Dietary advice is all over the place, as it has always been.
If we listen to the news, any food that might be promoted as healthy today was probably a bad one yesterday. Then we get to popular diet styles such as Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Vegetarian…
None of them are ever only good or bad. And that is because they are neither.
A Vegan diet style can be the healthiest way to eat. Yet, it can also be not that much healthier than the standard western diet.
Here’s why it is so and how to be a truly healthy vegan.
Vegans are right for one thing, eating animals is not healthy
It’s been some years now since the World Health Organization classified processed meat as a defined carcinogen and red meat as a probable carcinogen.
Not simply possible, it is a probable carcinogen.
Meaning that it’s more likely than not that red meat will cause cancer.
And since poultry is still virtually the same muscle and fat tissue as any meat, probably poultry is also cancer-causing.
Then it comes to dairy.
The US Government and one of the top universities in the US, Cornell, teamed up with the Chinese government to study how diet affects health. And after nearly a decade and millions of Chinese people’s studied, the results were in.
It was conclusive that dairy does cause cancer.
And be it dairy, red meat, eggs, poultry or cheese, these ‘foods’ are abundant in artery-clogging saturated fat.
Animal products will cause heart disease and diabetes.
These ‘foods’ are not healthy at all and vegans are right here.
Vegetable fat might not be any better, though
So, animal fat is one of the main culprits for the main killers in the western world – heart disease and diabetes.
Yet, us, humans, as ingenious as we are, have found ways to process normally healthy vegetable fats into one of the worst food products there is – trans fats.
These partially hydrogenated fats are formed when we squeeze oil from vegetables and then cook it or otherwise artificially manipulate it. And trans fats are everywhere because they prolong the shelf life of your favorite waffle infinitely and stay put without melting.
But when we eat said trans fats, our bodies cannot digest them.
These partially hydrogenated fats cause oxidation, spur bad bacteria in our guts, raise our cholesterol, cause diabetes and heart disease; most likely cancer.
So, no matter if we stop eating animal products, we can do the same damage to health by filling up with vegan junk food.
Oil is a junk food as well.
Oil is to fats what is sugar to carbohydrates.
Utterly processed food with the most amount of empty calories and virtually void of nutrition.
When we eat oil raw, it makes us a bit more fat or diabetic. Also, making our blood viscous, lowering our energy and blood oxygen levels.
When we cook fat, we alter it in unfavorable ways.
We get trans fats.
Cooked oil is a great source of trans fats
Sugar is Vegan
First, what we mean by sugar in this post is any processed food that tastes very sweet.
Be it table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, agave syrup or maple syrup or white flour, it’s still sugar.
White bread is that addictive because it is, in essence, sugar.
Basically, when we eat sugar, we eat no micronutrients and a lot of quick to absorb calories. We absorb the calories super quickly into the blood, our body enters an unnatural state since there is no pure sugar in nature and havoc ensues in our tissues.
Our sugary blood compromises immune system function, puts a huge strain on the pancreas and feeds bad bacteria in our guts.
The way the body manages the sudden influx of calories is to make triglycerides (body fat), that contribute to heart disease and diabetes.
Sugar is a cancer cell’s favorite food and if we eat too much sugar, we might feed naturally occurring cancerous cells that would have probably died naturally.
So, when we eat sugar in large amounts, we get similar ill effects for our health as with animal products such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.
Enter the Whole Food Vegan Diet
The “Whole Food” part is as important as the “Vegan” part of the name.
Because whole food means almost no sugar and surely, no oil.
Simply, eat the food as it grows in nature, with all the protective antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients.
Fruits, vegetables, beans, corn, brown rice, whole wheat, nuts, seeds…
There are thousands of edible plants that taste sweet or sour or fatty.
Dates instead of agave.
Walnuts instead of oil.
We argue that the complex and rich taste of whole foods is actually better than the processed sugars and oils that we are sold.
Vegan is just the start
Removing animal products is the great first step to a healthy diet.
It truly lowers the risk of the major chronic disease that plagues the world today.
But you can be just as fat and sick on a junky, sugary, oil-rich diet.
It’s brave to be vegan.
Just go all the way and be a Natural Food-eating Vegan.
And, as always, seek health consciously.