You may have heard that veganism is a healthy lifestyle, but why is this? Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of a vegan diet.
It promotes weight loss
Vegan diets tend to be lower in calories than diets that include meat, fish and dairy. This is because they are often rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat proteins such as tofu and legumes.
Of course, with more and more vegan junk food on the market, you can still put on weight as a vegan. However, this is comparable to not following a balanced omnivorous diet. No matter what your diet, remember to eat treats in moderation!
It lowers blood sugar levels
Vegans have been shown to benefit from lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity than non-vegans, making them less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
One study found that 43% of participants following a low-fat vegan diet were able to reduce their dosage of medication for lowering blood sugar levels. The vegan diet was actually more effective than conventional diabetes diet recommendations.
This is great news for those who have, or are at risk of developing, type 2 diabetes, as changing your diet can improve or even reverse symptoms of the disease.
It’s high in fibre
Vegan diets have been found to have a higher dietary fiber intake than omnivorous diets. This is because they are usually high in fruits, vegetables and grains.
As well as the well-known benefit of improving bowel health, a high-fibre diet helps to lower cholesterol, control blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight. This is why being vegan is so effective when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
It protects against certain cancers
The World Health Organization asserts that roughly one-third of all cancers can be prevented by factors within a person’s control, including diet.
It’s been found that vegans may have a 15% lower risk of developing cancer than non-vegans. In particular, vegan diets are beneficial for reducing the risk of prostate, breast and colorectal cancers.
This is due to the health benefits of eating fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes, as well as avoiding the negative health effects of consuming processed meat.
It lowers the risk of heart disease
Plant-based diets offer many benefits that contribute to better heart health, and vegans have a 24% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
Many of the foods that are commonly found in a healthy vegan diet help to lower cholesterol levels, including legumes, avocados, nuts, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and soy products. Vegan diets are therefore lower in cholesterol than other diets.
What’s more, observational studies report that vegans may have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. This makes them less likely to suffer from heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.