The debate of whether the vegan diet is healthy or unhealthy is not new. The majority of folks will assert that a person who adopts veganism will be deficient in essential nutrients found only in animal products, namely, animal-based protein. These folks cherish the belief that dairy milk will help keep their bones strong and that red meat will provide essential protein for their muscles.
On the other hand, there is a small minority of folks (2% vegan and 5% vegetarian) who give credit to the plant-based diet curing their serious health problems, enabling them to lose excess weight, clearing up their skin and allergies, and giving them an amazing zest for life.
So based on these two differences in opinions, how can one determine whether the vegan diet is healthy or unhealthy? It all comes down to, not matters of 'opinion,' but rather, on solid facts, evidence, case-studies and truthful stories of real people.
Meat Eaters Vs. Veggie Eaters
Numerous studies indicate that eaters of red meat are more likely to die prematurely than those who eat little to no red meat. One US-based study of 120,000 people determined that eaters of red meat are 20% more likely to die younger. Those who ate processed meats regularly boosted this premature death rate to a further 20% higher.
On the other hand, Michael F. Roizen, MD, concludes that those who switch from eating meat products to vegetarian foods could easily add at least 13 years to their life. Why? Vegetarians eat less animal fat and cholesterol, while vegans consume no animal fat or cholesterol. Professor T. Colin. Campbell (raised on a dairy farm) concludes from his experimental research program that a meat and dairy-free diet can both prevent and reverse 70-80% of disease!
Weight Loss Evidence
Fact: most meat and dairy products are high in fat and calorie content. For example, 100g of lamb contains approximately 294 calories and 21g of fat (9% saturated) whilst 100g of cooked lentils contains only 128 calories and 6.5g of fat (0.8g saturated). Lamb has 0g dietary fiber, whilst 100g of lentils contains 7.5g dietary fiber. Fiber helps you to feel fuller for longer.
Angela Stokes (AKA 'Vegan Raw Food Goddess') lost over 154lbs (70kg) on the vegan raw food diet. This amazing woman, once morbidly obese, attests her weight loss and newfound zest for life to the vegan raw food diet and refuses to return to the standard American way of eating! Why? The health benefits of the vegan diet (particularly weight loss in Angela's case) are too great to give up. Angela adopted raw veganism overnight and has never looked back since.
Time and time again, people who adopt veganism proclaim that their skin clears up (acne, psoriasis, etc.), their eyes become whiter, their hair becomes thicker and healthier, their nails become stronger, their energy levels skyrocket and their allergies clear up . Sound too good to be try, right?
These amazing health testimonials can be attributed to the high mineral and nutrient content found in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, leafy greens and whole-grain foods. The American Dietetic Association concluded that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet is most definitely 'nutritionally adequate,' and may provide numerous health benefits and treat or prevent certain diseases. Yes, a 'well-planned' vegan diet will provide you with a generous amount of essential vitamins and minerals, so unduly one of health is bound to improve.
So is the vegan diet healthy or unhealthy? You decide. Those who have adopted veganism however, will always answer ' healthy .' The health benefits of the vegan diet clearly became evident after one adopters this lifestyle.