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Vegan Diet Health Benefits — Truth or Myth?

Vegan Diet Health Benefits — Truth or Myth?

Vegetarian and Vegan diets have their differences, but both agree that a daily intake of fruits and vegetables is beneficial for their practitioners. | Pixabay/anestiev

Vegan diet is shaping up to be among the top trends of 2018, but there are those who still question whether it is as legitimate as it claims. This article will debunk and confirm some of the most famous myths about veganism.

The concept that animals should not be exploited for food or any other purposes started way back in the 1940s.

The lifestyle, which ended up being called veganism, means staying away from meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, and even honey, started with little but loyal followers. Over 70 years later, it has become a common trend.

According to a report from Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017, veganism is up by 500 percent compared to that in 2014, with at least 6 percent of Americans committed to the lifestyle, more for health reasons than actual concern for animals.

For one, many believe that vegans do not get diseases. Studies show that a nutritious vegan diet can help reduce the risk to certain diseases, like chronic heart disease. According to a study from the American College of Cardiology, the right combination of healthy plant diet is a powerful shield against chronic heart disease. However, an unhealthy combination of plant diet could increase the risk by 30 percent.

The same goes with other diseases like cancer, diabetes, and dementia.

Another theory is that a vegan diet is enough to be healthy. Just like with every other diet, however, a vegan diet is only one part of the equation. According to Dr. Dean Ornish, a vegan diet is best combined with "exercise, stress reduction, yoga, social support and love." He added that it would be great to stay away from smoking, too.

Many also claim that a vegan diet effectively provides all nutrients from plants. Studies, however, show that a vegan diet is generally low in vitamin B12, an issue that should be solved by taking supplements. It is also important to take note of the actual diet, to supply the body with various nutrients and minerals that could be acquired from different plant foods.

According to Dr. Joel Kahn of Food Trends, it is always important that vegans are aware of the many myths surrounding the diet, so that they would know how not to be a victim of it.