Today, many people are wondering if they have to be completely vegetarian to lose weight. To help answer that question, it actually depends on the context including the person’s health. In fact, you do NOT have to be Vegan to lose weight! Vegan diets consist on removing all animal and dairy-animal products from the food list. This can be quite challenging for people who have consumed animal products all their life and willing to start a vegan lifestyle to lose weight.
Indeed, there are some people that would benefit from a vegan diet to help improve their body weight loss such as people living with diabetes (1). Vegan diets also contribute to reduce the body weight in people suffering from obesity and heart conditions (1,2). However, this does not necessarily mean a person suffering from any health related nutritional condition needs to be totally vegan to help reduce their body weight.
A person struggling with just health related nutritional condition can still consume animal products in the diet by making healthier food choices, except if any cases where an allergy reaction occurs. There are also some barriers when consuming a vegan diet such as health concerns resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency and also the enjoyment of eating meat (3,4). Furthermore, Vitamin B12 deficiency is also linked with depression in women (5). Removing all dairy and milk-animal product from your child’s diet may have a negative impact on their growth (6).
In fact, there are a wide variety of meats in the market that are not always the healthiest option such as processed meat (sausages, cold meat, meat burgers, fried meat) or meats from many food chain restaurants (fried or high in fat) since they can be lead to an increase the body weight or because they are linked to chronic diseases such as cancers (7). Hence, Health Canada encourages Canadians to consume more often meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu to help improve their overall health (8).
In summary, there are benefits from eating a vegan diet to help improve weight loss. However, it does not necessarily mean that you have to go fully Vegan or even vegetarian to help improve your body weight and lifestyle. If you feel like you need to make changes in your diet and need some help with weight loss, contact your SNC’s Registered Dietitian today and get the help you need for a better lifestyle. Remember, there is no magical diet that will help improve your body weight, but only a balanced and moderated diet! -Enjoy your meals with pleasure everyone-SNC
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