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Vegans in the Mainstream

Vegans in the Mainstream

Veganism in the Mainstream

You've probably heard of a vegan diet, or know someone's who has ‘gone vegan', but do you know what that means? Vegan diets are plant-based and exclude all animal products including, eggs, cheese and even milk. That might seem extreme, but studies now show that a thought out vegan diet may be one of the healthiest options and even help in preventing certain diseases. Now, many people are giving these diets another look as a viable alternative. Some of the health benefits that come from maintaining a vegan diet include:
• Lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure
• Decreased risk of heart disease and cancer
• Healthier body mass index
• Better control and prevention of diabetes
Vegan diets are healthy, high in fiber and good for practically anyone; this includes pregnant women, growing children and even highly active athletes. Cholesterol is cut out of the equation completely because of the fact that it is only found in animal products. A common criticism of a vegan diet is that not enough protein can be consumed without eating animal products. "This however, is not true," says Angela Giancoli a registered dietitian in California. A grain plus a bean adds up to protein, no matter how they are consumed whether it is together or not, as long as a proper amounts of each are eaten, vegans can get the protein that they need. Vegan dieters must also pay special attention to is the amount of calcium and vitamin B12 that they have in their diet. These nutrients play a crucial role in cell metabolism, nerve function, blood production and bone growth. Reading labels is important when ‘shopping vegan' and one should always be on the lookout for products that are fortified. Fortified cereals, milk substitutes such as rice or soy milk and leafy greens like kale or collard greens can provide for the body's need for calcium and vitamin B12. The common assumption is that those maintaining a vegan diet, are "missing out." In reality, vegans who put a little thought and creativity into their diets are living healthier than most!