Around 6% of people in the United States describe themselves as vegetarian. In France and Spain around 8% of people are vegetarians. Nowadays, more and more people turn vegan. Why such a trend?
According to the guardian, it seems like Instagram has a lot to do. Celebrities share their vegan lifestyle and it seems like young people adhere to it. Indeed, the vegan movement is lead by the youth. Apparently 42% of vegan people in UK are between 15-34 years old. Besides that, a lot of people switch to a plant based diet for health reasons. Indeed, doctors recommend a plant based diet to fight against metabolic diseases: type 2 diabetes, hyper tension and obesity.
So, what are the health benefits of a plant based diet? And should we all switch to a vegan diet?
According to recent studies, a diet rich in plants products:
Basically, it will help your blood to circulate more easily around your body which will reduce your tension.
A weight loss friendly diet
Less meat means more vegetables. Vegetables are rich in fibers, a molecule known to promote weight loss. Instead of meat, generally rich in saturated fat and poor in fibers.
Reduce the risk of developing cancer
22 experts from 10 countries reviewed more than 800 studies to finally conclude: “eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%”. Meat and mainly processed meat are rich in free radicals (harmful molecules) that can alter our body.
On the other hand, a diet rich in vegetables is rich in antioxydants. Molecules that protect our cells from free radicals.
Reduce chance of Diabete type 2
Recent studies proved that a plant-based diet that was low in animal products was associated with a 20% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, a vegetarian diet helps to decrease type 2 diabetes. Indeed, Studies foundgreater reduction of insulin resistance, visceral fat and oxidative stress.
Healthy for your heart
A strictly vegan diet does not contain any cholesterol, a molecule correlated to heart diseases. Besides, diet poor in animal products are also poor in saturated fat. Saturated fat has a tendency to plug our arteries and lead to heart diseases.
As we have seen, a vegan diet has a lot of benefits. It helps to lower hypertension, reduce type 2 diabetes and risk of cancer, promote weight loss and are healthy for your heart.
However, a vegan diet could be extremely hard to follow on the long term. First, it generally requires more time to prepare your meal. Second, finding healthy vegan food outside home may be challenging according to your location.
Last, a vegan diet could be really unhealthy if you have no nutrition knowledge. Trust me, as a nutritionist, I met tons of vegan people eating junk vegan food.
So, before turning vegan, meet a nutritionist and try to find out which diet will work the best for you according to your lifestyle and beliefs.
Top Questions Vegetarians Ask RDs: Here’s How to Answer Them With Ingenuity and Expertise
Diana Cullum-Dugan, RDN, LDN, RYT
Vol. 16 No. 10 P. 28