Which Hormone is Keeping you Fat?
Reasons Eating Vegan Will Cause Weight and Hormone Issues
In an effort to make your diet healthier, you may be tempted to try a vegan diet. After all these diets are low in cholesterol and saturated fats so they must be good for you. Right?
A plant based diet has many health advantages, but it is not the best diet for supporting hormones.
1. Vegan diets are low in protein, fat, and cholesterol
Protein, fat, and cholesterol are necessary for making sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. If your diet is low in protein, your levels of the hormones prolactin, thyroid hormones, and insulin can also be lower.
2. Vegan diets are low in vitamin B12
In fact, vitamin B12 only comes from animal products so vegans need to supplement with vitamin B12. Supplemental vitamin B12 is not absorbed very well.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause inflammation and disrupt your estrogen levels.
3. Lack of Omega 3 fatty acids
The vegan sources of omega 3 fatty acids contain ALA, but not the more useful DHA and EPA forms. Your body does convert some of the ALA to DHA and EPA, but likely not enough to matter.
The conversion also requires zinc which is often deficient in a vegan diet.
EPA helps to reduce inflammation which is a leading cause of hormone disruption. Low levels of omega 3s are also associated with weight gain and blood sugar instability.
4. Nutrient deficiencies
The vegan diet is rich in many vitamins and minerals, but there are a few key nutrients that may be low in a vegan diet.
There are few plant based sources of vitamin D without fortification. So most vitamin D must be obtained from sunshine and supplements. Vitamin D helps keep hormones balanced.
Iron is typically low in a vegan diet. The plant source of iron is harder for the body to break down and not as plentiful as meat based. It is also bound to oxalic acid which is plentiful in vegetables like spinach making it even less available. Iron is necessary for thyroid hormone synthesis.
Zinc is available in plant foods, but not at the same levels as animal sources. Plant sources also contain phytic acid which slows the absorption of zinc from plant foods. Zinc helps to maintain growth hormone and insulin production.
What can you do?
While there are several benefits to a plant based diet, the healthies diet for your hormones does contain some animal products. Or supplementation must be carefully managed.
How I can help
I can help with a nutrition plan that will help you lose weight, balance hormones, and feel great. Book a free consultation to find out more.
Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.