It’s no secret that there are many health benefits to a vegan or plant based diet. It seems many celebrities and athletes are giving up meat in favour of plant based alternatives. This came as a shock to us too at True Health Diary because we always associated vegetarians or vegans with people who were not really into physical fitness, and predominantly female.
The reality is that more and more men are starting to cut back on meat and are feeling the health benefits of consuming more plant based foods with many athletes proving you can still compete at the highest level, and achieve your fitness goals without meat!
Here are the top 5 health benefits of a plant based diet:
It’s a well known fact that meat and animal products contain saturated fats, which is something that it is much lower in a plant based or vegan diet. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) eating foods high in saturated fats is likely to increase your cholesterol level in your blood, which can lead to heart disease and stroke! Many people report lower cholesterol levels after switching to a plant based diet, or even after just reducing the level of meat in their diets.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
People on a plant based diet often have lower blood pressure due to the high level of potassium rich foods in their diet such as nuts, seeds, legumes and fruit and vegetables. Potassium helps reduce stress and anxiety and therefore also blood pressure. In a meat heavy diet you’re unlikely to get anywhere near as much potassium, with the risk of high blood pressure much greater
3. Weight Loss
If you’re eating a predominantly plant based diet you’re likely to lose weight because you’re consuming far less saturated fat. A plant based diet will provide you with loads more nutrients and vitamins as well as fiber helping your body absorb more protein, helping you feel full. Therefore you will naturally lose weight by consuming less meat and likely to notice the difference within a couple of weeks!
4. Better Blood Sugar
The best way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels is to increase the level of fiber in your diet. A plant based diet will provide you with a good level of fiber which helps slow down the absorption of sugars into the blood stream, maintaining better energy levels. If your blood sugar levels aren’t all over the place you’re less likely to feel hungry or experience cravings for food which are often a cause of weight gain.
5. Lower Rate of Cancer
There have been many studies which have linked certain cancers with diets that are high in meat or animal products. A report by The International Agency for Research on Cancer highlights the risks involved in a diet heavy in certain meats, in particular processed meat. The problem is with mass produced meat is that you often don’t know what chemicals have been put in it, or what the animal was fed or its living conditions. With a plant based diet you can be pretty much sure that what you’re eating is healthy, is chemical free and actually includes vitamins and nutrients that help reduce or fight cancer.
These are our top 5 health benefits of a plant based diet. If you’re reading this then you probably aren’t already a complete vegan or vegetarian, and more likely just curious about what health benefits there are from reducing the level of meat in your diet. Research shows that there are plenty of health benefits of including meat in your diet, but like anything should be in moderation and the type and source of meat is very important.
If you’re worried about the harmful effects of meat on your health then perhaps it would be best to slowly reduce it and look to introduce more plant based foods into your diet. One of the worries people have about cutting out meat is the level of protein they’re eating, and whether they can maintain or build muscle mass.
If you want to experience the benefits of a plant based diet but want to maintain your level of protein then we strongly recommend you check out Organifi’s Complete Protein. It contains loads of nutrients that you would get from a plant based diet but also provides you with a quality source of plant protein which can help build muscle and improve your overall health.