What Does It Take To Be Vegan?

by Danny Fernsby

It might be hard to give up on all your favorite meat products, but a plant based diet could actually be good for you. Many men have reported that taking out all the meat and dairy from their diet has helped them lose weight. Of course, veganism is not for everyone and it does come with some risks, but if you are interested in trying it out, there are some things you should know.

        Many meat lovers often wonder why on earth anyone would ever want to be vegan. However, there are a couple of good reasons to consider a vegan diet. Avoiding animal products, especially beef from cows, is an easy way to help the environment. Since the meat industry is associated with methane (a greenhouse gas that some argue can be worse that carbon dioxide), veganism is one way of boycotting the meat industry and staying environmentally conscious.

        Furthermore, some studies show that plant based diets can be very good for your health, especially when it comes to weight loss and building stronger muscles. These studies might be skewed because people who are vegan tend to be more health conscious in general. However, it is true that many men have reported that a plant based diet has made it much easier for them to lose weight. Perhaps it was because the actual diet was healthier. Or perhaps it was because veganism helped them become more mindful about their bodies. Regardless of the reason, there is definitely a correlation between health and veganism.

        People with certain ethical concerns about animal products might also want to think about trying a plant based diet. You might be concerned about how animals are treated and then killed.  Or you might be concerned about how workers on animal farms and meat factories across the globe are treated. These concerns are all valid, so if you do not want to put your money in a potentially morally unsound industry, then veganism might be appealing to you.

        However, before you lift your social justice warrior hats and pledge to avoid animal products forever, there are a few things about plant based diets that you need to stay aware of.

You will likely be deficient in certain nutrients.

        Plant protein is low in an amino acid called leucine. Symptoms of leucine deficiency are dizziness, irritation, headache, and fatigue. It also makes it more difficult for you to build up your muscle.  For you to avoid this, you need about two or three grams of leucine in every meal. To put that in perspective, you will need to eat about two cups of beans in one meal just to get adequate amounts of leucine. This means that many vegans have to eat a greater quantity of food in each meal. It is possible to eat more, but you have be the type of person who really likes beans or other high protein content foods associated with veganism.

What Does It Take To Be Vegan?        You will also be deficient in a vitamin known as vitamin B12. This vitamin helps you to metabolize carbohydrates, keeps your nerve and blood cells healthy, and plays a part in DNA and RNA synthesis. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are diarrhea, constipation, shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, pale skin, smooth tongue, loss of appetite, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, problems walking, vision loss, depression, memory loss, or behavior changes. Most people get their necessary intake of vitamin B12 from animal products, but you will either need to to try vitamin B12 supplements or fortified plant based foods and beverages.

It will be harder to get the necessary amount of protein.

        As any vegan or vegetarian knows, one of the most common question they ever receive about their diet is about how they manage to get enough protein. And as any vegan or vegetarian knows, it can sometimes be very difficult, especially in situations when you are not cooking your own food.

        You should be eating a little more than 30 grams of protein in every meal in order to make sure your body is growing and adapting properly. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for vegans to find good sources of proteins. Try beans, nuts, peas, tofu, quinoa, lentils, legumes, and seeds.  Soy products are commonly how vegans replace their meat, but men have to be careful about eating too much soy. It contains hormones associated with low testosterone levels, but as long as you keep your soy servings to under four or five a day, you should not experience any problems.

Some vegan foods are still unhealthy.

        There is a common misconception that vegan food is equivalent to healthy food. This misconception probably stems from the fact that health conscious restaurants often boast that they are vegan restaurants or have a lot of vegan and vegetarian options.

        While it is true that fruits and vegetables are definitely good for your health, there are definitely vegan foods that are not healthy like dairy-free ice cream. Additionally, eating pasta every single day is also not very nutritious because it basically amounts to eating a plate of carbohydrates. Vegans are not exempt from maintaining a well-balanced diet, so to stay healthy, you will need a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

You might end up wasting some money.

What Does It Take To Be Vegan?        In general, plant based diets do not cost a lot of money and, unless you are getting your animal products from fast food restaurants, diets based on animal products are often more expensive than vegan diets. However, since fruits and vegetables have a tendency to go bad rather quickly, you might end up seeing some money go to waste.

        Luckily canned food does not go badly so easily and, as a vegan, you will likely buy a lot of canned beans. When it comes to purchasing your fruits and vegetables, you can try planning ahead to minimize how much you waste. You might also want to think about buying frozen fruits and vegetables.

So is veganism for you?

        Veganism does tend to get a bad reputation among many men, but if you interested in boycotting the animal product industry or in getting more health conscious, then a plant based might be a good choice for you. There are some challenges that you will have to overcome, such as finding ways to get the right nutrients. However, as long as you are creative enough to get food that is both tasty and free of animal products, you may want to consider trying a plant based diet. If not, there is usually nothing wrong with cutting back on some meat and replacing it with more fruits and vegetables.

You may also like