Lesson 5 Chapter 2
Why Pick A Vegan Food Plan?
More healthy food choices
When following a vegan diet, you typically eat more of the good stuff – your diet is filled with lots of lovely vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, which are full of nutrients and minerals.
Reduced risk of high cholesterol
One of the biggest killers in the western world today is high cholesterol levels, which leads to heart disease. But studies show that vegan diets can effectively lower people’s cholesterol levels. In the western world the average cholesterol level for a non-vegan is 25% higher than the average cholesterol level of a vegan. This marked difference suggests that adopting a plant-based diet could lead to a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Reduced risk of obesity
Obesity is currently a very serious problem, with one in every four adults, in the UK, classed as obese. A study in 2015 comparing different diets for weight loss found that vegan diets may result in greater weight loss than more modest recommendations. In fact, studies have shown that, on average, vegans have a healthier Body Mass Index (23.6 BMI) compared to omnivores (28.8BMI) and vegetarians (25.7 BMI).
No more migranes
Moving to a vegan diet can also help reduce migraine pain. Evidence shows that migraines are often tied to a person’s food intake. One of the main causes of migraines is chronically high levels of inflammation and meat products are known to contain inflammatory properties.
Fewer carcenogenic foods
In 2015 the World Health Organisation announced that red meat and processed meat can cause cancer. So by eating a plant-based diet you’ll be avoiding a food that the WHO has classified as a carcinogen.
Better sense of wellbeing
Many vegans report feeling lighter and happier compared to when they were omnivores. And they’re not just imagining it. A 2010 study showed that a vegan diet can help with stress and anxiety, with vegans reporting significantly less negative emotion than omnivores.
Sidestep nasty infections
Going vegan also means you avoid some of the negative side-effects of modern animal farming techniques, which, as it turns out, can dramatically impact your health. In modern agriculture animals are often overcrowded, meaning that infections spread more easily. For example, the majority of chickens in the UK are packed into overcrowded buildings which they can never leave, and they spend their whole lives standing in the filth from thousands of chickens.
Campylobacter, a type of bacteria found in poultry and red meat, is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and it’s considered to be the cause of over 100 deaths each year. According to a Food Standards Agency (FSA) survey, 61% of chickens on sale in 2015 were contaminated with campylobacter.
Discourage super bugs
In order to combat the rapid spread of infection in farms, animals are given lots of antibiotics, regardless of whether they are unhealthy or not. This overuse of antibiotics is one of the major health concerns with animal agriculture, as it is contributing to the development of drug-resistant bacteria (or superbugs) that can cause hard-to-treat human disease. So by switching to a plant-based diet we can help to discourage this practice by not contributing to the demand for animal products.