Do Vegans Eat Eggs: Myth or Reality?
A vegan or plant-based diet fully eliminates all animal products (meat, eggs, and dairy). Do vegans eat eggs? No, a vegan person usually omits eggs from his/her diet as eggs come from poultry. But vegans may include certain types of eggs into their diet and thus, they are called “vegan followers”. A vegan diet offers an array of benefits including health, ethics, and eco-friendliness. Here, we are going to discuss some benefits of a vegan diet and why do vegetarians eat eggs?
Why Do People Prefer a Vegan Diet?
People choose a vegan diet due to several reasons:
1. A Vegan Diet Contains Many Nutrients
A vegan diet completely ignores meat and animal products. Several medical studies have proved that vegan diets offer more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. These diets are also richer in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. Vegan diets contain higher amounts of iron that is also beneficial for your health.
But not all vegan diets offer equal value and nutrition. Inferior vegan diets may lack essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D, calcium, iodine, selenium, or zinc. Thus, always go for whole plant foods and fortified foods. Sometimes, you may need to take supplements for nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, zinc, and calcium as you are not getting all these from your vegan diet.
2. Helps You in Your Weight Loss
Vegan diets minimize your daily calorie intake. So, if you are preparing for weight loss, then a vegan diet will help you in cutting your calories. Several medical studies have revealed that vegans are thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) as compared to nonvegans. Vegan diets are also beneficial for weight loss. A study was conducted on five different diets and it is revealed that the participants in the vegetarian and vegan groups lost more weight than those on a standard Western diet.
3. Minimizes Your Blood Sugar Level and Improves Kidney Function
Vegans have lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity. Vegan people may hardly develop type-2 diabetes. Several studies have also revealed that vegan diets lessen blood sugar levels in people with diabetes more than Western diets.
Research also suggests that people who switch to a plant-based diet or vegan diet may lessen their risk of poor kidney function. Several other medical studies have reported that a vegan diet will help you to get rid of symptoms of systemic distal polyneuropathy (a condition found in diabetes people that causes sharp, burning pain).
4. Protects Against Certain Cancers
By taking fruits and vegetables your chances of dying from cancer will be reduced by 15%. Since you are avoiding certain animal products, it will automatically reduce your chances of getting prostate, breast, and colon cancers. Moreover, vegan diets don’t contain smoked and processed meats (meats cooked at high temperatures) which may promote certain types of cancers.
5. Minimizes The Risk of Heart Disease
By following a vegan diet, people may get benefits from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Vegans may also have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
6. Advantages for the Environment
Many people prefer a vegan diet as they want to be more eco-friendly. Since vegan diets include plant-based products, hence they are good for the environment.
7. Animal Welfare Concern
Apart from health and the environment, vegan people are concerned about animal welfare. They don’t prefer to use any animal products, including clothing. Vegans think that modern farming approaches are harmful and cruel to animals.
Can You Be a Flexible Vegan?
Can vegans eat eggs? A vegan diet that contains eggs is not a purely vegan diet. This can be called an ovo-vegetarian.
Some vegans often incorporate eggs into their diet. Because egg hatching is a natural process for hens and doesn’t cause harm to the animals.
A study was conducted on 329 people who followed a vegan diet and it was revealed that 90% of them were concerned for animal welfare as their top motivator to opt for vegan diets.
Can vegetarians eat eggs? People who follow a “vegan” diet often include eggs from hens or poultry that they know are grown ethically. They prefer free-range hens or those kept as pets on a backyard farm.
The prime disadvantage of a vegan diet is that it’s very strict. Many meat-eaters can’t opt for vegan diets because of taste, familiarity, convenience, and price. Thus, these days, many people are following a flexible vegan diet where they can include eggs to solve the above issues. This is beneficial for people who want to adopt a vegan diet for health reasons but are worried about its price and taste.
Nutritional Benefits of ‘Veganism’
A vegan diet offers most nutritional elements except vitamin B12 which comes from animal foods like meat or eggs. But you need to plan your diet properly to get certain nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron.
Vegans who eat eggs in their diet can get all these nutrients easily. One large and whole egg offers high-quality protein and all with these nutrients. So, a “vegan” diet is beneficial for vegans who are more prone to nutritional deficiencies such as children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The Bottom Line
Due to animal welfare concerns, many stringent vegans avoid all types of animal foods (meat, eggs, and poultry). Some vegans prefer to eat eggs if they are hatched ethically without hurting hens. Eggs in a vegan diet are beneficial for women and children as they offer add-on nutrients.