Plant-based and vegan diets have become something of a trend in the past few years. Mostly appealing to the millennial, the consumption of meat has become quite detestable. Which is understandable… to a certain extent.
Animals such as cows release methane, a potent greenhouse gas which is approximately 28 times more powerful at warming the Earth than carbon dioxide. Methane’s chemical shape is significantly effective at trapping heat. This implies that the addition of just a little methane in the atmosphere can impact the extent to which the planet warms.
Enough with the chemistry though…
It seems this dietary ‘movement’ has resulted in some disregard of the whole essence of a “balanced diet”.
Plant-based diets offer many health benefits. However, mere migration to plant-based diets does not necessarily imply the provision of nutrients that the body requires. For instance, Choline is a nutrient which helps transfer signals between nerve cells and is also linked to liver functions. It is vital for several aspects of good metabolism.
Studies have linked deficiencies in choline with liver disease, neurological disorders as well as impaired cognitive function in offspring. The nutrient is key to the development of a healthy brain, particularly in the fetal stages.
And guess where it’s mostly found? You guessed it, in dairy foods and meat.
One does not need to entirely cut out animal products from their diet. However, if need be, it is important to ensure that plant-based diets are well-balanced with nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc.