Veganism has been one of the few most popular lifestyle choices in recent years. It includes eliminating all foods and animal by-products from the diet, including dairy products and meat. The vegan diet relies entirely on plant-based foods for nutrition. There have been many reports of people achieving optimal physical and mental health after switching to a vegan diet. However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine once you’ve made the decision to go vegan. Here are some side effects of the vegan diet:
1. Low energy and weight issues
It becomes more difficult to track our calories when we switch from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet. This is because plant foods contain fewer calories than animal foods. Therefore, if you continue to eat in smaller portions as you did before, your energy levels will drop dramatically. You still need to stick to a proper 2000 calorie diet even if you only eat plants. By not consuming enough nutrients, you not only risk health problems, but you also increase your chances of giving up on your diet and going back to your previous habits.
2. Leaky gut issues
The vegan diet replaces vegetable protein sources like lentils with all animal sources of protein. Although legumes are high in protein, they also contain antinutrients such as phytates and lectin, which can promote intestinal permeability and induce a “leaky gut”. Animal protein sources, on the other hand, are devoid of antinutrients.
3. Lack of iron
Plant-based meals contain iron, but it is a “low-heme” type, which is poorly absorbed by the body. As a result, vegetarians and vegans are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency. Anemia and fatigue are two symptoms that can stem from a shortage of heme iron in the body. Although iron supplements can be used to alleviate the problem, there can be unpleasant side effects.
4. Hormonal Disruption
Vegans also use soy as a source of vegetable protein. A key part of a vegan diet is processed soy products like tofu and soy milk. All types of soy contain phytoestrogens, and taking more than the appropriate amount of soy can have a deleterious impact on the body’s hormone levels. Hormonal imbalance can cause acne breakouts, hair loss, irregular menstrual cycles, skin pigmentation issues, and other issues.
5. Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin, and a deficiency can cause a number of serious, life-changing health issues. Because vitamin B12 is primarily obtained from animal sources, vegans are at high risk of being deficient in this essential component. Therefore, if you follow a vegan diet, you should consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement to help keep your body in good working order.