Although cholesterol levels drop, digestion improves, and blood pressure normalizes when a person switches to a plant-based diet, such a nutritional system can threaten a deficiency of iron, zinc, calcium and other vitamins. This was reported to socialbites.ca by a nutritionist-therapist, candidate of medical sciences, cardiologist and Executive Director of the ANO Research Center “Healthy Nutrition” Svetlana Pavlichenko.
According to the expert, a person will feel the first changes in a day during the transition to a plant-based diet. Thus, the feeling of satiety will last longer, because fiber in the composition of plant foods fills the stomach: the moment of satiety comes faster, it saves you from overeating, and complex carbohydrates and fats will give you a boost of energy.
“With a plant-based diet, your mood will improve in a week because the plant-based diet is directly related to the emotional background. Unsaturated fatty acids in the composition of hazelnut, seed and vegetable oils are responsible for the synthesis of necessary hormones.
Also, according to him, healthy vegetable oils reduce the risk of clinical depression, help normalize the emotional background and cope with stress. Fiber also stabilizes sugar intake, smoothing out peaks in blood sugar levels. This provides a long-lasting, even energy source.
“Among other things, fiber helps to establish a healthy microbiome balance. The beneficial gut microflora is involved in the metabolism, helping to better absorb essential nutrients. Insoluble fiber bulks up stool and softens it for regularity. Digestion is truly real when switching to a plant-based diet,” says Svetlana Pavlichenko. He’s getting better,” he said.
He added that after 2-3 weeks of plant-based diet, cholesterol levels also decreased and blood pressure returned to normal. The level of “bad” low-density cholesterol is reduced by an average of 15-30% and the risk of stroke is reduced by 14%.
“After spending a month on a plant-based diet, the skin becomes clear because plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants that suppress chronic inflammation, including the skin. However, despite the obvious advantages, there are some important limitations to consider when switching to a plant-only diet. That is why it is recommended not to completely abandon animal products, but to maintain the balance, ”the nutritionist warned.
According to the doctor, among the possible consequences of the complete rejection of animal products are a deficiency of many vitamins. For example, a lack of vitamin B12, which a person gets from animal foods. There is also a risk of calcium deficiency.
“Calcium deficiency primarily leads to the development of osteoporosis. Therefore, people who do not eat animal products should adjust their diet: calcium is found in plant sources, such as cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, and also use calcium-fortified foods or supplements, ”said the doctor.
Consequences include a lack of zinc, which is essential for the good functioning of the immune system, DNA reproduction, and protein synthesis. Zinc is also required for the cells responsible for the sense of taste and smell.
“The most common problem when switching to a plant-based diet is a certain iron deficiency. This can lead to the development of anemia. Therefore, plant nutrition should be approached carefully, and even better – not to completely abandon any type of food, ”concluded expert Pavlichenko.
Former nutritionist suggested eat sauerkraut, artichokes and beets for immunity.
Barbara Dickson is a seasoned writer for “Social Bites”. She keeps readers informed on the latest news and trends, providing in-depth coverage and analysis on a variety of topics.