Vegan is a term coined in 1944 by a group of small vegetarians who detached themselves from the Leicester Vegetarian Society in England to build a vegan society. Veganism is a category of people who avoid consuming products derived from animals for ethical, health, and environmental purposes. These products include dairy products, eggs, cheese, butter, honey, cream, ice cream, etc
The term ‘vegan’ was derived from the first three and the last two alphabets of the ‘vegetarian’. Veganism is trending and from the past few years, many celebrities have adopted a vegan lifestyle. As a result, vegan products are now available in stores easily.
Why Do People Go Vegan?
The fundamental of being vegan is to avoid using animal products. This can be because of any of the following reasons:-
Ethics: There are some ethical reasons for being vegan, such as everybody has the right to live and be free. Consuming animal products indirectly means they have been used at the cost of the animal’s life. Thus, people’s ethics don’t allow them to use products for their living at the costs of an animal’s life.
Health: Some people opt for veganism keeping the potential health effects in mind, such as plant-based products lower the risk of some health complications, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and premature death.
Lowering the animal-based products will also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease. Many people also choose veganism just because their body reacts with most of the antibodies.
Environment: A report of the United States in 2010 says animal products usually require more resources as compared to plant based products. The production of animal products also contributes to the cause of higher greenhouse gas emissions than plant based products.
As per the data, animal agriculture causes 65% of global nitrous oxide emissions, 35–40% of methane emissions, and 9% of carbon dioxide emissions. These chemicals are among the principal greenhouse gasses involved in climate change.
For instance, 550-5,200 gallons of water (1,700–19,550 liters) of water must produce 1 pound (0.5 kg) of beef. This is equivalent to water required to produce 1 pound (0.5 kg) of cereal grains.
Can Changing To A Vegan Diet Lead To Side Effects?
When it comes to being vegan, side effects range from health complications to societal integration and lifestyle change.
- Energy management: Switching from animal based product to vegan diet is a great challenge if you eat food for taste. But when you think from your health point of view, a vegan diet can help you remain healthy in many aspects.
Plants have a lower calorie density as compared to animal based products. Consequently, a person has to consume more plant-based products than animal products to obtain the same amount of calories.
Many people face problems in managing their calorie intake while being on vegan food. This might be because they are consuming more processed food instead of the whole.
In order to manage your energy, try consuming foods whole vegan diet and not processed ones in a large quantity.
- Weight management: Many people after being vegan face difficulty with their change in weight. Some gain weight very rapidly while others start to lose weight. This happens with people who actually don’t know which vegan food item is to be consumed more or less.
Consuming more processed vegan food items, they may lead to weight gain. While the ones who consume the whole vegan diet but not in the sufficient quantity may lose weight.
Consuming only a whole vegan diet is not enough, you need to consume it more than animal based products. Attaining an ideal weight through a whole vegan diet will help you the most both in terms of diet and weight.
- Develop the habit of cooking: While shifting from animal based diet to vegan, you need to eliminate meat, fish, dairy, cheese, eggs, and butter. After eliminating these things forever from your diet you might feel like there is not much left to eat. But that’s not the case.
This is the time when you need to start experimenting with things. It's just when a person is not vegan; he has options in animal products, so the person may not know less about plant-based products.
But once you are only based on plant-based products, you will automatically get to know many other products obtained from plants. To overcome vegan side effects, you need to know how to cook. When you start cooking on your own, you will get to know about new plant-based products. Thus take the initiative and just go with the flow.
- Deal with a craving: Shifting to plant-based products is difficult as more plant-based products require more consumption than animal products. As you had been eating animal-based products from your childhood, you might miss the taste of some animal products, such as chicken, milk, butter, cream, etc.
Consequently, you might have to deal with your craving for eating animal products that seem to be tasty to you. But always know one thing, if you are eating tasty animal-based products it is at the cost of some animal’s life.
One of the basic steps to deal with your craving is to change your diet gradually. For example, initially try to be vegetarian for some point of time and then switch to veganism. Shifting directly from animal products to veganism can be a bit more difficult.
In this way, your body will not face any vegan side effects, you will give time to your body to adjust to a completely new lifestyle.
- Health Complications: While walking on the road to veganism directly from animal-based products can severely affect your health. Doing this suddenly will change your body function, and not giving to your body to adapt to these changes will cause vegan side effects.
In order to deal with them you just need to go slow. Try to change your lifestyle step by step. Do not misunderstand the vegan diet, there are many tasty, healthy vegan food items, such as vegan banana bread, vegan cake, vegan sponge, etc. On the other hand, many other vegan food items are not healthy.
Every vegan diet is not healthy. Vegan food items, such as vegan processed food, Oreos, vegan soda, etc come under vegan foods but they are not that healthy. Therefore, choose your vegan diet very carefully, you can consult with your doctor for better suggestions.
- Digestion problems: This is one of the most common vegan side effects that people face when switching to veganism. This is usually because of the change in diet from animal-based products to plant products.
There are many things to be kept in m9nd while choosing vegan food items. Not all vegan food items are healthy. You can consult with your dietitian or doctor to know better about vegan food items.
Processed vegan food can cause weight loss and digestion complications. Therefore, consult with your doctor to choose the best vegan food for your health.
- Difficulty in social life: The majority of the people are not vegan, and when you are living in such an environment you have resisted yourself for being uncommon among all. When being vegan, you not only have to deal with your own craving, other psychological vegan side effects, such as difficulty in social relations, are also involved.
In such cases, you have to be determined on your own decision. In such situations, you have to play with your mind thinking about the positive aspect of veganism.
- Ongoing education: Veganism is not just one and done. It is like the person who has stumbled across things that flicked a switch in your brain. It would be best if you introduced a respected friend. The lifestyle and journey are a continued one.
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