Counting Down The Health Benefits Of A Vegan Diet | Affinity Health
Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality, affordable healthcare, explains how a vegan lifestyle can improve your health and wellbeing.
The days of vegans getting the short end of the celery stick are long gone. Plant-based diet devotees now have a plethora of choices. Meat-free restaurants are springing up all over South Africa, and retailers are creating new high-protein brands that span the supermarket aisles. A growing number of individuals are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of meat consumption, as well as the many health benefits of going vegan.
What Is Veganism?
In a nutshell, veganism is a way of living that seeks to eliminate the usage of animal products as much as possible – that includes anything derived from or containing an animal, such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin.
Overall, vegan diets are higher in fibre, antioxidants, and beneficial plant components than non-vegan diets. They also are higher in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E1.
Because a vegan diet excludes some foods, people must plan their meals carefully to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Affinity Health recommends members first speak with a doctor or a nutritionist before beginning a vegan diet, especially if they have any health issues.
“When choosing a vegan diet, it’s critical to eat balanced meals that include a variety of healthy foods to ensure you get all of the nutrients you require,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“While nutrition needs vary between individuals, beans, lentils, nuts, leafy greens, fruit, rice, pasta, peanut butter, and tofu are all great vegan staples.”
What Are the Health Benefits of Going Vegan?
Affinity Health counts down five scientifically proven benefits of a vegan diet, as well as important things to consider before trying it out.
- Vegans tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who follow meat-based diets. This is largely attributed to the fact that many “meaty meals” are high in fat and calories, while plant-based meals are usually lower in calories.
- Eating a diet high in meat can lead to increased visceral fat (hidden fat that wraps around your abdominal organs), which is associated with a constellation of serious health problems.
- Animal products, such as meat, cheese, and butter are high in saturated fats, which can raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risks of heart disease and stroke.
- A high intake of animal protein is significantly associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is lowered by eating a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
- A vegan diet has been shown to cut a person’s cancer risk by 15%. Plant foods are high in fibre, vitamins, and phytochemicals (biologically active molecules found in plants that fight against cancer).
- Studies have shown that people who eat whole, plant meals over meat-based meals have fewer symptoms of depression and are “generally happier” than their counterparts.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.