8 Great Reasons to go Vegan

Vegan

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By Kathleen Rodrigues

vegan

1. It’s the best way to help animals

Did you know that there are more than 150 million animals killed every year for food, according to the vegan calculator? This is the easiest way to help animals, by choosing plant-based foods over meat, eggs & dairy products.

2. Health benefits

Red meat can be high in saturated fats. By replacing foods high in saturated fats we can reduce several illnesses, including heart disease.  Red meat and processed meats are also high in nitrates.  Several studies have questioned the health implications of nitrates, according to a BBC article. The studies show that nitrates and foods that are high in nitrates may be linked to some cancers.

3. A plant-based diet is richer in certain nutrients

A diet that eliminates all animal products will lead you to rely on more wholefoods such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts & seeds.  Since a plant-based diet is high in these foods it can contribute to a higher daily intake of beneficial nutrients such as calcium (Yes! You can get calcium from a plant-based diet), magnesium, vitamins A, C & E and Omega fatty acids.  But, you need to be careful to plan your diet carefully to make sure you make informed choices, as it’s important to stay away from nutrient-poor, fast-food vegan options as they can lack some of these important nutrients.

4. Slimmer and happier

Becoming a vegan can make you happy!! A well-balanced vegan diet can lead to lower cholesterol, may help people that have diabetes, can lead to a healthier heart, lower blood pressure and give you all the nutrients your body needs.  There are several studies that show vegan diets are more effective for weight loss than other fad diets, due to your intake of those great nutrients and reduced sugar and saturated fats.

5. Vegan food can be delicious

There once was a time when going vegan meant giving up on all your favourite foods – pizza, pasta, macaroni & cheese, jerky, hamburgers!! Well, do we have good news for you?? You can still eat your favourite foods, with new products on the market everyday.  There are some great options in the market today that mimic your favourite foods, using ingredients such as mushrooms, cauliflower, soy protein, etc…  There are so many vegan options today, you will never know you are not eating animal products, AND with the added benefit of being healthy for you.

6. Save the planet

Meat production is extremely wasteful. Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined. It uses an enormous amount of water in all aspects of animal products from giving animals water to drink to the processing of the milk and meat products.  The waste alone produced by animals far exceeds the entire human population of USA, with no way of processing the sewage efficiently. Watch this video from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for more information.

7. Why are we ok with eating Babe and not Spot?

You wouldn’t think of eating your fur baby would you? So why are so many people happy to see pigs, cows, chickens, goats and rabbits used in daily food staples? Many would say that dogs are our best friends and hamburgers & sizzling bacon are ‘nectar of the gods’! Hmmm…

Pigs are smarter than you think. Pigs actually outsmart dogs. They can be taught how to play video games; bet your dog or cat can’t do that!

Cows have long-term memories, develop friendships, hold grudges, and even mourn deaths.

8. What to supplement if you go vegan

Vitamin B-12 is found almost exclusively in animal foods, so it can be difficult to get when you are following a vegan diet.  You may need to supplement with B-12 or look for foods fortified with B-12, such as plant-based milks, or other plant-based foods that have been fortified with this important vitamin.   Not getting enough B-12 can lead to some serious health problems and even neurological disorders.  Make sure you seek a health professional before switching over to a vegan diet.

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