A Vegan diet is one that contains no meat, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey.
A vegan lifestyle would also exclude leather, wool, fur, silk, soaps and cosmetics where they are derived from animals.
People choose the vegan diet primarily out of love and respect for animals and the environment, as well as to eat a healthier diet.
Benefits from being a Vegan
A vegan diet helps people to lose weight and maintain weight loss as it contains no dairy products and meat that are rich in saturated fats.
Every meal in a vegan diet is nutritious and healthy. You are able to easily eat your required 5-a-day required fruits and vegetables. These are good sources of nutrients and antioxidants that will boost your immune system.
Many vegans state that they have a marked improvement in their energy levels when they switch to the vegan diet and find that the health and vitality of their skin improve as well.
A vegan diet uses less water, fossil fuel, and topsoil than a meat diet. Vegans believe that meat production is economically and ethically unsound.
It is difficult to calculate accurately but it is accepted that meat production is a leading cause of climate changing emissions and soil degradation.
You know that your lifestyle is compatible with a more humane world which respects animals.
Factors to take into consideration in a Vegan diet
Vegans have a high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Research suggests that the human body is unable to obtain reliable B12 from plants. Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of blood cells, DNA and maintaining your nervous system. You may need B12 supplementation if you are deficient. Your family doctor can arrange a simple blood test to measure your B12 levels.
It is important when on a vegan diet to read food ingredient labels carefully. For example, some food colorings are made from dried beetles, gelatine is made from meat and casein from milk.
Research is increasingly recommending you avoid heavily processed foods even when they are vegan.
Palm oil is unethical in the extreme. Much of the current destruction of rainforests occurs to allow lucrative palm plantations to be planted. These plantations are where the Palm oil is produced from.
Debate about the virtues of a Vegan Diet
Emotional debate continues on the claims made about the benefits of a vegan diet and the claims made by those who disagree.
Some argue that the intensive production of crops necessary for a vegan diet causes more soil erosion than that used for meat production.
It is difficult to include all the factors necessary for critical analysis of environmental damage from meat vs crop production, or the health claims made in studies on the vegan diet.
A good example is where studies look at what the contribution to global warming from meat production is. Their conclusions range from 5 to 50%!
For one going vegan, it may be a big stretch. So, it’s important to take baby steps until you feel comfortable eliminating meat and non- vegan products from your diet. However, it’s important to note that I strive to be 100 % vegan, but I don’t consume sugar of any kind. So, I am closer to 95% vegan. Instead of sugar, I use honey as a sweetener. I like to use local honey because it helps with allergies.
Are you vegan? If so, what benefits have you experienced by consuming a vegan diet? Tell us in the comments below!
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