It is no secret by now that going vegan is beneficial for your health, no matter what your health or weight goals are. When it comes to our environment, health, and the rights of animals, adopting a vegan diet is an all-around win.
Did you know that each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life?
For some, adopting a vegan diet goes far beyond the plate. It extends to the clothes we wear, the beauty and personal products we use, and the beliefs we value. Here’s are a few ways that adopting a vegan lifestyle can make you happier and healthier:
- It is less expensive. A vegan diet is typically cheaper than a conventional one, and a recent study done by the Journal of Hunger & Nutrition found that people who adopt plant-based diets save an average of $746.46 a year on groceries.
- It is healthier for you and the planet. According to the American Heart Association, eating less meat can decrease your chances of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. The nutrients like beta-carotene, carotenoids, and flavonoids in vegetables are also anti-carcinogenic. In addition to boosting your own health, plant-based diets improve the health of the planet, too. Vegan diets require use roughly 219,000 fewer gallons of water annually and use 20 times less land than carnivorous ones.
- It will lower your carbon footprint. A study out of the University of Oxford found that diets heavy in meat (more than 100 grams per day), result in an average of 7.2 kg of carbon dioxide emissions per day per person. Alternatively, both vegetarian and pescatarian diets result in roughly 3.8 kg of CO2 per day. Unsurprisingly, vegan diets produce the least amount, coming in at only 2.9 kg of CO2 per day.
- Treat or reverse health conditions. A plant-based diet is often times even more effective than medication or surgery when it comes to these diseases high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The WHO stated that processed meat is a carcinogen, and The China Study shows the connection between casein (milk protein) and cancer.
- Get & stay slim. Largely, vegans tend to average a healthy and normal body mass index (BMI) compared to meat eaters. This may be due to the fact that animal products are in fact, higher in fat. Granted they generally contain little to no carbohydrates, dietary fat has more calories per serving and is easily converted into body fat as opposed to calories from carbohydrates. Also, the overall calorie density of animal products leads people to more easily overeat, while we could load up our plates with sweet potatoes and veggies instead! There may also be growth stimulating hormones naturally found in animal products.
- Better skin and digestion. Believe it or not, what you eat can affect the way your skin looks (now and in the future), and how your body breaks down food. For most people with acne-prone skin, dairy (including eggs) is one of the worst offenders. Getting rid of fatty foods (including all animal products, fried foods and processed oils) has been shown to reduce acne. On a vegan and gluten-free diet, you will notice huge improvements with your digestive system.
- Morality & social justice. Anyone who adores animals has probably (at some point in their lives) questioned whether there is a difference between the animals they care for and protect and those that we breed and kill to eat. Similarly, anyone who is opposed to injustice in the world, should pause and think about the fact that we breed and kill billions of animals on an annual basis, just so that we can eat them.
- Science confirms we have no need to consume animal products. A well balanced vegan diet can easily provide all the nutrients we need to thrive. It is clear that scientific evidence demonstrates a vegan diet is not only a viable option for people of any age, but that eating plant foods instead of animal-based foods can confer significant health benefits.
Once you try going vegan, you soon realize that it is not hard. Chances are you won’t even miss the foods you were eating before, simply because you will be feeling so great! Many foods are actually better vegan! If you’re ready to give a vegan lifestyle a try, start with a meal plan from Fresh ‘N Lean and see how delicious healthy, vegan food can be.