While I was at the gym the other day a lady struck up a conversation with me about the holidays. She was lamenting about how difficult it is to eat healthy during the holidays because of all the temptations. Her biggest concern was the multitude of desserts at her office and all the Christmas parties.
I acknowledged the difficulty of avoiding the temptations. Then admitted that it’s a little easier for me to avoid the sweets at work because none of them are vegan friendly. She told me that she also recently became a vegan. She was so excited about the improvements she was already seeing in her health. She was really petite, so she wasn’t talking about weight changes. She was most excited about how she is now much more “regular”. Prior to adopting a vegan diet, she suffered from chronic constipation.
I know what you’re thinking – “this is a really personal conversation for two strangers to be having.” I guess I have one of those faces that make people want to disclose their personal stories to me. But I digress. Back to the benefits of being vegan.
She also raved about her improved digestion and increased energy level. This woman’s story was not unusual at all. These are the kinds of testimonies I hear all the time. It’s really the part that makes it easy to follow a vegan diet. Once people get past their initial concerns of what they have to “give up”, they begin to discover everything they will gain.
So, I want to share with you some reasons that you should consider getting rid of animal protein in 2015…and adopt a plant based diet.
Weight Loss – Eating vegan eliminates most of the unhealthy foods that tend to cause weight issues. As long as people are making smart food choices they will lose weight. Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower body mass index (BMI)–usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health -Animal protein contains a large amount of saturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats (dairy products and meat) from your diet and instead eating nuts and whole grains you will improve your cardiovascular health. Research indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Improves Cholesterol -Eliminating any food that comes from an animal eliminates all dietary cholesterol from your diet.
Lowers Blood Pressure – A diet rich in whole grains helps to lower high blood pressure.
High in Fiber – Plant based diets, which include a lot of vegetables, beans and nuts, are high in fiber. A high fiber diet has many health benefits, including normalized bowel movements, better digestion, stable blood sugar levels, and aids in achieving a healthy weight. High fiber diets also help fight against colon cancer.
The key to obtaining the most benefits from a plant based diet is to make smart food choices. If you stick to beans,nuts, whole grains, fruit and veggies you will achieve the most optimal results.
Once you begin to experience these healthy changes it makes it much easier to maintain this way of eating. I can assure you that the gains far outweigh anything you feel like you have to give up.
So, now I have a question for you: Do you think you can get rid of animal protein and incorporate more plant based foods into your diet?