A vegan Diet is a good Option for Seniors
Vegan-ism, a term that has become widely associated with health conscious millennials, is also a great option for seniors. Adapting a plant-based diet has several benefits, which is why it’s becoming a more attractive diet for older adults. Easier to consume, digest, and even prepare, a meatless diet is definitely worth trying for seniors who desire a lifestyle change.
What does it mean to be Vegan?
A vegan does not consume animal products of any kind, which includes not only meat, but eggs and dairy too. For those who do not want to fully commit to this type of non-meat diet, then there are definitely other options. In fact, Caring People Inc. explains that pescatarian, lacto-vegetarian and are ovo -vegetarian are also healthy options for seniors.
Being vegan falls under the vegetarian umbrella, but many people incorrectly use the words interchangeably. While vegetarians also do not consume meat, some do still consume eggs, dairy, and seafood. Consider the options below:
- Pescatarian – A diet that includes fish and other seafood, but not other animals.
- Lacto-vegetarian – A diet that includes dairy products, but not meat or eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian – A diet that includes eggs, but not meat or dairy.
- Flexitarian/Semi Vegetarian – A diet for those who still eat meat, but in small moderation.
The Benefits Of Going Vegan
For seniors interested in trying a vegan diet, they can expect a great number of benefits. Some of those benefits include:
- Looking and feeling younger
- More energy
- Improved cognitive functioning
- Weight loss
- Less fatigue and better sleep
However, the most important benefit of going vegan is probably the ability to build immunity to certain diseases. Research has shown that a heavy animal-based diet brings with it risks of various chronic conditions, cancer, and high cholesterol. Even those who already suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes type 2, have shown that going vegan reversed the progression of disease.
Consider This First
Although there are several benefits to plant-based diets, there are also some things to take into consideration. Removing meat from the diet can make it more difficult to meet some nutritional needs. Deficiencies in your diet can lead to poor and unhealthy results, so ensure you’re getting enough of the following:
- Calcium – Found in soy milk and dark leafy greens
- Vitamin B12 – Try an oral supplement
- Protein – Found in legumes, nuts, and seeds
- Zinc – Found in mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini
Be A Healthy Vegan
Contrary to popular belief, being vegan does not automatically make you a healthier eater. It’s very easy for new plant-based eaters to turn to processed vegan food because it’s convenient, easy, and delicious. However, these vegan items are packed with chemicals, calories, fat, and salt. There are plenty of easy to make, tasty vegan dishes for seniors that don’t require processed foods in the grocery store freezer.
It’s Worth A Try
It’s never too late to switch your diet, especially if you’re interested in maintaining a good quality of life. Consult with your health care provider and/or a dietician to determine what’s best for you!