Best Arguments Responses Against Veganism Diet And Lifestyle – At the VeggieWorld fair recently held in Paris, many attendants argue about the consequences of a strictly vegan diet without any sorts of animal products.
Best Arguments Responses Against Veganism Diet And Lifestyle
From leather bags to woolen sweaters and animal-tested make-up products, veganism is a way of life that rejects all consumer products derived from animal sources.
The objective? “Excluding, as much as possible, any activities that cause animals suffering”, and this in order to “have the lowest possible negative impact on the environment”, indicates on its website the association for the defense of animals L214.
Food is obviously subject to numerous restrictions since all food of animal origin is excluded. A question then arises: Is it possible to follow such a diet without suffering from nutritional deficiencies?
Veganism and vegetarianism: what are the key differences?
“We have to make a clear distinction between veganism and vegetarianism,” says Professor Irene Margaritis, head of the nutrition risk assessment unit at the French Food Safety Agency (ANSES).
- “Veganism is a lifestyle in its own title whose diet refers to vegans, who don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy, honey, or even products that contain pork gelatin, “said the nutritionist.
The vegan diet is therefore based solely on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, or even legumes. However, not all vegans adopt the strict vegan lifestyle approach.
- As for vegetarianism, it consists of excluding only the flesh of animals, that is to say, meat and fish, but milk and eggs are okay to consume.
Scholarly Arguments For And Against Veganism & Strict Vegan LifeStyle
While it is now widely accepted that a healthy vegetarian diet poses no risk, or even that it could even be beneficial for cardiovascular health, it is not the same for veganism.
Its recent approach that explains the lack of perspective on its health impact. This minority practice in Western countries is therefore not the subject of any official nutritional recommendation at present.
“This diet in itself does not present a priori risk if it is well-practiced, but it requires a very special vigilance and to be assisted by a nutritionist or a dietitian”, says Professor Margaritis, stressing however that ‘A vegan diet followed without the adept knowledge can have some unfortunate consequences’.
Vitamin B12, iodine, calcium and iron Arguments Against Veganism
1- The main risk of deficiency concerns vitamin B12,
which plays a particularly important role in the formation of red blood cells and the renewal of certain cells. However, vegans are completely deprived of this vitamin, which is found exclusively in meat and fish and, to a lesser extent, milk and eggs.
“Vegetarians can undeviatingly cover their vitamin B12 needs, yet this is not the case for vegans,” explains Professor Margaritis.
It is absolutely necessary that vegans supplement themselves with B12, with food supplements or fortified foods ”. Beware of bad sources of vitamin B12, such as spirulina and tempeh (fermented soy product), which deliver an inactive version of the vitamin.
2- Vegans should also watch their iodine intake,
although the risk of iodine deficiency is less than for vitamin B12. Iodine is a trace element provided by salt if iodized, fish, and seafood. It is possible to remedy this deficit of intake by food supplements.
3- What about calcium and iron,
essential trace elements, mainly provided by dairy products and meat.
Against all expectations, vegans can perfectly supplement themselves against these elements’ deficiencies.
- Many plant-based foods are rich in calcium (broccoli, cabbage, parsley, soy, tofu, almonds, dried fruit, chickpeas …) as well as certain waters (Hepar, Contrex, Courmayeur …).
- As for iron, we can find it everywhere, but in a less assimilable form than that present in meat. “This aspect is partially offset by the fact that vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron as vegans generally have good vitamin C intakes from the fruits and vegetables they eat in large quantities,” said Professor Margaritis.
The False Protein Problem Arguments Responses Against Veganism
“To be vegan it is not enough to eliminate animal products and continue eating as you did before. You have to completely rethink your diet. ” Pr Irene Margaritis
Contrary to popular belief, protein is not only found in meat, eggs and dairy products. “Cereals and legumes van likewise provide good quality proteins including essential amino acids, provided they diversify their consumption,” said the specialist.
Amino acids are the building blocks that make proteins. There are 22 types, 9 of which must be provided from the food we consume.
- The only problem: Consuming a single legume type does not deliver all the amino acids we need. Lentils do not provide the same amino acids as chickpeas, for example. “If the balance between legumes and cereals is respected, and sufficient intakes, there is no risk of protein deficiency for vegans,” says Professor Margaritis.
Can it be said that it is possible to be a vegan without endangering one’s health? “It is quite possible for a healthy adult,” says Professor Margaritis.
But you have to be very careful about what you eat, which requires having steadfast nutrition awareness. It is not enough to eliminate animal products and continue eating as we did before.
“You have to completely reevaluate your diet once you decided to go vegan.”
Vegan And Pregnant
As for pregnant or lactating vegan ladies, the precautions must be all-embracing. “You should never lose sight of the fact that during these periods, the child’s development entirely depends on the nutritional intake of his mother.
Poor vegan food choices can be fatal for both the baby and the mother, says Professor Margaritis.
When in doubt, better stick to an omnivorous diet with the usual precautions. ”
Apart from vitamin B12, which must surely be supplemented, it is possible to have a balanced vegan diet by consuming only vegetable products when you are a healthy adult.
However, this does not apply to pregnant or breastfeeding women, growing children, the sick, or the elderly.
It is always strongly recommended that you seek advice from a nutritionist or dietitian before starting a strict vegan diet lifestyle.