Over indulged this Christmas? Many people have taken to ‘Veganuary’ to beat the Xmas bloat, by cutting out meat & dairy in an attempt to be more healthy and shed some pounds. Being Vegan is a lifestyle change as opposed to a fad diet; with reports suggesting that well-planned vegan diets can reduce the risk of some types of chronic disease, including heart disease, as well as reducing the human impact on the planet and not causing suffering to animals, veganism is more mainstream than ever.
Could you go Vegan? Here are some useful tips and myth busters to help you on your way to Veganuary.
“Doesn’t a vegan diet make you unhealthy and weak?”
Vegans typically have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower body mass indexes, a lower risk of death from heart disease, and lower overall cancer rates than meat eaters. The Mayo Clinic in the US recently reported that a plant-based diet could add four years to your life. In fact, leading athletes, including weightlifters, sprinters, ultra-marathon runners and boxers, are vegan. Venus and Serena Williams adopted a plant-based diet in 2012. Since then, Serena has won the US Open three times. Scott Jurek, widely regarded as the greatest ultra-runner of all time, eats vegan. The only US male weightlifter to qualify for last summer’s Olympic Games, Kendrick Farris is – guess what – a vegan.
“But where do you get your protein?”
There’s heaps of protein in nuts, pulses, quinoa, seeds, tofu and soy. Eat a balanced diet and you’ll get enough.
“Plants feel pain, too.”
Plants have no central nervous systems, nerve endings, or brains. In other words, plants possess none of the receptors with which sentient beings experience pain.
“How can you stand eating salad all the time?”
There are heaps of other foods out there that are vegan too. And they’re not all healthy – think dark chocolate, fries, Oreos, popcorn and chips for starters.
“Don’t you run low on minerals and vitamins?”
Following a Vegan diet can leave you running low in minerals and vitamins like B12, iron, zinc, D and calcium but the Veganuary website points you in the correct direction to keep you covered: https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/nutrition-in-a-nutshell/
Some studies show vegans and vegetarians living longer, but they often include people who pursue other healthy lifestyle traits, like exercise and not drinking alcohol, comparing them with the junk food-lovers.
Do you fancy Veganuary or just a new lifestyle change? Take the pledge here:
Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.