More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the massive health benefits: high energy, younger-looking skin, high energy levels, and eternal youth are just some of the claims from satisfied plant-based eaters. Well, eternal youth might be a bit far-fetched, but there are certainly tons of scientifically proven benefits to a vegan lifestyle when compared to the average western diet. Thoughtful and thoroughly planned plant-based diets are rich in calcium, iron, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals. The sources of all these nutrients are typically high in fiber, low in saturated fat, and packed with antioxidants, helping prevent some of our worlds biggest health problems like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
Maintaining a diet to lower cholesterol based on plant foods vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans is the best way to lower saturated fat intake and avoid cholesterol completely. A vegan diet is free of all animal products and holds the lowest risk of heart disease. Since our bodies produce enough of the cholesterol we need, its unnecessary to add any in our diet. Cholesterol is found in all animal products including fish, chicken, red meat, eggs, milk and other dairy products. Some dieticians argue that choosing lean cuts of meat is enough; however, the cholesterol is mainly in the lean portions of meat. Many consumers are shocked to learn that chicken contains as much cholesterol as beef, 25 mg per ounce (Cholesterol and Heart Disease). All animal products should be avoided for this reason among many. No plant-based foods contain cholesterol because plants do not have a liver to produce it. For every 100 mg of cholesterol in your daily diet, you add roughly 5 points to your cholesterol level.
Diet changes make all the difference in treating type 2 diabetes. Traditionally, diet recommendations required smaller portion sizes, measuring and weighing foods, and over limiting yourself. However, recent evidence suggests that a vegan diet may be more effective and easier to follow in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The evidence favoring this approach came from comparing different populations from around the world. Those whose diets were based on plant-derived foods rice, beans, fruits, vegetables were less likely to develop diabetes compared to those whose diets are centered around fatty, meaty dishes. Studies have suggested that these fatty, meaty diets cause insulin resistance in the consumer's body. Its been proven in many clinical studies that adopting a high-carb, low-fat, plant-based diet actually improves insulin sensitivity, aids weight loss, and reduces blood sugar; the three key watch points of a patient with type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is one of the most concerning health issues in the United States, and soon it will be the countrys leading cause of preventable deaths. Despite the rapidly growing number of diets and weight-loss programs available to dieters, Americas waist line keep growing rounder. Most weight-loss programs center around reducing calories and increasing exercise, but new research shows that vegan dietary patterns can result in more weight loss than meat centered diets without a focus on caloric restriction (Plant-Based Diets Show More Weight Loss without Emphasizing Caloric Restriction.). Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, known as one of the top epidemiologists in the world, said, Quite simply, the more you substitute plant foods for animal foods, the healthier you are likely to be. I now consider veganism to be the idea diet. A vegan diet particularly one that is low in fat 0 will substantially reduce disease risks. Plus, weve seen no disadvantages from veganism. In every respect, vegans appear to enjoy equal or better health in comparison to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Many researchers agree that vegan eating styles are closely tied to lower BMI, lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, and less weight gain with age. Because weight loss is achieved by following a plant-based diet rather than caloric restriction, vegan dieters may find it easier to follow through long term.
No matter why someone may be interested in pursuing a vegan lifestyle, its an incredible decision. For animals, the planet, and your health, eating a plant-based diet makes sense from every angle. Health guidelines continue to evolve, showing us that animal-based foods are hurting our health in enormous ways, and plant-based foods are improving and extending our lives. We also know that animal agriculture and the production of meat, dairy, and all other animal products are at the forefront of climate change, destroying the environment, and unnecessarily taking innocent lives every second. Veganism is the healthiest diet and lifestyle you can adopt; for the environment, the animals, and your personal well-being.
Cholesterol and Heart Disease. The Physicians Committee. 15 Apr. 2010. Web. 02 Mar. 2016.
Plant-Based Diets Show More Weight Loss Without Emphasizing Caloric Restriction. The Obesity Society. Nov. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.
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