...vegan people [...] do not consume any animal products.

Veganism: eating and living vegan

More and more people are eating vegan food and therefore renounce to all foods of animal origin. This includes not only meat, sausage and cheese, but also all other dairy products, eggs and even honey. How many vegans there are in Germany is not exactly known. In a survey conducted by ProVeg (formerly VEBU) in 2016, around 1.3 million Germans stated that they predominantly eat vegan. Eight years ago, only about 80,000 people called themselves vegans.

What does vegan actually mean?

Veganism is a special form of vegetarianism. While vegetarians mainly do without meat, sausage and fish with the nutrition, vegan living humans go still another step further and consume no animal products. Many vegans do not limit their abstention only to nutrition: they eat vegan and live vegan. This means that they not only remove animal foods such as milk, eggs or honey from their diet, but also avoid clothing of animal origin (e.g. clothing made of leather or wool) as well as cosmetic products and medicines containing animal substances.

Reasons for a vegan diet and lifestyle

There are many reasons to live vegan. To them belong among other things:
1
Animal love: Respect for animal welfare
2
Protection of the environment, which is severely affected by large-scale livestock farming
3
Fear of antibiotic-resistant germs through the use of antibiotics in animal fattening
4
Health aspects: Reducing the risk of developing civilisation diseases associated with a meat-heavy diet

Vegan nutrition: Which foods are allowed and which are not?

Vegans generally reject all animal foods and eat pure plant-based. The diet usually includes lots of fruit and vegetables, cereal products, pulses, seeds and nuts. In addition, vegan replacement products hold ever more frequently entrance into the kitchens of veganer households.

Since the food supply for vegans is constantly growing, it is now easier than ever to eat vegan and at the same time have a healthy and varied diet. Not only is the number of vegan restaurants steadily increasing, almost every supermarket now also offers many vegan products – from spreads to almond milk to vegan schnitzel. As with any other form of nutrition, it is recommended that vegans eat as fresh and self-prepared food as possible. Strongly processed foods contain fewer nutrients and are often enriched with preservatives. Whether vegan or not – the following rule of thumb applies to all finished products: The shorter the list of ingredients, the better the product.

Risks of a vegan diet – what should be considered?

Those who eat a balanced vegan diet consume less saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, but more fibre and secondary plant substances. This has a positive effect on health. Nutrition scientists warn however against possible deficiency symptoms as a result of a unbalanced nutrition. Some nutrients and vital substances are seen particularly critically by nutrition experts with a veganen nutrition: These include for example vitamin B12, iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. If you want to eat vegan food and prevent possible nutrient deficiencies, you should therefore design your diet very carefully and especially diverse. A regular medical control of the blood values is for vegans with deficiency symptoms essential.

For whom a vegan diet is not suitable

There are risk groups that nutrition experts strongly advise against a pure vegan diet. Among these rank humans with an increased nutrient need, like
  • Women in pregnancy and lactation
  • Children and adolescents
  • Seniors with limited resorption capacity


  • However, not only seniors can be affected by limited absorption capacity – i.e. insufficient absorption of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. The absorption capacity of people with chronic intestinal diseases is also usually limited. In order to find out how the health of your intestines is, the scientists from BIOMES recommend an analysis of the intestinal flora using INTEST.pro. With the help of the intestinal test you can quickly find out whether your intestinal activity may be impaired and whether the microbial balance of your intestinal flora is in a healthy balance. In addition, you will receive concrete recommendations for action.

    Vegan or not vegan - the decision lies with you

    Whether you want to eat and live vegan is your personal decision. There are many reasons for veganism, but the risks of malnutrition should not be ignored. However, if you are not a high-risk group, and if you plan your diet with great care to meet your daily nutritional needs, there is nothing to stop you from switching to a vegan diet from a health point of view.