The Vegan Debate
Most vegans don’t follow the plant based diet for weight loss reasons. The restrictions imposed by a vegan diet are strict, and can be very hard to maintain if you are only hoping to lose a few pounds. What is more, there are plenty of vegan food choices that are not going to help you lose weight. While the ideology behind veganism makes it difficult to refer to it as a fad diet, this is one trend that is not recommended for the mainstream, and can be especially dangerous for Lap Band patients.
Veganism has been gaining popularity over the past decade. Now there is even legislation being passed following the ideals of veganism. As of this summer, foie gras will no longer be permitted on menus in California. Vegans and vegetarians living in California fought for this law about a decade ago and the ban is about to be set in place, making the duck liver delicacy a thing of the past in the Golden State. While a bit obscure, the ban is looked at as a sign of the popularity of veganism in California, and this trend can be seen throughout all corners of the United States.
A lot of people turn to veganism in an attempt to change their lifestyles and form a better relationship with food. It is true that veganism is another way to put a barrier between you and the drive-thru window, but veganism is one extreme on a spectrum of dietary choices. After bariatric surgery, it is more important that you find a proper balance in how you approach your diet instead of making drastic changes that could prevent you from consuming the nutrients that you need.
Here are just a few of the nutrients that vegans are at risk of deficiency for:
- Protein: Animal meat is a leading source of protein. While you can get protein through plants, you will need to eat more if it in order to get the right amount which can be difficult after Lap Band surgery.
- Calcium: Calcium is prevalent in dairy products. If you cut dairy out from your diet then it is important to find a replacement source to ensure you are getting the right amount of calcium every day.
- Vitamin D: Spending a lot of time in the sun is not always healthy, so vitamin D can be consumed by drinking cow’s milk instead. If you are cutting out dairy for any reason, make sure you are getting the right amount of vitamin D.
- Vitamin B12: This vitamin is only available through meat, so if you decide to cut it out then you will need to find a supplement. Talk to your bariatric surgeon before adding any supplements to your diet.
If you are compelled to try a plant-based diet for moral reasons after Lap Band surgery, it is important that you talk with your bariatric surgeon Dr. Bagnato about it first.