In the United States, there are too many instances of heart disease, diabetes and cancer (of
varying types), all of which can be linked to careless and unhealthy choices around food intake and nutrition. Of greater concern, these diseases are amongst the top 10 causes of death and the sad part is that all are preventable. Whilst fast food companies and food “manufacturers” who produce boxed and plastic-wrapped foods that fill our grocery stores continuously sell the public on the “benefits” of convenience, there are NO benefits to pursuing a lifestyle dominated by such foods. Making educated and smart choices about the foods we put into our bodies can have profound benefits to health and well-being and veganism is certainly a lifestyle choice that can help you stop FEELING sick and tired of BEING sick and tired!! So if you want to change your life, lose weight, improve your heart health and enjoy protection from type-2 diabetes, check out these 5 benefits of eating vegan:
1. A vegan diet can help you achieve your weight-loss goals
Many science-based studies indicate that vegans tend to be thinner than non-vegans and
maintain lower body mass indexes. Additionally, vegan diet studies have proven that
participants on a vegan diet lose more weight than participants on a calorie-restricted diet even when allowing participants on the vegan diet to eat until they felt full.
In short, Vegan diets have a tendency to limit a person’s caloric intake which allows the body to lose weight more effectively as opposed to those following more “traditional” western (fad)
diets that require calorie counting and limitation.
2. Vegan diets lower blood sugar levels which positively impacts your kidney function
Scientific studies (pubmed) report that vegan diets lower blood sugar levels more than diets
recommended by the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association. Of
particular note, one study showed that in execess of 40% of participants following a vegan diet reduced their blood sugar lowering medicine dosages compared with 26% following a diet
recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
Further studies indicate that diabetics who substitute meat for vegan products can reduce their risk of deteriorating kidney function.
Whilst vegan diets may reduce the incidence of type-2 diabetes, scientific studies have shown
that following a vegan diet will reduce blood sugar levels, and in the ongoing fight to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, going vegan seems to be key in heart, kidney and weight related
3. Vegan diets are rich in specific nutrients
Switching to a vegan diet and lifestyle means that you eliminate meat and animal products
which dominate western diets. Your body will then draw its nutrients from other foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Given that these food groups will comprise a greater portion of your diet than would otherwise be the case if consuming meat and animal
products, your body will draw larger quantities of beneficial nutrients (fibre, potassium,
magnesium, vitamins A, C and E) from these food groups. However, beware that certain
“convenience” (fast-food) vegan diets are stripped down versions of nutrient rich vegan diets,
and will be lacking in essential fatty acids, iron, calcium and vitamin B12.
The proper vegan diet will provide your body with the nutrient rich ingredients it needs to
maintain optimum health but ensure that your diet is composed of nutrient-rich whole plants
and fortified foods and consider taking a daily supplement of B12. Your body will thank you for it.
4. Vegan diets are linked to lower instances of heart disease
Vegan diets will contain significantly high percentages of fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes and
fiber all of which are linked to lower risk for heart disease. Why? Because vegans who consumelarger quantities of these “life-sustaining” foods can enjoy lower blood pressure and lower levels of blood sugar which together, can reduce the risk of heart disease. Couple these
valuable food stuffs with increased levels of whole grains and nuts compared to non-vegan
diets and you are increasing your chances for good heart health – and longer life.
5. Vegan diets can reduce pain from arthritis
Some studies report that those on vegan diets, compared to those on the typical western meat
and animal-product based diet, experience higher energy levels, reduced pain, stiffness and
swelling in joints from the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
Eliminating meat and animal products and focusing on nutrient rich plant based foodstuffs can significantly decrease pain and discomfort from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.