I’m a year 9 student from St Patrick’s College in Tasmania, Australia. I am researching diets for one of my classes as my final assignment. I would like your opinion on the following diets, vegan, dairy-free and the 5:2 diet. I would like to know how effective and sustainable you think they are, whether or not you would recommend them and anything else you think that could help me with my assignment.
Vegan eating plans are fine as long as the person eats enough vegetable proteins from dried beans and peas, seeds and nuts. The biggest nutritional concerns are getting adequate vitamin B12 and iron since the best sources are found in meat.
Dairy-free would only be recommended for people who are either lactose intolerant or allergic to the protein in milk. Otherwise, dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, are the best sources of calcium, vitamin D (if milk fortified), and riboflavin. Your body needs adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D to form strong bones throughout life, but especially before 30 years of age.
Not being familiar with the 5:2 diet, I read that a person eats for 5 days and fasts the remaining 2 days. This diet would not be recommended because, on the 5 days, a person can eat what they want which is not healthy and on the 2 fasting days, eat no food. Your body would think that a famine has come on the fasting days and will start conserving calories. Also, you have about 1500 calories in your liver stored as glycogen to refuel your blood sugar when you don’t eat. Fasting other than for blood work or surgery is never recommended. Some religions practice periodic fasting.