By Natasha Stone / el Don
The 22-day vegan challenge is a new diet that some say could lead to possible health risks, especially if the dieter does not eat enough protein.
The challenge combines a vegan and gluten-free menu, meaning no consumption of any animal products such as dairy, eggs, chicken, fish or anything made with wheat. It has become popular lately because of its association with Beyonce Knowles, and chatter about it has rapidly spread across social media websites and appeared in magazines.
This way of dieting could be beneficial as long as people who choose to change their eating habits also absorb the proper nutrients needed to maintain good health. But in the view of Raymond Bunch, a chiropractor who works with nutrition, “Everyone’s body is different. In order to find out how much protein should be consumed, going to a nutritionist before doing this new way of eating is advised,” he said. “If the body is not getting enough protein it will feed off the protein in muscles, losing weight but not fat.”
This vegan-gluten-free approach to eating was created by Marco Borges, an exercise physiologist. His website 22daysnutrition.com lists the benefits of becoming vegan along with several products for this diet. With 15 servings of protein shakes priced at $44.98 and protein bars at $35.88 for a 12-pack, the website focuses on advertising products rather than how much protein the average person should consume, how many calories are needed or the dangers of possible nutritional deficiencies.
The website already has more than 91 thousand followers on Facebook, but offers limited health information. It is up to those considering becoming vegan to research related health issues and take proper care before adopting a new lifestyle choice.