How to limit the risks of “free” diets?
Removing all or a large part of certain products from your diet can be harmful to your health. Here’s how to overcome “free” diets: egg, fish, meat, peanuts, shellfish, lactose, palm oil, sugar.
With Dr Édouard Pélissier, author of Vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian? What is good for health (ed. Odile Jacob).
I am vegan
Eliminating all animal products entails significant risks for musculoskeletal health. Not eating fish, especially fatty fish, deprives of omega-3 intake. However, we can compensate with supplementation based on algae. For proteins, we can recommend protein powders, mainly soy-based. If you want to adopt this diet, ask your doctor because the risk of deficiency is high.
I do not eat meat
For people who have excluded meat but continue to eat eggs, fish, dairy products and legumes (lentils, beans), the risk is lower than for vegans, but it still exists. A 2018 study in Nutrition Reviews shows a 4-5% decrease in bone mineral density in vegetarians (6% in vegans) and a 25% increase in fractures (44% in vegans).
I don’t eat dairy
The risk is clear: insufficient calcium intake. With chia seeds, we provide about 600 mg of calcium / 100 g. With all other plants (white beans, soy, cabbage, dried fruit), we go down to around 150 mg/100 g. You have to eat a lot of it to get its amount of calcium! For example, to provide the calcium equivalent of a 30g piece of Comté, you need to eat around 200g of kale, 400g of tofu or 20 dried figs.
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