The vegan diet is the practice of not eating animal products, particularly in diet, and the philosophy of rejecting the commodity status of animals. A person who follows a philosophy of not eating or using animal products is known as a vegan. Vegan diets can also be a healthy diet if planned and implemented correctly. Plant-based diets or vegan diets can be short in essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12. So a well-planned diet can mitigate the lack of essential nutrients.
Do you lose weight eating vegan?
If you eat vegan you can lose weight quickly by eating a whole food plant-based diet. This means you need to eat foods in their whole, unprocessed forms such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds. These foods are high in nutrients but low in calories compared to a standard diet which is high in fat and sugar.
Vegetarians’ diet doesn’t include fish, meat, or poultry, but they eat eggs and dairy. Vegans also follow don’t eat meat, but they also don’t eat animal products such as eggs, dairy, and honey.
A vegan diet includes:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Breads, rice, and pasta.
- Soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk.
- Vegetable oils.
Health benefits of the vegan diet.
- How vegan reduces heart diseases. Eating whole grains, fruit and vegetables, means that vegans eat more fiber than others who eat meat products, alongside fruit and vegetables. Research found that people who eat a high fiber diet have less probability to develop heart disease. Plant-based diets lowers cardiovascular risk by more than 52 percent. Eating a high-quality, plant based diet can make a young person less prone to heart problems later in life.
- Vegan protein decreases inflammation. Signs of inflammation are fatigue, fever, and joint and muscle pain. According to a study published in Current Developments in Nutrition,Vegan protein decreases chronic inflammation. A 2015 study also found that participants in a 2 month trial experienced reductions in inflammatory scores, as compared to those who ate animal protein.
- Vegan reduces cancer risk. When researchers talked to nearly 70,000 volunteers about their diets, they found lower cancer rates among people who didn’t eat meat at all. Vegans who don’t eat any animal products including fish, dairy or eggs had the lowest rates of cancer. Vegetables reduce cancer considerably like cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage reduce risk of colorectal cancer, lung, and stomach cancers, while carotenoid-rich vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes reduce risk for breast cancer.
- Vegan diet is good for your skin. There is a pile of evidence that shows a diet rich in plant-based foods improves common skin ailments. Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants that prevent premature aging, and make your skin glow.
- Vegan diet is good for your gut health. If your diet includes a variety of vegetables and grain, it’s likely you’ll have good gut health. A vegan diet is always high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and legumes. These foods protect the gut from inflammation and damage.
Vegan diet and athletes
Recent research shows athletes can benefit from a plant-based diet to improve their performance, decrease body weight, improve stamina and get lean. Some elite athletes like tennis player Venus Williams, adhere to a vegan diet. There is a Netflix documentary “The Game Changers”, Scott Jurek, who trained and won 100-mile foot races without eating animal products. Tom Brady reportedly eats a diet that’s 80% plant-based.
What deficiency is more common among vegans?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common deficiency for plant-based food. B12 deficiencies can lead to anemia. B12 deficiencies can also cause weakness and fatigue. Vegetarians can get B12 through dairy products or eggs. Vegans should include B12 supplements, fortified cereals, and veggie burgers.
Best plant-based sources of protein for vegans
- Tofu, tempeh, and edamame.
- Hemp seeds
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews.
- Chia seeds.
- Other grains.
Vegan population in the world.
The total number of vegans in the world is 79 million by 2021. Only .1-1% of the total world population is vegan, Although it’s not easy to determine the exact number of vegans. 1.5 Billion people in the world are vegetarians which are 22% of the world population.
Israel has the highest percentage of vegans in the world, with an estimated 5 – 8 percent of people being vegan, an estimated 400,000 people. Many of these vegans live in Tel Aviv.
Australia has one of the largest vegan communities in the world and was the most popular country for veganism in the world for 2 years. Sydney, the country’s biggest city, has a flourishing vegan community.
How Vegan protect and environment
- Reduce the amount of greenhouse gas. A study published in New Scientist magazine shows that everyone can reduce his/her share of greenhouse gas by going vegan. If you go on a vegan diet you contribute to reducing climate change by 60%. Eating vegan also helps stop animal cruelty and improves and protects our own health.
- A vegan diet reduces energy consumption. Meat requires a lot of energy and processing before it is ready for human consumption, and meat processing requires a lot of energy. In fact, it takes approximately 107,482 BTU to produce a single pound of beef, 42,992 BTU for a pound of pork and 15,013 BTU to produce a pound of chicken.
- Vegans conserve water. Water is not an unlimited resource, therefore it must be preserved. Water is used for drinking, cooking, washing; moreover, it must not be wasted. If you go vegan you can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year. It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce just one gallon of milk, and beef consumes roughly 4 million gallons per ton.
- Vegans conserve rainforest. 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second. The main causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feed crops. Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.
- We could have fishless oceans by 2048. Veganism can save our oceans! Animal agriculture is the reason for dead zones due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Scientists expect fishless oceans by 2048 unless we change the animal food industries and their practices.
Conclusion. Veganism is not a new phenomenon; the idea of avoiding animal products can be traced back to ancient Indian and Mediterranean societies. Vegan is a healthy practice since it reduces the probability of many diseases like heart problems, cancer, better gut health, and good skin. Vegans also contribute to the environment by using less energy footprint. Similarly, vegans do not mean you get less nutrition in fact many athletes profess veganism and doing well. B12 is one vitamin that you should get from supplements if you are practicing veganism.