You may have heard a lot about veganism lately. This lifestyle choice is rapidly gaining popularity thanks to a more conscientious society and the increased availability of information regarding how our food is produced and makes its way to our plates. Now, the most common reason for taking on a vegan lifestyle is “for the animals”. The factory farming industry is, frankly, horrific and undercover footage taken by animal activists who have gained access to the living conditions of livestock and the slaughterhouses where they are killed means that we are more aware than ever of the consequences of demand for meat, dairy, and eggs. But veganism can help more than just the animals. It can actually prove extremely beneficial for you as an individual too! While propaganda spread by the meat and dairy industry suggests that you cannot achieve a balanced and nutritious diet without animal products, you may be surprised to know that (when organised and carried out correctly) a vegan diet can, in fact, be much healthier, increasing your life expectancy and overall health and wellbeing. Here’s how!
First things first, it’s important to acknowledge that switching straight into a vegan diet isn’t the easiest of lifestyle changes. You’re used to a set way of eating, and when you cut meat, dairy, and eggs out you’re going to have to find alternative sources for the nutrients that they previously provided you with. As you work this out, it’s a good idea to keep things afloat by taking supplements such as omega 3 for vegans, protein powders and bars, and vitamin B12 capsules.
Cutting Out Meat
Scientists and nutritionists are constantly conducting studies into what is good for us and what foods pose serious health hazards. It’s not surprising that meat has been the subject of many of their studies, seeing as it composes such a large part of many people’s diets. Some people will actually consume meat for their breakfast (bacon and sausage), incorporate it into their lunch, and use it as the basis of their evening meal too! But perhaps fewer people would do this if they were to realise that red meat, in particular, increases individual risk of developing various serious health complaints. Some to focus on include heart disease, type two diabetes, and high cholesterol. Cutting out meat reduces your chances of developing these conditions!
It’s time to debunk the myth that milk is good for your bones! This supposed fact has been drilled into us by dairy companies for years now. While it is true that milk does contain a lot of calcium, it is highly unlikely that we will absorb much of this, especially if the milk is pasteurised (which most milk on the market is). To make things worse, it has actually been found that milk increases calcium loss from our bones. The irony!
As you can see, there are various problems that come hand in hand with consuming animal products, so it may well be time to cut them out for the sake of our health and wellbeing. Just remember to replace any beneficial nutrients and vitamins that may be lost in this process with plant-based alternatives.