Pros and Cons of the Vegan Diet: How Do I Get Enough Protein?

You’ve probably heard of veganism or know someone who follows a vegan diet. More strictly than a vegetarian diet that excludes animal meat, a vegan diet also excludes all animal products like milk, eggs, and honey.

With all animal products and foods excluded, a vegan diet to ensure adequate protein intake requires careful planning.

But it can be achieved by choosing from a variety of plant-based foods like beans, lentils, whole grains, tofu, and soy-based tempeh.

Consuming plant-based protein sources over animal-based foods may have some advantages. Eating more plant-based protein can provide other beneficial nutrients found in these foods, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber from nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables.

In addition, plant-based protein sources contain less saturated fat and cholesterol than animal-based protein sources.

The benefits of veganism

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Vegan diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in fiber. Vegans tend to have lower body weight, lower total and serum LDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, all of which reduce the risk of heart disease.”

The challenges of veganism

One of the biggest challenges with a vegan diet is meeting protein and other nutritional needs.

Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids, which the body uses to make important proteins. Of the 21 amino acids found in food, nine are considered essential because the body cannot produce them and therefore they must come from food.

Animal proteins are “complete” proteins because they contain all nine essential amino acids in adequate amounts. But with the exception of soybeans, most plant foods lack one or more essential amino acids, so they are considered incomplete.

But there is a relatively simple solution to this. Because different plant proteins have different amino acid profiles, eating a wide variety of foods helps ensure the body is getting the essential building blocks it needs.

The essential amino acid, which tends not to be found in beans, peas and lentils, for example, is abundant in whole grain products.

And what grain doesn’t have, beans conveniently have. The foods don’t necessarily have to be eaten at the same time, but you can usually find these “complementary proteins” in a vegan meal, like a bowl of rice and beans or a bowl of lentil soup with a piece of whole wheat bread.

One of the great things about plant-based protein powders (made from soy, pea, rice, and quinoa) is that they’re high in protein for relatively low calories.

They’re also easy to add to foods like protein shakes, oatmeal, and soups to boost protein levels. and you can individually choose how much protein powder you want to use, based on your needs.

Another challenge of a strict vegan diet is that certain nutrients can be missing. For example, without dairy, it can be difficult to get the calcium or vitamin D you need.

And because animal protein is a good source of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, careful food selection, along with appropriate supplements, will ensure these nutritional needs are met.

The inevitable outfits

3 looks we can miss when we go out with friends

Finding those balanced outfits that make you look cool and appropriate for the occasion is sometimes challenging but not impossible, especially when going out with friends.

So pay close attention to these looks – outfits GoTrendier Colombia Country Manager Ana Jiménez brings to you for you to steal the looks. “In order to properly decide what to wear, it’s important to think about it in the moment, whether it’s for lunch, an after-work drink or going out, so that we combine it perfectly.”

For daytime looks: jeans, oversized jumpsuits, blouses, sneakers or ankle boots can ensure comfort and freshness. If you like it more chic, you can opt for a midi skirt or a casual dress. White trousers in combination with brown, in turn, allow you to wear a casual outfit, either on a romantic date or on a trip with friends.

For Afterworks: When your friends are also your colleagues, a formal outfit is a great way to leave the office in a celebratory mood. A white blouse with beige trousers and an animal print scarf that accentuates your neck is the best alternative and can be complemented with sneakers that add an informal touch.

To go to a party with friends: you can opt for mini dresses, skirts, waxed trousers, which you can complement with high ankle boots or knee-high boots that will stylize the figure.

However, you can also opt for off-the-shoulder tops, also known as bardot necklines, which are very flattering as they flatter your figure if your hips are wide.

So don’t forget our advice and try these clothes that will flatter your figure. And if you don’t want to invest a lot of money in this type of clothing, second-hand fashion platforms like GoTrendier are a useful option. The clothes that are most commonly bought for these occasions are blouses, casual dresses and blazers.

By Susan Bowerman

Senior Director of Global Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition