When I first decided to become a vegan, I received a lot of responses. Good, bad, the typical raised eyebrow. And everything in between.
Veganism is an extremely controversial topic, and even more so when you’re a teen. The buzz of fully raw fruitarians and die-hard meat lovers – not to mention worried parents and friends – can get to be confusing. So if you’re a teen considering a vegan diet, here are the top 5 pros and cons of living the plant-based way!
- Your vitamin consumption will jump through the roof! Since a vegan diet automatically increases your veggie and fruit intake, you’ll be getting way more vitamins found in plants, like vitamin C.
- You may lose weight. Again, a vegan diet is stuffed with plants, which contain fiber that makes you fuller longer. Eat more and lose weight – a win-win!
- Your risk for cancer, heart disease and more will go way down. A 2016 study found that veganism is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. And with the lower consumption of unhealthy fats, you are far less likely to ever develop heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
- Your acne may go away completely. In fact, many studies have shown that acne and dairy consumption are directly related! At the least, expect an improvement in your complexion!
- You will feel a dramatic sense of well-being. Knowing that you are helping animals, the environment, and your own health will give you an amazing sense of pride and joy!
- People, including your parents, will be worried about your health. For some reason, no one will ever question your diet if you’re a meat eater, but join the ranks of the plant-based and everyone gets nervous! Just remember that most are only there to help!
- And some of the naysayers may be right. Although a vegan diet is rich in many nutrients, it also lacks a few. Meal planning is necessary in order to achieve balance.
- You will need to supplement. Finding vegan B-12 sources is difficult, but B-12 is necessary for everyone. Consider supplements or nutritional yeast (also known as nooch).
- There will be times where there is nothing to eat. At gas stations, most restaurants and parties, most of the food will be non-vegan. Try to plan in advance.
- One word: Cravings. When your family is eating pizza, ice cream and bacon cheeseburgers – you might just start to want them too. Remembering your reasons for veganism and, again, being prepared can help to ward off cheese cravings.
Veganism is a serious lifestyle with many amazing benefits! Weighing the pros and cons beforehand can help second-guessing (by both you and your parents) later on.
Stay happy and healthy!