When I ask my vegan friends why they’re vegan, they often say for health reasons. Actually, they often say OHMYGOD, HOW CAN U EAT MEAT YOU HEARTLESS SAVAGE?! And then they sometimes tack on ‘health reasons’.
BUT when I ask my other friends why they’re meat eaters, they also say for health reasons. Most meats are high in iron, full of protein, and animal products contain things like zinc and calcium.
So is a vegan diet actually good for you? Is a vegan diet healthier than a regular diet?
It doesn’t get much more extreme than a vegan diet: well, there are fruitarians but that’s just like – crazy. Whether for ethical reasons, religious reasons or any other reason, the health aspects of any diet need to be fully understood before taking them on. So, are there any health benefits to being a vegan?
Well yeah, there are actually a ton of health benefits, like
healthier gut microbiota These microorganisms live in our intestines are are vital to digestion, vitamin production and even our immunity.
Since the cholesterol in food only comes from animal products, vegans are inherently cholesterol free: and don’t worry about that “good cholesterol,” a healthy body produces it just fine on it’s own
Vegans also have a lowered risk of ischemic heart disease & cancer, though not cardiovascular disease.
Women are said to have easier menopause and most report lower levels of stress
and of course there’s the weight loss something a lot of Americans struggle with.
so by that account vegan diet seems pretty awesome! And nowadays, you don’t really have to sacrifice a lot in flavor: we hardly rely on seasonal foods anymore and quality vegan meals just get easier and easier to come by. So, why aren’t we all vegans???
well now, let’s look at some of the down sides – actually – there’s mainly just one – vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Now, frankly, this is something that many omnivores have and can be easily rectified in most cases. Truth is, we could all benefit from taking a good look at our diets and figuring out what we need to add or subtract. A vegan or anyone considering a diet change should totally get a blood test to see what they are lacking in, and adjust accordingly. Many vegans lack in vitamin B-12 and D as well as calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
But its ok, you can find most of these vitamins and minerals in vegan foods, for example,
Calcium is found in white beans, squash and just about all leafy greens which are also a great source of iron, as are peaches, beans and dried fruit. As you no doubt remember from our “Gluten-Free video,” Zinc is found prominently in whole grains like wheat and rye, so therefore also in cake, bread, and pasta – my favorite foods. As for omega-3, if you’re still worrying about those, you need to watch our video on fish oil and get you some knowledge.
You might be asking why a video on vegan diets. Well I got inspired to check it out after watching my hero Arnold Schwarzenegger advertising eating less meat, as a way of combating climate change.
I didn’t want to believe it was true since where i was born, in Australia, being a vegetarian is basically a federal crime. But overall I was pretty shocked to see that a vegan diet CAN be a healthier choice, especially if you really monitor your vitamin intake. But will I switch to a vegan diet? No.
Presented by Jayde Lovell, Directed by Mizanur Rahman, Edited by Sarita Liu. Script by Stephanie Slepian. Produce by Yohana Yoshe.
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Produced by Jayde Lovell and Bec Susan Gill. ScIQ is a partner of the The Young Turks Network.
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