The Vegan Diet Plan: Good for Animals & Earth, But What About Health?

by | Jun 13, 2019 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

Author: Anna Frinzi

Veganism has plentiful benefits to our health and to the natural resources of the world around us. We will take a deeper look at the pros and cons to this specific diet plan.

Before considering a vegan-based diet (or any eating style for that matter), be certain to take a hard and researched look at your health and what your body needs in terms of nutrient intake and ensuring a healthy balance.

What is a Vegan Diet?

Being vegan is a serious commitment and offers various benefits as vegans abstain from any type of animal product. It can be helpful to do some thorough research on the topic and reflect on your morals and values in regards to veganism to make an educated choice. While vegetarians don’t eat any meat, vegans also eliminate the use of animal products and by-products. This usually includes eliminating eggs, dairy products, and honey from their diet, and leather, fur, silk, wool or products derived from animal products in their lifestyle. The vegan diet plan is promoted as more environmentally sustainable as it uses lower natural resources than a normal eating plan does.

History of Veganism

From its beginnings, veganism highlighted the ecological advantages of not harming animals in any way, shape, or form. Donald Watson coined the word “vegan” in 1944 as he eventually formed a society that defined veganism as “the principle of the emancipation of animals from exploitation by man”. This history of veganism has a strong root in today’s vegan society and still stands strong in its origins of upholding the desire to not cause harm to animals.

Benefits of a Vegan Diet Plan

With proper planning and preparation, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics approves of the vegan diet and considers it healthy, nutritionally adequate, and having the ability to provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. The risk of specific diseases and health conditions such as ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, and obesity can be reduced while on a vegan diet plan (Melina et al., 2016). Accordingly, the vegan diet plan is approved for all stages of life, which includes pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood and for athletes (Melina et al., 2016).

It is worth noting that the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes a meal plan for those who decide to follow a vegan diet plan and recommends a vegetarian diet as one of three healthful dietary patterns. The vegetarian plan provided can be vegan if all dairy choices are substituted with fortified soy beverages (soymilk) or other plant-based dairy substitutes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture).  Scientific research demonstrates that those on a vegan diet plan typically have a relatively low body mass index (BMI) and a low plasma cholesterol concentration. With the healthy options that being vegan provides, it is clear from scientific studies that veganism provides a multitude of positive benefits to our bodies when done correctly.

Can you get all the nutrients you need from a Vegan Diet?

Considering all of these health benefits of the vegan diet plan, it is also important to note that vegans need to be mindful to consume the proper nutrients and vitamins while on this structured eating plan. Vegans need to be particularly careful with consuming reliable sources of vitamin B-12, which can be gathered from fortified foods or supplements (Melina et al., 2016). Monitoring a vegan’s intake of protein, iron, omega 3s, Iodine, vitamin D, calcium, among other vitamins and nutrients is also essential to ensuring a healthy and balanced diet. The key to having a successful and nutritious vegan diet plan is to have a variety of foods. This must include fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. When considering veganism, be sure to note your intake of these key nutrients and be diligent to meet the recommended intake so your body can thrive.

Health is key

A vegan diet plan has its pros and cons when considering a program to become healthier or lose weight. One’s health is invaluable and discovering a safe and effective method to achieve your wellness goal is key. When embarking on the path to lose weight, it can be extremely valuable to have some outside support and guidance to instill some accountability and motivation toward your goals. That’s what Noom provides on your path to losing weight! Veganism can be beneficial to losing weight as this diet plan is cholesterol free and is generally low in saturated fat. While a vegan diet plan can assist in weight loss, it is important to consider the costs and benefits before jumping into this method.

The bottom line

The vegan diet plan may be beneficial for some, particularly those with a desire to preserve the environment and implement strong morals in regards to animals. Before beginning this method, be sure to do your research and prepare in order to feel fully confident. When you sign up for Noom, we can work with you one on one toward your health goals and according to your vegan diet plan as well. Noom provides community support, individualized coaching, food tracking, and behavior change principles to reach those weight loss goals and achieve your highest potential when it comes to your health.

Noom truly values your health and wants you to achieve your goals in a sustainable and safe method. When reflecting on the proper path for you, take a moment to download Noom and see how we can help you lose weight for good!