With the current state of health consciousness in the country, more and more people are taking control of their lives by choosing a plant based diet. In the past year, there have been a number of documentaries such as the Netflix's notorious "What The Health" special that has open people's eyes to the truth of our country's health practices that have been instilled into America's culture for generations. Now that 2018 has arrived, the thought of being Vegan should turn from just a consideration into your overall lifestyle.
Both of these conditions are amongst the most common chronic diseases in the Western world. And they are totally man-made! Nobody in this day and age (at least nobody with the privilege of having internet access) would need to suffer from either of them. What's the scariest part: The buildup of plaque in our arteries often times starts incredibly early in life (around age 10).
Our health is our most valuable asset in life. Any chance to decrease our risk for disease and instead support our body’s healing mechanisms should be taken seriously. So many aspects of our health lie in our own hands! More and more major health organizations are now stating that it’s healthy to eat a well-planned vegan diet during all stages of life – and that it’s even favorable to do so because vegans have lower rates of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, strokes, and even Alzheimer's.
A plant-based diet is often times even more effective than medication and surgery when it comes to these diseases! The WHO stated that processed meat is a carcinogen and that red meat probably is as well and then there’s The China Study showing the connection between casein (milk protein) and cancer. All seems to point in one direction.
There's a big difference between a diet and a lifestyle. Vegans are the only group of people who average a normal and healthy BMI – the more animal products people eat, the higher their BMI. There are a couple of reasons for this! First, the fact that animal products do not contain any carbs and are, instead, higher in fat. Dietary fat has more calories and is a lot easier converted into body fat than calories from carbohydrates.
Also, the overall calorie density of animal products leads to people overeating on them while we can load up our plates with potatoes and veggies and stay lean. There are also growth stimulating hormones naturally found in animal products which don’t help at all. So if you want to skip the starvation and counting calories, go for plants instead!
We’re not just thinking about the farm animals, of course. Humans all over the world have to suffer because of the huge demand for animal products. How? As of today, we would have enough food to feed 10 billion people, while only 7 billion are in this world. But as it turns out, 50% of grains worldwide are being eaten by animals in the industries… while 82% of children living next to livestock are starving. The meat that's produced in these areas is then being shipped to the 1st world in order for us to eat.
Around 70% of the grain grown in the US alone is fed to livestock - that’s enough grain to feed 800 million people. At the same time, incredible amounts of water are being used to produce animal products. Being vegan could save up to 724,925 gallons of water per person each year. Think how powerful this change could be for everyone!
Every time you sit down to a meal containing meat, eggs, or dairy products, you’re dining on known bacteria, antibiotics, hormones, dioxins, and a host of other toxins that can cause serious health problems in humans. An extremely high percentage of all the flesh butchered every year in the U.S. is contaminated with E. coli, campylobacter, listeria, or other dangerous bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts, flesh, and feces of animals.
They can cause food poisoning – there are 75 million cases each year, 5,000 of which are fatal. The USDA reports that 70% is caused by contaminated animal flesh. The abuse of pharmaceuticals in factory farms encouraged the evolution of new strains of antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria. But that’s not the only danger associated with dosing animals raised for their flesh with antibiotics. Roxarsone, an antibiotic commonly used on factory farms, contains significant amounts of the most carcinogenic form of arsenic.
The one thing that usually makes people hesitant on becoming Vegan is the fear of never being able to have tasty food ever again. Have you ever had a Buddha bowl? How about a delicious quinoa salad or black bean burgers? There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world, of which somewhere between 150 and 200 have been domesticated and farmed. You probably haven’t tried even half of them yet! Looking out for delicious new recipes broadens your horizon, your taste buds, and lets you discover delicious and healthful dishes you wouldn’t have thought of in the beginning.
You don’t have to cut back on taste at all here: Vegan chefs took home the trophy at the 10th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational with a nondairy cheese winner, and vegan bakers have dominated the butter-and-egg fest that is Cupcake Wars twice. The key is in finding the right replacements (like applesauce or bananas instead of eggs) or using recipes without any animal products at all.
Believe it or not, these two issues are actually connected. For most people with acne-prone skin, dairy is one of the worst offenders. Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware of this issue and tend to prescribe medication and harsh chemicals in order to improve skin health. The secret lies in what we eat, though! Getting rid of fatty foods (including all animal products, oils, and maybe even nuts and seeds) has been shown to reduce acne.
Water-rich fruits and vegetables can give your skin an additional boost in health due to their high amounts of vitamins and minerals. Their fiber helps with getting better digestion and elimination of toxins which, in turn, clears up your skin even more. Having trouble with digestion is probably one of the most uncomfortable feelings ever! Here’s a thorough guide on how to get it back on track.
One of the biggest misconceptions of having a plant based diet is that you won't be able too afford to live the lifestyle that you've always wanted due to lack of finances. Vegan diets can be extremely economical. When you center your diet around grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and seasonal fruits and veggies, you might be cutting your monthly food expense in half. Many of these foods can be bought in bulk and stored for a long time.
Eating like this could mean that you spend less in a day than you would just grabbing a sandwich or double cheeseburger on the go. There are a lot of great options for eating vegan on a budget. But that’s not all! Since healthy plant-based diets can prevent and even reverse chronic diseases, you will have to spend way less money on doctor’s visits and medication.
You might not be aware of this but many supermarket foods are already vegan, including dark chocolate, Oreos, Twizzlers, Kraft Taco Bell Taco Dinner, as well as many sauces and mixes. There are also lots of different plant-based milk options, coconut ice creams, mock meats, and more! This change in culinary preferences of the consumers is revealing itself through data — the market for non-dairy products is skyrocketing and meat alternatives sales are expected to reach $5 Billion by 2020.
But not only supermarkets carry a host of delicious vegan foods at this day and age. More and more restaurants offer vegan options, too! No matter if you want to go to a fast food chain, a diner chain, or ethnic restaurant – there are so many dishes you can choose from these days that you will be positively surprised.