Going Vegan ‘What suits one person might not suit another person’
Changing to a vegan diet requires planning and research, as it’s crucial to combine certain food sources to meet nutritional needs.
Sinéad Loughnane, a nutritional therapist with Lemon Beets in Midleton, Co Cork, says that whether a plant-based diet is best for someone is a “personal” matter.
“Like any food plan, it’s very personal – what suits one person might not suit another person,” she explains.
“However, I do know that people who usually follow vegan plans would do their research and know exactly what proteins they need to combine to ensure that they’re getting enough protein, as they would if they were eating meat or animal products.
“With a plant-based diet you do need to combine different sources of protein to get a complete protein count. So if they’re aware of that and are following a good plan then why not if it’s working for someone.
“Whether I recommend it depends on the person – is someone going to be more suitable to a vegan, plant-based diet or would they be more suited maybe for the pescatarian style diet. It depends really on the person’s background, genetics and so on.”
Loughnane says that many are switching to the diet for health reasons: “It seems to be growing in popularity. I think it’s more for anti-inflammatory reasons and so on.
“I know there are dietary trends and fads as well that can occur if you’re just following whoever on Instagram, but I think if someone does educate themselves about a vegan diet and follows it well then it can have a lot of benefits to them.
“If someone is going vegan I would recommend that they do their research or just make an appointment with a professional, someone who can give them the information so they know exactly what they need to eat, when they need to eat and if they need to combine different sources of protein.
“With an egg you’d have a complete source of protein whereas with plant foods you need to combine the two. So beans and rice, for example, would provide you with a complete source.”
She says there are plenty of options out there for people looking to meet their nutritional needs: “Things like nuts, seeds, lentils, beans would all be really good sources of protein.
“Especially for people exercising, branch chain amino acids are usually consumed after exercising to help increase muscle and even things like sesameseeds,sunflowerseeds,pumpkin seeds, a lot of nuts and seeds would actually contain the branch chain amino acids. Tofu as well is a good source.”