What makes veganism or vegetarian vegans healthy is complex. I have to explain all of this often to friends and, especially, to family. They often are disbelieving that veganism is so very good for us because it is a diet that is very low in fat, especially the most unhealthy of fats.
This is a country in which many people suffer intestinal distress due to a high-fat, low fiber diet. It seems obvious that veganism can help to relieve much discomfort. A truly plant-based diet from great vegan or even vegetarian recipes has to be one that is high in fiber from vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fruit. Such a way of eating lowers the incidence of diverticulosis that is a result of constipation. Even worse, chronically poor diet can lead to painful infections with diverticulitis.
Every year new scientific studies assert that maximizing one’s intake of fruits and vegetables lowers the risks of coronary heart disease and some cancers, including colon cancer. The usual American diet barely consists of the minimal five vegetables or fruits a day, but a well-chosen vegan diet is optimal for health.
Before I started eating vegan many years ago, I felt I had a pretty good diet. I certainly ate more fruits and vegetables than many people I knew. Nonetheless, I have to admit that I often resorted to poor choices and failed to get in even the minimal amount of dietary fiber and nutrients from plants.
Researchers such as Neal Barnard, M.D. state that there are many health improvements that can flow from eating a low-fat, plant-based diet. Lots of vegans experience success in the loss of weight that they previously hadn’t been able to shed. I have found that my vegan eating has not only helped me to lose weight, but it has helped me to do so painlessly. I haven’t been hungry because my diet is so filled with fiber as to keep my hunger at bay.
Some of my vegan friends have been able—with their doctors’ approval—eventually to stop taking cholesterol lowering and antihypertensive medications. I haven’t needed cholesterol controlling medications, but I’m delighted no longer to need even the small dose of blood pressure medicine that I had been on.
Besides these potential health benefits, veganism or the vegan lifestyle can even help the planet. We can reduce our carbon footprint by eating in this way. As a vegan, I have found some relief for my conscience as to the treatment of animals in the production of food, a sense that I am helping the environment, and I have been able to eat very well at lower cost. Back when I first began to eat this way, the economic cost of food wasn’t so great. Now the high cost of food makes veganism even more appealing. Today spending less money for food matters a great deal. Veganism can allow people to eat well on less.
A holistic consciousness is another part of what makes veganism healthy. Vegan diets are based on a kind of awareness and a sense of harmony about the planet, one’s personal health, concern for animals, and, often, spiritual practice. Such diets force one to be more thoughtful about one’s eating behavior as well as how much and what one consumes—including items other than food.
Most people believe that veganism is healthy but they don’t really know why or how. To become better informed, get my newly released ebook at Amazon.com and enjoy reading it while absorbing a bounty of valuable information. Download it to your Kindle, iPad or PC while the promotional pricing is still available.
Filed under: Vegan Health and Wellness
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