Are Vegans Healthier than Meat Eaters? - The Answer
A topic that has always proven to be widely debated is whether vegans are healthier than meat eaters. Being vegan eliminates all animal and meat products, including dairy, many of which include unhealthy elements for our bodies if eaten too frequently or in high amounts. Of course animal products , when eaten conscientiously, provide a lot of protein and good fats that are equally as important to leading a healthy lifestyle, and without them our bodies can lack certain nutrients. There are both pros and cons for both eating meat and eating a primarily plant based diet like vegans do. But is one really healthier than the other? In this OneHowTo article we're going to discuss, are vegans healthier than meat eaters?
Having a vegan diet means not eating any food products that have ingredients, or that comes from animals. So not only meat and fish, this also includes products such as butter, cheese, eggs and milk based products too. Obviously vegans need to get their protein, fats and other nutrients from other foods, which means vegans will eat a mainly plant based diet.
Plant based diets are naturally lower in calories, saturated fats, and cholesterol than a typical meat-eaters diet. This is of course much healthier for their bodies, but also means that a lot more thought has to go into planning meals to ensure that they are still getting a healthy and balanced diet, and includes variety.
Vegan diets are also naturally higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, again due to the focus on plant based foods such as soy, tofu, lentils, beans and other vegetables. It is also thought that the high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants included in a plant based diet reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Whilst it is incorrect to say that meat eaters don't eat as many plant based foods, it is more that as a vegan, you are more likely to eat and try a higher variety of these food products as a general need to replace the meat and animal products that are not eaten, which again means that vegan diets tend to be more varied than those who eat meat.
It is generally thought that those who don't eat meat or animal products, such as vegans and vegetarians, will struggle to replace the amount of nutrients, particularly protein, that are lost from avoiding these foods leading to many people thinking that being vegan is actually unhealthy.
In actual fact, plant based proteins are more than sufficient in replacing protein found in meat, and often in vegan diets, more protein is actually eaten due to the variety of plants eaten that contain these nutrients. Take a look at the list of foods rich in Protein for more information on the subject.
Meat eaters will however, find it much easier to meet the dietary requirements for iron. The iron found in meat products is absorbed much easier and much faster than that which is found in plant products. Some people who eat a vegan diet may need to take iron supplement tablets to ensure that their body is getting enough, particularly if they are already anemic. If you're a vegetarian who is worried about iron intake, read this OneHowTo article on How much iron should a vegetarian take.
Omega 3 which is found in fish is also incredibly good for our bodies and is not included in a vegan diet unless through taking supplements or with vegetable oils such as flaxseed or wheat germ. Omega 3 helps to keep our blood healthy and helps to prevent clots from forming. It also helps to protect against heart disease and high cholesterol, both however are less likely to be suffered from by those who eat a vegan diet. Take a look at all of the foods that contain omega-3 for more information.
Of course, no matter whether you are a vegan or are a meat eater, the most important factor to consider is eating a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients your body needs.
Eating a vegan diet means that a lot more thought and planning is required to ensure that you are still getting all the key nutrients needed to keep your body healthy and happy. If this is managed properly then a vegan diet can be extremely healthy and good for your body.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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