GOING VEGAN: WHY ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL

Luke McGrath and Marwa Elgabry / January 24, 2020

Vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular, but it’s important for people to consider whether the plant-based diet is right for them.

(Pixabay)

Veganism is continuing to make waves as the plant-based diet is increasingly touted for its potential to save the environment.

In the battle for climate change, adopting a vegan diet is on the forefront of many people’s minds; but is it for everyone?

Gerry Kasten, a Vancouver-based Registered Dietician, said individuals considering adopting the plant-based diet should carefully consider their health needs.

“Veganism, like all diets, needs to be well planned in order to get good nutrition. With veganism, it might take a bit more planning because people are eliminating a lot of foods from the diet.” – Gerry Kasten, Registered Dietician

To plan a vegan diet, Kasten recommended accessing good sources of information to learn about what foods you’ll need to compensate for key nutrients that a plant-based diet may lack.

These nutrients include vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and iron. The nutrients may only be found in trace amounts in plant foods, or are not present in forms that are well-absorbed by the body.

The challenge to achieve adequate nourishment becomes even harder for children, who need higher calories in order to grow.

“Children on vegan diets need to eat quite a bit of food and so it’s good to choose a lot of high calorie foods. So like oil rich foods like nuts and seeds, nut butters, oils, coconut, things that are really rich in fat because fat is such a dense source of calories and children need a lot of calories to grow.” – Gerry Kasten, Registered Dietician

While consuming more plant-foods may provide a wider range of vitamins and minerals, Kasten emphasized that a vegan diet may lack essential nutrients that are mainly found in animal products.

(UBC Experts Guide)

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