It's not hard to find vegan food these days. Vegan-friendly food chains have been around for a while. Stores (both physical and online) are popping up everywhere offering vegan and gluten free snacks.
Even veganizing your favorite meals has never been easier! There are vegan versions of everything these days - from vegan cheese to vegan butter, and even vegan-friendly gluten-free nutnola (our own delicious creation).
Why Go Vegan?
Eating a plant-based diet will give you more energy (and keep it sustained). One study found that vegans tend to have higher levels of vitality than meat-eaters do.
Another showed that after four weeks on a vegetarian or vegan diet, people had improved fatigue scores three times as often as those who didn’t convert their diets.
But is it worth giving up animal protein entirely? If you're interested in transitioning to a vegan diet but aren't sure where to start, here's our list of the top ten benefits that might convince you:
- Lower Risk for Heart Disease
For starters, veganism is probably the most healthy way to eat. Vegans don't have any cholesterol or animal fats in their diet, and they're at lower risk for heart disease: According to one study from Cornell University, a vegan's chances of dying due to heart disease are about half as much as those who consume meat regularly. A vegan diet can reduce the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, or stroke by about 40%.
- Improved Digestion
The vegan diet is often easier on the digestive system because it's more alkaline and less acidic. It also usually contains a lot of fiber, which helps to maintain normal bowel movements. Vegans are at lower risk for various gastrointestinal conditions like constipation or irritable bowel syndrome. Veganism can also increase feelings of fullness.
- Reduced Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
A vegan diet reduces the chance of developing cancer and other chronic diseases because it excludes foods that have been processed with carcinogens such as nitrates. Instead, vegan diets contain an abundance of plant-based nutrients that may reduce the risk of certain types of cancers like breast cancer.
- Reduced pain from arthritis
Vegan diets are often rich in antioxidants, which some studies have found to be important for fighting arthritis.
Some studies found that a vegan diet can help alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as joint swelling and pain. It is believed that this is because of the vegan diet’s lack of certain trigger foods and also its fiber, antioxidant, and probiotic content.
- Weight Loss
Veganism usually helps promote healthy weight loss (and keep it off). This is because vegans consume fewer calories than meat-eaters do. The former’s average caloric intake for the day is about 1500 less than the latter.
Also, unknown to many, carbohydrates aren't the only vegan foods that can help people feel full for longer periods. Soy offers plenty of protein, which will keep you feeling fuller after meals due to its high level of fiber.
To maintain a healthy body mass index you should be following a diet that will provide your BMR with enough calories, vitamins, and minerals for an average person's activity level. A vegan diet offers more calorie control than other diets because there’s no cholesterol in plant foods.
Simply put: If you want to lose weight, go on a vegan diet, then eat less food. It doesn't get any simpler than that!
- Food Cost Savings
The vegan diet is typically cheaper than the average American diet because it doesn't require meat or dairy. Vegan and vegetarian diets are often more affordable than eating a traditional Western meal with animal products at every meal.
Veganism can also help reduce grocery expenses by providing plenty of high-calorie foods on a tight budget like beans, ricotta cheese, vegan ice cream, and more. Plus there are some amazing vegan gluten free snacks!
- Environmental Benefits
The vegan diet is better for the environment because it doesn't rely on animal products that may not be sustainable or environmentally friendly, for example, cheese made from cow's milk.
The vegan diet is also one of the best ways to combat global warming. Animal agriculture is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. It uses 27% of the earth's freshwater, and contributes to deforestation and species extinction.
Veganism accounts for 20% less greenhouse gas emissions than a meat-eating diet does on average. It also helps to conserve water and reduce pollution by eliminating meat consumption.
- Animal Rights Concerns
Veganism often resonates with those who care about animals and their welfare as vegan food choices like soy provide plenty of protein without relying on meat.
Many veganism advocates also argue that vegan food is more humane because it doesn't promote animal cruelty -- claiming that cows, pigs, and chickens are often treated inhumanely before they're slaughtered for meat.
- Delicious Vegan Recipes
You'll never know you liked vegan food so much until you try it! There are tons of delicious recipes out there waiting for your taste buds to discover them.
There are vegan and gluten free snacks that taste just like your favorite comfort foods. There are also substitutes for all of your favorite dairy products, so you won't be missing out on anything!
Veganism is a sustainable way to eat. Changing your diet may be one of the most important steps you can take to make a difference for yourself and our planet.
If you want to make the most of your food and do what’s best for yourself, then going vegan may be the right choice for you.