You’ve been told many things about nutrition, fitness and health throughout your life whether it came from parents, friends, commercials and subliminal societal messages all around you. It’s easy for most people to accept this as fact and move on without bothering to dig deeper, but you’re not one of those people. You are one of the rare, brave people who isn’t afraid to use their brain to think, analyze and question the world around them. This is why you are possibly considering a vegan diet and lifestyle. All of this considered, you may still have your doubts, so forget everything you thought you knew about nutrition, fitness and health, because this is a crash course in the new basics.
You’re hopefully going vegan for the animals, but it sure is nice having some icing on that cake. Vegans not only enjoy the satisfaction of living a lifestyle that is kind to animals, but they also enjoy improved health and peace of mind knowing that their diet does exponentially less harm to the environment than their animal-eating counterparts.
Veganism is healthy, but don’t just take my word for it. Vegan diets are approved by many mainstream health organizations including The American Dietetic Association, The American Heart Association, and The American Diabetes Association.
“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.” ~ The American Dietetic Association
Veganism is even advocated by The United Nations as one of the most important measures the world can take to preserve our planet’s environment by effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions, groundwater contamination, resource depletion, topsoil erosion, deforestation, endangered species extinction and even world hunger.
“A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to saving the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.” ~ United Nations
A 2009 Vegetarian Times study showed that 0.5% of the American population identifies as ‘vegan’ (roughly 1,000,000 people). According to The Vegan Society, there are at least 150,000 vegans in the United Kingdom. In the Vegetarian Times study 53% of pollers reported to be following a vegetarian diet to improve their overall health.
Still not entirely convinced? Feast on this:
Simple list of vegan nutrition, fitness and health basics:
- You can easily get enough PROTEIN on a vegan diet
- You can easily get enough CALCIUM on a vegan diet
- You can easily get enough OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS on a vegan diet
- You can easily get enough IRON on a vegan diet
- You can easily get enough VITAMIN B12 on a vegan diet
- You can easily get enough VITAMIN D on a vegan diet
- You can easily get enough HEALTHY FATS on a vegan diet
Disease prevention and management
- You can easily prevent and manage CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE with a vegan diet
- You can easily prevent and manage TYPE 2 DIABETES with a vegan diet
- You can easily prevent and manage OBESITY with a vegan diet
- You can easily prevent and manage PREMATURE AGING with a vegan diet
- You can easily prevent and manage ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION with a vegan diet
- You can easily prevent and manage OSTEOPOROSIS with a vegan diet
- You can easily prevent and manage ACNE with a vegan diet
- You can safely be PREGNANT on a vegan diet
- You can safely raise CHILDREN on a vegan diet
- You can safely feed certain COMPANION ANIMALS a vegan diet
- You can safely maintain PERSONAL HYGIENE with a vegan lifestyle
In addition, there are heaps of informative websites and blogs out there about living a healthy vegan lifestyle, many authored by educated and trained professionals. Many Doctors, Registered Dietitians, personal trainers and professional athletes tout a vegan diet as the healthiest and most significant lifestyle choice you can make to improve your overall health (along with exercise, of course).
Here are a few of my favorites:
- NutritionFacts.org — a site run, authored and narrated by Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., a vegan Medical Doctor. This site contains lots of quick, to the point, informative clips that are only a few minutes long and delivered in plain English (minus much of the technical jargon).
- DrFuhrman.com — another site run by a Medical Doctor, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. (author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller: Eat to Live), with loads of informative articles about disease prevention and maintaining optimal health.
- VeganHealth.org — a site run by Jack Norris, a vegan Registered Dietitian who is also the President of Vegan Outreach. (Registered dietitians are different from nutritionists in that they have specialized training in nutrition and a four-year degree to go along with it. They must also re-certify every few years and take on-going courses in nutrition for as long as they practice. They are more knowledgable than Medical Doctors about nutrition and diet planning because they are specialists in this field.)
- VeganBodyBuilding.com — a great site with testimonials from famous vegan athletes including Robert Cheeke, Derek Tresize and Mindy Collette (click the links for pics).
- VeganBodyBuilding.org — an in-depth guide on the basics of gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass on a vegan diet.
Don’t forget, a vegan diet is only one part of a vegan lifestyle.
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