Health trends come and go and at the moment Vegan is the new black. We have all heard of friends turning vegan, wearing their new fav shirt saying; I’m a “VEGAN” and making announcements over social media.
Of course, this is great; if anyone is going to change their nutrition for the better, then I am without a doubt on board.
I too am also a vegan. However, I am also a carnivore. Can I be both to be classified as healthy or do I have to promote myself as a full-time tree hugger to get the social tick of approval?
Is Vegan better for us?
Ok so let’s get to the serious business, is being a vegan actually better for us? With science developing, studies are increasingly showing more benefits of a plant-based diet compared with an ‘average person’s diet’ you will see a significant improvement. The problem is, what are they actually comparing that too?
One review I read was on a person who’s one day of eating consisted of cornflakes for breakfast, a deli beef salad sandwich for lunch, double caramel latte and mango yoghurt for afternoon tea; takeout 4+ times per week for dinner with a wine or beer to wash it down.
Now let’s be real if that person changed their diet to vegan they are going to see some massive health benefits. Everything in their life would change starting with their exterior skin, hair, and weight. Plus medically their blood counts would improve, i.e. cholesterol, glucose levels etc. It would also help their digestive issues, hormones, and general wellbeing. Therefore a Vegan/ plant-based diet is an excellent option for these people.
If I already eat clean, would a vegan diet be good for me?
However what if you already eat a clean and preservative free diet including organic, grass-fed meats, loads of seasonal vegetables and fruits, good fats and fermented foods. Then unless there is a medical reason for it, I don’t believe that it is necessary.
Although; I do believe the quality of the food on your plate is critical. If you want your body to function correctly, i.e. hormones, bone mass, energy levels and general health then you have to know what your food is made up of, what has been added, how it is packaged, where it is being raised and what it is being fed.
Your protein, in particular, is essential. Grass-fed, organic eggs and meat, ocean-caught fish, as opposed to farm-raised, is very important. Eating grass-fed and organic is the difference between having hormones, antibiotics and gluten directly put into your body by consuming meat and eggs that have it in them.
Animals that are grown in farming sheds, without daylight and given the cheapest form of food to eat, like corn and wheat, are in serious need of growth hormones and antibiotics, plus they have an inhumane and very cruel existence.
Any change to eat more greens and fibre is a good one
As the vegan popularity is rapidly growing, I have seen that it is encouraging people to eat more plant-based foods which can be nothing but a good thing. More greens mean more nutrients, fibre and a better chance to fight sickness and disease. However many people do find by eating vegan they lose muscle mass and struggle with fatigue, mainly if they train and are not eating enough quality protein calories.
If this does happen, a person can consult with a nutritionist or food coach to look at their macronutrients to check they are having enough plant-based proteins and what they can add into their diet. However, if you have had enough of lentils and mushrooms, just start adding a small amount of organically raised, grain-fed meats and eggs and ocean-caught fish 1-2 meals a day.
I will always continue eating and will advise my clients to eat, plant-based foods along with a wide range of organically raised, grass-fed or wild caught protein sources, as I believe this is the best way for a person to thrive.
So in my option, Vegan/Plant-based nutrition is the way to go, just add some good quality protein sources and you will have the best of everything!