postheadericon Vegan diets – what’s good about them?

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No matter where we look these days, vegan diets (also called plant based diets) are everywhere. Bill Clinton is on one. The Rev. Al Sharpton credits his 70+ pound weight loss to a vegetarian diet, and he has since gone vegan. Raw food and vegan celebrities are everywhere. While some continue to push paleo-style and other meat-based variants, the evidence is mounting almost daily (at least it seems that way) that a plant based diet is better for overall health and can be quite beneficial for athletes as well. Just ask triathlete Brendon Brazier, bodybuilder Robert Cheeke, and tennis champion Venus Williams, who says a raw vegan diet helps her manage the symptoms of an auto immune disorder (1).

So for any well-meaning omnivores in your life who say they are healthier because they still “eat a little meat,” you can tell them that their “healthier” choice puts them at higher risk for heart disease (2) and cancers of the colon (3) breast (4), and prostate (5). Obesity, which is now an epidemic and an official disease as designated by the American Medical Association, is also a higher risk for meat eaters (6), and diabetes (7), the cause of many associated and serious problems, is more likely to occur in meat eaters as well. And speaking of serious problems, since heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the U.S., some doctors, such as those at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic, have recommended “40 top foods” for heart health. Of those, 38 are vegan foods (8). And unfortunately, since the two foods on the list that are not vegan (salmon and tuna) are plagued with PCB’s and dioxin (9) as well as high levels of mercury in tuna (10), those doesn’t necessarily seem to be great choices either, especially when good sources of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids are available through plant foods.

Actually, whether for general health or for athletic performance, a vegan diet is cleaner, healthier, and comes with fewer impurities, pathogens, parasites, contaminants, and unhealthy byproducts than a meat based diet. And the only thing that can’t be obtained through a strict vegan diet, vitamin B-12, can easily be obtained through a supplement.

So the next time meat eaters try to tell you their meat diets are better for health than vegan diets, you will know that you have seen a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Sources:
(1) Venus Williams
(2) heart disease
(3) colon cancer
(4) breast cancer
(5) prostate cancer
(6) obesity
(7) diabetes
(8) Cleveland Clinic 40 top foods
(9) salmon
(10) tuna

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