A vegan diet is a new way to opt for a healthy lifestyle. While veganism is something a lot vouch for, there’s a question over its effects on bones. But eliminating animal products might be risky for a consumer in the long run according to some experts.
The side effects of veganism
A vegan diet means eating plant-based food. In a vegan lifestyle, one has to restrict the intake of animal-based products. A vegan lifestyle is often considered a healthy lifestyle as it offers numerous health benefits. It helps in weight loss, improves kidney health, controls blood sugar. No wonder, why more and more people have started opting for veganism.
But as per recent few studies, people following a vegan diet can have a higher risk of bone fracture. This is mainly because of the lack of animal products in the diet.
Shweta Mahadik who is a dietician at Fortis Hospital explained in interaction with NDTV, “Nowadays, a vegan diet has become very popular. It contains only plant foods such as vegetables, grains, nuts, and fruits. Elimination of animal products such as milk and dairy products, fish and poultry from one’s diet decreases the intake of some essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, which impairs the bone turnover rate and results in a decrease in bone mineral density. Vegans face a higher risk of fractured hips and legs, clavicle, ribs, and vertebrae.”
However, since there are multiple positive aspects of veganism that help people live a healthy lifestyle, the consumers are often suggested to include a balanced meal. The meal should have alternatives rich in calcium, magnesium and zinc. This will provide enough macronutrients and micronutrients which will make bones strong and help reduce the side effects.
The dietitian further hence suggested, “You must add vegan sources of these essential nutrients. Drink coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk or oat milk regularly. Include an optimum proportion of flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds to your diet. Whole grains like ragi, pulses, soya, nuts and oilseeds like garden cress seeds, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, figs are also good sources of calcium. Also, 30 minutes of routine physical activity like brisk walking, jogging will help in improving bone health.”