Going vegan is the new trend going on, and many people out there are adopting it, especially to save animals.
According to the Ipsos Mori survey 2018, commissioned by The Vegan Society, around 600,000 or 1.16% of the population were vegan in which 276,000, i.e., 0.46% were in 2016, and 150,000, i.e., 0.25% were in 2014. Plus, based on the prediction, only 40% of the global population will be consuming meat by 2040, with 35% consuming clean (lab) meat and 25% vegan meat replacements.
But then the question arises- are these people, who are turning vegan for the sake of animal lives, healthy enough to live a great life? Well, the answer to this is a big Yes.
Want to know how? So, let’s begin with the points that prove how going vegan is beneficial for our health.
1. Helps to Lose Excess Weight
As we all know, excess weight can lead to many diseases. And, if going vegan is helping in shedding weight, then it indicates how it is good for health.
A huge number of people are turning to plant-based diets only to shed overweight.
Studies suggest that vegans have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) or tend to be thinner than non-vegans.
Based on a study that ran for around 18 week period, a vegan diet let the participants lose 9.3 lbs, i.e., 4.2 kg more than a control diet. Participants who followed calorie-restricted diets lost less weight than on the vegan diet even when the vegan groups were permitted to eat until they felt full.
Interestingly, vegan groups still lost slightly more weight than those on a standard western diet even when they weren't following their diets perfectly.
2. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
According to several heart experts, eating fruits, legumes, vegetables, and fiber is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. And generally, a well-planned vegan diet includes all of these.
Based on studies comparing vegetarians to vegans and the general population suggests that vegans may benefit from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and may also have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
3. Richer in Certain Nutrients
A whole-foods vegan diet comprises whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, peas, and seeds.
And as per researchers, all these foods can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients. Yes, many studies have reported that vegan diets tend to provide more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. Also, they appear to be richer in potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, and C.
However, not all vegan diets are created equal, so it's essential to stay away from nutrient-poor, fast-food vegan options. Hence try base the diet around nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods and supplements like vitamin B12.
4. Improves Kidney Function & Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Vegan diets also help for type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.
In brief, vegans tend to have higher insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, and up to a 50–78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Also, diabetics who substitute meat for plant protein may lessen the risk of poor kidney function.
Moreover, studies report that in comparison to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Cholesterol Education Program, vegan diets lower blood sugar levels in diabetics more.
5. Protects Against Certain Cancers
WHO once reported that one-third of all cancers could be prevented by a perfect vegan diet. For example, regularly eating legumes may decrease your risk of colorectal cancer by about 9–18%. And eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day reduced the risk of cancer by up to 15%.
Even a recent review of almost 96 studies discovers that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk of dying from or developing cancer.
All such above points mention that vegan diets are known for several health benefits. That means by going vegan, you are not saving animals but also leading yourself towards a long life.