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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Hello Doctor, Good Morning. My friend who is a meat

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Dr. Vaishalee Punj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2128 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 22 Dec 2018 in Internal Doctor Category
Question: Hello Doctor,
Good Morning.
My friend who is a meat eater wants to go Vegan.

She is 25 years old, 5 feet 2 inches in height and weighs 45 Kgs. Can you please help me address the below questions
(1) Are there any short term or long term side effects of a vegan diet, especially on someone who has had meat all her life?
(2) What is the best way to switch to a vegan diet? How gradual should the switch be?
(3) What are some of the ways to compensate for the nutrients that are present in the meat based diet?
(4) Does going vegan really have a huge positive impact on a person's overall health or is it advisable to stick to a balanced diet plan?
Please let me know. Thank You
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Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
There are no side effects of vegan diet

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to Ask A Doctor service.

I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

There are no short term or long term side effects of vegan diet, irrespective of past dietary history. The only deficiency that may be possible is of vitamin B12. For this supplements can be taken.
She will need to take a balanced diet. Vegan diet has more of fiber and less of proteins than meats. So initially she can take more of protein-rich vegan foods like soya, beans, etc and less of salads. Digestion will adapt within a week of change. She can stop cold turkey or may change a meal one or two day/s. Both are fine. There is no big worry about it.
Vegan diet is also quite nutritious. It is advisable to stick to balanced diet in vegan foods. If she doesnot want to take meats, its fine, her body will adapt accordingly.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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