Are Vegans Healthier? Short Answer: It Depends….

are vegans healthierThere are many reasons for choosing to follow a 100% plant-based diet. The number one and most obvious reason for veganism is the desire to not contribute to the suffering and abuse of animals.

Another reason for following a vegan diet is for health reasons. It is widely assumed that not eating any animal products is a healthier way to live your life. While this can be true, just because you are a vegan does not automatically mean your diet is healthier than your meat-eating friends.

Unhealthy Vegan Foods

As little as 2 decades ago, if you were to follow a 100% vegan diet you would have a severe lack of options for food. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains were pretty much the basis of everything you ate.

Thankfully this has changed. There are now a wide variety of vegan foods available, and supermarkets even have whole sections dedicated to plant-based eating.

While this is definitely a good thing, more variety means more choice, and more choice usually means there are bad choices as well as good choices. There are lots of food items that are marketed as vegan and are plant based, but are just as unhealthy as their meat-containing alternatives.

The fact that veganism has gained popularity in the last decade also means fast-food outlets and restaurants are producing vegan meals. While this is welcomed, it means ordering a takeaway or eating out can be just as unhealthy if you are a vegan.

Read More: Plant based vs vegan vs vegetarian: what’s the difference?

How to be a Healthy Vegan

In order to make the most of your vegan diet and do the best for your health, it’s important to follow a whole-food, plant-based diet. This means eating lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain, which boosts your fiber intake.

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Eating a whole-food diet has been proven to lower your risk of suffering from almost any disease imaginable, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and cancer.

Eating such a diet also requires willpower and dedication, as you need to stay away from processed vegan food such as sweets, vegan cheese, and chips.

You also need to make sure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, which means vegans have to plan meals carefully to ensure they are not missing out.

It is entirely possible to get everything you need from a plant-based diet, it just takes a little more work.

Are Vegans Healthier: Final Thoughts

It seems to be common knowledge that if you follow a 100% vegan diet, you will be healthier than someone who eats animal products. This is not strictly true, and you can be just as unhealthy if you are vegan.

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Jessica Mason

Jessica is a clinical dietitian who believes in the power of healthy eating for controlling weight. When she is not working with patients, you'll find her coming up with meal and diet plans based on scientific evidence. Jessica likes the outdoors, socializing, and making delicious smoothies.