According to the official position of the American Dietetic Association, well-balanced vegetarian diets, including the vegan diet, can be used even by pregnant women and at the same time have their share in the prevention of certain diseases.
Vegan diet – what about this protein?
A vegan diet consists of excluding from the menu all products of animal origin. Unlike lacto-ovo-vegetarians, vegans do not consume dairy products and eggs. Only vegetable products are available to them. This raises the question of how to satisfy your demand for this nutrient without a source of wholesome protein in your diet. The composition of the amino acids determines whether the protein is wholesome, that is, the presence of all exogenous amino acids in the right proportion. The protein in plant products is not full-value. As it turns out, with a varied diet you should not worry about it.
By consuming various types of groats, legumes, and other vegetables, we supply amino acids of all kinds that complement each other, and the body can use them for its own needs, including the synthesis of protein and enzymes. You do not have to worry about properly choosing the amino acid composition in each meal. Just take care to consume protein from various sources throughout the day. Thus, the argument of opponents of veganism regarding the inability to satisfy the daily raison d’être of the protein is undermined. The vegan diet seems to be a better alternative to the standard diet. The quality of the vegan diet measured in the Healthy Eating Index 2010 turned out to be higher compared to the diet of people eating meat. What are the benefits of abandoning the consumption of animal products?
Vegetarianism or veganism?
The fact that a vegetarian diet may have an advantage over a meat diet may be confirmed by the conclusions drawn from Adventist observations, the dominant part of which is a meatless diet. It turns out that vegetarians less often in comparison with people on a standard diet suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and are characterized by a lower BMI. The question arises – which meatless diet is better? Vegetarian or vegan? Some papers mention a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular complications among vegans compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Vegans in some research samples are also characterized by a lower average BMI. A team of scientists conducted a very interesting study. 6 obese people with diabetes or hypertension used a vegan diet for one month. The effects turned out to be extremely beneficial – a decrease in body weight, a drop in blood glucose, a reduction in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. The benefits of excluding animal products may result from changes in the intestinal microflora.
Vegan diet and microflora
It turns out that the intestinal microflora of people on the so-called Western diet differs from the microflora of people on a meatless diet. Also, vegans were found to have significantly more Faecalis prausnitzii bacteria compared to vegetarians. F. prausnitzii are useful in the prevention of certain metabolic diseases. Their reduced numbers accompany intestinal diseases, inflammatory diseases, and obesity.
Dangers of a vegan diet
For obvious reasons, vegans must devote more attention to providing adequate doses of vitamin B12 and calcium (exclusion from the dairy diet makes this difficult). In the famous EPIC-Oxford Study, vegans experienced fractures by 30% more often than carnivores, and also showed a shortage of vitamin B12 (about half of the vegans showed a deficit of this vitamin). Deficiencies of both calcium and vitamin B12 can be avoided by proper balancing of the diet and taking into account additional supplementation. A good source of B12 for vegans will be fortified cereals or yeast. Vegans should monitor the level of vitamin B12 in the blood to be able to react early to the emergence of a possible deficiency.
The legume protein differs in amino acid composition from meat or cereal protein. It is distinguished by a higher proportion of lysine and tryptophan. However, their nutritional value is limited by the insufficient content of amino acids such as methionine and cystine, which are included in sulfuric amino acids. It is worth mentioning that the best amino acid composition has soy protein. The remaining amino acids will certainly be delivered if the diet is sufficiently varied and will permanently contain all kinds of groats, cereals, nuts, and seeds.
Lack of fish in the diet makes it difficult for vegans to deliver the necessary unsaturated fatty acids from the omega-3 family, in particular, EPA and DHA. A good solution would be to include flaxseed, linseed oil, as well as walnut and chia seeds in the diet because of the alpha-linolenic acid content that is converted into DHA in the body. Alpha-linolenic acid is not sufficiently converted into DHA, so it is worth using microalga oil, which is a direct source of DHA and EPA.
Contrary to appearances, vegans are not extremely exposed to iron deficiencies. Although iron from plant products is less well absorbed than iron of animal origin, our organisms in the situation of deficiency significantly increase the intestinal absorption of this element. Products that are a source of calcium (grains, nuts, seeds, green vegetables) should be consumed with vitamin C. It is not worth combining iron-rich meals with tea, coffee or cocoa – they can make absorption difficult.
Vegan diet and slimming
Research shows that vegetarian diets promote weight reduction. This may be since diets based on plant products usually have a lower glycemic index, lower content of saturated fatty acids and sugar. Vegetable diet does not have to be boring. Here’s how one day of vegan life may look like.
