When it comes to veganism, there are several misconceptions and untruths. Here, you can learn about the vegan diet, what it means, and how it is just as healthy – if not healthier – than eating a diet with animal products. Veganism is more than just a diet; it’s a lifestyle change, and it’s one that can change everything.
What Is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is one in which individuals do not consume any foods that contain products derived from animals. This means that a vegan does not eat meat, eggs, fish, dairy products like cheese, or even things like marshmallows, which contain gelatin that is, surprisingly, an animal-based product. People make the choice to become vegans for many reasons. Some do so to do their part to stop animal cruelty, and still others choose veganism in order to live healthier, more nutrient-dense lifestyles.
Benefits of Veganism
There are many reasons why you might choose to eliminate animal products from your diet, but when it comes down to the science, the most compelling evidence is this diet’s ability to reduce an individual’s risk of cancer and heart disease. Based on data from more than 96 different studies on veganism, vegetarianism, and diets containing animal products, it was found that vegans and vegetarians were significantly less likely to get cancer or heart disease during their lifetimes. Vegan diets are also the most nutrient-dense when they are approached correctly. Plenty of plant-based products offer complete or near-complete proteins. What’s more, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and other crops are much friendlier to the environment. It takes far less land and water to raise crops than animals, and crops do not emit greenhouse gases such as methane. In fact, they produce life-sustaining oxygen.
Getting All You Need
Making a switch to veganism does require some planning on your part. It’s important go get enough of all of your macronutrients – including fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Here are some examples of great vegan foods that contain everything you need to stay healthy.
- Carbohydrates: You can get your carbs in much the same way when you switch to veganism. There are plenty of breads, pastas, and cereals that do not contain animal products, and you can also eat things like rice and potatoes.
- Fats: Healthy fats are good for your body and a necessary part of your everyday diet. Omnivores get their fats from animal products like meat, eggs, and yogurt, but vegans can turn to cashew nuts, coconut oil, avocadoes, and even chia seeds.
- Proteins: Proteins are probably the biggest concern among those considering a switch to veganism, but with careful planning, you can get your daily recommended allowance fairly easily. Omnivores get proteins from meat and dairy products, and vegans can get them from things like sunflower seeds, chickpeas (hummus, too), broccoli, and lentils.
Although a vegan diet is a big change, particularly if you’re an omnivore, it’s a healthy change and one that can help you get healthier nutrients into your body. Although meal planning and shopping may change, there are plenty of delicious options out there, and you’ll feel the difference in your energy levels and health in as little as a few days, too.