The Vegan Diet Gaining Popularity

by Kimberly Hays | May 21st, 2013 | Diet Plans

quionoaThe vegan diet has been gaining momentum for years. Even former President Bill Clinton became vegan after a quadruple by-pass surgery in 2010. Clinton was known for his love of meats like steak and ribs before the life changing surgery. He immediately made the drastic change, cutting out meat and dairy, and only now he eats a low fat diet of vegetables, beans, nuts, fruits, grains, and healthy oils. The results are startling; he quickly lost over 20 pounds and kept it off, and says he does not miss meat and dairy at all.

While many have become vegan because of their deep belief in animal rights, many people are jumping on the bandwagon for health reasons. George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. conducted a study in nutrition touted that they saw chest pain dissipate in subjects, as well as decreased blood pressure, weight loss, and lowered cholesterol within a two week period of switching to a vegan diet. These studies also showed that people with type 2 diabetes lost just over 10 pounds, and their blood sugar levels improved.

Heart health also improved. Cutting back on saturated fats is imperative to heart health, while consuming cardiac healthy fruits, grains, and vegetables full of plant soluble protein and antioxidants help to lower cholesterol.

While the vegan diet is difficult for many to stick to, there are alternatives for those who feel that they cannot give up meat and dairy completely, that being the Mediterranean Diet. This diet is based on the same premise as a vegan diet, but it also incorporates fish and other seafood a couple of times a week as well as cheese, eggs, and poultry on occasion. Red meat and sugary desserts are also allowed on special occasions, as well as a glass of red wine.

Nutritionists agree that the vegan diet is much healthier than the standard American diet. You will just have to learn how to put together a diet that combines foods that you like while being certain you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. Hospitals nationwide are realizing that a vegan diet, along with a daily exercise regimen, is saving lives. Speaking with your doctor, as you should before making any drastic changes, will help you to ease into the vegan diet, as well as make sure you are also going about it in a healthy way. Once you figure out how to prepare foods that are still delicious choices, it is not a difficult diet follow, and you will feel the difference in your body in less than a week.

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