To Be on Not to Be - Vegan!

Posted by Prieur du Plesiss on

healthy vegan food in a basket all natural fruits and vegetables

On Being Vegan

“Studies found that vegetarians have approximately half the risk of developing diabetes as non-vegetarians”

Consumption of a moderate-fat, plant based diet has been proven to show dramatic results.  If this type of diet is coupled with regular exercise and an appropriate weight is maintained one can expect good results.  Even a relatively small loss in weight can have a major effect on your health.

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is reduced and reversal is probable with a good balanced diet. A plant based diet, rich in legumes and non-starchy vegetables, may also improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.  These are key factors in the successful management of type 2 diabetes.

In a number of  studies show that  the mortality rate for those who suffer  from diabetes was  higher in non vegetarian women and men.  A major factor associated with the onset and severity of type 2 diabetes is obesity. Obesity itself is directly linked to mortality and vegetarian and vegans are far less likely to suffer from obesity. Several studies report that vegans weigh, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds less than do lacto-ovo-vegetarians and omnivores.  So no matter how you look at it, it is a great idea to change your diet.

“Those on a vegetarian diet tended to have a lower rate of death due to cardiovascular disease.  Diabetes, and renal disorders such as kidney failure are also areas that benefit from a vegetarian diet. Researchers also found that the beneficial associations between a vegetarian diet and mortality tended to be stronger in men than in women.” Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

Plant-based diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes tend to be bulkier and have a lower caloric density than diets based on animal products.  In other words plant based diets have more food for less calories, good news to those who enjoy a hearty meal.

Gel forming soluble fibers can cause delayed gastric emptying, so we feel fuller for longer. Bulky, fiber-rich meals can increase feelings of satisfaction and delay hunger.  This enables people to lose weight much easier.  So vegetarians need to apply less self control and get better results Soluble fibers can also improve glucose tolerance and insulin responses to carbohydrate intake.

The Source of Protein Makes a Difference

“Generally, patients on a plant-based diet are not at risk for protein deficiency. Proteins are made up of amino acids, some of which, called essential amino acids, cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from food. Essential amino acids are found in meat, dairy products, and eggs, as well as many plant-based foods, such as quinoa.32 Essential amino acids can also be obtained by eating certain combinations of plant-based foods. Examples include brown rice with beans, and hummus with whole wheat pita. Therefore, a well-balanced, plant-based diet will provide adequate amounts of essential amino acids and prevent protein deficiency.”

People who regularly consumed beans have a 22 percent lower risk of obesity, compared with non-bean eaters. In addition, the resistant starches and soluble fibers in beans have a  low glycemic load.  Beans help to stabilize blood sugars and  in fact reduce the risk of diabetes.

Harvard magazine states that they have found a direct link between meat and diabetes:  “Red meat consumption consumption is already linked to higher levels of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke). Now researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have added an increased risk of type 2 (adult onset) diabetes to that list.”

In a study of 70,000 women, those who ate red meat about once a day had a 22 percent higher risk of diabetes compared to those who ate meat about once a week. In a study of 42,00 men, those who ate the most processed meats (luncheon meats, hot dogs, and bacon) about 4 times a week had a 46 percent higher risk of diabetes than those who ate the least (twice a month).  The statistics are staggering and point to one simple fact, eating animal products will affect your health and your life dramatically, and not in a good way.

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