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What happens to your body when you go vegan?
Thinking of making the jump to a vegan diet? You’re not alone.
In your first few weeks, you may feel especially tired. Without meat, vegans often have a hard time getting enough vitamin B12 and iron, which helps make red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body. But it’s nothing a supplement or handful of nuts can’t fix.
You may also discover that foods don’t taste the way they used to. That’s because your zinc levels have taken a hit, affecting your overall sense of taste and smell.
On the plus side, expect to lose some weight right away! After switching, new vegans lost an average of 10 pounds over a 10 month period. Plus, a 2009 study found that average BMI was lower for vegans than all other diets.
Another benefit that you may experience is a healthy decrease in cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart disease risk. In 1999, a study showed that vegans were 24% less likely to have clogged arteries from saturated fat and cholesterol.
While your arteries are better off, your bones may not be. If you’re like most Americans who get their daily calcium from dairy products, you may see a dip in calcium levels.
But you can combat this simply by boosting your intake of kale, broccoli, and other leafy greens. Plus, cutting out dairy might make you more … regular. 60% of humans don’t have the enzyme to properly digest lactose in dairy. The result is cramping, bloating, and even diarrhea. Swapping dairy with high fiber veggies will make bathroom trips a lot more productive.
Like any diet, veganism has its pros and cons. Be sure to research and see which diet is best for you.