Sandwich bread with a paste of chickpeas and tomato, a recipe for 3 portions
– wholemeal rye bread – 90 g (3 × slices)
– garlic – 2 g (0.4 × clove)
– chickpeas – 120 g (8 × spoons)
– lemon juice – 30 g (5 × spoons)
– olive oil – 30 g (3 × spoons)
– parsley, leaves – 24 g (4 × spoons)
– garden dill – 32 g (4 × spoons)
– lettuce – 30 g (6 × leaves)
– tomato – 120 g (1 × piece).
Preparation time 120 minutes
1. Cook the chickpeas.
2. Mix the chickpeas with lemon juice, 1/4 glass of water, olive oil, garlic, parsley and dill squeezed by the press.
3. If the consistency is too thick, add more water.
4. Seasoning to taste.
5. Brush the bread with a paste, add lettuce and chopped tomato.
Oatmeal on almond milk with banana and hazelnuts
– banana – 90 g (0.75 × piece)
– natural organic almond milk – 250 g (1 × glass)
– hazelnuts – 10 g (0.67 × spoon)
– oatmeal – 40 g (4 × spoons).
Preparation time 10 minutes
1. Cook the flakes in milk, put into a bowl, mix with a sliced banana and nuts.
Salad with kale, cranberry and pumpkin seeds
– pumpkin, seeds, shelled – 10 g (1 × spoon)
– dried cranberry – 18 g (1.5 × spoons)
– kale – 250 g (12.5 x handful).
Preparation time 6 minutes
1. Wash the vegetables.
2. Knead the kale into small pieces.
3. Mix all ingredients.
Oatmeal cookie – 1 item of 12 g.
Tomato soup on a vegetable broth with brown rice, the recipe for 2 servings
– brown rice – 60 g (4 × spoons)
– ground black pepper – 2 g (2 × pinches)
– allspice – 2 g (2 × pieces)
– bay leaf – 3 g (3 × leaves)
– canned tomatoes (cut) – 300 g (3 × serving)
– onions – 50 g (0.5 × piece)
– root celery – 60 g (1 × slice)
– parsley, root – 50 g (1 × piece)
– carrots – 45 g (1 x piece)
Preparation time 45 minutes
1. Wash the vegetables, peel and cut along. Fill with water, add spices.
3. Onion onion and add to the broth. Simmer for about 40 minutes.
4. Add chopped tomatoes to the whole and cook for about 20 minutes until the soup thickens.
Millet baked with zucchini
– millet – 50 g (3.85 × spoon)
– red pepper – 70 g (0.5 × piece)
– parsley, leaves – 15 g (2.5 × teaspoons)
– cultivated mushroom, fresh – 120 g (6 × pieces)
– olive oil – 10 g (1 × spoon)
– zucchini – 300 g (1 × each).
Preparation time 45 minutes
1. Cook the porridge in semi-soft.
2. Mushrooms and peppers cut into cubes and cream in olive oil.
3. Mix the groats with mushrooms and chopped parsley. Season.
4. Zucchini cross-section bore the center and put in the prepared stuffing.
5. Cover for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
Millet pudding with pear
– cinnamon – 2 g (0.4 × teaspoon)
– coconut milk without sugar – 125 g (0.5 × glass)
– pear – 130 g (1 × piece)
– millet – 39 g (3 × spoons).
Preparation time 20 minutes
1. Boil grits and blend with coconut milk so that pudding is made.
2. Cut the pear into a cube, add cinnamon and dill until tender.
3. Eat a pear with a pear.
Sandwiches with paste with avocado, cucumber, and radish
– radish – 30 g (2 × piece)
– green cucumber (long) – 100 g (0.56 × piece)
– wholemeal rye bread – 60 g (2 × slices)
– lemon juice – 6 g (1 × spoon)
– avocado – 70 g (0.5 × piece)
– garlic – 5 g (1 × clove).
Preparation time 10 minutes
1. Blend the avocado with garlic, lemon juice, and spices.
2. Brush the bread with avocado paste.
3. Put the vegetables.
Summary of the menu – nutritional value
kcal – 2064 kcal
protein – 62.3 g
fats – 68.8 g
carbohydrates – 266.5 g
fiber – 60.5 g.
Here is the recipe for an extremely simple and fast vegan snack rich in iron.
Kale chips according to Jamie Oliver
– 10 handfuls of kale leaves, 200 g
– 3 tablespoons of oil, 30 g
– ½ tablespoons of coconut sugar, 5 g
– ½ tablespoons of cinnamon, 5 g.
The nutritional value of the whole portion
kcal – 372.5 kcal
protein – 6.9 g
fat – 31.4 g
carbohydrates – 10.6 g
fiber – 10.4 g.
The leaves should be drizzled with olive oil first, and the next one covered with sugar, cinnamon, and a little salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for approx. 5 minutes. Enjoy your meal!