Not Just a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

Exploring the path of veganism

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Not Just a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

The more color in your diet, the better.  A colorful diet is essential to vegan eating.

The more color in your diet, the better. A colorful diet is essential to vegan eating.

Photo by Erin Conner

The more color in your diet, the better. A colorful diet is essential to vegan eating.

Photo by Erin Conner

Photo by Erin Conner

The more color in your diet, the better. A colorful diet is essential to vegan eating.

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When people hear the term veganism, they are usually extremely shocked at how someone could live this way and, they are also quick to say that they could NEVER do it themselves. The thought of giving up meat and dairy isn’t even fathomable to most as it’s what they are used to. After all, people tend to hate to stray from their normal. Now, you may be sitting here reading this and you may even say these things yourself, but what if I told you that becoming vegan significantly reduces your chances of getting multiple diseases? Would you then start to really listen?

Osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more can potentially be prevented by simply making this lifestyle choice. The article “Eating Vegan to Cure Disease” on Natural Holistic Health Learning Center covers all of these specific conditions listed above and explains how a vegan diet can either prevent those diseases, or make it more tolerable for the person suffering with it. Also, according to Cancer Statistics, in 2012 alone, there were approximately 8.2 million deaths from cancer worldwide and 14.1 million cases of cancer diagnosed. Although the reason is not quite understood, studies show that the cancer mortality rates among vegans are lower than those of the regular population. Additionally, heart disease is also found to be generally lower in those who eat a vegan diet. This way of eating consists of little to no cholesterol and extremely low levels of saturated fats which are leading causes of getting heart disease; there is also the risk of obesity as well. And for those of you that are diabetic, despite the fact that veganism will not cure you from it, it can help your body better respond to the daily insulin you have to take.

Although the reason is not quite understood, studies show that the cancer mortality rates among vegans are lower than those of the regular population.”

Now, for those of you who still need more convincing, the vegan diet will not only help aide you in disease, but it will help you with your general appearance and overall feeling as well. If clear skin, weight loss, lack of body odor, and a decrease in stress and anxiety are any of your goals, veganism can make that attainable. In a 2015 experiment where participants were surveyed on their mood, diet and lifestyle factors showed that there is indeed a correlation between a healthy vegan diet and lowered levels of anxiety. “After two weeks, results showed that mood scores were unchanged for omnivores and fish eaters, but the vegetarian group showed significantly improved scores.” The article8 health benefits of going vegan” further details the experiment.

For the appearance aspects, the weight loss is usually due to the fact that you’re not getting the saturated fats from animal products, which is what makes you put and keep the weight on in the first place. This can also greatly affect your skin as these foods contain oils, unnatural hormones, and steroid additives; these additives are prone to cause acne. Finally, this animal product free lifestyle will help relieve you from body odor. This is primarily due to the fact that our sweat glands help us excrete toxins from our body, which is what causes the unwanted smell. These toxins can be found in these fiber lacking, hydrogenated oil, animal products that most consume everyday, therefore, the more dairy and meat you eat, the more odor you will retain.

There are many benefits to veganism; however, it is essential to call to your attention the difficult aspects of it as well. It can be difficult to eat at places other than your own home. That isn’t to say that it’s not possible, but be prepared to give your waiter a long list of modifications when ordering. This can cause difficulty for people around you when a group is attempting to find a place that will satisfy everyone in the group. Matt, a non-vegan with a vegan girlfriend, “It’s a rather strategic activity… for me it hasn’t been too much of a drawback as more and more restaurants have been accommodating for vegetarian and vegan diets, but checking menus before going out is always necessary, which can be challenging sometimes.” The final hardship will be the actual switch over, giving up your beloved meat and dairy. Most recommend weaning yourself off of one thing first, and then the other. Some people simply dive into the new lifestyle “cold turkey”. Overall, this is a commitment. It’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

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