The Vegan Diet — A Complete Guide for Beginners?
If you are a vegan or even thinking of becoming one, this article is for you. This article will look at what veganism is, the main components of a vegan diet, and some common myths about veganism.
But before we get started, let us ask ourselves why I should consider going on a vegan diet? What can a vegan diet do for me that a vegetarian diet cannot ?
There isn’t just one reason to go on a vegan diet, but here are just some benefits of going vegan:
1) A Vegan Diet Will Help You Lose Weight
A study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people on an ad-libitum (no calorie counting, eat as much as you want) low-carbohydrate vegan diet for six weeks lost an average of 10.1 pounds.
2) A Vegan Diet Promotes Healthy Gut Bacteria
Eating a healthy plant-based diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
These good bacteria are known as probiotics whose benefits include:
Reduce bad cholesterol levels
Maintain hormonal balance
Maintain healthy weight loss
3) A Vegan Diet Increases Energy Levels and Lowers Risk of Chronic Diseases:
Research shows that consuming a vegan diet can prevent chronic, life-threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and blood pressure. The Vegan Society reports that many vegans feel healthier, energetic, and less tired after ditching animal products.
4) A Vegan Diet Helps Fight Hunger:
Nearly 870 million people suffer from chronic hunger worldwide
(1). That’s about one in nine people on this planet who do not have enough food to survive. However, the world produces enough food for everyone; yet millions of lives are lost each year due to malnutrition
(2) . This is why consuming vegan food can help fight hunger because plant-based foods are cheaper than meat, requiring high energy expenditures, land usage, and water.
(3). The Harvard School of Public Health found that people at high risk for developing Type-2 diabetes lowered their risk by 58% after changing to a vegan diet for eight weeks.
5) A Vegan Diet Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes:
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes
6) A Vegan Diet Reduces Risk of Heart Disease:
Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology shows individuals who follow a plant-based diet reduce their cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which reduces the likelihood of suffering from heart disease or stroke later on in life.
7) A Vegan Diet Reduces Risk of Cancer:
Many types of cancer can be prevented or stopped by eating various plant-based foods. Plant-based foods such as flaxseeds, soybeans, beans, and vegetables contain a compound called Isoflavones that helps prevent breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
8) A Vegan Diet Promotes Longevity :
According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, vegan men have 34% less chance of suffering from heart disease than meat-eaters. The study also found vegans tend to have lower cholesterol levels than vegetarians or people who consume a diet that includes animal and plant food sources.
9) A Vegan Diet is Beneficial For The Environment:
According to the University of Oxford research, countries that adopted a vegan diet saved 43.6 million pounds each year. This is because plant-based foods are cheaper than meat, requiring land usage, water, and high energy expenditures.
10) A Vegan Diet Promotes Overall Wellness:
Studies are stating that people who follow a vegan diet tend to be healthier overall than their meat-eating counterparts for many reasons, including:
Vegans have lower blood pressure
Lower cholesterol levels
Lower risk of suffering from heart disease
Reduce the chance of suffering from cancer
Better uptake of essential nutrients because plants are packed with nutrients
Vegans tend to weigh less than meat eaters
11) A Vegan Diet is Better for the Environment:
According to studies published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, plant-based diets are better for the Environment than meat because plant-based diets require fewer resources to cultivate and transport than animal-sourced food.
Studies show that it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef compared with 25 gallons of water needed to grow one pound of wheat. Furthermore, it takes 1/3 gallon gasoline used up in transporting foods from farm to plate. Other sustainable features of a vegan diet include lower greenhouse gas emissions, leading to lower instances of climate change.
12) A Vegan Diet is Better for Animal Welfare:
Factory farmed animals in the meat, dairy, and egg industries are treated the same way as machines. These animals are sectioned off into cages which can be extremely small, making it difficult to move. Many of these animals grow up in dark, cramped conditions where they rarely see sunlight or enjoy the fresh air.
13) A Vegan Diet Helps Reduce Global Warming:
According to research published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, raising livestock takes about 45% of all agricultural land, yet it accounts for only 5% of the total food produced worldwide.
The UN Food and Agricultural Organization also found that one-third of the world’s grain harvest is fed to livestock instead of being consumed directly by humans. As a result, fewer grains are available for direct consumption, which could help provide hungry people across the world.
14) A Vegan Diet is Healthy:
Studies have shown that plant-based foods are packed with protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and many essential minerals. Plant-based foods contain no cholesterol or saturated fat, making them healthier options than animal-sourced food, including these ingredients in high quantities.
15) A Vegan Diet Helps The Environment:
According to research published by the United Nations Environmental Programme, raising livestock contributes significantly towards climate change because large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions are released during rearing animals for slaughter.
Factory-farmed livestock emits 70% more methane than cows kept on pastures because their digestive systems are similar to humans’. This livestock is also responsible for producing significant quantities of nitrous oxide, which is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.