The vegan diet is healthy or not

Plato de la dieta vegana

More than 7 billion people live on planet Earth, a number that increases with each passing day. The natural resources we extract from the planet are greater than the earth itself can restore. The balance of nature’s sustainability has been broken for decades.

We have many animals caged in a minimal space from birth until we sacrifice them, to avoid any loss of energy that increases the cost of their production. When we humanize the conditions of these animals, we would all stop taking any product of animal origin.

Infrequent or never before seen diseases are spreading in the population, without us knowing what are the exact causes that produce them.

All these facts and many more are awakening people’s consciousness and emerging philosophies of life that respect and care for mother earth. One of these philosophies is called vegan diet, which seeks greater harmony between man and natural. Philosophy that many stars of the show, such as Gwyneth Paltrow are followed and proclaim the supposed benefits of this lifestyle, making the vegan diet a fad diet. However, this diet is causing us to abandon other balanced diets millenary, such as the Mediterranean and its olive oil.

What is the vegan diet?

Vegan people are those who follow a 100% green lifestyle, excluding from their lives any products of animal origin, so they do not consume any meat or fish, or any product derived from milk, eggs or even honey. This vegan lifestyle goes even further. Well, a vegan cannot use articles of animal origin, such as leather, wool, silk or any cleaning or cosmetic product that has an animal origin.

This expression was created by Donald Watson in 1944 in England, in order to differentiate people who, apart from being vegetarian, did not eat dairy products, eggs, fish or even wear skins.

In Spain there are no official figures, but it is estimated that there are around one million people who are vegetarian, about 3% of the population, and of this million it is believed that between 30% and 40% of these are vegan.

Photo 1: Olive oil bottle

Is the vegan diet balanced?

But is the vegan diet good for health? As with all issues, some are for and some are against.

According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets such as vegan ones, if well prepared, are healthy and nutritionally adequate for all people, regardless of their age and life stage: children, elderly, pregnant women, etc. In addition, these diets can prevent disease and help sick people.

When you know how to design the vegan diet well, you can get nutrients that are easy to get with the consumption of meat and milk. However, this is not the most frequent case of people who become vegans, following advice and photos seen on the internet.

The Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN) warns of the imbalance caused by the vegan diet to be deficient in protein, calcium, vitamin B12, calcium and iron.

According to Catherine Collins of the British Association of Dieticians, this Association is concerned with these changes in the eating habits of people who follow this diet, as these changes are taking place not for health needs or ethical reasons, but by copying the lifestyle of stars in the media and without stopping to think about the consequences on one’s health.

Catherine also tells us: the vegan diet is a kind of puritanism in food, believing that products of plant origin only are pure, unaltered and ideal.

The Spanish having the healthiest diet in the world, the Mediterranean diet with our extra virgin olive oil, is not understood as many people move to other diets, putting their health at risk. Likewise, the Mediterranean diet is as respectful of the environment as the vegan diet.

Another point of incongruence that I see of the vegan lifestyle is with honey, because bees and man have created a symbiosis, taking advantage of each other, some provide honey and others provide food taking them to the fields where there are more.

From the Cortijuelo de San Benito we advise to always follow the Mediterranean diet with its extra virgin olive oil and honey.

Differences between vegetarian and vegan diet

Vegetarian and vegan diets are similar, diets that prohibit the consumption of foods of animal origin, the vegan being much stricter.

  • The vegetarian diet: The vegetarian diet allows only food of vegetable origin, except milk and eggs.
  • The vegan diet: The vegan diet is much stricter, and only allows foods of vegetable origin, including milk and eggs.

There are then variants of these diets, such as the raw vegan, which in addition to eating only foods of vegetable origin, these have to be raw. Approaching the vegetarian, we can name the flexitarian, which consists of following the vegetarian diet, but allowing us days of exception, in which we can eat the type of meat we want.

 

Sources:

The english newspaper: The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/

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