A recent study has shown that people who follow a strict vegan diet are more at risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). These conditions often lead to heart attacks and strokes. Vegan diets are similar to vegetarian diets where the person tries to eat no meat or animal products of any kind.
After considerable clinical research, studies have shown that people who eat meat experience considerably higher risk of cardiovascular problems than vegetarians. However, the new study has shown that those people following vegan diet plan may not be as low risk as they thought.
The reason for this, which is one of the problems with a vegan diet, is that there is often a considerable lack of key nutrients including zinc, iron, and vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. While a balanced vegetarian diet may include enough protein, it often does not supply sufficient fat or fatty acids. This results in decreased levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and increased blood levels of homocysteine. Both of these contribute to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Some people choose to follow a vegan diet as they believe it will contribute to weight loss. However, few people do sufficient research into the vegan diet for it to be healthy, and this is where the risk factors come in. It is recommended that vegans increase omega-3s and vitamin B12 in their diet to help reduce these risks.
Those with regulatory affairs jobs have recommended vegans stick to natural foods to top up their nutrient supplies before turning to supplement. To increase omega-3 intake people following a vegan diet can eat more salmon and other oily fish, as well as walnuts and other nuts, while seafood, eggs and fortified milk can be consumed to increase levels of vitamin B12.