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The Vegan Diet, or veganism, is a modified form of vegetarianism, in that like a vegetarian, a vegan does not eat meat. However, veganism takes it one step further by eliminating all animal products from one’s diet, as well, one's life, including animal based soaps, leather, honey, and dairy.
There are many ethical, environmental and personal reasons why an individual will choose a Vegan lifestyle. Gaining popularity for these reasons, including, but not limited to, weight loss, the vegan diet supports weight loss through the ingestion of whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, legumes and soy/rice milks.
In September 2005, the American Journal of Medicine released a study of participants showing that a low-fat, plant-based diet is more effective at helping people lose weight and improve insulin-sensitivity than an omnivorous (both plant and meat) diet.
In addition, those countries who consume no meat for religious or cultural reasons report lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and high-blood pressure.
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- Vegans generally post lower overall weight rates, or BMIs, than omnivores or carnivores
- As veganism grows in popularity, supportive industries are becoming more prevalent, including restaurants and specialty stores catering to the vegan dieter
- Vegans tend to be better informed than the average consumer as to where their food comes from, and are in a better position to support local sustainability for their community at large
- Vegans must be well-scripted as to how grains and legumes combine to make complete proteins or deficiencies may develop
- A vegan must be diligent in uncovering hidden animal products, such as rennet (a coagulator/emulsifier), honey (a sweetener) or gelatin (an emulsifier and/or transporter of vitamins/herbs)
- Generally speaking, a vegan has better success living with other vegans, rather than having to endure the hazing from meat-eaters who feel, erroneously, that they are being judged for eating meat
The growing popularity of the Vegan Diet has parlayed into hundreds of websites, books and support groups, providing information via numerous sources to support compliance and convenience.
In a nutshell, the typical vegan diet includes:
- Stir-fried vegetables
- Whole-grain toast
- 100% fruit juices
- Peanut butter, nuts and peanuts
- Frozen fruit desserts
- Lentil soup
- Salad bar items like chickpeas and three bean salad
- Fruit smoothies
- Tofu lasagna, chili, turkey, etc.
- Soy milk and dairy like ice cream and yogurt
- Eggless cookies
- Rice pudding
- Beans and lentils
- Oat nut burgers and vegetable burgers
A quick peek at the grocery store will reveal a plethora of products to support the vegan diet, most of which are even tastier than the meat-based counterparts.EXERCISE
While there is not a link to veganism and activity per se, Vegans generally have a deep respect of their environment, and tend to eschew fossil fuels. This translates to increased walking and/or utilizing public transportation methods, which in turn increases physical activity.CONCLUSION
The Vegan Diet is not necessarily a diet, but rather, a lifestyle. Making a decision to be a Vegan is one that creates awareness and promotes responsibility. While diets come in a variety of packages, at their core, they are all a method for increasing awareness about one’s food intake, which will in turn, contribute to weight loss.Common Misspellings
Veaganism, Veagan, veegan, veghan, vegetarian