The Vegan Diet

A vegan diet for some is a dietary choice and for others, a lifestyle choice. Vegan means, you only eat foods comprising of plants and avoid all animal products including dairy, meat, eggs and sometimes even honey. Some vegans even extend this to physical products and only wear clothing and use cleaning products and beauty products that are completely animal friendly.

This way of life comes with numerous environmental benefits. In short, a vegan diet excludes all animal products. Many choose to eat this way for ethical, environmental or health reasons.

A vegan diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds providing your body with a variety of important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins. Those on a vegan diet need to closely monitor their iron, protein, calcium, Vitamin B-12, and Vitamin D levels as these nutrients are generally found in animal products.

What are The Benefits of a Vegan Diet?

Research has linked a myriad of positive health and environmental benefits when swapping over to a Vegan diet.

However, the studies on this subject are constant, and it is important to note that everyone’s body is different, not all diets will agree with all people, for differing health or personal reasons.

Heart Health

The Journal of the American Heart Association has studies proving that a Plant based diet lowers your risk of heart disease in animals. Meat, Cheese, and butter are the main sources of saturated fats and eating these foods raised cholesterol levels. We all know what happens when cholesterol levels are high…

Plant based foods are high in Fibre which is linked to better heart health and generally people on a Vegan diet had a lower, daily calorie intake. A lower daily calorie intake leads to a lower BMI index which reduces your risk of Obesity which is a major risk when it comes to heart disease.

Lower Cancer Risk

According to the World Health Organisation, about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control. Including diet!

Eating legumes regularly may reduce your risk of colorectoal cancer by about 9-18%!

Avoiding certain animal products may also help reduce the risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancers. This can be because vegan diets are devoid of smoked and processed deli meats. Dairy has been linked to prostate cancer too.

Some really interesting information on this subject can be found at the National Library of Medicine

Some other benefits of a Vegan diet are that it can assist with lowering Inflammation, lowers blood sugar levels and improve kidney function and aids in weight loss!

Even If you do not go 100% Vegan it may be helpful to adopt more of a Vegan lifestyle!

History of Veganism

There has been a huge movement within Veganism. The word ‘vegan’ was coined in the 1940s by a group of ‘non-dairy vegetarians’, effectively starting what is now VEGANISM!

We’ve seen loads of developments in the vegan diet over the last decade, with new foods, new recipes and new attitudes.

Here are just a few –

  1. Vegans are no longer seen as hippies
  2. There are vegan food options everywhere.
  3. You can tuck into vegan fast food AND junk food
  4. There are a lot of vegan recipes online and in cookbooks, on YouTube and Instagram etc.
  5. There are a lot more vegan options on menus these days! Finally! It’s not just potatoes.

Ethical Veganism – Animal Cruelty etc.

Going vegan is one of the best things you can do to help stop animal cruelty. By refusing to pay for animal products, you reduce the demand for them, which ensures fewer animals are bred to suffer and die on farms and in slaughterhouses.

Environmental Veganism

Eating a vegan diet could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact on earth, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent. That’s a huge difference!

If everyone stopped eating these foods, they found that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined.

Why are Vegan Diets on the rise?

There are so many benefits for your health and also the environment when changing to a more Vegan lifestyle. With so many more options and delicious foods on offer it’s no wonder people are changing their ways.

Have you changed yours or adopted more vegan options?