Are vegans more healthy than meat eaters?

Are vegans more healthy than meat eaters?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

This is something I often hear people talk about, so I thought I should explain a thing or two on this topic. How can we actually measure who is healthier? This would mean that people who get sick less often are healthier. Makes sense? Now let’s see, are vegans more healthy than meat eaters?

This really depends on the type of food ingested. On one hand, vegan diets may be among the healthiest options available if they are rich in nutrients that promote good health. On the other hand, vegan diets can also be highly detrimental if they contain a lot of processed foods with excessive sugar and high fat content.

A vegan diet must be well-planned, contain a variety of whole foods and minimally processed ingredients, and be a part of a complete healthy lifestyle in order to be considered healthy. If you look through some medical research, you will find out that veganism can have positive effects on health, despite the fact that many of us were raised up to think that animal products are required to maintain good health.

This is particularly pronounced in fitness circles, where to this day there is a majority belief that the protein in meat is of higher quality, or that the protein in a vegan diet does not have a complete amino acid profile. I wrote an in depth article about protein deficiency in vegans if you would like to learn more about this topic.

In comparison to meat eaters, vegans seem to have lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduced incidences of hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, vegans tend to have lower body mass indices, general cancer rates, and chronic illness risks.

So, based on the mentioned research, which dietary group gets sick less often? That would be vegans.

Do vegans live longer than meat eaters?

A vegan diet has been linked to so many health benefits, including a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, some malignancies, and heart disease just to name a few. Its effects on the lifespan, however, are far more complex.

Can we connect food to lifespan? If vegans are more healthy than meat eaters, do vegans live longer than meat eaters?

According to research, eating predominantly whole-food plant-based diet may increase your lifespan. Vegan diets generally contain large amounts of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Whole-food vegans are responsible for veganism’s image as a successful approach to longer, healthier life.

Research on the health advantages of a diet high in fruit and vegetables is frequently employed in research. Unprocessed plant foods should be the staple in all vegan diets since they are rich sources of antioxidants.

Antioxidants aid in preventing oxidative stress, which is linked to certain chronic illnesses, from damaging the body’s cells. Therefore, vegans often tend to draw the confident conclusion that doing so increases one’s potential longevity.

Cancer rates of vegans vs. meat eaters

Since cancer is one of the most common diseases responsible for early death in modern world, it might be interesting to see how vegan and meat-eating diets compare here. What are that cancer rates of vegans vs. meat eaters?

Well balanced plant-based diets with proper fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds intake, is rich in nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. Keeping up a vegan diet long-term is also crucial for obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight with low BMI, and has been linked to a lower risk of cancer incidence and recurrence.

Additionally, studies show a correlation between meat consumption—particularly red and processed meats—and a higher risk of developing a variety of cancers. By reducing or eliminating consumption of red and processed meat as well as other animal products, wholefood properly planned vegan diets help people reach and maintain a healthy weight. From this it can be concluded that direct and indirect data show that vegan diets are a viable strategy for lowering cancer risk.

Campbell and colleagues discovered that some serious illnesses, including leukemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers of the colon, lungs, breast, and brain, were all linked to a diet of nutritional excess, or one that was associated with increased levels of blood cholesterol and blood urea nitrogen.

These risk factors were negatively related to dietary fiber and legume intake while being directly related to the consumption of meat, milk, dietary fat, eggs, and animal protein in general. Furthermore, blood cholesterol levels and dietary fat content were linked to breast cancer mortality. Several malignancies have been linked to reduced rates of blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are found in plant diets.

Increased consumption of meat, particularly red meat (such as pork, beef, and lamb) and processed meat (such as hotdogs, bacon, chicken nuggets, luncheon meat, and other salted or cured meats), has been associated with some of the previously mentioned malignancies in several studies.

According to the WCRF research, there is substantial evidence connecting red and processed meat consumption with colorectal cancer, as well as suggestive evidence linking red meat to esophageal, lung, pancreatic, and endometrial cancer.

