Vegan nutrition – healthy or dangerous?
One thing is clear: the awareness for a healthier and more sustainable nutrition growing. That is why many people opt for alternative diets. Especially trendy are currently the vegetarian or vegan nutrition. Veganism consider many vegans not only as an alternative form of nutrition, but rather as a lifestyle. Mostly, they not only take care not to eat animal-derived foods, but avoid animal products in their clothing and cosmetics as well as in detergents and cleaning agents. Why do they do that? And live strict vegan rather particularly healthy or even dangerous?
What is the difference between vegetarian and vegan?
While vegetarians do not eat meat and no fish, strict vegans refuse from all products that come from animals. So vegans steer clear of not only meat, fish, eggs and milk, but also honey and other animal auxiliaries which are used in food production, such as gelatin. To protect animals many vegans also no carry clothing made of leather, floss or wool. Often they only use cosmetics that was not tested on animals and no animal ingredients.
Special forms of veganism
In addition to classic veganism, there are some special forms. Among them is the so-called organic veganism. Followers of this diet eat only plant-based foods that have been produced under organic conditions. They also ensure that the products of an agricultural holding which are produced in the only plant-based foods. A parallel keeping of animals is excluded.
Raw Vegan constitutes another special form of vegan diet. Raw food only feed on plant foods, without the heat treatment such as Cooking, baking or frying are produced. As natural raw food and food products, which are generally eaten raw in their natural state such. As fruit and many vegetables apply.
Frugane diet is called another special concept of the vegan diet. Fruganer, also called Fruktarier, consume only fruit of crop plants, where the plant is not destroyed, if one removes the fruit. These include fruits, nuts and seeds.
Motives for a vegan lifestyle
1944 founded the Briton Donald Watson, the Vegan Society. The Memorandum of Vegan Society describes the vegan lifestyle as a philosophy and way of life, should be prevented as far as possible by the cruelty on animals. In addition to animal welfare environmental protection is another motive for the vegan lifestyle. The argument: The keeping of farm animals is often not only unworthy, but also has a negative effect on our environment. So the livestock produces about 18% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas. Last but not least to promote their own health a vegan diet.
How healthy is a vegan diet?
A balanced vegetarian diet is often even healthier than the conventional diet with plenty of meat and fish. To rebalancing of a vegan diet, however, is not easy. Because some important nutrients for human consumption are found mainly in animal products. These include the nutrients calcium, iodine, iron and vitamins B2, B6 and B12. Who avoid animal products, has a hard time to include these nutrients in sufficient quantities. The result is often a lack of certain nutrients in vegans.
Vegans need an extensive knowledge of the ingredients of the food and need to gather the food carefully to meet their nutritional needs. Some tips for a healthy diet of vegans, you’ll see in the information box below. Unsuitable is a vegan lifestyle for people with an increased nutritional needs, such as pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and children. For infants and young children, they may even be dangerous. Numerous studies have reported growth retardation in vegan malnourished children.
Nutrition Tips for vegans
- Sufficient energy vegan to get by enriching their food with nuts, vegetable oils and other high-calorie foods.
- High-quality protein provide legumes such as soy, lentils, peas and beans. Also cereals, nuts, yeast and algae are good sources of protein.
- Calcium from milk and dairy products can be replaced by calcium-rich mineral water, nuts and seeds, and calcium-rich vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach.
- Iron receive in wholegrain cereals, seeds and nuts and iron-containing vegetables such as kale and spinach. The poor utilization of iron from plant foods can be improved by combination with vitamin C-rich foods. Often, however, iron tablets are needed just for women.
- Iodine can easily be fed through relatively iodized salt and algae.
- Vitamin B12 is found only in animal foods. In addition to fermented foods and algae vitamin B12 tablets should meet the demand.
- Vitamin D is formed by sunlight in the skin. Vegans should therefore frequently go to fresh air. In particular, in winter, additional vitamin D capsules may be required.