The Pros and Cons of a Vegan Diet – Part 2

In our last post we looked what a vegan diet is and some of its benefits, such as protection against infection and disease, making earth friendly and ethical choices and so on. Yet there is a strong body of thought that is against the vegan diet, and many valid arguments that are made against vegan dietary choices:Vegan Diet1

Inadequate nutrition

This is usually the first charge that is laid against vegan diets, specifically because they are not only vegetarian and therefore intrinsically low in protein, but because they eschew dairy products which further restricts access to protein.

In particular a vegan diet is thought to be unsuitable for growing children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Extreme problems such as rickets may at times be seen among those who follow a very strict vegan diet because of improper development of the bone structure.

In some cases the situation could veer perilously close to malnutrition as one raw food vegan mom found when her daughters were clearly not growing properly, seemed to crave items like butter and seemed to have palpable nutritional deficiency.

There could be loss of muscle tone, lack of energy and strange cravings.

Though it is possible to have a nutritionally well balanced diet even for vegans, this can require a lot of planning and strict adherence. And if such a diet is to be used for children, this should ideally be done in consultation with a trained dietician.

Then there is the fact that raw food vegans can further complicate the issue because they not only eschew animal products they also eschew cooking. The cooking process actually makes it possible for a lot of what we eat to be digested by our system.

Vitamin B 12 is a nutrient that humans are usually able to get only from animal products and this deficiency is frequently seen in vegan diets. Omega 3 fatty acids may be something else that could be a casualty in a vegan diet, because the best source of this nutrient is fish, which vegans do not eat.

The vegan propaganda

While a lot of people today do not eat much healthier and need to make significant dietary changes, it can be easy to be swayed by celebrity endorsements of veganism and other propaganda by animal right activists.

The bottom line when it comes to veganism is that one should eat healthy but not be too fanatical about following the diet. Take care of your health and do what seems right for your body; in the end only you know your body best.