According to the Vegan Society, veganism is a way of living that attempts to avoid all forms of animal exploitation for food, clothing, etc. A vegan diet is devoid of all forms of animal and dairy products, including meat, eggs, fish, milk, cheese, honey, gelatin, albumin, etc.
Apart from animal cruelty and environmental concerns, people also choose a vegan diet because of the health benefits. A vegan diet contains a wide range of nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, fiber, etc. All these nutrients help to maintain your health and prevent several health disorders.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the important health benefits of following strict vegan diet plans.
Most of the people who are turning to a vegan diet hope to shed their excess weight. Following a proper vegan meal plan allows you to maintain a perfect body mass index (BMI). Observational studies have shown that vegans are thinner and have a lower BMI than non-vegans. In addition to that, several randomized studies also proved that a vegan diet helps in weight loss.
A recent study conducted over a period of 18 weeks showed that the participants who followed the vegan diet lose 9.3 lbs more than the participants who followed a control diet. Another study looked at the effect of five different diet plans on weight loss and found that vegan and vegetarian diets helped to lose slightly more weight than other standard western diets.
Rich In Nutrients
Switching to a vegan diet means, you are completely avoiding the consumption of all forms of meat and dairy products. This will lead you to rely heavily on plant-based foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, peas, beans, and seeds. These foods provide you with a wide range of nutrients that animal products could not provide.
Consuming more plant-based food ensures a higher intake of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, fatty acids, iron, calcium, etc. However, if you do not plan your vegan diet properly, it won’t provide a sufficient amount of these nutrients. Plan your diet based on nutrient-rich whole plants and other fortified goods.
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
It is conclusively proven that following a vegan diet will help in managing type 2 diabetes. Vegans tend to have significantly higher insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes in vegans is 50-78% lower than non-vegans. Several studies have proven that a vegan diet lowers blood sugar levels.
In a recent study, one group of participants followed a vegan diet and another group followed a diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Among the vegan diet group, 43% of the participants were able to reduce the dosage of their diabetes medication and only 26% of the ADA diet group were able to reduce the dosage of their medication.
Reduce The Risk Of Heart Diseases
Consumption of more fruits, vegetables, fiber, and legumes help to significantly lower the risk of heart diseases. All these foods are abundant in a well-planned vegan diet. Observational studies are showing that the risk of developing high blood pressure is 75% lower in vegans than non-vegans. Also, the risk of dying from heart disease is significantly lower in vegans.
Several randomized studies are showing that following a well-planned vegan diet helps in lowering the blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels than other western diets. This is highly beneficial for heart health because lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels significantly reduce the risk of developing heart diseases.
Reduce Pain From Arthritis
Some observational studies are showing that a vegan diet has a positive impact on reducing the pain caused by different forms of arthritis. In a recent study involving 40 participants with arthritis, one group followed an omnivorous diet and the other group followed a vegan diet for a period of 6 weeks. Those who followed the vegan diet reported better relief from arthritis than the others.
Two other studies looked at how a probiotic-rich, raw vegan diet helps in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and both the studies showed positive results. The results of these studies showed that all the participants who followed the vegan diet experienced a significant improvement in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Protection Against Certain Forms Of Cancer
The World Health Organization is saying that if you could control your diet and make some lifestyle changes, you can prevent around one-third of all forms of cancer. Following a vegan diet increases the consumption of legumes and it will help in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
The consumption of soy products may help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. If you avoid the consumption of certain animal products, the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers reduces significantly. Since a vegan diet is devoid of processed or overcooked meat, you are not at risk of developing certain types of cancers.