The expert comments that: “No, according to recent studies, you can have an adequate nutritional status with only plant-based proteins”. Celebrities like Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Joaquin Phoenix consider themselves vegan.

When veganism doesn’t turn out as expected

So, you can be vegan without problem. Juan Sebastián Díaz has been a vegan for five years and assures that his skin has a better appearance since he stopped consuming all food related to animals, but his heart, at 34 years old, has presented slight damage.

Juan Sebastian, at first, he decided on his own, without a guide, what his daily diet was going to be; However, the important thing is not that you are vegan, vegetarian or carnivorous, but that the three meals of the day are well balanced. And for this you need an expert.

“I have known about cardiovascular problems due to the use of poor quality fats or the type of fats used. There may also be problems of malnutrition if the diet is poorly designed, but this can happen with any dietary model., although the literature says that the main nutritional deficiencies in vegans can be megaloblastic anemia, iron and calcium deficiency. From my experience, what I have seen most in consultation is the development of poor eating habits, but this is due to lack of advice”, explains Dr. Abbott.

This is why the biggest challenge of the vegan diet is its planning: “The disadvantage of a vegan diet is that requires more complexity in its planning, due to the fact that vegetarian options continue to be smaller on the market and not everyone knows exactly what to eat”, comments the dietitian. But this is solved with the search for a professional the subject.

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