In the past decade, there has been more awareness regarding diet and healthy lifestyles than ever before due to the easy access to information via the internet and social media platform. As a result, more and more people are also following so-called ‘healthy trends’, which are usually endorsed by popular celebrities, influencers, and fitness gurus online.
While the availability of information may have helped some people in their fitness journeys and to live a healthier life, health experts have noted that it has also led to the prevalence of myths specifically about popular diets.
Consequently, people have started switching to such diets without seeing whether they need to and without consulting a doctor. Two of the most common diets at the moment are vegan and vegetarian diets. Currently, there are millions of people around the globe who are vegan or follow a plant-based diet.
Plant-based diets are nothing new and have been a part of many religions and cultures for thousands of years. According to existent medical research, many people belonging to areas with a norm of vegetarian diets are healthier and have a higher life expectancy.
Overall, studies have also shown that switching to these diets can also provide a number of benefits for health as well as can specifically help people with certain medical conditions. However, doctors always recommend consulting prior to making a drastic change in diet especially for people who have underlying health issues.
While vegan and vegetarian diets can be beneficial, they may also not suit a lot of people. They may also cause nutritional deficiencies and worsen existent health issues.
At the moment, there is a big number of people switching to these diets merely because they are deemed ‘healthy’. However, not all vegetarian diets are healthy. In fact, some people may end up consuming unhealthier alternatives for meat in an effort to stick to their diets.
In addition, not all meats are harmful to the body and health. For instance, fish and lean meats are healthy, a rich source of protein, and a part of the recommended balanced diet. Red and processed meats are indeed harmful and should be avoided.
Another myth regarding plant-based diets is that they can help a person lose weight. A vegetarian diet can vary from person to person and as mentioned above, it may not always be healthy. The healthy way to weight loss can be followed without leaving meat and dairy products completely.
Moreover, there is a rising trend of people claiming that it was not their treatment plan but their switch to a plant-based diet that ‘cured’ their medical condition. There is some evidence to support that vegetarian diets can help some people with certain health conditions such as diabetes but this does not mean the diets should be entirely relied upon.
Do not discontinue any kind of treatment without asking a doctor as not can that worsen the issue but lead to other unwanted health outcomes. Therefore, switching to vegan or vegetarian diets just by believing in some of the mentioned myths without consultation is not recommended.