Is it Possible to be Healthy and Vegan?

Considered a passing fad by some people or the way forward by others, the fact of the matter is that being vegan does require more responsibility, planning and control over your diet.
Is it Possible to be Healthy and Vegan?

Last update: 05 January, 2019

Being vegan is a fairly recent trend that’s becoming very popular. Whenever new nutritional trends spring up, debates about their health implications always begin. This is especially true when these trends lack some of the ingredients that most people are traditionally familiar with. Many people ask if it’s possible to be vegan and healthy? We’ll be discussing this matter today.

What does it mean to be vegan?

Vegans don’t eat anything that originates from animal sources. This means the vegan diet is different from a similar trend that has been popular for far longer – vegetarianism. Vegetarians can consume products derived from animals such as butter, yogurts, cheese, and eggs.

In the vegan diet, on the other hand, all of these products are prohibited. People who adhere to this diet believe that, whether the product requires an animal to die or not, it’s not appropriate to consume anything that comes from animals. Traditional vegetarians believe that consuming these foods is not a problem. They argued that producing them didn’t involve animal cruelty. However, this claim has often been brought into question, as in the case of, for example, the egg industry.

The vegan avoids this argument entirely by not eating any animal products. In fact, the strictest of vegans even avoid products such as honey. This understandably leads many people to ask themselves if vegans get all of the nutrients they need. The variety of foods they can eat seems very small when you take all the rules into account.

The benefits of being vegan

Many studies show that the vegan diet is healthy. Not only that, but it easily tackles several problems that the conventional diet has difficulty dealing with. Here are a few of them:

It has less fat and cholesterol

Food can be healthy and vegan like this salad recipe.

The foods that contain the highest levels of fat and cholesterol are animal products such as meat, cheese, and egg yolks. As vegans don’t consume these products, they’re removing the main sources of these unhealthy substances from their diets altogether.

These foods also contain a high number of calories. This can lead to the people who eat them becoming overweight and storing excess fat in their bodies. This fat can then become oxidized within the body and can lead to a variety of health problems.

More fiber and vitamins means you can be healthy and vegan

Most fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and vitamins. When you eat more of these foods, you also enjoy higher levels of these nutrients. Fiber is an essential component for the correct functioning of your digestive system. Vitamins, for their part, not only give you energy, but also protect you from viral diseases. This is because they strengthen your immune system.

Not only that, but foods that are high in fiber keep you feeling full for longer. That means you’ll eat less. As such, you reduce your risk of becoming overweight.

Of course, many people believe that a vegan diet doesn’t provide all of the nutrients a person needs. But is this really true? The answer is: not at all. The principal components of a balanced diet are protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and other minerals. So, which vegan foods will give you these important nutrients?

  • Proteins – vegans can get proteins from soy, beans, or nuts.
  • They can get the fats they need from nuts, avocados, olive or coconut oil, and coconut milk, for example.
  • You can find vitamins and the other minerals in fruits and vegetables. Some of these, such as iron, are easy to get from legumes. You can find calcium in kale or cauliflower. Plant-based milk also contains a lot of calcium.
  • Carbohydrates: nuts, legumes, cereals, and tubers are great sources of carbohydrates, which is where your body gets the energy it needs.
A bunch of mixed nuts.

As you can see, it’s definitely possible to be healthy and vegan. There are many vegan foods that you can eat which provide you with everything your body needs for optimal performance and health.

You may need some ingenuity if you want to cook them. However, the strictest of vegans state that the healthiest option is to just eat most of these foods raw with minimal preparation. If you decide to try the vegan diet, you’ll choose whether to follow these recommendations or not. Would you do it? If you want to try it out, go for it! You can be healthy and vegan. In fact, those who do adopt the vegan diet often claim to be healthier and have more energy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.