Defined as “the practice of eating only food not derived from animals and typically of avoiding the use of other animal products,” veganism is an animal product-free lifestyle. The term “vegan” was originally coined by a group of vegetarians that broke off from the Leicester Vegetarian Society in 1944. These vegans wanted to go beyond simply restricting meat to restricting all products of animal origin. Veganism is more than just the elimination of animal food products. It also excludes animal exploitation in all aspects of life, such as in clothing, cosmetics, and hobbies or pastimes.
Why Do People Go Vegan?
Individuals may choose to undertake a vegan lifestyle for a variety of reasons. These include ethical, health, and environmental.
Is Veganism Ethical?
Vegans that have pursued the diet for ethical reasons typically believe that creatures have a right to life and freedom without being exploited by humans. Be it through farming conditions, the actual killing of the animal, or the exploitation of products which aren’t ours, ethical vegans are opposed to the interference with animal life.
Is Being Vegan Healthy?
Opting for a vegan diet has been shown to benefit your health. According to the National Institution for Health, diets high in meat can be linked to cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Plant-based diets lower the risks of such complications. Veganism has been connected to lower blood sugar levels and improved kidney function, reduced pain from arthritis and risk of high blood pressure, a greater intake of fibre, antioxidants, and plant compounds.
How Does Veganism Help the Environment?
According to research from the University of Copenhagen, undertaking a vegan diet can help lower your environmental footprint. As animal agriculture increasingly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change with cattle, sheep and goats emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. Switching to a vegan diet eliminates your usage of such products and as more people do so, lower the demand for consumption.
How Does Veganism Affect Your Body?
When you first adopt the vegan diet, your body will likely experience some changes. Just like any new diet, the body and mind will need to adjust to your new lifestyle. A common misconception is that by going vegan, you will miss out on protein, a valid concern granted the importance of protein to growth and body cell maintenance. By incorporating a variety of nuts, seeds, and soy-based products, such as tofu and tempeh, you will continue to reap the benefits of protein. Going vegan will lead to a healthier gut, with vegan diets affecting the gut microbiome and helping with digestion. The switch will lead to increased heart and bowel health, as well as also possible weight loss and improved sense of taste.
Will Going Vegan Help Me Lose Weight?
Countless studies have shown that adopting a balanced vegan diet can lead to significant weight loss, especially in obese patients. By boosting gut bacteria and improving blood lipids and glucose parameters, veganism will strengthen your heart and metabolism. In a study conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 74 overweight and ovese adults were placed on a low-fat vegan diet, while the others stuck with a non-vegan regime. Those which maintained the vegan diet lost a significant amount of weight, two-thirds of which was body fat. As a result of the health benefits, converting to the vegan lifestyle will likely place you on track with weight-loss efforts.
Will Going Vegan Lower My Cholesterol?
Going vegan will help lower cholesterol levels as plant-based diets typically reduce body weight and saturated fat intake, both of which will benefit cholesterol management. In 2017, researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reviewed 49 observational and intervention studies that compared vegan and vegetarian diets with omnivorous diets. They found that adopting a plant-based diet lowered total cholesterol levels and lipid levels. Furthermore, vegan diets had the greatest benefit on lipid levels, having a greater impact than simply being vegetarian.
Will Going Vegan Help With Menopause?
Although a lot is known about the impacts of veganism on your heart and gut, adopting the vegan lifestyle has only recently been connected to improved menopausal symptoms. New research from the North American Menopause Society has discovered that vegan diets rich in soy can help reduce various vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes, in menopausal women – by up to 84%! Additionally, participants noted improvements in their mood, sleep, and energy, as well as improved digestion and weight loss.
Will Going Vegan Affect My Skin?
As vegan diets are typically rich in fruits and vegetables, going vegan can offer a range of benefits to your skin and improve conditions such as acne, fine lines, and inflammation. Veganism consists of more whole, plant-based foods, as opposed to junk and processed food, which are crucial for radiant skin. Dermatologist Dr. Niyati Sharma, the one behind Australia’s first plant-based dermatology clinic, states that by eating whole ingredients, with minimally processed foods, you are providing your body with a natural, low-risk intervention for acne and similar skin conditions. Although the results may not be immediate, with consistency, the nutrients will work their magic.