Why Vegetarians and Vegans Are More Prone to Food Intolerances

by JJ Virgin

Why Vegetarians and Vegans Are More Prone to Food Intolerances

There are definitely some health benefits to being vegan or vegetarian, including a lowered risk of heart disease. Even so, I’ve noticed that vegans and vegetarians are more likely than omnivores to develop food intolerances (and a slew of serious health problems that come with them).

That’s why I like to encourage clients who don’t usually eat animal protein to try introducing clean, lean sources into their diet. That said, if you’ve omitted or limited animal products for spiritual or ethical reasons, I 100% respect your values and have you covered!

Read on to find out why and what you can do to stay healthy when you’re eating animal-free!

A Main Cause of Food Intolerances

As I explained in The Virgin Diet, food intolerances occur when you repeatedly eat the same foods until your body reacts to them. Because eating a plant-based diet offers you less protein variety, it also puts you at higher risk for developing sensitivities.

below, find out the most inflammatory foods that vegans and vegetarians commonly eat and how banishing these foods will help you shed extra weight, get rid of joint pain, and more!

The 3 Most Reactive Vegan and Vegetarian Food Staples

Vegetarians and vegans don’t have as many protein options. So I either see them eating too many carbohydrates and not enough protein, or over-relying on soy as their primary protein source.

When you have a soy protein shake for breakfast (with soymilk, of course), soy burgers for lunch, and tofu stir-fry for dinner, you’re definitely over-consuming soy. But eating soy at even one meal a day can cause problems. This sets you up for food intolerances and other potential health risks.

Eggs and dairy can cause similar problems. Vegans, you’re off the hook here, but I often see vegetarians eat hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, a mid-morning muffin made with egg, and then an omelet for dinner. Maybe they’ll throw in some fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt and cheese in their dinner omelet.

Soy, eggs, and dairy aren’t necessarily bad (although I would argue that GMO soy and rBHG milk products are). They offer protein and some good fats.

However, when you constantly eat them, you can develop food intolerances to these foods, which create leaky gut, inflammation, immune reactions, and numerous symptoms including weight loss resistance.

3 Weeks Can Make a Huge Difference!

One of my most dramatic case studies was a vegetarian client who was overweight and miserable, with symptoms ranging from joint pain to headaches and fatigue. Just by dropping soy, she lost over 40 pounds and felt better than she had in decades!

People are amazed how much better they look and feel when they eliminate these foods for 3 weeks, and then evaluate if they help or hurt their body. Guess what?

That persistent runny nose disappears. They no longer run to the bathroom after every meal or suffer gas and bloating. Chronic issues like acne and other skin problems clear up. And, of course, they’re finally able to banish the last 10 pounds they’ve struggled with for ages, despite doing everything “right.”

Keys to Getting Started

So, now that you know which reactive foods to remove from your diet, what do you eat instead?

Check out my list of great plant-based protein options and follow my tips to create balanced vegan and vegetarian meals here: How to Create a Balanced Vegan or Vegetarian Meal.

And if you’d like recipes, meal plans, and more to help you cut the 7 high-FI (food intolerance) foods out of your diet over 21 days, check out the Breakthrough Food Intolerance Online Program! (Tip: you can start it for free with my 7-Day Stop, Drop & Swap Challenge…)

In no time at all, you’ll be on your way to rocking a vegan or vegetarian diet – minus food intolerances!


Have questions? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and let me know how my team and I can best support you!