Updated: Apr 17
A plant-based lifestyle can improve many aspects of your life: your weight, mental health, physical health, and so much more.
Have you ever finished a meal and just felt bloated? Do you often notice that your energy levels plunge after eating meat? If so, you have probably suffered the consequences of eating too many animal fats. Animal fats don't just make you feel woozy. They can also create inflammation within your body and eventually lead to long-term health issues. So, what can you do to pursue a happier and healthier way of life? You can switch to a plant-based diet. By cutting meat out of your diet, you can enjoy plenty of health benefits, including higher energy levels and a longer lifespan. Read on to learn more about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
What Is a Plant-Based Lifestyle? A plant-based lifestyle is a diet that eliminates most animal products. The two major categories of plant-based living are vegetarianism and veganism. While each individual has the power to define the constraints of her own, most people agree that vegetarianism and veganism have key differences.
Vegetarians eliminate meat products from their diets. This normally includes beef, pork, and chicken. However, many vegetarians still rely on animal products, such as eggs, for protein. Vegans, on the other hand, do not eat any kind of animal product. They do not consume eggs, milk, or even honey, as they avoid anything that comes from a living being. Both plant-based lifestyles have been shown to decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, and even increase longevity. However, the benefits of going vegan tend to outweigh the benefits of going vegetarian. In one study, scientists found that people who consumed zero animal fats were healthier than those who ate animal fats "occasionally." Vegans even had a 32% lower chance of developing heart disease when compared to the general population. They also had a lower rate of obesity and a higher rate of athleticism. At the end of the day, a vegan lifestyle is the best way to pursue a plant-based diet.
Plant-Based Benefit #1: A Healthy Heart As you get older, your heart health will start to deteriorate. This may sound like a morbid truth. However, you can prevent the onset of heart disease by changing your diet. According to one study, vegans have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. They also have lower rates of death by cardiovascular issues. Scientists still are not sure why vegans have such healthy hearts. However, one theory is that vegans consume fewer saturated fats. Saturated fats are a type of fat that is particularly unhealthy. They turn solid at room temperature and are famous for clogging up your arteries. In the long run, saturated fats can cause hypertension and even heart attacks.
But, why do vegans consume fewer saturated fats than the rest of us?
The answer to this question has everything to do with the origin of saturated fats. While not all saturated fats come from animals, most animal products contain saturated fats. Meat, cheese, and butter are all significant sources of saturated fats. By eliminating these foods from their diets, vegans cut back on their consumption of these unhealthy fats. As a result, they don't experience as many instances of high cholesterol. And they have fewer heart attacks.
Plant-Based Benefit #2: Lower Blood Sugar Have you worried about developing diabetes? Or, are you one of the 34 million Americans who has already been diagnosed with the disease? Either way, it's probable that you would benefit from a vegan diet. Plant-based diets involve leafy greens, beans, starches, and a whole lot of fiber. These foods aren't just healthy. They also have a low glycemic index. As a result, they aren't very likely to spike your blood sugar after you eat. The best part is that many vegan foods even have a long-term impact on your blood sugar. Beans, for example, can help stabilize your blood sugar levels for hours after a meal. This is because beans actually slow down your body's sugar absorption process. Consequently, if you eat beans, you will likely see less glycemic impact at your next meal.
In other words, beans lessen the impact of sugary fruits, like oranges and bananas. Since vegans tend to eat diets higher in beans, they also tend to see fewer blood sugar spikes on a daily basis. On a long-term basis, this means fewer cases of type two diabetes among vegans. It also allows non-diabetics to maintain healthier blood sugar levels and lower amounts of inflammation.
Plant-Based Benefit #3: Losing Weight According to the Internet, it often seems like there are a million and four ways to lose weight. Between the grapefruit diet, the egg diet, and keto, it can be hard to keep track of all the diets currently on the market. However, losing weight doesn't have to be as complicated as these diets make the process out to be. In fact, losing weight can be as easy as a simple lifestyle change. Adopting a plant-based diet is a simple way to shed some pounds. It doesn't involve calorie restriction. It doesn't require a two hours gym session. And it certainly isn't as expensive as, say, a pre-paid meal plan. By engaging in a plant-based lifestyle, you can eat lots of leafy greens and delicious fruits. These foods are not especially caloric. Therefore, you can consume a lot of them without ingesting many calories. Ultimately, this will make your weight loss process more natural. Instead of charting your food at every meal, you can just eat your fill. Throughout this process, you will find yourself shredding excess fat, one pound at a time.
But, what's the connection between veganism and weight loss? How do we know that veganism helps people reduce their waistlines? In the end, it all comes down to science. The average meat-eater has a BMI of 28.8. That's considered overweight. Meanwhile, the average vegan has a BMI of 23.6, placing them in firmly in the "healthy" range.
