Vegan Diet – 4 Incredible Health Benefits
Vegan diets are designed to be whole meals – providing all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Therefore, these diets can help eliminate and mitigate the health risk and concerns associated with eating harmful animal fats. Studies have linked vegan diets to an array of health benefits that include the following:
1. Better Heart Health
An extensive study done in 2021 found high consumption of plant-based foods and reduced intake of animal products significantly lowered the risk of developing heart disease and related fatalities in adults.
Animal products such as meat, butter, and cheese are the most notable sources of saturated fats. The AHA (American Heart Association) says food choices that contain saturated fats increase the amount of cholesterol in the body, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Plant are foods with a high fiber count, which has been found to promote heart health. On the other hand, animal products have little to no fiber. Some of the best plant foods with excellent fiber content include grains and vegetables.
Furthermore, vegans tend to have a lower caloric intake than many people who prefer conventional western diets. A moderated calorie consumption leads to a lower and healthy BMI (Body Mass Index), meaning reduced chances of obesity, which is closely linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.
2. Lower Cancer Risk
A 2017 publication suggested that vegan diets could potentially help reduce the risk of people developing cancer by as much as 15%. It is based on the fact that plant foods have high fiber content, phytochemicals, and vitamins, which are biologically active compounds in most plants and help guard the body against cancer.
However, the research on the effect that the vegan diet has on reducing cancer risks has yielded mixed results. The International Agency for Cancer Research points out the increased risk of cancer in people who consume a lot of red meat because it contains “possibly carcinogenic” associated with prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
The agency further says that processed meat is unhealthy and could be a leading cause of colorectal cancer. Therefore, eliminating processed and red meats from your diet can help remove the risk of developing cancer.
3. Weight Loss
Most vegans have a lower BMI compared to those that opt for other diets. According to finding from a 2015 study, researchers found that vegan diets were a better choice for weight loss than the pesco-vegan, semi-vegan, and omnivorous diets. The study also found the vegan diets contained more macronutrients.
With many animal foods having a high calorie and fat content, it would be best to replace them with healthier, low-calorie, plant-based foods if you want to manage your weight. Remember that many processed, high fat plant-based foods are viewed as junk food vegan diets and increase the risk of unhealthy weight gain.
4. Lower Type-2 Diabetes Risk
A study conducted in 2021 found that a plant-based diet could lower the chances of developing type-2 diabetes. Researchers linked this to the consumption of healthy plant-based foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.