New diets trend
There are many components to an optimal diet for kids, teens and adults:
- Ability to digest - this includes having an optimal gut microbiome and fit lining to the digestive system. Compliments to this system include fermented vegetables (pickled anything, kimchi, sauerkraut) and hot spice to encourage harmful or damaged cells to die off and be replaced by new ones. Also, good healthy fats (coconut oil, grass fed beef, fish) to heal the smooth lining.
- The ability to utilize - Ultimately the nutrition we ingest needs to get to our cells. When these nutrients, as in the case of gluten proteins, enter the body as large particles in the blood (leaky gut) the body reacts to the foreign invader by mobilizing the immune system. Sometimes these proteins and molecules closely resemble the make-up of our own essential tissues causing our immune system to then attack us. This is autoimmune disease. In this case a diet with lots of wheat is not optimal. There are also genetic causes that prevent nutrient absorption. An example is the MTHFR gene which makes absorbing the anti-inflammatory B vitamins difficult, In this case a diet based on lots of leafy greens and grass fed red meat is essential.
- The ability to "heal" - Not all foods are good for everyone and some actually promote inflammation/allergy responses in individuals. A food sensitivity test tells you what foods promote inflammation in your system. One or two might not be enough to cause symptoms (head ache, sinus trouble, foggy brain, lethargy, digestive disrupt) but the combination of a few or many can amplify the effects. A dinner of chicken breast with zucchini ribbons or pasta in a light cream sauce with a fresh raspberry dessert is no good if you're sensitive to all those ingredients.
We all need protein, carbohydrates and fats for our system to function. Putting the right ones in our bodies, ones that promote healing and growth for us, is paramount for great, long term health.
I think because being alive is such an individualized experience -- from genetics to environment -- it's really hard to give a general response to this question. It might work for some kids, but be extremely detrimental to others. Eating vegan doesn't mean eating healthy, so you have to take that into consideration, too.
Maybe this is not the answer most people are looking for....I'm not a fan of vegan diet, especially in teenagers. I have seen so many younger anemic patients caused as a result of vegetarian or vegan diet, predominantly in female patients. I believe there is a logical explanation to this trend.
1.-The iron found in plants is not good quality because your body can absorb the Iron properly.
2.- Vitamin B12 does not exist in plants. Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to Anemia, extreme fatigue, and sudden fainting
We do not so much meet in our diets but we do need the iron and B12 from meat diet, remember iron and B12 recycle in our body and girls never forgot that we have our period which can make you lose Vitamin B12 and Iron.
I agree with some of the other comments. Vegan is not for everyone. I think its very subjective based on blood type and body type. Consider the tremendous differences food plays with ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. not just metobolically but also biologically, hormonally etc, then you have to factor in genetics and perhaps even environment in terms of availabilty and quality of certain plant based foods.
I certainly dont think there is a one answer fits all in this respect.
I myself, have tried both and have found that a mostly plant based, low carb, healthy animal protein diet works best for me. I am a highly active mesomorph and have been since my teens. I also spent most of my late teens and early adulthood in dance where diet, weight and physical performance are under a magnifying glass. I've pretty much tried everything and thankfully never developed any real eating disorders which isnt to say that I havent tried some crazy diet plans. I just trusted my overall sense of my health and performance results enough to stop any unhealthy dieting before it went too far.
It's not necessary that a teenager on a vegan diet will not be obese or susceptible to any disease in future. It depends on the diets of different geographical region. For example, a teenager from the U.K or Europe on a vegen diet may end up eating a lot of vegan burger, pizza, vegan ice-creams, soft drinks on regular basis. This will ultimately lead to obesity and other diseases in long term.
So, although on a vegan diet, it should be recommended to have diet which are rich in fibers and low in carbohydrates, fats and calories. Regular exercise and avoiding alcohol and smoking should be recommended as well.