The Many Facets of Veganism and How It Can Improve Health and Finances at The Same Time

Thanks to a number of influential people over the years shifting to veganism, it has grown in popularity year-on-year, with many jumping on the bandwagon without fully understanding what it is all about.

So with that in mind, this article will provide an overview of veganism, particularly in terms of how it can have an impact on your health.

What is veganism?

As far as diet is concerned, veganism excludes all animal products, such as meat, eggs, honey, and milk according to The Spruce. This is its key difference with vegetarianism, as it still allows the consumption of certain animal-derived ingredients. The original definition of veganism also rejects the exploitation of animals in any way including wearing leather clothes and the use of products that are related to animal testing.

In a previous article here on the site, titled Eating Healthy and Building a Healthy Eating Business in Colombia, we talked about Daniel Salazar’s revelation that drinking cow milk can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis, besides causing increased blood acidity. This is only one of the side effects of eating meat and animal products.

Leading a fully plant-based or vegan lifestyle not only helps you eat healthier it can also help you retain your youthful appearance. Eating meat can increase the amount of free radicals in your body. In contrast, eating more fruits and vegetables will boost the antioxidants in your system, which will in turn help prevent – or at least delay – the signs of aging.

What are the different kinds of veganism?

Similar to vegetarianism, there are different types of vegans. They are the following:

– Ethical vegan. This type of veganism follows a vegan lifestyle from a moral standpoint. Aside from avoiding meat and meat products, they are also against buying and using items made of animal-derived ingredients, such as leather, fur, and wool, and refrain from using products that were tested on animals. Some of them avoid places that exploit animals as well, such as zoos and circuses.

– Whole food plant-based vegan. People following a whole food plant-based diet avoid processed foods that other types of vegans may include in their diet. Many of those who follow this lifestyle do so primarily for health reasons.

– Raw vegan. As the name suggests, raw vegans are those who prefer to eat raw food, believing that any food cooked over 46 degrees Celsius loses its nutrients. They also refrain from ingesting processed food for the same reason. There is no consensus over the health benefits of a fully raw diet to date.

– Junk food vegan. These are vegans who chose the vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons and may continue to follow unhealthy habits, such as drinking alcohol and smoking, so long as they do not consume or utilise animal-derived ingredients. As the name suggests, they are also not averse to eating junk food, so long as it excludes animal products.

What is a healthy vegan lifestyle like?

If veganism may include junk food, what, then, is a healthy vegan lifestyle like? Vegetarian Times lists some ways to ensure that those who follow a vegan lifestyle can remain fit and healthy. To eat healthily, it suggests preparing your own food instead of relying on restaurants as well as staying active through pursuits like the vegan favourite, yoga. But don’t be compelled to try yoga if you don’t feel it suits your fitness needs, personality or your energy levels.

Livestrong points out, plant-based food tends to have fewer calories compared to meat and animal products. The main reason why many people fail to follow a fully vegan diet, in the long run, is that due to the lower caloric density of plant-based foods, they can become lethargic and have low energy. If they live active lifestyles, they need to include high-energy foods in their diets that can sustain them throughout the day, such as nuts, seeds and whole grains. Those who feel consistently tired may want to consult with a doctor as their lethargy might be caused by nutrient deficiencies if their vegan diet is out of balance and includes too much junk food.

In relation to this, there is also no truth to the belief that vegan food is tasteless fare. On the contrary, with the increase in the number of people turning to veganism, more and more vegan recipes are now emerging online that practitioners can try out to enjoy tasty food that fits their dietary choices. These include tips on how to prepare vegan versions of favourite dishes such as pizza and desserts.

How can a vegan lifestyle help support financial health?

Veganism will not only help improve your physical health, it can also improve your financial health as well. For starters, Health IQ states that vegans may be able pay lower health insurance rates because there is an underlying assumption that they are less prone to illness. But this is not simply an unsubstantial claim. A study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that vegans have lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and are at less risk of heart disease. Furthermore, The Guardian cites a study undertaken by the Cancer Research UK epidemiology unit at Oxford University. They recalled previous research about how eating processed meat increases the risk of stomach cancer. It was also discovered that vegetarians and fish eaters are at a lower risk of getting certain kinds of cancer compared to meat eaters.

The bottom line is, veganism can help protect you from a number of diseases, and ultimately encourages a healthy lifestyle – something we should all try and adopt.

Image credit: Pixabay