Curd your enthusiasm: veganism may be ruining your health
After a dietician opened my eyes, I realised in the rush to save the planet we may be risking our wellbeing
A couple of years ago, veganism was booming. I was editing a glossy vegan food magazine and every day brought more plant-based product launches and glowing Instagram stars proffering raw Buddha bowls. I, too, went vegan in the summer of 2016, at 45. After years as a vegetarian with an abiding love for animals, it seemed ridiculous to keep eating eggs and dairy when alternatives made from soy, pea protein and lentils were suddenly available.
I had constant access to health information and a cabinet rattling with supplements. What I didn’t have, unfortunately, was any understanding of how veganism would affect my health.
Despite reading glowing reports from other vegans of how their energy had increased, I was tired for hours every day. My hair was dry and brittle. My gums bled, I caught colds and felt low much of the time. It took two years of inexplicable skin rashes and pain before I was diagnosed with a severe nickel allergy - a mineral in abundant supply in soy, pulses, beans and wholegrains. My entire diet, effectively. I had no idea that nickel allergy existed, but the dietitian I was finally assigned told me that she was seeing increasing numbers of patients developing it after turning vegan...