Over the past few years, I’ve dabbled with vegan diets. At first, it was experimentation trying to troubleshoot some unknown allergies. Then, it became a preference born of simply feeling better. Now, I’m not strictly vegan, but when I can, I often opt to be.
But, my diet isn’t strict, regular, or fully intentional. I still have questions (as many others do), the first being: Is going vegan better for your health?
Here are some thoughts about adopting a fully vegan diet:
(+) It Can Help You Avoid Inflammatory Meats
There are some health conditions that can be worsened by eating some types of meat. So, going vegan will improve your health if you have complications with eating red meat and/or inflammatory foods.
For example, it is thought that eating a lot of processed meat per day can increase your risk of developing heart disease. You lower the chances of this happening to you if you stop eating meat… however, it doesn’t disappear altogether.
(-) There Are Vegan Junk Foods
One thing that many people seem to forget is the fact that there is vegan junk food! In fact, some vegan foods are actually pretty unhealthy if you’re not being careful about what you choose and what the ingredients are.
For example, plant-based meat (which is often vegan) is often made with heavy gluten and soy fillers which are actually not very good for your digestive system. There is also vegan pizza which isn’t necessarily bad, but still has cheeses and breads (heavy carbs) that aren’t super beneficial if you’re trying to maintain a certain weight or body fat percentage.
Despite the fact that a vegan diet is considered to be more plant based, cutting out meat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll eat healthy. You have to be intentional about your choices!
(-) A Vegan Diet Doesn’t Change Your Entire Life
While it might help a little to stop eating meat and dairy, health is about more than just whether you eat these things or not. It’s about how much you exercise, how much sugar and fat you are eating, and so on.
Health is an overall concept and focusing too hard on one part of that isn’t going to make a huge impact on the overall picture. Having said that, though, things impact different people in different ways, which means that going vegan might do wonders for some people and less for others.
You can create a healthy lifestyle going vegan, of course, but that doesn’t automatically ensure it. Like any diet, being smart, purposeful, and dedicated will yield the most positive results.
For more food and diet tips, head to our healthy eating page!