Many celebrities are jumping on the vegan bandwagon, but is it something real or just the latest celebrity diet trend?
When singer and actress Jennifer Lopez recently went on a vegan diet for 22 days to lose a few extra pounds, she continued eating it because she claimed it made her feel good. Cutting animal products from one’s diet is a positive thing for the environment (PETA claims it can save 200 animals a year), but Jennifer Lopez’s vegan choices have not extended beyond her menu preferences. The star is still wearing fur, a fashion choice for which PETA has previously named her ‘Jenny from the butcher block’. This contradiction in Jennifer’s life has caused outrage in the vegan community. How can one not eat animal products but then wear them in a different form? It seems easy if your vegan choices are about losing weight instead of being focused on social or environmental concerns.
Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only one, though. Although not as controversial, singer Jessica Simpson recently also admitted to being on a vegan diet for two weeks. The reason? She wanted to look slimmer on her wedding day.
The vegan diet is definitely a celebrity trend that is not going away any time soon. Even though these stars are not focusing on the environmental benefits of a vegan diet, switching to animal-free foods certainly has a positive effect on the planet regardless. However, there are important considerations to take into account if you’re choosing to embark on a vegan diet for weight-loss reasons.
Health Should Be a Part of Weight-Loss
Just because something is vegan, it doesn’t mean that it can’t contain ingredients such as preservatives, oils, and colourants, such as in the case of processed foods. You might not think of these when trying to drop a few kilos, but they can be harmful to your health. Losing weight is not good enough if you’re not healthy!
You Need Nutrients
There are some nutrients that you could be missing out on if you take eggs, dairy and meat products out of your diet. For instance, B12 is a vitamin that is only found in animal sources. This nutrient is required to convert carbs into energy so that cells can repair themselves. Then, there’s vitamin D that enables your body to absorb calcium better and use it to maintain bone cell health, but plant foods do not have enough natural sources of this crucial nutrient. Consider supplements if you are on a strict vegan diet to ensure your body gets what it needs.
Don’t Lose Muscle Mass
You don’t want to lose your lean body mass because you’re decreasing your calorie intake, so make sure your diet incorporates proteins such as legumes, nuts, tofu, seeds and tempeh. A good tip to ensure you get enough: add a healthy fat (such as nuts or avocados) and a protein to every meal.
Avoid Faux Products
Try not to consume dairy and meat substitutes. Although it’s okay to indulge in a vegan burger every now and then, these products are usually high in sodium and fat that won’t do anything for your health or weight-loss goals.
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