The veganism fad is here to stay. Though people may adopt it for various reasons, turning vegan never disappoints. Apart from the moral peace and healing body, the power to extend your lifespan adds a feather to the cap. So, if you want to live for a more extended period without the diseases that your current lifestyle offers you, then the vegan diet is a quick fix to your problems.
What Do The Studies Show?
Researches cannot directly link the vegan diet to the longevity of the lifespan except in the subtle nuances. It may be a consequence of refraining from meat or other products laced with chemicals and preservatives. However, looking from a broader perspective, turning vegan does add some percentage increase to your lifespan. Studies conducted on healthy individuals worldwide suggest that people following a vegan diet have anywhere between 9-15% of lower risk of dying prematurely. But then again, the lifestyle and other medical histories also govern the figures.
The disparity between the figure lies because the line between veganism and vegetarianism is highly blurred. With most people switching between them to suit convenience, a definite study is still underway. Moreover, there is a vast choice of products within the vegan diet categorized as junk. Choosing plant-based products laden with sugars and carbs won’t do justice to the diet, even though they are entirely vegan. However, the vegan diet does have benefits because of the lifestyle, which indicates its possible hand in governing health.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet includes an entirely plant-based diet refraining from any food product sourced from animals. It is in line with veganism, which proposes a way of living free of any form of animal exploitation.
People are choosing the vegan diet for multiple reasons:
- Ethical and moral reasons
- Saving the environment
- Health benefits
- Lose weight
This relatively newer dietary plan is slowly picking up the pace and spreading across the idea of veganism. It is pretty similar to the vegetarian diet that we are accustomed to but leaving out a few more things.
What You Can Eat And What You Should Give Up
As the ideology is no cruelty against animals, you cannot consume any food from animal products. However, the list goes beyond the meat!
- Things to give up!
- Meat and fish
- Dairy products
- And all other products, which include ingredients or additives that are from animals.
Things you can have!
- Fruits and vegetables
- Bread, wheat, or rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Plant-based milk
Sounds too dry for your taste? Don’t be misled by the limited food products! A vegan diet is as appealing as any other diet is if you know what and how to cook.
Diseases A Vegan Diet Prevents
Thus, to sum up the above points, a vegan diet provides you relief from some lifestyle and chronic diseases with higher susceptibility if you follow other diets. This, in turn, decreases your risk of dying early. Here are some of the diseases a vegan diet will help you with.
- Diabetes (Type 2): A typical vegan diet (not including junk plant-based food) contains less sugar and more fiber. Thus, the diet helps people reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 70%.
- Heart disease: You can regulate heart diseases like cholesterol (and the resultant high blood pressure) and stroke with the vegan diet. Since the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants, it reduces the accumulation of LDL in the body and improves the heart’s health.
- Arthritis: A vegan diet can relax the stiffness in the joints a little if it is rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Cancer risk: With increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants like phytochemicals, vegans have probable chances of disrupting the activity of cancer cells and their progression.
- Alzheimer: High intake of meat increases the chances of getting Alzheimer’s. Thus, opting for a vegan diet rich in fibers, antioxidants, and nutrients may reduce the progression.
- Better Kidney function: A targeted plant-based diet rich in fibers can improve your kidney’s health.
- Chronic illness: Many people suffering from chronic illnesses like migraines and rheumatoid arthritis have seen a mild response to a vegan diet.
- Bodyweight: Following a plant-based diet will help you check what you are eating by limiting many unhealthy things off the list.
What You Are Fighting Against
Though the vegan diet aims to move to a more sustainable plant-based diet, it will be wrong to say that every food product categorized under vegan is healthy. Many vegan food products contain high sugar and flavors to compensate for the savory taste. Moreover, the alternatives to meat like vegan meat or faux meat also are a source of many additives and gluten to induce the texture and flavor. Thus, even in the indigenous market, you must filter through products that should not go into your cart.
Secondly, since the vegan diet is relatively new, it is not always easy to source products or raw materials. Though the US market is slowly adapting to the changes, and there are strings of restaurants that provide you a wide choice in the vegan menu, the situation is not normalized. Hence, there are chances that you might have to pay more for vegan goods.
Lastly, if you do not plan your vegan diet properly, you may lack multiple vital vitamins and nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega fatty acids, and nutrients like iron and calcium. This may result in either you getting a deficiency, resulting in diseases/disorders, or depending on supplements. However, the silver lining is that a well-planned vegan diet will take care of all the vital nutrients. Hence, if you feel that your diet is not sufficient, consult a dietician to see what you should include more.
How To Adopt A Healthy Vegan Diet
A healthy vegan diet meets all your nutrition demands and, at the same time, means you are avoiding junk. Since a vegan meal, in general, has low calories, it is advisable to break your meals into five than the regular three meals a day. Hence, have a healthy breakfast, snack on nuts in mid-morning, lunch, then a mid-afternoon snack, and finally dinner. This will keep you high on energy throughout the day.
Look at the diet chart/plans, and you can get inspired by how to go about it. Ensure that your meals have a generous dose of carbs, protein, fruits, and vegetables in each meal. You can munch on seeds and nuts during your snack time or in between meals. Make sure that you are not intaking salted or oily savory meals to compensate for the hunger pangs. You can also depend on recipes from popular websites to help you build interest and taste in the food. And if you are at the transitioning stage, then the faux meats may help you keep your resolution to change, but tone down the consumption and move to healthier options along the way.
People who follow a vegan diet have a lower risk of many lifestyle diseases than people who eat animal-based products. Thus, following a healthy vegan diet along with a healthy lifestyle may add numbers to your lifespan. However, if you don’t take proper care to meet the nutritional requirement, the vegan diet may pose harm.