The Vegan DebatePosted: Aug 14 in Healthy Eating Menu by
The pros and cons of switching to a vegan diet
With celebrity endorsements from Bill Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres, burgeoning movements in most major U.S. cities and many best-selling books advocating their benefits, vegan diets have never before had so much buzz surrounding them. If you’re like many Americans, you may be wondering just what all the fuss is about. Is veganism really a healthy way to live? If so, could it be a worthy practice as you try to lose weight in Fayetteville and Syracuse?
Patients of medical weight loss may have already dabbled in countless different diets, but veganism lies on an extreme end of the spectrum that makes it very difficult for many people to practice. Veganism eschews animal products entirely, instead revolving exclusively around plant-based foods. This is so far from the norm in America that many write veganism off as far too strange or challenging, but those who try it frequently make claims about how good it makes them feel.
Veganism is certainly not for everyone, but may offer one of the best ways to engage in a healthy diet. To help you decide whether or not veganism is a good choice for you, here are some of the pros and cons of eating vegan.
- Great nutritional balance. Vegans primarily eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds and lentils, giving them plenty of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber and healthy fat while reducing their overall intake of calories, sugar, salt and bad cholesterol. By eating plenty of soy, nuts, beans and seeds, vegans can get all the protein they need without eating meat, however it is very challenging and requires a lot of attention.
- Promotes self-control. Making the switch to veganism takes a great deal of discipline, which may extend to other parts of your life. Vegans also tend to be much more consciously aware of everything they eat, helping to cut back on impulsive eating.
- Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies have shown that those who eat a vegetarian diet have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and a lower incidence of type-2 diabetes and hypertension.
- Does not necessarily eliminate unhealthy foods. Doughnuts, chips, fries, candy—all of these things can qualify as vegan as long as they aren’t made with butter or lard. If you continue to eat these kinds of foods, your vegan diet may not do much good. In this country, some use Veganism as a way to eat only junk foods and starchy carbs, completely defeating the purpose.
- May neglect some nutrients. Many meats and dairy products are high in cholesterol, but also contain nutrients that are very important to our bodily functions. Though there are vegan sources of vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium, many vegans do not get enough of these vital nutrients and need to work harder to get them from supplements and fortified foods.
- Tough to eat out. Finding a vegan dish is difficult at most restaurants. This means you’ll likely be cooking most of your own meals and taking vegan snacks with you when you need something to eat on the go. Fortunately, this might actually be a boon for your medical weight loss diet, as most restaurant fare is unhealthy anyway.
If you’re one of the many who are curious but skeptical about veganism, keep in mind that a diet of mostly plants is inarguably good for your health. Though you may not want to take the plunge into veganism, and certainly shouldn’t without a consulting your doctor and doing a great deal of research, going vegan appears to have many health benefits. The change may be far too radical for many people, but if the many vegan advocates out there are to be believed, the way you feel will change radically as well.