Plant-Based Benefit #4: Living Longer Most people in the United States want to live longer than expected. A recent poll found that over 60% of Americans would love to make it past the age of 80. A surprising 33% of Americans want to live to the age of 100. The good news is that it is possible for most people to increase their lifespan. The aging process takes place over the course of many years, and it's ultimately never too late to create good habits. However, living longer isn't necessarily compatible with eating a daily hamburger. A recent study showed that the average person has the power to increase their lifespan by up to 10 years. The study found that by reducing the consumption of animal fats and increasing vegetable consumption, people could live longer. In other words, following a vegan diet could extend your life by almost a decade. By eating more greens and less meat, people are capable of expanding their lifespan well beyond what scientists expect from them.
Plant-Based Benefit #5: Lower Cancer Risk In the world of plant-based health benefits, this one is particularly important. Every year, almost 2 million Americans receive a cancer diagnosis. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, however, this is preventable.
Several studies point to the reality that you can reduce your risk of developing cancer. By making significant lifestyle changes, you can keep your body healthy and cancer-free. Some of these changes include cutting out tobacco, reducing alcohol, and engaging in a plant-based diet. But, what's the relationship between a plant-based diet and a lower cancer risk? The answer is in the nutrients.
People who consume a high number of vitamins and minerals have a lower chance of developing cancer. Fiber and phytochemicals also lessen your chances of getting sick. Because plant-based foods are packed with these nutrients, vegans have a much lower cancer risk than meat-eaters. A plant-based diet can also help cancer survivors lower their risk of having the disease again.
Plant-Based Benefit #6: Sharper Memory Have you ever torn your house apart looking for your eyeglasses? Or, have you ever spent fifteen minutes trying to recall the name of that popular band from the nineties? If so, you are probably aware that our memories fade with time. As we age, it becomes harder and harder for us to keep track of things. While this is a natural process, memory loss can be quite inconvenient. It makes it more difficult to work efficiently. And it can get in the way of our enjoyment of daily activities. Luckily, there is a way for you to stay sharp. By eating a plant-based diet, you could have a healthier brain. In the long run, this doesn't just increase your memory. It also decreases your chances of developing a cognitive illness. According to one study, plant-based diets can actually alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. People who ate one extra cup of fruits and veggies per day had a 13% lower chance of developing dementia.
But why do vegans see this particular development? Scientists currently believe that it could have something to do with a nutrient called "polyphenols." Polyphenols are dietary antioxidants that help your body defend itself from natural wear and tear. These antioxidants protect your body from ultraviolet radiation, as well as harmful pathogens. Scientists have found that polyphenols can prevent cognitive decline. They can also prevent Alzheimer's Disease, and in some cases, they can reverse certain symptoms.
Plant-Based Benefit #7: Less Inflammation Do you often experience sore throats and swollen glands? Have you been feeling really tired with no explanation? If so, you may be suffering from chronic inflammation. Inflammation is the body's natural response to outside threats. When you catch an illness, your body produces inflammation to beat the infection. Your body also produces inflammation to help you heal from an injury. On a practical level, you can experience inflammation as pain and loss of function. If you have inflammation, you will probably feel sluggish, sore, and unable to do the things that you normally do.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from these symptoms when they aren't sick. Because of all the pollution and bad foods entering their bodies, many folks experience inflammation on a constant level. This can be extremely uncomfortable. It can also cause long-term health problems, like high cholesterol and diabetes.
A plant-based diet can combat the inflammation in your body, according to one European study. A group of scientists found that people in the United States and West had very high levels of inflammation proteins in their blood. However, when these people switched from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one, their numbers changed. The number of inflammation proteins in their blood dropped quickly and significantly. This is a very good indication that a plant-based lifestyle can decrease inflammation. It could also be one of the reasons that vegans have such high energy levels.
How Can I Get Started? After studying all of the pros of plant-based foods, it's easy to understand why plant-based diets are so popular. There are so many plant-based health benefits, including plant-based mental health benefits. However, a lot of people struggle to eat plant-based foods at the beginning of their journeys. Because of this, I have developed a special program to help keep you accountable to yourself and your goals.
My 7-Day detox program can help you jump into plant-based living. You will learn how to manage your cravings for sugar and carbs. You will receive daily emails and recipes. And, you will even undergo a dandelion cleanse. This program is an easy way to begin your new diet. This detox will remove toxins from your body, leaving you in a great place to start eating clean.
Sign Up for Plant-Based Coaching! Are you ready to feel healthier and happier? Would you like to try out a plant-based lifestyle? If so, that's great news! I can help you stay accountable to your goals through my food coaching program. With my help, you can avoid the temptation to eat the animal-based foods that are making you sick. Click here to sign up for coaching. I would be more than happy to help you look better and feel stronger through clean eating.