Derby nutrition expert on pros and cons of turning vegan Leave a comment


A Derby-based nutrition expert has spoken to Derbyshire Live about the positive and negative aspects of eating a 100% plant-based vegan diet.

This means cutting out all animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese. A strict vegan diet would also mean never eating honey as it is produced by bees.

Animal rights activists often say that plant-based diets are better for the planet and for your health but a vegan diet can be detrimental to your health as it can leave you lacking in essential nutrients your body needs.

Dr Corinna Chidley, a lecturer in sport, outdoor and exercise science from the University of Derby, said: “It’s important to first recognise that any diet has the potential to be healthy or unhealthy and that a balanced approach is required.

“A balanced vegetarian or vegan diet will typically lend itself to naturally contain more fibre, lower levels of saturated fat, and encourage the consumption of greater quantities of fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains which, alongside the additional fibre, also help increase the essential intake of vitamins and minerals.

“These combined aspects have the potential to help improve gastrointestinal health, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”

In 2020, The Vegan Society found that the number of people in the UK following a vegan diet was estimated to be around 600,000, with over 125,000 meat eaters also pledging to take part in ‘Veganuary’ each year.

Dr Chidley believes the number of people following such diets is increasing due to ethical reasons surrounding the treatment of animals.

She said: “Some may switch to a plant-based diet for health related reasons, some may switch for the environmental aspects and some may switch because of the ethical arguments, and in some cases it may be because of all three.

“There has been a growing body of evidence emerging over the last few years about some of the risks associated with the consumption of red and processed meats.

“Not only are we aware that these products tend to contain more saturated fat, but evidence has linked the regular consumption of these products to an increased risk of diseases such as bowel cancer which I think has certainly made people question how much meat they actually need to consume.

“In addition to the growth of scientific research, in a lot of cases the increase in plant-based diets can be attributed to social media.

“The fact that a number of high-profile celebrities have openly adopted a plant-based diet also influences the choices people make.”

However, a plant-based diet is not without its faults.

Many people who attempt to follow a strict vegan diet find themselves needing to consume extra supplements to replace those that have been removed from their diet.

Dr Chidley adds: “With any diet, there are always opportunities for problems to arise.

“The main problem that needs to be mitigated, particularly in a vegan diet, is the lack of B12, which produces red blood cells and helps the nervous system to function, and calcium which typically comes from animal-based products.

“As a result, individuals consuming a vegan diet are encouraged to consume supplements to ensure they meet their daily requirements of these nutrients.

“I’m certainly having more and more inquiries from people reaching out looking for advice on adopting a plant-based diet.

“As the evidence base behind both the health, and environmental impact of following omnivorous diets continues to grow, so too will the number of people seeking to adopt a more plant-based diet of some form, be that flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan.”



A police constable using a ram to batter down the door to the property

You can get the latest Derbyshire Live headlines straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Every day we’ll send you our top stories, plus breaking news alerts as they happen, in a completely free email with no ads.

To sign up just head to this page and select “Derbyshire Live news” – or enter your email into the black box at the top of this story.

Derbyshire Live readers shared their opinions about vegan and plant-based diets on our Facebook page, with some strongly backing meat-based regimes and others strongly supporting the ethical alternative.

One reader argued: “I care about animals and the planet that I want to leave my child.

“If you eat meat you are contributing to global warming and damage to ecosystems and suffering to animals and humans.”

One confirmed meat eater said: “The human stomach is built to digest meat and the human jaws and mouth are designed to chew it.”

Another said: “If God had not wanted us to not eat meat he wouldn’t have made chickens and beef so tasty.”

One reader said: “If there was a good alternative to fish and red meat for the amino acids, and iron.

“Most of the alternatives have to be heavily supplemented which either costs more money, or takes longer prep time to cook.

“I don’t eat meat every day, but will have steak once a month and fish once or twice a week.”

Many said that nothing would convince them to sacrifice meat from their diet.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SHOPPING CART

close