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A Major Change

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Veganism is seen as a healthy way of living. But, switching to such a diet can be difficult. Anindra Siqueira tells you what you might experience when you start to eat vegan

So you’ve made up your mind. You’re going to take the high road. The road less travelled. You’ve been pro life and nature and against wanton wastage since you can remember. And, a good way to take things up a notch is to go vegan. But, changing your lifestyle, in this case, your diet, is going to take determination and commitment. You should know what comes with such a change, especially if you’ve been eating meat all your life. Here we’re telling you what to expect if you’ve decided to go vegan.

THE GOOD

MORE ENERGY

Many people who switch to a vegan diet report feeling more energised. Scientists are not sure why (or how) this happens, but it could be because when you start to eat vegan, you cut out more sugary and processed foods, minimising spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels.

BETTER COMPLEXION

Many people who have just taken up a vegan diet report an improvement in their complexion. Sometimes their skin gets clearer and more glowing after a short period of breakout.

WEIGHT LOSS

If you’re eating less fat, you’re likely to lose weight, and you might see a change in the scale when you initially shift to a vegan diet. However, with some people, the converse may be true. Hunger pangs can lead to more than usual snacking, and in turn to weight gain.

GUT BACTERIA OVERHAUL

Your microbiome can have an impact on your health and immunity. And, when you go vegan, your gut microbiome tends to become richer.

THE BAD

GAS, BLOATING OR DIGESTIVE ISSUES

When you initially switch to eating a vegan diet, you will likely experience gas and bloating because of all the extra fibre in your diet. But don’t worry; your body will soon adapt to your new diet.

HUNGER

When you switch from a meat diet to one with absolutely no meat, not even eggs and milk, your will most likely start to have cravings. The cravings can get intense and you might feel hungry all the time in the beginning.

TROUBLE SLEEPING

While your body is adjusting to your new diet, you may experience changes in sleeping patterns, and you might be subjected to uncomfortable sleepless nights.

VITAMIN IMBALANCES

Switching to a diet that includes only vegetables, fruits and nuts can be great for your health. But, there’s one thing that they don’t have that meat does — vitamin B12. There is a potential for vitamin deficiencies with a vegan diet, and you’ll have to supplement with nutrients such as iron, zinc and calcium. Including certain seeds in your diet can compensate for other nutrients that are lacking in a vegan diet — omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, which are found in flax seeds and walnuts.

FATIGUE

If you’re constantly hungry, you’re bound to be tired. And, getting on to the vegan eating train can leave you fatigued as your body adjusts to the new diet.

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