The Benefits of a Vegan, Plant-Based Diet

Welcome back to the LusOasis Blog! You might already know that LusOasis is on a mission to create delicious and nutritious plant-based foods. Of course you don’t need to be on a vegan diet to enjoy our baking mixes, but if you are considering a vegan lifestyle, we’ve got some great news: Switching to a vegan, plant-based diet can have several benefits both to yourself and to the planet! Let’s explore some of the very real benefits of a vegan, plant-based diet: 

 

Is A Vegan Diet Really Healthier?

Is a vegan diet really healthy

It is important to realize that a strictly vegan diet isn’t necessarily a healthy one. As Dr. Jeffrey Soble, MD from Rush University puts it: “You can be overweight and be a vegan; you can be malnourished and be a vegan. Whatever your diet choice, you have to know which foods to avoid and which foods to seek out.” Refined grains, high sugar candies and sweets, and processed junk food can all technically be vegan but should generally avoided regardless of what diet you choose to follow. 

 

How To Eat Healthy on a Vegan Diet:

how to be healthy on a vegan diet

To practice a healthy vegan diet, you need several essential nutrients, and many of these previously came plentifully from dairy and meat. Here are a few nutrients you will need to find new, plant-based options for in order to maintain a healthy vegan diet: 

Protein: It’s a good thing animals aren’t the only source of protein. Soy products like tofu and edamame are packed with healthy protein. Other options are seitan, chickpeas, lentils, and nutritional yeast. 

 

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining a healthy supply of energy, but unfortunately getting enough can be difficult for vegans because it isn’t found in plants. To make sure you are getting sufficient vitamin B12, try a supplement or cereals, rice, and soy drinks fortified with B12. 

 

Essentially Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids are extremely important for maintaining a health brain and mind. So it’s a good thing that whole grains, leafy greens and unsalted nuts are all vegan-friendly ways to make sure you are getting enough essential fatty acids!

 

Iron: While most Americans get their iron from red meat and egg yolks, both of those sources are also high in unhealthy cholesterol. Thankfully there are several good sources of plant-based iron like black-eyed peas, tofu, and several fruits. 

 

What are the Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet?

health benefits of a vegan diet

If you practice a healthy, balanced vegan diet and getting all of your essential nutrients, there are several potential health benefits compared to a non-plant-based diet. In fact, research has shown that a vegan diet can help: 

  • Promote Weight Loss
  • Manage diabetes by lowering A1C levels
  • Reduce Risk of heat disease by lowering cholesterol 
  • Reduce Risk of certain types of cancer

 

How Does a Vegan Diet Help the Planet?

how does a vegan diet help the planet

We are learning more every day about the dangerous amount of pollution and water-consumption required to maintain the meat industry. That’s why a vegan, plant-based diet can not only improve your health, but also help the planet as a whole. Here are just a few ways that a global shift towards a vegan diet might help save our planet:  

1. Reduce impacts of climate change

Food production is responsible for 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with animal products accounting for nearly 75% of those effects. By relying less on meat and more on plant-based alternatives we can dramatically reduce these harmful emissions and thereby slow the impacts of climate change.  

2. Save precious water

Did you know that producing one pound of beef requires 1800 gallons of water? Agriculture already accounts for 70% of the worlds freshwater usage, and most of this water goes towards producing meat and dairy. In fact, one study found that if the United States cut animal consumption in half, our food production overall would require 37% less water. 

3. Save precious land

Agriculture already occupies 40% of Earth’s ice-free landmass, and animal products in general have a huge environmental footprint on our croplands. One study for 2017 projects that if Americans ate more beans and less beef, we could free up 42% of our cropland! 

4. Alleviate world hunger

Compared to plant-based agriculture, animal agriculture is far less efficient, when over 820 million people on earth lack sufficient food, efficiency is essential. Let’s also remember that over two-thirds of all soybeans, barley, maize, and one third of all grains are used for livestock animal feed. 

 

A balanced vegan diet can have substantial health benefits, and can even help the planet as whole! That’s why we are so glad that in 2022 we are still seeing a continued rise in the shift to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Of course, we always recommend consulting your doctor before making any dramatic changes to your diet, but with the right guidance we can all learn to enjoy a healthier diet and a better way of living. While your here, be sure to check out LusOasis’s gluten-free, vegan baking mixes. They are made from simple, superfood ingredients and are packed with essential nutrients. And don’t forget to check out our blog for even more vegan tips and recipes. Thank you for dropping by the LusOasis blog!