Eating the right kind of food is one of the foundations of good health. And one of the recommendations that providers of home health in California recommend is a vegan diet. But how does it work exactly and what can you gain from it? Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding The Vegan Diet
At its most basic, a vegan diet is a diet that consists only of plant or plant-based food. People who practice this avoid consuming even animal-based products like eggs, cheese, or honey.
The diet is an offshoot of veganism, an alternative lifestyle that avoids using animal products, including clothing, utensils, and other purposes. Vegans do this as a means of standing up against the exploitation of animals. Note that you do not necessarily have to ascribe to the lifestyle to get into a vegan diet. But it still helps you appreciate what the latter brings.
Vegan VS. Vegetarian Diet
Because of its emphasis on consuming plant material, people often confuse the vegan diet with the similarly themed vegetarian diet. However, there are differences between the two. Understanding these will help you determine which one to go with.
The main difference between the two is their stance regarding the consumption of animal products. As mentioned above, vegan diets emphasize strict abstinence from animal meat and by-products.
On the other hand, vegetarianism allows for some leeway when consuming animal products. For instance, some vegetarians might opt to consume only dairy products. Others may eat only eggs or fish. Personal beliefs and some health concerns often drive these choices.
Which Is More Healthful?
This is probably the number one question in the mind of many people deciding which way to go. And you will find a lot of proponents for both sides of the debate. In reality, however, there is no clear answer. Both types of diets have their pros and cons you should take into consideration.
For instance, those on a vegan diet might not get enough omega-3 fatty acid, due to the lack of fish in their diets. These fatty acids are vital for maintaining brain functions. Meanwhile, some vegetarians might have to deal with the higher cholesterol in dairy and egg products.
Because of that, you must augment your diet with other nutritional sources like supplements. You can find supplements that would suit your chosen lifestyle.
The Benefits Of A Vegan Diet
Since we have already touched on nutrition, it is time to look at the benefits of a vegan diet. These benefits can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. But keep in mind that the diet is just part of the effort.
Vegan Diet For Weight Loss
One of the significant benefits of the vegan diet is that it can help you lose weight faster. That is mainly due to having less caloric intake. Additionally, plant materials do not contain as much fact as animal-based food.
But there is more to it than just your caloric intake. Since the vegan diet comes with a significant lifestyle change, there would be other factors that contribute to your weight loss. For instance, you might start doing regular exercises alongside your healthy diet.
Vegan Diet For Preventing Health Issues
Another major benefit of a vegan diet is that it can help you lower your risk of developing various diseases. One of the most significant of these is that a vegan diet can help lessen your risk of type 2 diabetes. This condition can lead to other major health issues if not properly managed.
Opting for a vegan diet can help you lower your blood sugar levels by as much as 2.4 times compared to other diets recommended by experts. The diet also helps increase your insulin sensitivity. Both of these combine to help you keep your blood sugar at manageable levels.
Aside from diabetes, the vegan diet can also help you lessen the risk of heart disease. Studies show that vegans might have as much as a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. This is closely related to the above benefit. Additionally, the typical vegan diet contains food that are4 rich in antioxidants. These nutrients can help promote a healthier heart.
The Types Of Vegan Diets You Go With
Within the vegan diet category, you have various options to choose on how to proceed with your meal plan. Some of the subcategories here are the following.
- Whole-food vegans: These people prefer a diet rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
- “Junk food” began: Some dieters might opt for specially processed vegan foods like vegan meat, frozen vegan dinners, and vegan cookies., as these are more convenient.
- Raw food vegans: On the other end, some vegans opt to eat only raw food or one cooked at low temperatures.
- Low-fat raw food vegans: This group further limits their food intake to low-fat fruits and vegetables, avoiding items like avocados and coconut.
When deciding which type to pursue, you need to understand how it will affect your overall nutritional needs. Providers of home health in California like Amavi can connect you with dieticians who help you better understand these options.
Some Important Things To Remember
So, you want to enjoy the benefits of vegan diets. However, shifting to it from a traditional diet requires a considerable amount of preparation. Here are a few things you want to take into consideration.
Planning Your Intake
The first thing that you want to determine is how much you should eat. A good baseline is to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. The combination would depend on your preferences but you should ensure there is enough variety.
Additionally, you want to base your meals around food rich in starch such as pasta, rice, and potatoes. These will give you a good amount of carbohydrates for your required daily intake. Make sure that you choose whole grains as much as possible.
In some cases, you will need to look for alternative sources of nutrients if these mostly come from animal products. The most common category here is dairy. Common alternatives include soya and yogurt. Be sure to select low-fat and low-sugar options.
Vegan Diet For Special Cases
Being on a strict vegan diet can have an impact on certain conditions. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are of note since your child will require the right nutrients during their development. Consult with your obstetrician to determine the suitable composition for your diet during and after pregnancy, as well as during the breastfeeding stage.
On the other hand, if you plan to introduce your child to a vegan diet early, you should be aware of their special needs. For instance, their growing body will need energy-rich food sources. Ensure that they have a wide variety of options to suit their taste.
Go Vegan With The Best Home Health In California
But you do not need to worry, as Amavi will help you make the jump to a healthier vegan diet. Our dieticians and nutritionists will guide you in making the right food choices. Sign up today and get the best home health in California to help you enjoy the benefits of a vegan diet.