Every day, more and more people are becoming vegan. In 2020, veganism hit an all-time high, with more Americans becoming vegan than ever before. Many people may feel that giving up meat and dairy products is an extreme sacrifice that they just cannot make. But for others, the welfare of animals is a no-brainer, along with the potential health benefits that inspire them to make the switch. Many vegans have gotten their inspiration from people like Gale Tobin.
When done correctly, veganism can come with many great health benefits. A vegan diet is also considered a plant-based diet. Many people go vegan because they have desires to improve their health, especially if they have a family history of particular diseases such as heart disease.
Research that has been conducted has proven that a vegan diet can help in many ways including:
- Reduce your risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels
- Promote weight loss
- Reduce your chances of getting certain cancers such as colon cancer
- Help you manage your diabetes better by decreasing your A1C levels
However, you should note that an automatic change in good health is not always guaranteed once you make the switch to veganism.
It is possible to still be a vegan and be overweight. You can also be a vegan and be malnourished. This is why you need to know the foods to avoid and the foods you should eat no matter your choice of diet.
If you are considering veganism, the key is planning. Sweets, junk food, and refined grains are bad for everyone, including vegans. Many vegans and even non-vegans make it a bad habit of keeping these foods in their diet.
In order to have and maintain a healthy diet, you must include vital nutrients. Since you may have gotten a lot of important nutrients from meat and dairy, before you made the switch to veganism, you will not have to find other ways to include these nutrients into your vegan diet. Make sure to include the following:
- Protein – You can get protein from other sources besides animals. Chickpeas, seitan, soy products, nutritional yeast, and lentils are all packed with protein.
- Vitamin B12 – You can feel extremely weak and tired if your body is lacking vitamin B12. It is important to get enough vitamin B12 if you are a vegan. You can take a supplement or stock up on fortified cereals and rice.
- Iron – Egg yolks and red meat are some of the best sources of iron. However, you should be careful since they are also high in cholesterol. To get iron, you can eat tofu, dried fruits, black-eyed peas, and fresh fruit.
- Vitamin D – Soy and fortified orange juice are both excellent sources of vitamin D, and ten to 15 minutes of sunlight each day.
- Essential fatty acids – Many people who lack essential fatty acids may have health issues related to depression, and even brain health.
Overall, vegan diets have gained a lot of popularity and can offer many health benefits, such as weight loss, better heart health, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Vegan diets are also better for the environment.