More and more people choose an entire diet of fruits and vegetables. Recent studies have shown that this type of diet also contributes to weight loss while reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases.
Vegan nutrition is rich in fiber and low in calories. These factors can help you lose weight by reducing the number of calories you consume daily. While at the same time they offer you a plethora of vitamins and minerals. However, it is important to make sure that your diet is well designed to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
How many types of vegetarianism are there?
There are 4 main types of vegetarians:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians, who consume eggs and dairy products but not meat, poultry, or seafood
- Lactovegetarians, who eat dairy products but no eggs, meat, poultry, or seafood
- Ovo-vegetarians who eat eggs but not dairy products, meat, poultry, or seafood
- Vegans who do not eat any animal products, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, while many also avoid honey.
The benefits of vegan nutrition
Vegetarianism has many benefits for the body since with the available food choices the person follows a healthier diet. The fiber-rich foods that characterize it, contributes to the proper functioning of the intestine and the intake of many important natural nutrients while reducing meat intake helps reduce cholesterol and pressure by protecting the heart while reducing the risk of stone formation in the kidneys due to reduced secretion of oxalic and uric acid.
In addition, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index, as their diet is high in fiber and low in fat and therefore in calories. Finally, vegetarianism seems to help reduce the incidence of cancer, both by avoiding harmful animal products (animal fats, chemicals, and medicines) and by strengthening the immune system provided by the abundance of nutrients in fruits and vegetables.
The possible dangers of vegan nutrition
However, as beneficial as vegetarianism may seem, according to the above, it can also be harmful to the body, if not followed properly, with proper planning and the best options for human overall health. In a worse position are the followers of absolute vegetarianism or veganism, who often have a lack of essential vitamins, such as D (necessary for bones) and B12, trace elements (Fe, Zn, Ca), Ω3 fatty acids (necessary for the proper functioning of the brain), while they hardly meet their needs for protein and iron.
Vegetarians can often fall into the trap of choices that may seem obvious but are not as healthy as processed, nutrient-rich foods that are high in sugar, plant-based foods but prepared with unhealthy methods, such as fried or herbal products that have been grown, however, with the use of pesticides, which with the increased consumption of these products pass into the body.
The reasons why one chooses vegetarianism can be many and varied and certainly, everyone should respect them. However, this option should be accompanied by valid information, scientific information, and proper planning, in order to fulfill its purpose in the best possible way and the most benefits for the vegetarian and his health.
Why to choose vegan nutrition?
Improving health is one of the reasons people choose to adopt vegan nutrition. Research shows that vegans have lower rates of a number of health problems, including overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, some type of cancers, constipation, and diverticula. It is possible that these benefits are the result of both reduced consumptions of potentially harmful nutrients and increased consumption of beneficial nutrients.
In terms of body weight, a study in vegan adults estimated that men lost 7.6kg and women 3.3kg less than people with no restrictions, leading to 2 points lower Body Mass Index. Likewise, children who follow a vegan diet are leaner with the phenomenon becoming more intense during adolescence.
Studies have shown that a diet based on plant-based foods is a sensible approach to preventing obesity in children, as according to the American Dietetic Association, a well-designed vegan diet is appropriate for people at all stages of life, including childhood and adolescence.
These diets are low in energy density, but rich in complex carbohydrates and water, which can increase satiety, but also mobilize the metabolism, while providing lower calories, thus leading to a reduction in body weight. People who follow a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons are convinced of its effectiveness, restrictive in their choices (avoid more food groups, fish, eggs, dairy) and follow this diet for a longer period of time.
Does vegan nutrition help to lose weight?
Researchers have found that people who follow vegan nutrition tend to have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI). This could mean that a vegan diet helps with weight loss, or that a person who is vegan is more likely to make more careful food choices.
There is of course a lot of research that has been done on this subject (on the effects of the vegan diet on weight loss), and all have concluded that vegan nutrition can help a person lose weight.
A 2016 study compared weight loss over a 6-month period between people on a vegetarian diet, semi-vegetarian diet, and omnivorous diet. The results showed that people on a vegan diet lost more weight than others. They also reduced the consumption of saturated fats.
Further studies on vegetarian nutrition showed that plant-based diets were more effective in weight loss than the diet of an omnivore.
Also, the vegan participants saw other improvements in their health, such as lower cholesterol and a lower risk of cancer.
Vegan nutrition is high in vegetable fats and may even boost your metabolism. This means that vegans can burn more calories while inactive, making their weight loss efforts more effective.
Which vegan foods are ideal for weight loss?
To avoid nutrient deficiencies, a balanced vegan diet is summarized in the following stages:
1.Eat lots of vegetables:
Eat a wide variety of vegetables, consisting of at least 50% of your plate at each meal, designed to meet your daily needs.
Include protein-rich foods such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, lentils, and peas at every meal.
3.Monitoring fat intake:
Avoid consuming large amounts of vegetable oils and fats, such as avocados, olives, coconut, nuts, and seeds, as they are rich in calories.
4.Limit processed foods:
Minimize your intake of processed vegan foods such as virtual meats, cheeses, and virtual vegan desserts.
5.Get enough nutrients:
Be sure to include foods or supplements, as needed, with particular attention to vitamin B12.
Your vegan nutrition should include smart food combinations so that is truly balanced:
Not only that, but they also reduce the consumption of saturated foods. The following foods can prevent nutritional deficiencies while helping a person feel satisfied and full:
-Soy, quinoa, and tempeh, which are vegan sources of protein.
-Soy and almond drink, which are rich in vitamin D.
-Nuts and seeds, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
– Legumes in combination with cereals for better protein intake
– Leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli for calcium intake combined with seafood for better prevention of vitamin D.
– Foods with vitamin C in combination with foods high in iron.
Tips for someone who is vegan and wants to be lean
- Be careful with oil and seasoning. Even a vegetable can become a calorie bomb if it is fried.
- Avoid highly processed foods. Prefer fresh food.
- Eat vegan foods with good fats, such as avocados. They may contain more fat and calories than other fruits, but they keep you full and also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Exercise! Run, do yoga, exercise at home. Anything. But move.
- Eat smaller amounts of food and more often during the day. This way you will constantly feel full and you will make your metabolism work.
The recommendations for a healthy diet largely coincide with a vegetarian diet. Therefore, if a person is ready to limit his diet and eliminate animal products from it to some extent, it is very likely that he will be able to lose weight more easily if this diet is accompanied by a calorie deficit