Vegan diet and weight loss
Vegan diet and weight loss

The vegan diet

The vegan diet has been around for centuries. Of course, there are those who believe it to be flawed due to the fact that it lacks some essential nutrients, but those who use it have been shown to be overall much healthier.

How does the vegan diet work and what impact does it have on weight? In this article we will look at all the different aspects and we will also compare this diet to others.

What is the vegan diet?

Vegetarians come in many forms. Some of them eat plant based foods along with dairy products and fish. 

Others never touch fish. But vegans are the most extreme. They never eat any animal products. This means no meat, no fish, no eggs, and nothing derived from animal milk (no, not even parmesan). 

Vegans don’t even consume honey or gelatin (which is usually derived from bones) and some of them even avoid certain types of alcohol. 

While some forms of veganism allow for any foods that are not derived from animals but they close an eye to honey. 

Thankfully, nowadays, there are many products that can replace cheese, milk and even meat. Some of them are delicious and mostly healthy. 

However, certain nutrients are irreplaceable, and our health depends on them. But this is where supplements come in and they can do a really good job at offering a vegan complete nutrition. 

Veganism was first described in 1944, when Donald Watson wanted to establish a difference between vegetarians, who also ate milk and eggs and vegans. 

In the years since veganism emerged, different forms emerged and they began to be more and more extreme.

In this article we will refer to veganism as not eating animal products, but we will not be referring to raw vegans (who eat only raw vegetable based products), nor to the extremes that avoid any food that might have touched animals. 

We will examine the diet from a health point of view, not from an ethical perspective.

What are the benefits of the vegan diet?

While the diet may seem challenging for the body and the mind, it has an incredible set of benefits. 

While a few years ago it was believed that a vegan diet is unhealthy and it will not offer enough nutrients, the new studies that emerged illustrated the exact contrary. 

Truth be told, many health professionals still believe the vegan diet to be unhealthy, but there is increasing evidence that contradicts them. 

The vegan diet promotes weight loss

Most of those who embark on this journey, do it for the looks. I already said that we are looking at veganism strictly as a diet, without addressing any moral aspects. 

How much weight loss are we talking about? A lot. 

In this study subjects were divided in two categories. One was on a vegan diet while the other was on a low-fat moderate diet. 

They followed the participants for two years and found that the ones in the vegan group lost almost twice as much weight as the other group, after only one year.

One year sounds like a lot of time, and if you are reading this you probably are looking for results that are visible quicker. Right?

This study showed that 16 weeks’ worth of vegan diet can significantly reduce weight and improve health markers – that we will discuss in the next paragraph. 

Lower risk of appendicitis

It may seem like a weird piece of information, but I am offering it to you for a reason. 

One  study pointed out the fact that non meat eaters had only half the chances of having an appendectomy than meat eaters. 

Why is this interesting? Because it reflects the health of the intestine, which is less prone to suffer from inflammation. 

The vegan diet lowers cholesterol and glucose levels

This is a very interesting aspect of this diet. Of course, it would make sense to have lower cholesterol levels when you are avoiding red meat. But what about glucose?

Vegans do eat more fruit and more carbs. But the study that we previously mentioned showed that insulin sensitivity was much better for those who practiced veganism. 

Furthermore, research shows that those who are on a plant based diet can lower their chances of developing diabetes, and even reverse type 2 diabetes.

The vegan diet is anti-inflammatory 

The anti-inflammatory properties of the vegan diet could easily be some of the most interesting. 

CRP – Reactive – C – Protein is an inflammatory marker found to be considerably lower in vegans. And, this protein can be lowered by adopting a vegan diet. 

Why is this important? 

A high, or only, borderline, slightly high CRP is linked to heart failure, stroke and other cardio-vascular accidents. 

CRP is an inflammatory marker, and a vegan diet seems to have positive effects on inflammation in general too. Thus, protecting the heart and long term health. 

Vegans live longer

Long term studies show that vegans and those choose plant based protein over animal protein live longer and have a better quality of life[i].

What are the disadvantages of the vegan diet?

As more and more evidence emerges that promotes the vegan diet as being healthy on the long term, it is only natural to ask ourselves what the catch is. 

Most people cannot follow a healthy vegan diet all the time. As it implies controlling nutrients and being constantly aware of the amount of nutrients ingested.

Meat, eggs and dairy might be overall unhealthy, but they do pack a lot of nutrients. 

For this reason, most vegans need to use nutritional supplements to complement their diet. 

The most common nutrients that need to be supplemented on a vegan diet are:

When taking them, remember that these vitamins are liposoluble, so you need to take these supplements with a fatty meal, otherwise they will not be absorbed properly. 

Supplementing iron is especially important for vegan women, as they are more exposed to anemia. 

Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Depleting levels of vitamin B12 could cause irreparable damage. 

To be honest, before researching this subject, I knew that meat and animal fat was behind a lot of health problems.

However, I had no idea that the vegan diet had all this research to back it up. I used to believe that it is extreme and unfounded, but now I believe that it’s definitely worth a try.


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