Vegetarian vs veganism – Is there a better lifestyle?
Being vegan is one of the latest health trends that has taken the health industry by storm. Whilst it can seem like an expensive hobby rather than a lifestyle, there is a multitude of scientifically-backed ways that a vegan diet can benefit your health. A vegan lifestyle is almost reminiscent of the hunter-gatherer style Paleo-diet without the animal products. The ethos of being vegan emphasises the importance of being kind to animals and ensuring that we are able to make food choices driven by an ethical conscience. So what are the health benefits of this truly revolutionary health trend?
- Weight loss: Cutting out dairy and animal products inevitably leads to a reduction in overall fat consumption. The food groups largely consumed in a vegan diet are fibre-rich including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are satiating and can contribute to a reduction in consumption of unhealthy fats.
- Budget-friendly: Despite an overwhelming increase in the array of organic products available in the health market, going vegan means that there is always a way to save money. Fresh vegetables, fruit, bread and rice are generally cheaper compared to dairy products and meat.
- Eco-friendly: And is there a better reason to consider becoming vegan? Cutting out animal products from your diet could contribute to a reduction in unethical breeding processes. Global beef consumption was a major contributing factor to the recent Amazon fires.
- Healthy skin: Cutting out dairy-rich foods from your diet is a powerful way to eliminate acne and other skin blemishes. A focus on eating vitamin and mineral-rich foods such as nuts, grains and fruit can contribute to improving skin quality.
- Cardio-protective diet: Adopting a vegan diet cuts out cholesterol-rich foods such as meat, eggs and dairy from your diet. This contributes to a lower risk of heart disease, chronic kidney disease and diabetes. Vegans still need to be mindful of their fat consumption as several foods permitted may still be calorific and unhealthy in excess (e.g. fried foods).
- Encouraging culinary creativity: A compelling reason to turn vegan involves experimenting with basic ingredients in the kitchen. Have you watched an episode of Masterchef where contestants are expected to create gastronomical delights with seemingly simple ingredients easily found in our kitchens? A vegan diet involves creatively using vegetables and grains along with spices to create a variety of healthy options. Conveniently, several popular blogs cater to the vegan crowd – including the Minimalist Baker and Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!, both of which have recipes for creamy soups, smoothies and vegan bakery options. Delicious!
- Cover photo: Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash
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