There are all kinds of dietary decisions people make, which can impact your life in many noticeable ways. For instance, if you’re eating a high-fat diet, you’ll probably gain weight rather quickly. You will likely notice this more if you continue eating in this unhealthy way and you’re starting to get a little bit older. That’s because your body’s metabolism slows down.
You might decide as you get into your life’s later stages to become a vegetarian or vegan. Let’s talk about the vegan lifestyle for a few moments. It’s something that has become more popular lately, and some doctors and nutritionists recommend it.
What Exactly Does Being Vegan Mean?
Nearly everyone has heard the term “vegan” at this point, but some are not one hundred percent clear on what it means. Vegan means you don’t just not eat meat, like your average vegetarian. You also don’t eat any products that come from an animal at all.
This means you won’t eat things like cheese, and you won’t consume an animal’s milk. You won’t consume butter or anything else that is animal-derived.
At this point, some people may feel like this is not for them. You might think that being vegan is going to restrict what you can eat considerably.
That’s one way to look at it, but it might surprise you how many things you can still eat if you’re vegan. You just have to find alternatives, and many times, they do exist. For instance, you can find vegan ice cream made from cashews.
There are many more examples of things you might like that come from animals which you can still eat if you’re vegan. You’ll have to locate substitutes. As more people have come to live this lifestyle, though, many companies have focused on making vegan products that taste very much like the animal-derived equivalent.
What Does Being a Vegan Do to You from a Health Standpoint?
Some people like the idea of being vegan because they love animals. They don’t want to eat meat, but they also don’t want to eat things like cheese, butter, ice cream, and so forth because they feel like humans should leave animals alone entirely and not rely on them for food in any way.
That’s a personal opinion, and there’s not necessarily any right or wrong answer. One thing is true, though: being vegan offers you some distinct health benefits.
For instance, you can lose weight if you go vegan. If you find that you’re having a tough time dropping some unwanted pounds, veganism can help you in that area.
You can manage your diabetes more easily since going vegan lowers your A1C levels. You also reduce your chances of contracting several cancer varieties, such as colon cancer. Several studies link animal products to colon cancer, especially those containing nitrites and nitrates, like sausages, hot dogs, and some processed deli meats.
Some people go vegan for other health benefits the lifestyle provides. You have less chance of getting heart disease if you go vegan. That is because you lower your cholesterol levels.
What About Missing Out on Certain Nutrients Your Body Needs?
Some individuals feel that they might like to go vegan, either for the health benefits or because they want humans to be kinder to animals. They also may want to do it because it’s better for the planet. If we don’t raise animals for food, we create fewer pollutants.
These people might hesitate to do it, though, because they are afraid they’ll miss out on some crucial nutrients the body needs. The vegan lifestyle does indeed rob you of some nutrients that are plentiful if you eat things like meat and dairy.
There are solutions, though. For instance, maybe you feel like you can’t go vegan because you will not get enough protein. You can combat this by regularly consuming lentils and other legumes. You can eat seitan and soy products, such as edamame and tofu.
If you’re worried you’re not going to get enough Vitamin B12, you can chug down some soy drinks. You can also eat fortified cereals and rice.
To get your fill of the essential fatty acids your body requires, you can eat kale, spinach, or collard greens. You can also eat unsalted nuts as snacks. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are optimal choices.
If you’re not entirely convinced, you can always try going vegan just for a month and see what you think of it.