You say tomāto, I say tomăto…
It was a while ago that my daughter corrected my pronunciation of “vegan.” Since we said vĕggies and vĕggin’ out and vĕgetarian, I assumed the new word would follow suit. After the rolling of the eyes and the tsk, I was informed that vegan had a “ē” sound. Silly me. Long e or short e, all I knew was there was no meat in this kind of eating and me, a die-hard omnivore.
But since my daughter has gone the vegan route, she has lost a ton of weight, looks wonderful and is healthier than she has ever been. There must be something to it because I don’t remember her ever looking this good on another diet.
Before we go any further, for those who don’t know the difference between vegetarian and vegan (yeah, I thought they were the same), vegetarians do not eat any animals. This includes pigs, chickens, cows, sea animals, and every other animal. In addition to not consuming any animal flesh. Vegans are strict vegetarians who also don’t eat dairy products, eggs, or any other product derived from an animal. I always thought, what’s left? Tree bark and nuts? Was I ever wrong!
Why the vegan diet?
People generally choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. Variety is the key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet. A varied and healthy vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Food Technology published an article in October 2012 explaining that plant-based diets either minimize or completely eliminate people’s genetic propensity to developing chronic diseases. Many vegans advise the most successful way to become a long-term vegan is gradually. Most were vegetarians first, and slowly made the transition to vegan.
The following is an amazing documentary which was published in April 2015. Dr Greger presents all the latest in health and nutrition information, and shows how a vegan diet can prevent, treat and even reverse many of the top 20 causes of death, including heart disease, stroke and cancer. The information presented is all based on thoroughly researched nutritional studies that have been featured in international medical journals.
The benefits of a vegan diet have been proven. The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” reported that even compared to other vegetarians, vegans tend to be thinner and have lower total blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Because they consume larger amounts of fruits and vegetables, vegans receive greater amounts of the antioxidants and phytochemicals associated with good cardiovascular health and reduced cancer risks. Many researchers have concluded that with proper planning, all of your dietary requirements can be achieved while avoiding the higher fat and cholesterol associated with meat.
If you’re looking to take the vegan plunge, here are some resources that may help. Remember, take it a day at a time and much success on your new healthy lifestyle!