Is a Vegan Diet Right for Me?

By Diana Sanchez, Staff Writer

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

The vegan diet is a highly successful diet for weight loss because it encourages healthy, whole foods, and eliminates a lot of unhealthy foods from your diet - helping you easily stick to a calorie deficit.

The vegan diet is different from the vegetarian diet in that while veganism excludes meat just like vegetarianism does, veganism also excludes all products that come from an animal, including dairy and eggs. I’ve never personally tried to go vegan (I‘m very attached to dairy) but I have friends who have switched to the vegan diet and love how great they feel on this diet. And the weight loss? AMAZING.

What are the Benefits of a Vegan Diet?

The vegan diet has many benefits:

  • Very rich in plant-based nutrients
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Can decrease high blood sugar levels
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of cancer

What are the Risks of a Vegan Diet?

Elevated risks of the vegan diet may include:

  • Vitamin D & B-12 deficiencies
  • Dieters may become deficient in iron, zinc, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Hair loss
  • Risk of stroke
  • Depression

What Can I Eat? 

Okay
 Not Okay
Fruits
Veggies
Legumes
Nuts and nut butters
Seeds (Hemp, flax, chia)
Tofu
Whole grains 
Cereals
Breads, rice, and pastas are okay - in moderation
Soy milk, Coconut milk, Almond milk
Vegetable Oils
Meat (red or white)
Fish
Eggs
Butter
Cheese
Mayonnaise
Sour cream
Yogurt
Milk
Ice Cream
Honey 

A Day on the Vegan Diet

Breakfast

Breakfast Burrito

Lunch

Crunch Wrap Supreme with Avocado and Black Beans

Dinner 

Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Bowl

Snacks

Roasted Chickpeas

Blueberry Oat Bars

Finally…

The vegan diet is, for the most part, a healthy one, but like any diet where many foods are not allowed, it can lead to nutrient deficiencies that you have to be careful with. Of course, you can always take supplements to make up for this if this is a diet you’d like to stick to long-term. 

If your goal is to lose weight, going vegan will help you lose a significant amount of weight - so long as you are tracking what you eat and opting for whole, unprocessed foods the majority of the time. While bread, pasta, and rice are technically allowed, that doesn’t mean you can eat these freely. Most foods on the vegan diet are healthy, and quite filling, which will make it easy for you to eat at a calorie deficit and lose weight.

Have you tried the vegan diet? What did you think?

For more information on to how to stick to a diet, check out these blogs:
3 Essential Behaviors for a Healthy Mindset to Eat Healthy
How Can I Stick to a Diet?

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