Long Term Health on Vegan Diet
I have been a vegetarian for about a year and just recently switched to vegan. I don't really have a problem giving up foods or eating a variety of foods because I am a chef by trade. However, I have read some disturbing studies on veganism and how bad it can be for your health if you continue to follow it longterm.
I just read about someone who had a stroke at 41 due to b complex difficiency. I am taking b12 supplements and multivitamin presently, but I have been fealing dizzy and lethargic recently. I just don't want to do anything detrimental to my health, but I literally don't think I can eat meat anymore, I don't think I could choke it down. I think I need some reassurance or something...Answer:
As far as long-term health, the vast majority of studies show incredibly positive news about the healthfulness of a vegan diet. You have to be careful what you read because the internet can be full of extremely unreliable information. I haven't really seen any studies that suggest plant-based diets aren't healthy in the long run, but I have seen some studies that show eating some dairy or animal products can't hurt. More often than not, those studies end up being sponsored by a dairy or animal company. You have to be very, very careful where you get your information.
From my research, I have found that B-complex deficiencies are extremely rare, and are more likely a result of several deficiencies and other illnesses. If you are taking vitamin B-12
, you should have everything you need to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Feeling dizzy and lethargic is certainly not good, and if I were you, I would think about talking to your doctor. Are you eating enough? I know you have a great background in food, but maybe recently have you not had time to really prepare good meals for yourself-- plenty of vegetables and fruits, beans, and whole grains?
I would also look into some good vegan books, like Food for Life
by Neal Barnard, The China Study
by T. Colin Campbell, and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
by Dr. Esselstyn. They are all doctors and have done extensive research on a plant-based diet. I have seen other viewpoints before, but nothing that contradicts the healthfulness of a healthy vegan diet, in both the long and short term.
I know just how you feel, I definitely couldn't force meat or dairy products into my body right now if my life depended on it. Luckily, plant-based diets are so much healthier, so we won't have to worry about it!
Let me know if I can help in any other way.