Are you all in on a vegan diet, trying it out for ‘Veganuary’, or starting to add more plant-based options into your routine?
Whichever steps you’re taking to care of the planet, it makes sense to check you’re giving your body everything it needs too.
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet excludes any and all animal products. We’re not just talking about the obvious meat choices. Unexpected non-vegan foods include bread and beer, mayonnaise, and even marshmallows. If you’re serious about changing your habits, it’s time to start reading the labels on your favourite meals and snacks and looking for vegan alternatives!
If going vegan seems like a huge commitment, it can make sense to start small. The Veganuary movemement, which began in the UK, urges people to try the vegan diet out in January – even if that just means committing to one plant-based meal a week. If you’re looking for a push to give a vegan diet a go, it might helps to think about the health benefits of a vegan diet for men!
What are the health benefits of going vegan?
Plant-based diets should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. And, because vegan diets often rely heavily on these healthy staples, they tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre than other diets.
In fact, there’s growing evidence that a vegan diet can help to protect you from some of the conditions that have the biggest effects on men’s health. A plant-based vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of mortality from:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Some cancers including prostate cancer and colon cancer
Vegan-friendly health and grooming
We’ve got you covered with vegan-friendly choices across our health, wellness, and grooming ranges, so it’s easy to make choices that help you and support the planet too.
Can I build muscle on a vegan diet?
The stereotype of the weak, feeble vegan puts a lot of men off trying a vegan diet. But there’s no reason you can’t build muscle on a plant-based regime, if that’s what you’re keen to do. And eating more plant-based foods certainly shouldn’t set back your exercise routine!
You need protein to build muscle, but there are plenty of plant-based protein sources you can turn to to meet your protein needs.
Pulses like lentils and beans, tofu and vegan meat products are all great protein sources, and protein powders are increasingly popular if you need additional support (though it’s important not to overdo your protein intake to avoid kidney damage and other complications!).
Do vegans have to take food supplements?
Despite the rumours, a healthy and well-planned vegan diet is good enough to meet all your body’s needs, however active you are. You don’t have to take supplements if you’re vegan!
In fact, If you go vegan or start making more vegan-friendly choices, you’ll be boosting your body with vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in diets that contain meat – you’ll probably be increasing your body’s supplies of Vitamins B1, C, and E, as well as folic acid and magnesium, and reducing your intake of cholesterol and saturated fats along the way!
But a good, well-planned diet isn’t always something we achieve without support. It is important that you make sure you have back-up if you’re not meeting your body’s requirements for essential minerals like B12, calcium, iron and Vitamin D.
Adults need about 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 and about 700mg of calcium a day, while men (aged 18 and over) need about 8.7mg of iron a day . You can use an app like MyFitness Pal to track your diet over a shor period to get a sense of how well your diet is meeting your nutritional needs!
If you need extra support to ensure you’re meeting your body’s needs, there are some useful vegan-friendly food supplements you can choose from. And if you’re unsure about what the best options are for you, you’re welcome to book a free call with our men’s pharmacy team for advice.