Vegan – you hear and see it everywhere. In supermarkets, in cafés, in restaurants, in newspapers & magazines and in advertising. The hype surrounding vegan nutrition is no longer new - but it is ongoing. The number of vegetarians and especially vegans is constantly increasing in Germany. More and more people are giving up animal products and opting for a balanced, purely plant-based diet.

The trend wave began primarily because the conditions under which animals are kept in Germany and many other countries do not comply with the laws of animal welfare, factory farming reached its peak and more and more medical studies provided insights into the effects of a very meat-heavy diet.

Like all diets, vegan diets have both positive and negative aspects and many scientific studies have been carried out on vegetarian and vegan diets in recent years. We have taken a closer look at some interesting aspects for you.


Health benefits of a vegan diet


Diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels 

Because a plant-based diet is significantly lower in fat and usually more balanced, most vegans have a lower body mass index than those who eat both meat and dairy products. Among other things, this means that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreases. In addition, the vegan diet in most cases includes an unusual and wide range of fruits and vegetables. Almost all fruits (except pineapple and watermelon) as well as vegetables, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and all kinds of legumes have a low glycemic index, which has a positive effect on carbohydrate metabolism and also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes.

As BMI increases, the likelihood of developing high blood pressure also increases. Those who change their diet to vegan usually experience a reduction in their body weight. This is not due to reducing the amount eaten, but simply due to the awareness that is developed about food and the very filling vegetable and whole grain alternatives. Studies have shown that vegans in particular have significantly lower blood pressure values ​​than mixed diets.

With increased consumption of meat and animal products, cholesterol levels in the blood also rise. People who ate a purely plant-based diet for a longer period of time had lower concentrations of LDL and total cholesterol in their blood.

In addition, the latest studies show that consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products increases the risk of Alzheimer's.


Awareness of body, nutrition and environment

Basically, it can be seen that vegans develop a significantly greater awareness of their own bodies, health, nutrition and the environment over time. Likewise, careful food selection and intensive study of food often ensure a healthier, more balanced and lower-calorie diet, and most vegans feel significantly better about their body than people who eat mainly mixed foods. It is interesting that more women than men follow a vegan or at least vegetarian diet, and vegan women and men have a higher level of education - almost 70% of vegans have a high level of education.


Reducing the risk of cancer

There is now agreement that the risk of developing cancer can be significantly reduced through a vegan diet. If you don't want to give up all animal foods, we can point out that you can significantly reduce the risk of cancer with a vegetarian diet.


With so many health benefits, what speaks against a vegan diet?


Osteoporosis risk

Anyone who follows a vegan diet must be very careful to consume enough calcium, otherwise the risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Studies showed that people who followed a completely vegan diet had a 30% higher risk of osteoporosis-related bone fractures compared to vegetarians, fish eaters and meat eaters. However, this percentage only applied to vegans with a very low calcium intake.


Vegan nutrition is more time-consuming and complex

A good and balanced vegan diet requires very specific nutrient combinations and therefore an enormous range of different vegetables, legumes, whole grain products and the like. It is also important to ensure that the different components are combined in the right quantities and that, for example, the vegetable proteins complement each other correctly. This requires time and also knowledge of nutrient and ingredient compositions as well as a certain level of self-discipline.


Vegans should supplement vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal foods and is very important for properly functioning cell division. The vitamin is produced by microorganisms in the ruminant intestine as well as in soil and water with the help of cobalt. So it ultimately ends up in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Fermented plant foods such as sauerkraut, tempeh or beer can also contain it. However, the herbal version is unclear to what extent it can be absorbed by the human body.

A deficiency of vitamin B12 can also have a negative impact on the psyche and functions in the brain, as it also plays a significant role in the development and protection of neuronal connections in the brain. It also serves to synthesize important messenger substances in the nervous system, such as serotonin and dopamine, and is therefore essential for a functioning nervous system.


In summary, a purely vegan diet has many advantages from a health perspective, which can now also be proven medically. However, actually implementing it in everyday life is difficult for many people because they feel like they have to give up too much, don't want to take the time or simply like eating meat and dairy products too much. Nevertheless, from purely health aspects, nothing stands in the way of a purely plant-based diet - for a healthy, adult person. However, this diet is considered controversial for children, pregnant women or people with special health circumstances.





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