You’ve heard about the vegan diet. Maybe you’re not convinced that it’s for you. All you know is that it sounds extreme and dull. Still, you might consider it if there were sufficient benefits.
Could you be one of those “vegan people”? Maybe you could! It might be the best decision you could make for your health and longevity.
First, let’s define what a vegan diet is. Essentially, it’s a diet that is free of animal products. So, that means no meat of any kind, including fish and seafood, no dairy products, and no eggs. Of course, many vegans choose to exclude honey, too.
What does that leave? Every other food, including fruits, soy, vegetables, beans, grains, and nuts. There are many processed foods as well that are vegan, such as bread and pasta.
Keep in mind that vegan food isn’t necessarily healthy food. French fries, potato chips, and some cookies are vegan, but they certainly aren’t healthy. You can eat a very unhealthy diet and still be 100% vegan!
A vegan diet with nutritious foods can provide many health benefits:
- A vegan diet may reduce arthritis pain. Multiple studies have demonstrated that following a vegan diet can reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants reported less joint swelling and less morning stiffness, too.
- Metabolism benefits. Vegan diets can be extremely healthy. A good vegan diet is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Just as important, a proper vegan diet is also low in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat. This type of diet is high in nutrition but low in calories and disease-causing components.
- There is also evidence to suggest that an improvement in gut biome in those following a vegan diet also leads to metabolic advantages.
- Lower risk of heart disease. The primary contributors to heart disease include high blood sugar, blood pressure, LDL, and total cholesterol. A healthy vegan diet has been shown to lower all of these risk factors.
- Cognitive benefits. Those that follow a vegan diet have shown a decreased risk of developing cognitive issues. When a cognitive problem is present, vegan diet followers show a slower rate of decline.
- Lower risk of certain types of cancer. Adhering to a vegan diet lowers the risk of prostate, colon, and breast cancer.
- Enhance kidney function. High blood sugar is ultimately very damaging to kidney function. It forces the kidneys to work extra hard. High blood sugar is also damaging to the blood vessels in the kidneys. Those following a vegan diet often experience significant improvements in kidney function.
- Weight loss. A healthy vegan diet is low in calories. However, not all vegan diets are healthy. You can eat nothing but potato chips and Fruit Loops and be a vegan. However, a healthy vegan diet has a low-calorie density. It would be a real challenge to eat enough to maintain high body weight.
A vegan diet can be extremely healthy if good food choices are made. If you’re looking to boost your health, lose weight, and preserve your cognitive function, a vegan diet might be the best option.
Getting Started With a Vegan Diet
How can you get started with a minimal amount of trouble?
Follow this process:
- First, make a list of healthy vegan foods that you enjoy.
- Then, start by eating one vegan meal each day.
- After a week, add in a second vegan meal.
- Take things slowly and experiment with different recipes. You’ll struggle if you’re determined to eat nothing but salad and fruit. If eating isn’t enjoyable, it will be challenging to stick with it.