That looks like another point goes to plant-based diet. Well done vegans, well done!

Do vegans get more protein than meat eaters?

The perpetual dilemma that never gets old although it was debunked countless times. We have seen the benefits of plant-based diet so far, but what about protein. Do vegans even get enough of it? Or even more than enough? What would you say, do vegans get more protein than meat eaters?

Plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts, peas, seeds, and whole grains have more than enough protein. On a well-balanced plant-based diet vegans can easily consume the same amount of protein or even more than meat eaters. Include a variety of fresh vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables in your vegan diet if you want to acquire the complete amino acid profile.

On a proper vegan diet, we are spared many chronic diseases. With plant-based diets, there is no need to monitor protein consumption or utilize protein supplements; if you are achieving your daily caloric needs, you will obtain enough protein.

5 Benefits of plant-based protein

1.    It excludes the middleman

Since most of the farm animals acquire their protein from plants, where all protein originates, many people are unaware that the animals they are consuming are really simply “middlemen.” In actuality, the majority of the world’s biggest and toughest creatures, including elephants, rhinos, horses, and gorillas, are herbivores. Additionally, they consume plenty of protein to maintain their health and grow enormous muscles. By cutting out the middleman, plant protein optimizes efficiency.

2.    Gaining enough is simple

Contrary to popular belief, the most comprehensive study comparing the nutritional intake of meat eaters and plant eaters revealed that the average plant eater not only gets enough protein, but also 70 percent more than they need. About half of the protein consumed by meat eaters comes from plants. This shouldn’t be shocking given that a peanut butter sandwich has around the same amount of protein as three ounces of meat or three big eggs.

3.    Complete plant protein

Another widespread misconception is that because plants don’t have all required amino acids, their protein is incomplete and of lower quality. This is also obviously untrue because all nine necessary amino acids—in variable amounts—are present in every single plant.

While it is correct that some vegan food sources have fewer particular amino acids than others, our systems disassemble proteins into their component amino acids so that the proper proteins may be produced when they are needed. This would explain why studies comparing plant and animal protein consistently show that the source is unimportant for increasing strength and muscle growth as long as the appropriate amount of amino acids is consumed.

4.    Superiority of the plant protein package

Animals are relatively inefficient protein intermediaries because they concentrate pollutants like pesticides and mercury and add highly inflammatory molecules while eliminating many of the plants’ most healthy components, such as fiber and antioxidants. This explains why it has been demonstrated that consuming a single beef hamburger can boost inflammatory measurements by 70% while also reducing blood flow.

Not only are inflammation and poor blood flow terrible for immediate performance, but they also lead to longer-term health issues like heart disease and some types of cancer, which are far more serious. The plant protein package works in opposition to the animal protein package because it is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients like vitamin C and carotenoids that lower inflammation levels and improve blood flow.

The animal protein package reduces the ability to complete tasks and feel good. Plants typically contain 64 times more antioxidants than meals derived from animals. More antioxidants are present in iceberg lettuce than in salmon or eggs. Adopting a plant-based diet can help reduce inflammatory markers by 29% in just three weeks.

5.    Ability to go beyond capabilities

Plant-based diets do not only supply just enough protein to sustain peak athletic performance, as thousands of world-class athletes have discovered, but they also seem to have specific athletic benefits. These benefits consist of a less inflammatory response, sped-up blood flow, lowered body fat, and shortened recuperation durations.

Since most individuals seek more energy, less pain, and a healthier body composition, non-athletes who make the move to a plant-based diet also profit from receiving their protein from plants. The environmental benefits should not be overlooked.

Does not eating meat give you more energy?

Where does energy come from? Energy is provided by all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fats. Simple carbohydrates give us an immediate source of energy, while complex carbohydrates provide a longer-term energy source.

According to some general recommendations on healthy eating, we should get at least half of our energy from complex carbohydrates, thus ensuring a steady energy level.

