VEGANISM AND THE EFFECTS ON YOUR BODY
According to a report compiled by GlobalData called Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017, 6 percent of Americans currently identify themselves as vegan. That’s a jump from just one percent in 2014. And according to a 2019 article in The Economist, 25 percent of 25-to-34-year-old Americans say they are vegans or vegetarians.
For some, shunning dairy, meat and other animal products may seem like an extreme sacrifice. For others, the personal and societal benefits associated with a vegan diet make the choice a no-brainer; for instance, many people care deeply about the welfare of animals. The potential health benefits alone inspire many to switch.
- Promote weight loss:
People on a vegan diet tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those following other diets.
The researchers behind a 2015 study reported that vegan diets were more effective for weight loss than omnivorous, semi-vegetarian, and pesco-vegetarian diets, as well as being better for providing macronutrients.
Many animal foods are high in fat and calories, so replacing these with low calorie plant-based foods can help people manage their weight.
It is important to note, though, that eating lots of processed or high fat plant-based foods — which some people refer to as a junk food vegan diet — can lead to unhealthful weight gain.
- Heart health:
Vegan diets can boost heart health in several ways. A large scale 2019 study has linked a higher intake of plant-based foods and lower intake of animal foods with a reduced risk of heart disease and death in adults.
Animal products — including meat, cheese, and butter — are the main dietary sources of saturated fats. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating foods that contain these fats raises cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Plant foods are also high in fiber, which the AHA link with better heart health. Animal products contain very little or no fiber, while plant-based vegetables and grains are the best sources.
In addition, people on a vegan diet often take in fewer calories than those on a standard Western diet. A moderate calorie intake can lead to a lower body mass index (BMI) and a reduced risk of obesity, a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Lower chance of getting cancer:
Lower your chances of getting certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer:
According to a 2017 review, eating a vegan diet may reduce a person’s risk of cancer by 15%. This health benefit may be due to the fact that plant foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals — biologically active compounds in plants — that protect against cancers.
Research into the effects of diet on the risk of specific cancers has produced mixed results.
However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer report that red meat is “probably carcinogenic,” noting that research has linked it primarily to colorectal cancer but also to prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
The agency also report that processed meat is carcinogenic and may cause colorectal cancer.
Eliminating red and processed meats from the diet removes these possible risks.
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes:
According to a large 2019 review, following a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The research linked this effect with eating healthful plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes
For more researches about the health benefits of veganism: