Contrary to the generalized stereotype that all vegans are assumed to eat a whole foods plant-based diet, there comes a new wave of individuals who inadvertently identify as junk food vegans. Ethical grounds aside, many switch from a standard American diet to veganism with expectations that it will improve their overall health and wellbeing in the long run. The problem with incentivizing one’s health is that an individual does not need to adhere to a diet in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Think of your vegan restaurants. Baked vegan goods. Oreos. Many are led to the misconstruity that if a food item is classified as vegan, it shouldn’t be that bad for their health. In truth, the difficulty in sustaining a raw, whole foods vegan diet is larger than what one would think. This is what those who make the switch to veganism quickly realize as their time and effort in “being vegan” are compromised. A study on the link between coronary heart disease (CHD) and plant-based junk food conducted by the American College of Cardiology Foundation found that a “plant-based diet index that emphasizes less-healthy plant foods is associated with higher CHD risk” (et al. 2017). These foods include refined grains, sweets, potatoes/fries and sweetened beverages.
Plant-based meat substitutes: would you have thought of the chemicals and preservatives that are contained in these food items? Don’t be fooled by the soy free, gluten free, and non-GMO labeling on these packages. There are plenty of misleading frozen/packaged plant-based meats that are commonly seen on the market. The Impossible Burger, a wildly popular burger patties among vegans, consist of two main ingredients: coconut oil and sunflower oil. A large amount of saturated fats in the burger will contain 11 grams of saturated fat whereas the same amount of lean beef will have only 6.7 grams of saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, “High levels of LDL cholesterol [from saturated fats] in your blood increases your risk of heart disease and stroke”.
The nutritional profiles in meat, eggs, and dairy are labeled as an enemy and a contributor to a triage of health-related diseases. However, there are a plethora of health benefits associated with the moderate consumption of non-processed meat and dairy. For those who wish to lose body fat or improve their health, consuming beef has proven to improve heart health, diabetes, and encourage weight loss. A non-essential amino acid known as L-Carnitine contains a whopping 56-162 milligrams per 4 oz serving of beef. A meta-analysis consisting of nine randomized, controlled trials showed that participants using L-carnitine supplements lost a significant amount of weight compared to the control group (World Obesity, 2016).
Many individuals will start restricting their dietary needs without recognizing the amount of preservatives and chemicals that can easily cause hormonal imbalances. The clouded mindset of having to constantly yo-yo between diets is not sustainable for weight loss or maintenance. Beyond these diets is a lifestyle that is often overlooked – it is a simple matter of instilling a fulfilling, whole foods diet without restrictions and repercussions.Tags: Health, holistic, Lifestyle, Nutrition, vegan