Since meat is not the best source of carbohydrates which are considered the main fuel for human body, we might say eating meat doesn’t give you more energy. You can obtain higher levels of energy by eating whole-food, minimally processed or unprocessed plant-based sources of carbs, like brown rice, oats, beans, chickpeas, lentils, fruits, and vegetables.

It is worth emphasizing that highly processed foods, should be consumed in very moderation. Not because they contain simple carbohydrates, but because they are full of other components which are not good for our body in general, like saturated, highly processed fats from oils.

Can a vegan get sick from eating meat?

Sometimes vegans tend to go back to eating meat. Which is a personal choice and should be respected. Can this switch be harmful? Can a vegan get sick from eating meat?

Yes. When reintroducing meat to their diets, vegans could encounter brief digestive issues. You need some time to allow your “gut flora” and meat-digesting enzymes to reacclimate to eating meat again.

Regardless of how long you have been following plant-based diet, you can always switch back to eating meat. If you eat meat for the first time, especially if you consume a lot of it, you may feel a little “heavy”. Reintroduce meat products gradually, beginning with broth and progressing to little pieces of fish or chicken until finishing with heavier, fattier meats.

How many vegans return to eating meat?

People follow their dietary path for various reasons. And as those reasons change, so do diets. Just like many meat-eaters decide to try vegan diet, so do some vegans decide they don’t like plant-based diet anymore and would prefer going back to eating animal foods. It would be interesting seeing how many vegans return to eating meat.

An extensive survey of Americans’ eating patterns revealed that 84 percent of vegetarians and vegans eventually resume eating meat. The truth is that there are a lot of reasons why someone could start eating meat again. Some people prefer meat to plant-based proteins because they like the flavor and texture of meat, while others require it for what they believe to be nutritional reasons.

While this number may seem strange, our family remains vegan even after 10 years on plant-based diet. I know only a handful of vegans that went back to consuming animal foods. Let’s just leave it at that. If I come up with another survey or a study on this topic, I will make sure to publish the results.

5 Vegan dishes meat eaters will love

Whether you’re looking for beginner-friendly vegan dishes or preparing for a vegan visitor, these quick meal suggestions will impress even the most ardent meat eaters.

  • Sweet potatoes with chickpeas and quinoa: If you’re looking for a simple, filling, and nutritious meal that will tantalize your taste buds with sweet and savoury flavors, then you need to try these sweet potatoes with chickpeas and quinoa combo!
  • Lentil loaf: This delicious, vegan lentil loaf is perfect for the holidays or just when you fancy a delicious main dish. Lentils are a great source of fiber and protein, making this loaf a healthy and hearty option.
  • Avocado dip: A delicious avocado dip that is perfect for using as a sauce or bread dip. Try adding different spices, herbs, or flavors to give it your own touch. This recipe is easy to make and can be tweaked to your liking. Adding acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice add the perfect balance of acidity and flavor.
  • Banana ice cream with carob: Making your own banana ice cream with carob can be a fun and healthy way to cool down on hot days. You don’t need any special ingredients or equipment, just some basic ones you may already have in your kitchen.
  • Banana oats cookies: They require only a few ingredients and minimal cooking time, making them perfect for beginners.

Conclusion

It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all vegan diets are nutrient-dense. In fact, some vegans could rely excessively on processed, sugary meals, which might have a detrimental impact on lifespan. Well balanced plant-based diet is the one that could be described as healthy vegan diet, and is often characterized as one that is made of whole-food, minimally processed ingredients, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes.

A vegan diet that is not well thought out and is mainly based on highly processed foods, sweets, and other nominally vegan but nutritionally deficient foods is not the way to go if you seek health.

Properly planned vegan diets contain a lot of nutrients that might help you prolong your life and stay healthy. Many people who adhere to this dietary pattern also adopt behaviors that may promote healthy lifestyle habits, such as frequent exercise and avoiding highly processed foods.

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Gregory Knox
Gregory Knox

I'm Gregory, a father and animal lover. Ex vegan store owner and a foodie. My fascination in researching and pushing the limits of vegan nutrition takes me to new heights.