The benefits of a vegan diet
by Freya • 4 minutes read
Last updated: 29 Aug, 2022
I am sure you have heard all about a vegan diet, whether that's from your one friend that keeps pressuring everyone to turn vegan or social media.
Although some furious vegans can put you off from choosing the vegan lifestyle just to spite them, there are so many benefits you can get and we plan to tell you in an open and loving way, all for the purpose of benefiting your well-being!
It can help you lose excess weight
One of the main reasons people turn to a vegan diet is its effectiveness of getting rid of excess weight. Although, there is no guarantee that it will help you lose weight, this all depends on whether you are in a calorie deficit etc., but it can be very useful in doing so.
According to studies it is possible for a low fat, vegan diet can improve our metabolism enough to burn any excess weight and fat without a crazy amount of exercise
A variety of observational studies showed that vegans tend to be thinner and have a lower BMI than those that are non-vegan.
Studies showed that:
- Those that eat a vegan or vegetarian diet lost more weight than those that ate a conventional low-fat diet that included meat and fish.
- Vegan diets lost an average of 6kg over 16 weeks compared to those that followed a Mediterranean diet that lost no weight at all.
- A vegan diet is likely to have lower calories, higher fibre, and less processed foods, which all added up to the speed of the weight loss compared to other diets.
Can reduce arthritis pain
A range of studies have shown that a vegan diet can impact those that have arthritis in a positive way.
One study showed that those that ate a vegan diet opposed to a meat/fish diet, had higher levels of energy and were able to function better throughout the day.
Other studies showed that a vegan diet can help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including joint swelling, morning stiffness and pain.
However, with the vegan diet being new, some more studies need to take place to get a true clear answer of its impact on those with arthritis.
Can improve cardiovascular health
Plant-based diets are usually high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and wholegrains which are all vital for a healthy heart.
Studies have found that vegans are less likely to die from heart disease and are likely to be at an up 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
Vegan diets usually contain less fat, which is usually a cause for poor cardiovascular health, fats that come from a vegan diet are a lot more beneficial than those that come from animal fat.
Can reduce the risk of some cancers
According to the World Health Organization, one-third of cancers can be prevented by changing your diet.
Those that eat a plant-based diet are likely to eat more legumes, fruits and vegetables than those that eat an omnivorous diet, all are helpful when reducing the risk of developing cancer, hence why studies show that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk from doing so.
There are some animal products that can increase the risk of different cancers including prostate, breast, stomach and colorectal cancers. These products include red meat, processed meats and meats cooked at high temperatures.
Studies also show that eating dairy can slightly increase the risk of some cancers such as prostate, but other studies have shown that dairy can be helpful with reducing the risk of others, including colorectal cancer.
All in all, it is best to include lots of fruits, legumes, and vegetables if you are aiming to reduce the risk of getting cancers, as they are important in doing so.
- Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: A randomized controlled trial of five different diets - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0899900714004237?via%3Dihub
- A Mediterranean Diet and Low-Fat Vegan Diet to Improve Body Weight and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: A Randomized, Cross-over Trial - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07315724.2020.1869625
- A Two-Year Randomized Weight Loss Trial Comparing a Vegan Diet to a More Moderate Low-Fat Diet - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2007.270
- Prevention of cancer - https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/cancer/policy/prevention-of-cancer
- Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25527754/
- Fermented dairy foods intake and risk of cancer - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30374967/
- Meat, dairy, and cancer - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24847855/
- Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139/
- Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: A systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853923/
- 6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Eating Vegan - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegan-diet-benefits
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