Could veganism be the key to better health?

Veganism is a food lifestyle that excludes the use of any animal product. Many people adopt a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, but many are unaware that veganism could also be the key to better health.

Being vegan has endless health benefits, from losing weight to reducing the risk of disease. If you are looking for a way to improve your health, being vegan may be the perfect solution for you.

The health benefits of a vegan diet

Vegan vitamins have numerous health benefits, such as a decreased risk of chronic disease. All this can be obtained from a well-balanced vegetarian or vegan diet, which includes:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • Some types of cancer.

In general, vegans suffer fewer illnesses and fatalities from some degenerative disorders. Fresh produce, legumes and fiber are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. These foods are usually present in higher amounts than the typical Western diet in well-planned vegan diets.

Observational studies comparing vegans with vegetarians and non-vegetarians have found that vegans can reduce their risk of high blood pressure by up to 75%.

The likelihood of dying from heart disease may also be lower in vegans, although further research is needed to fully understand this association.

In addition, numerous randomized controlled trials show that, compared to other diets, vegan diets are significantly more effective in lowering blood sugar, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels.

Reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 46%, which can be especially beneficial for heart health. In addition, whole grains and nuts are heart-healthy and are abundant in a balanced vegan diet.

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Different types of vegetarian diets

Although the term “vegetarian” usually refers to a “plant-based” diet, there are several different vegetarian diets. Various factors, such as health, environment, ethics, religion, or economic circumstances, determine the vegetarian diet you decide to consume.

Major vegetarian lifestyles include:

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian

People who are lacto-ovo-vegetarian eat dairy products (such as milk), eggs and plant foods, in addition to no meat or fish.

Lacto-vegetarian

People who eat dairy products and plant foods instead of meat, seafood and eggs are dairy vegetarians.

Egg vegetarians

Ovovegetarians consume eggs, plant foods, meat, fish and dairy products. Vegans are those who only consume plant-based diets and avoid all animal products.

Two other diets that do not exactly adhere to the vegetarian lifestyle, but that emphasize reducing or restricting the use of animal products are:

Fishermen

People who are fishmongers incorporate fish, dairy products, eggs and plant items into their diet instead of meat.

Flexitari

It is said that people who eat plants mainly but occasionally consume small amounts of meat and fish are flexitarians, also known as semi-vegetarians.

In general, people who eat a fish or flexitarian diet often do so to reap the health benefits of a primarily vegetarian diet without completely giving up meat.

How can the nutritional requirements of a vegan diet be met?

If you follow a vegan diet, make sure it contains all the necessary nutrients. This is even more crucial if you are expecting, are planning to get pregnant, are breastfeeding, or have young children eating vegetarianism. Satisfying your nutritional needs will be easier if you eat a variety of foods.

If a vegetarian diet is not carefully planned, essential elements such as protein, various minerals (especially iron, calcium and zinc), vitamin B12 and vitamin D can be more difficult to obtain.

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Conclusion

There are many reasons why people decide to become vegan, from ethical concerns about animal welfare to health benefits. While some potential health risks are associated with veganism, most research shows that vegans are healthier than those who eat meat.

References:

Are there health benefits to being vegan? – BBC Future.

Vegetarian and vegan food – Better Health Channel

Health benefits of a vegan diet

Can a vegan diet be healthy or even healthier? – Animal (liberation)

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