Benefits of a Vegan Diet & The Best Vegan Snacks
According to the Euromonitor, Australia's vegan market is expected to grow by 9.6% in 2020, making it the third fastest growing vegan market in the world.
While some may view shunning dairy, meat and other animal products to be an extreme sacrifice, for others, it's a no-brainer, given the potential health and broader environmental benefits.
With so many vegan snacks, restaurants, cafes and food options in supermarkets popping up left, right and centre, what exactly are the benefits of veganism? And what's the easiest way to get into this lifestyle?
5 Benefits of Veganism
Vegan diets are richer in certain nutrients
When switching to a vegan diet from a typical Western diet, you'll usually be eliminating meats and animal products from your diet.
This naturally means that you'll be looking for alternate food sources that will replace the loss in nutrients, in particular protein, that you might've previously found in animal products.
You'll also likely be consuming more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seeds, beans and nuts.
In various studies, it's been found that vegan diets tend to provide a higher intake of fibre, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. Your diet will likely appear rich in magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C and E.
However, as you may be losing out on nutrients that are otherwise accessible in meat & animal products, so it's important that you plan well!
Helps with weight loss
An increasing number of people tend to turn towards plant-based diets to help with their weight loss goals.
And perhaps for good reason too, as it's been found that those on vegan diets tend to be thinner and have a lower BMI compared to those not on vegan diets.
In one particular study it was found that participants who were on a vegan diet lost 4.2kg over an 18-week study period compared to those on a control diet.
Interestingly enough, it was found that even though those on the vegan diet who were allowed to eat until they felt full, compared to those who followed the calorie-restricted diet, those on the vegan diet still managed to lose more weight.
Lower blood sugar and improve kidney function
Veganism may have benefits for Type 2 Diabetes and kidney function.
It was found that vegans overall had lower blood sugar, higher insulin sensitivity and between 50-78% lower risk of developing diabetes.
In other studies it was found that those who switched from meat to plant protein reduced their risk of poor kidney function.
It one study, 46% of diabetics who switched to a vegan diet were able to reduce their medication, compared to 26% of diabetics who followed an ADA-recommended diet.
Protecting against certain cancers
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), up to one-third of cancers can be prevented by factors within our control. This includes your diet.
Legumes, when consumed regularly, has been found to reduce the risk of colorectal cancers by between 9-18%.
Research also suggests that by consuming up to 7 fruits and vegetables daily, you reduce your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%.
With vegans consuming more fruits, vegetables and legumes than non-vegans, it's no wonder why a recent review of 96 studies on veganism show that vegans can benefit from the risk of developing or dying from cancer by 15%.
Lower risk of heart disease
Another benefit of vegan diets is that the increased intake of fresh fruit, vegetable, legumes and fibre has been linked to lower risk of heart disease.
Observational studies comparing vegans to vegetarians and the general populations found that vegans are at less risk of developing high blood pressure by up to 75%.
What's more is that they also have 42% less chance of dying from heart disease.
If that's not enough to get you dropping that piece of salami and start munching on a stick of celery, we don't know what is.
While it definitely does take some adjustment to transition to a vegan diet, there's no denying the potential benefits.
If you are a vegan or looking to transition to a vegan diet, here's a list of our favourite vegan snacks that we stock in our tukr snack boxes.