Veganism has increased in popularity in the last decade, with a 600% increase between 2014 and 2017 alone. Today, a plethora of trendy new eateries offer more vegan food and treats. Even more, many success stories have touted veganism as a miracle worker for weight loss, chronic conditions, and overall health.
High Nutrient Density
Switching from a Standard American Diet to a vegan diet will inevitably mean more, richer nutrients. Because the foundation of a vegan diet is plant-based vegetables, foods, and grains, there will undoubtedly be an increase in vitamins, micronutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. Furthermore, vegans include many legumes in their diet as plant-based protein sources, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whole, Unprocessed Food
Remember that the health benefits are only as good as the quality of the diet. In other words, while veganism has the potential to be healthier relative to a previous diet of high fat, meat, and junk food, there is such a thing as a junk food vegan.
The hallmark of a true vegan diet is eating rich, unprocessed, whole food. Doing so can improve insulin resistance and reduce the risk of diabetes. Even more, simply filling up on the vegetables and fruit, rather than focusing on animal-based protein as the centerpiece of each meal, is enough to reduce the risk of many cancers.
Elimination of Animal Products
The most burning question is, “Is eliminating animal products necessary for a healthy diet?” In other words, does cutting out meat, dairy, fish, and eggs make a big difference in the effect of a healthy diet?
The understanding today is that bodies are made different, and work better with certain diets. However, scientists find much benefit in eliminating animal products. For example, switching meat for plant protein helps people with diabetes with kidney function. Certain highly-processed meats tend to contribute to cancer, while their plant-based counterparts (soy and legumes) prevent things like breast cancer. For people with arthritis, veganism shows promising results for pain reduction and higher energy compared to a standard diet.
Is Veganism Healthy?
Many people deem veganism to be the healthiest diet. Although that might be a generalization, veganism has much potential to improve health overall – when done correctly. That being said, it’s important that people on vegan diets supplement with certain vitamins like B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are lacking in plant-based food.
Otherwise, veganism is an excellent option for someone wanting to turn their life around, without the temptation of blood pressure raising-meat and high-fat desserts.