General Article My vegan diet mistakes made me ill

Topic Selected: Dietary Choices
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Rachel, 19, a student from Leicester, was 15 when she decided to switch overnight from a mixed diet to a vegan diet.

At first she tried to eat varied and balanced meals. But after a while she stopped preparing food carefully and lost weight and lacked energy as a result.

‘I didn’t know a lot about the vegan diet,’ she says. ‘I knew I needed protein from different sources, but I wasn’t good at getting a varied diet.’

It was not the first time Rachel had swapped diets. At 13 she went vegetarian, but began eating meat again after a year when she became anaemic.

She lost a large amount of weight and felt generally weak. As concern grew for her health, Rachel was persuaded to go back to eating meat.

‘As a vegetarian I was not getting a balanced diet,’ says Rachel. ‘I relied mostly on pre-prepared vegetarian meals, but I didn’t get much variety.’

Going vegan

Two years later, she went vegan. ‘I was going through a difficult time and I needed a big change in my life,’ she says.

‘At ...

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