Why vegan junk food may be even worse for your health
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Vegan fast food alternatives may often be worse for your health than the meat equivalent. It is good that people start to think about plant-based foods, but the danger lies in thinking that it is good for you when it can be equally or more unhealthy.
For instance, tofu contains omega 3 called Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but our bodies are not able to do anything particularly useful with ALA. The Omega 3 that is highly beneficial to us is called DHA and EPA and are found in high quantities in fatty fish oils.
Plant-based protein sources are not the same as animal protein sources. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of every cell and hormone in our body. Meat protein contains all nine essential amino acids, whereas plant-based protein usually lacks at least one of the nine essential amino acids our body needs.
Unripe jackfruit makes a convincing choice for pulled pork alternatives, curries and burgers. But it is almost valueless if you needed protein since jackfruit consists of carbohydrates. Vegan burgers are made up of beans, but this is not a complete protein source.
One study found that 25% of vegans (mainly women) had very low blood iron levels, compared to 0% of omnivores.
Plants like whole grains, legumes and spinach are high in iron but is not always the best type. Animal sources contain haem iron. Non-haem iron, found in plants, is not as well absorbed by the body.
If someone can find vegan food in pubs, restaurants, and fast food outlets, then the spillover to a vegan lifestyle will be easier.
However, there is a risk that nutrient deficiencies might develop over time that will not be immediately apparent, like tiredness with low B12 levels, infertility with low iron or osteoporosis from a calcium deficiency.
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