The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular these days. Also known as a plant-based diet, vegans do not eat any food from animal sources including red meat, chicken, eggs, dairy, and honey.
People who choose to see veganism as a lifestyle rather than just a way of eating also avoid animal products in the form of leather, fur, or any other clothing item made from animal products.
People go vegan for many reasons including health, animal rights, and the environment. This article will focus mostly on a plant-based diet and its health benefits.
Please keep in mind, that just because a diet is free of meat doesn’t mean that it is healthy!
Veganism is a stricter type of vegetarian diet. Other types are:
- Fishatarian Diet – only Fish
- Chickenatarian Diet – only Chicken
- Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian – eat Eggs and Dairy
- Lacto-Vegetarian – only Dairy
- Vegan – No Animal Products, no Honey, no Leather Products
THE TOP 10 BENEFITS OF A VEGAN DIET
1. Better Mood: Research is suggesting they are happier than meat-eaters.
2. Disease Fighting: When done right, the diet is naturally low in fat and cholesterol, and has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Epidemiological data has shown vegetarians suffer less from diseases caused by the modern western diet (coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancers). This must be attributed to a higher intake of fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.
3. Lean Figure: Vegetarians typically weigh less than a result of a diet that has fewer calories in the form of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Less Toxicity: Plant sources are safer than animal foods. Particularly, when consuming organic fruits and vegetables. Food-borne illnesses, antibiotics, bacteria, parasites, and chemical toxins are more common in commercial meat, poultry, and seafood when compared to plant foods.
5. Saving the Planet: Plant-based diet is better for the planet, as it requires less energy and farmland to feed a vegetarian.
6. Sight: Vegetarians tend to have better sight.
7. Money-Saving: Plant foods tend to be less expensive, except for a few delicacies.
8. Better Athletic Performances: A high carb/low fat and vitamin and mineral-rich vegetarian diet may be optimal for sports performance.
9. Supporting Animal Rights: Animal welfare is improved.
10. Longevity: Vegetarians have been found to enjoy longer and healthier lives when compared to meat-eaters.
FOODS TO AVOID ON A VEGAN DIET
Any product with animal ingredients
CLEAN 15 / DIRTY DOZEN BY EWG
The more organic products you can include in your diet, the better, but of course, not everyone has the budget for it. Eat organic as much as you can, but never avoid buying fruits or vegetables just because you can’t afford the organic version.
The Environmental Working Group releases a Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list every year, showing us which fruits and vegetables have the most and the least pesticides added to our food. I recommend referring to this list while grocery shopping to minimize your exposure to toxins and cut costs.
- Sweet Corn
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Honey Drew Melon
DIRTY DOZEN +
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Kale and Collard Greens