Vegan Diet – Vegetarian Diet? Is Vegan Healthy?
Changing your diet to eliminate or reduce meat consumption is a big trend today, and the reason is, there are many advantages of a vegetarian diet. More and more people are anti-meat, or anything to do with animals! While it may feel right not to eat animal products, the question remains is vegan healthy for you?
Today, celebrities like Bill Clinton and Al Gore and Mike Tyson have become Vegans.
There are benefits of vegan diet as well. The big key for good nutrition with any diet is to maintain a variety of foods and avoid junk.
The Vegetarian Diet Plan
People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons. For some it is just the plain old desire to eat healthier. Some have heard that red meat is bad for you.
Some want to lose weight and have heard that vegetarians are slimmer than meat-eaters. Hmmm, is that true? Read on to see.
Some folks have become vegetarian or vegan for ethical reasons, that they do not like the way animals are treated for commercial food purposes. I can get that. Animals force-fed. Animals penned up with no exercise or LIFE!
Finally some have environmental concerns, that the food needed to feed animals raised to be eaten, exceeds the amount of food a human being needs to get the same nutritional benefits.
What is the truth for each of these? Can you get the nutrition you need as a vegetarian? What about as a vegan, or are you going to be sacrificing nutrition for ethics? Are vegetarians thinner than non?
Vegan Versus Vegetarian
A vegetarian does not each meat. Some people just avoid red meat, but eat chicken and fish. There are those who will not let these people use the vegetarian moniker.
A true vegetarian eats no meat of any kind, they say. He subsists on fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy, nuts and nut-sourced foods, grains, seeds and legumes.
The next step away from meat is to be a vegan. The vegan does not consume any animal products of any kind.
The vegan avoids not only meats, but dairy and eggs, wearing leather or silk, honey and other bee products, gelatin, and nutrient supplements like Vitamin D from animals or Omega 3 fatty acids from fish.
All Kinds of Vegans
Vegans come in many forms. Just giving up meat, dairy and eggs can make a person into a vegan, but it does not make you a healthy eater. Smart planning and attention to your diet is what counts most for nutrition.
There is the vegan who has every good intention to avoid “bad foods” because he does not condone animal cruelty. But going to the frozen food section of your grocery store and buying packaged veggie burgers is not going to give you good health.
Many of the packaged foods, even for vegans, have tons of artificial ingredients, processed foods and sugars and unhealthy fats. If the vegan overly relies on the fast Vegan junk food that can be found in every grocery store, drug store and Walmart, he is going to get fat, be hungry and lack good nutrition. So, is vegan healthy for you? Being a vegan does not mean you are automatically eating more healthily.
Becoming a whole food Vegan is a much better plan. This means pursuing a diet of green leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. The meat eater and vegan alike should be eating these foods. The vegan needs more of them, because they are the source of all his protein, while the meat-eater gets his protein from meats, fish and dairy.
You may have heard of Raw Food Vegans. This person eats only raw or almost raw (cooked below 118 degrees) fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Some Raw Food Vegans follow an 80/10/10 Vegan Plan. This is a newer Vegan Diet, where the person consumes a lot of raw fruit all day, raw vegetables later in the day, seeking to ingest 80% of his calories with these carbohydrate sources. Nuts and seeds and good fatty foods like avocado complete the remaining10% each of the protein and fat requirements.
Claims are made that this diet produces healthy blood sugar and insulin and brings healing to all bodily systems.
The Starch Solution is a modification to the 80/10/10 Plan, where cooked starches like potatoes, corn and rice are used for the 80% carbohydrate contribution instead of so much fruit.
Another modified 80/10/10 Vegan Diet is the Raw Until 4 Plan. This dieter eats all raw until 4 and then adds cooked plant-based foods for dinner. The goal remains high carbohydrate, low-fat, low-protein diet.
Healthier Lives Come From Good Eating
Be creative with your diet. Pursue more vegetables and fruits and fiber in each meal. Eat good fatty acids. It could be that going 100% vegetarian or 100% vegan is the best possible choice for you. I encourage you to go at least 50%.
If you go 50%, you will be getting vitamins and minerals and protein and fiber naturally through your diet. We need 5-8 and some even say 12 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Going 50% will get you there! Check out our Green Superfoods reviews to help you out with enough veggies.
Most people today do not eat enough healthy vegetables and fruits. Most eat too many bad fatty acids. Most eat too much refined and processed foods. And most eat way too much sugar. Most of us cook too many nutrients out of our foods.
The vegetarian lifestyle has possibilities for healthier living, even if partially implemented. Is vegan healthy? Yes, done right. And even done partially. Eating more raw fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds like a vegan will add needed fiber.
Add smoothies to your diet to help vary the ways you consume the foods you need to be healthy. See our blog on Best Blender Reviews.
Fact: If you choose to eliminate eggs and dairy and meats and all animal products from your life, you can live a healthy and vibrant life with proper nutrition. You need to pay attention to what you eat. But you really need to do that with any diet plan.
Tell me what you think….let's encourage one another to healthy and creative living.