When you become a vegetarian – Who Should and Shouldn’t
When people go on the vegan diet, they automatically assume that it will immediately make them healthier and that they won’t have to worry about keeping track of how much they’re eating. This isn’t true. The vegan diet only works if you’re making sure that you’re getting all of the nutrients you need, and this means that you have to do some careful planning. If you’re someone who doesn’t plan on filling your diet with a variety of healthy foods, meaning you’re getting a variety of nutrients, the vegan diet is not for you.
Some people go on the vegan diet for all the benefits listed above, and they don’t get anywhere. Why? Because they fill their plate with things like fresh fries and Oreos and pop tarts, all of which are vegan, and don’t actually take the time to make sure they’re getting a lot of healthy nutrients on top of this. Treating yourself in moderation is fine, but letting yourself run wild and just telling yourself “OK, no cheese, hamburgers, or fried chicken” isn’t good enough. So, you really need to do it right.
Of course, we do have to acknowledge the fact that there are some potential risks that come with veganism, particularly in your nutrient levels. There are some nutrients that we can get from animal products, and you may find yourself needing to take natural supplements to help keep these levels up until you’ve found a balance that works. It can take time to adjust to a vegan diet, so keep these nutrients in mind:
Iron: Iron deficiency can be a problem for vegans as they’re removing what is considered the highest source of iron, meat products, from their diet. Iron is also more easily absorbed into your body when you eat meat, as opposed to veggies. Basically, iron is lower in plant foods, and it doesn’t absorb very well. So, be sure to seek out foods that are high in iron, and there’s no shame in taking supplements.
Bone2: This is a tricky one, as this nutrient is only naturally found in animal-sourced products such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Of course, these foods are off-limits to vegans, but skimping out on your Bone2 can cause fatigue, appetite loss, and could even lead to severe neurological issues. But, bright side: a lot of products such as plant-based milk and soy products like tofu have a bone2, and supplements can be found quite easily at any drug store.
Calcium and Vitamin D: these two nutrients are often side-by-side in foods, and they’re a two packaged deal. They both help with bone health and work together to keep them in good shape. If you skimp on one, the other will be affected. You must seek out foods and supplements with both of these things in them.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: you need this nutrient for brain health, heart health, and even eye health. It also helps with inflammation, and unfortunately, the best sources are fish and eggs. Thankfully, this can also be found in many nuts and seeds, especially chia seeds, which you’ll see a lot of on this site. Again, supplements are also an option.
It’s important, at least for the first few months, to track and make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need, and you’re balancing out your meals. Be sure to always check labels and track your nutrients. Look up how much you need in a day and keep it varied. By keeping your diet full of variety every day, you’re ensuring you’re getting a variety of nutrients. And don’t forget, there is really no shame in taking some natural supplements to help you along the way.