Should You Go Vegan?

  December 22, 2013  |    Blog>Nutrition & Weight Loss

As seen on December 22nd, 2013 on:

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written by The Nutrition Twins,

 

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Famous vegans like Natalie Portman, Ellen Degeneres, and now Beyoncé may have you interested in—or at least curious about—adopting an all-plant diet. But is a vegan lifestyle really better? For one, you have to forgo all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and (if you’re a strict vegan) honey. Plus, unless all your friends, family, and coworkers are also vegan, you’re guaranteed to encounter frequent challenges to your food choices.

That said, moral reasons aside, there are certainly benefits to sticking with plant foods. Before following in Bey’s footsteps, consider these pluses and minuses of eating a vegan diet.

Vegan pros:

It’s good for your body and your waistline. Vegans tend to be healthier—research shows that they have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes, and obesity, and they also weigh an average of 5 to 20 percent less than meat eaters. What’s more, most Americans don’t meet their daily requirements for vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and by eliminating animal products, you’re practically forced to pack in more of these nutrient-dense foods.

It’s a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. The meat industry creates one-fifth of the man-made pollution in the US—thanks to greenhouse gases and burning fossil fuels—in order to grow livestock feed and to process and transport meat. Plus, raising animals for food is inefficient, and drains the environment of land and fresh water.

It saves you money. Animal protein is typically pricey, so you’ll have an easier time saving up for that trip to Cabos if you opt for beans and grains instead. They’re easier on your wallet and can be purchased in bulk for a much lower cost than beef or chicken. In-season fruits and vegetables also tend to be budget-friendly.

Vegan woes:

It can make you flabby. If you don’t make sure you’re getting adequate protein from vegan sources like beans, soy foods, nuts, and grains like quinoa, then your muscle tone can quickly disappear.

It can lead to weight gain. Focusing on high-calorie nuts, nut butters, and vegan cheeses in order to get enough protein can pack on the pounds. You’d have to eat 815 calories of mixed nuts to get the same amount of protein (23 grams) that you’d get in just 120 calories of skinless chicken breast, and a piece of vegan lasagna can easily have more calories than a cheeseburger and fries.

It’s not automatically healthy. Vegan cookies are still cookies, and you could technically be considered a vegan if you fill up on chips and soda, which we all know won’t do your body any favors. If you want to be a healthy (and slim) vegan, you’ll have to learn how to select the most nutritious options.

Thinking about going vegan or vegetarian? Check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for easy, healthy, and delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes.

For more healthy eating tips, visit nutritiontwins.com.

Edamame Hummus

For more nutrition guidance and a ‘get healthy’ plan, please check out the “The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

Published on Fitbie on December 22, 2013

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