Vegan Diets and Vitamin Deficiencies

It’s not something you’d think of before a diet change – but the effects of changing diets without pre-planning could be life changing.

Choosing what diet is going to be right for you is not a decision you make overnight. Nor is it one you can stick to with just a few weeks worth of ‘diet testing’. The idea of sticking with one diet is definitely not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. It’s about testing out different foods in each diet to find what suits and, for me, that diet was a balance of Paleo and Vegan (Paleo for my IBS and weight management).

What is a ‘vegan diet’

Most of you will know, but for those that don’t. A Vegan diet is based on the lifestyle, anything that causes harm or impacts on an animals life is taken out of ours. Essentially that means; Animal-Meat, Animal-Milk; Cheese, Yoghurt, Cream, Butter, gelatine & anything that comes from an animal.

Simple!

Vegan Diet’s & Deficiencies

Ah- It’s a big no-no in the vegan community to talk about this but… We need animal proteins in our diet. Over the millions of years that we have taken to evolve we did most of our developing once we started consuming animals. As horrible as it sounds, it’s something that is needed in our diet. Or is it?

Vitamin B12 is the Animal protein that is needed for humans to function.

Very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.” –Vegan Society

Transitioning to vegan - It's all about surrounding yourself in the lifestyle and remaining positive.

Tips to make transitioning to vegan easy!

My personal side effects of a vegan diet.

Sadly, I didn’t take my own advice on researching before a diet. Preparing to take on anything is important but when you’re changing your diet it’s detrimental to your health. That being said, going vegan was such a quick change for me that I didn’t have the time to research the diet. I just new I didn’t want meat in my diet and that was it.

Two months in and I had put on 7lbs, by eating pies, pastries, Cakes, Bread and anything else that was vegan. I felt that it was my duty to test out all of these foods that I had scorned in previous years and I was indulging far too much. So not only did I gain a lot of weight. (see video) I also became lethargic, from not eating properly leading to me not exercising which lead to my skin breaking out and flaking. 

The worst of it all was my hair. 

I was subconsciously touching my head all the time!

I have always had an abundance of hair (Right Picture) but after only 8 weeks of being on a vegan diet, a poor one. I had started to lose hair on my side parting and I was so embarrassed I was filling it in with powder, combing over my side parting and doing anything I could do hide it. I’ve even looked into hair treatments – seriously ‘Advanced Tricho Pigmentation‘ (say that three times fast) is a hot search in my google search bar. I’ve been into wig stores on the high street, which actually went well. I found a rainbow long curly wig and a fiery red one but that’s not to say I’ll be donning any wigs soon! It was all down to my diet. – Not the vegan side of it but the lack of nutrients and lack of research.

It was all down to my diet. – Not the vegan side of it but the lack of nutrients and lack of research. I was drastically missing vitamin B12, C and D and my body was taking the hit.

Putting the wrong fuel in your car.

Your car has labels on it – Petrol or Diesel. Sadly, our bodies don’t have these labels to tell us what’s the right thing to put into our bodies. We try our best, most of the time, to eat greens for vitamins, grains for fibre and proteins for strength but knowing the compounding factors of our foods… well, that’s something entirely different.

There are so many foods you can eat that will cover all of these vitamins (not just protein!) so please do your research and find out what vitamins you need. It will take some time to realise what changes you’ve made for the better and for the worse so prepare to take that hit and hopefully, with your preparation it won’t hit you as hard. Get your vitamins in, eat a healthy and colourful diet and you should have non of the issue’s I’ve had and fingers crossed your body (and the animals) will thank you for it.

If you’re thinking of making a positive change into veganism these tips could help make it easier for you. Have a great week,

 

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