Reasons You Should Switch To A Vegan Diet
"I like animals, all animals. I wouldn't hurt a cat or a dog, or a chicken or a cow. And I wouldn't ask someone else to hurt them for me. That's why I'm a vegetarian" - Peter Dinklage
In 2016 there are at least 542,000 people in Great Britain following a vegan diet compared to 150,000 in 2006. Here I will be talking about the health and environmental benefits of a vegan life style.
There are many health benefits to being a vegan, the main one involving saturated fats and diseases caused by them. It's no secret that meat and dairy products are high in saturated fats. In 100g of ground beef there is 11g of saturated fats and in 100g of cheddar cheese there is 21g of fat, the average daily intake of saturated fat for an average adult is 24g. Too much saturated fat in the diet can lead to many health problems including high cholesterol which in turn can lead to even more health problems.
1. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease as there is less build up of fat around the heart and in the arteries.
- A British study has shown that eliminating dairy and meat from your diet can improve cardiovascular health, it was also showed to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Vegan diets can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Whole grains can help lower your blood pressure.
2. Following a vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers including prostate, breast and colon.
- A study has shown that men with early stages of prostate cancer that switched to a vegan diet managed to stop the cancer from progressing further or in some cases got rid of the illness altogether.
- A study showed that women in countries that eat less meat and animal products had a much lower rate of breast cancer cases than in countries with a higher meat consumption.
- Whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables have been known to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
3. Vegan diets can also prevent other health problems such as, macular degeneration, cataracts, arthritis and osteoporosis,
- Diets containing certain vegetables, including leafy greens, sweet potatoes and carrots have been shown to prevent the on set of age related macular degeneration.
- Vegetables high in antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts.
- A study had shown a combination of a gluten free and vegan diet can help improve the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
- A healthy vegan diet contains an adequate calcium intake, high potassium and low sodium levels and not too much or too little protein, this is great for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis.
There are also physical benefits to a vegan diet, some of these include weight loss, longer life and hair and nail health.
4. A vegan diet has been shown to be good for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
- A healthy BMI is between 20 and 25, studies have shown that diets that do not contain meat usually lead to a lower BMI often indicating a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.
- A vegan diet eliminates most unhealthy food that tend to cause weight issues, usually leading in weight loss and a healthy diet.
5. Following a vegan diet has also been shown to lead to a longer life and having more energy.
- A study has show that vegans tend to live between 3 and 6 years longer than those who eat meat.
- A lot of vegan diets do not tend to contain a lot sugars and artificial preservatives that cause a shot term temporary high and a great low leaving you feeling groggy.
6. A vegan diet can also leave you with less body odor and bad breath.
- It has been found that eliminating dairy and red meat from your diet leads to less body odor.
- Vegans have frequently experienced a reduction in bad breath.
7. Going vegan can also lead to healthier skin, hair and nails.
- Vitamins A and E which are found in vegetables play a large role in healthier skin and reduce the chances of getting blemishes.
- Vegetables such as carrots, kale, broccoli and cauliflower are high in keratin which play a huge role in hair and nail health.
8. It has been reported that having a vegan diet can reduce the symptoms of PMS, migraines and allergies.
- Women who have switched to a vegan diet have said that their PMS symptoms have become less intense or have disappeared all together.
- People who suffer from migraines who switched to a vegan diet often report relief from their migraines.
- Reducing the amount of dairy, meat and eggs you consume has been tied to how severe your allergy symptoms are, many vegans suffer from less runny noses and congestion problems.
- Growing fruit and vegetables requires for 100 people requires less land than raising cattle to feed 100 people.
- Less deforestation due to less land needed.
- More animals in the ecosystem due to less loss of habitat.
- Lower amount of methane in the atmosphere, therefore less greenhouse gases and thus lower rate of global climate change.
- More trees due to less deforestation, therefore more CO2 being absorbed from the atmosphere so lower rate of global climate change.