Agricultural economist Jayson Lusk once led a survey from 2013 to 2017. Here, he found that only about 5% of Americans considered themselves vegan or vegetarian. In 2022, however, that is no longer the case. In another survey, Glynn Tonsor from Kansas State University found that self-proclaimed vegans or vegetarians now stand for 10% of the population. With how veganism is growing around the world, it’s important that we continue to highlight its health benefits!
We “know” that veganism is healthy, but what more is there to discover? Keep reading below.
How can veganism help?
A good plant-based diet is generally considered to be higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. For those looking to explore alternatives, a vegan low carb diet can offer similar benefits. This change in dietary approach helps improve blood sugar and viscosity, which is especially critical for older adults and patients with physical conditions like diabetes or hypertension.
Beyond aiding in healing the condition itself, veganism can also alleviate the pain that comes as a symptom. A new study published in the AJLM found that vegan diets can help decrease the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis by 53%. That’s because plant-based diets are rich in phytochemicals and vitamins.
This shows us that veganism can both manage and improve the health of one’s body. That is why many people, even without pre-existing health conditions, make the shift toward vegan diets. See athletes, for example. Many athletes like Derrick Morgan of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans are turning to plant-based diets after more research has come out on these diets’ ability to keep hearts strong, muscles oxygenated, and body fat reduced.
Otherwise, many other people make the switch to maintain their weight better. Vegan diets are generally associated with a lower calorie intake. The evidence thus shows that the immediate effects of plant-based diets include weight, whereas the moderate-term benefits manifest in better energy metabolism and systemic lower inflammation.
Precautions for aspiring vegans
The health benefits of veganism can only be acquired if one follows the proper diet. People who are new to vegan diets commonly experience side effects like anemia or hormone production disruption. In times like these, many choose to return to their old diet or consult shady resources online.
This can be unhelpful as you will fail to reach your goal, and the range of information on the internet will not necessarily fit your body’s unique characteristics. Once you notice your side effects, it’s important to instead consult a health provider, such as a dietitian or remote nurse practitioner who’s trained in primary care.
Consulting with a dietician can also help you develop a healthy but diverse vegan meal plan. Many assume that vegan diets are limited to nutritious, but boring greens or chickpeas. However, popular vegan influencer Lucie Johnson explains that eating vegan isn’t always synonymous with eating “healthy”. She shares the best of vegan junk food on her account from greasy fry-ups to non-dairy cheese. It’s key to remember that veganism is more than a diet for health, it is also a lifestyle that some undertake solely because of animal welfare and the environment.
This shows us that unhealthy vegan diets also exist. These consist primarily of processed or canned meals and, according to registered dietician Rachel Clarkson. These can even be worse for your health because of their higher amounts of salt.
Furthermore, vitamins like vitamin B12 or vitamin D can be a little harder to find in vegan diets. Consulting a medical expert who is well-versed in veganism can quickly point you toward Vegan Sources of Vitamin D as we’ve previously listed, such as mushrooms, cereals, or even supplements and sunshine!
Get your healthy dose of sunshine while out on a vegan picnic date with your beau using Veggly. Here, you can find your Veg-Love who shares the same values as you do so that you both can encourage each other to stay vegan, healthy, and healthily vegan for a long time.
Article written for the exclusive use of veggly.net
By Alicia Colin
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