Do you follow a special diet, or have certain dietary requirements meaning you can’t eat specific foods or food groups? Maybe this is due to allergies, for health reasons, moral reasons or religious reasons. Either way, there are lots of reasons why people choose not to consume certain things which is absolutely fine. However, one thing to be aware of when excluding things from your diet, is whether you’re missing any important nutrients. For the body to run properly, it has to have the proper balance of everything it needs. Here are a few things to be aware of if you follow a special diet.

Vegetarians and Pescatarians

If you don’t eat meat, but you do eat either fish or animal products (or both) then getting the right vitamins and minerals won’t be too much of a problem. Vegetarians can get a good amount of protein from things like eggs, Greek yogurts, beans, and vegetables, so the lack of meat causes no concern. If you do exclude meat from your diet, just make sure you’re cautious of getting enough protein.

Dairy Free

Whether you’re a vegan or you just exclude dairy from your diet as it doesn’t agree with you, the main thing to be concerned about is calcium levels. Without enough calcium in the diet, the body will draw it from the bones (where 99% of the calcium in the body is stored). This can lead to osteoporosis and all kinds of bone issues, so it’s something to be aware of. Dairy isn’t the only form of calcium out there, leafy greens, figs, and oranges are just a few examples of good sources. But keep an eye on this to make sure you’re getting enough. You could always add a calcium supplement to your diet if you’re not reaching your quota, AlgaeCal testimonials, for example, will help you to decide if this is for you.

Vegans

Vegans are those who eat no animals, but unlike vegetarians, they don’t eat animal products either. So anything containing meat, fish, eggs, dairy, gelatin (from meat bones) even honey. While the vegan diet itself can be very healthy, there are a couple of things to be wary of. If you follow a healthy vegan diet, and you consume mainly fresh produce, legumes and whole grains you’re likely to be giving your body everything it needs. You will just need to keep your eye on your protein levels to make sure you’re getting enough from non- meat sources. Quinoa, buckwheat, soy, beans, even some vegetables contain a good amount. You could use a food tracking app to ensure you’re getting everything you need. However, there’s one specific vitamin that vegans struggle getting and that’s vitamin b12. This can be consumed in fortified products such as almond milk or taken as a supplement, but it’s so important to make sure you’re getting enough if you’re vegan. It prevents anemia and keeps the nerves and blood cells healthy. Symptoms of a deficiency include weakness, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath and weight loss in the short term. Long term it’s linked with depression, dementia, even psychosis.

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