By Dr. Edward F. Group III
I overheard a conversation the other day between one of our customer service representative and a customer who had some questions about improving her diet. During the chat, the benefits of adopting vegan dietary habits was mentioned. With that came an explanation of what it means to be vegan. I follow a raw vegan diet myself and can attest to its positive health benefits.
What is a Vegan?
A vegan is someone who follows a diet that avoids all meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. It might be described as being similar to vegetarianism, but vegans also avoid consuming food when animal derivatives are used during the production process. Such products include refined sugar, certain wines, and even honey. It is common for this sentiment to extend to other areas of life, and vegans often steer clear of clothing made from animal skins or fur. Many vegans are also averse to products that are tested on or derived from animals.
What do Vegans Eat?
Vegan diets consist of a wide range of fruits, grains, vegetables, juices, water, and various forms of milk, such as hemp, almond, or coconut, that are derived from vegetable sources. While it is not mandated by vegan principles, most vegans typically consume organic foods or foods that are certified all-natural and pesticide-free. In recent years, the popularity of vegan dietary habits has led to the development of many popular food products that are made with animal derivative substitutes. You can now purchase vegan-friendly variations of hot dogs, ice cream, cheese, and mayonnaise.
Why be Vegan?
The health benefits from adopting (raw) vegan eating habits are innumerable. There’s a growing amount of evidence to suggest adopting a vegan diet will reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases, and it really should not come as a surprise. Vegan diets are high in vitamins, fiber, and nutrients and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and other toxins. Meat, poultry, dairy, and alcohol are linked to a broad spectrum of health problems and simply avoiding them is the best way to prevent the risks associated with eating that stuff. However, for some, veganism is just as much an ideology as it is a diet. ] There are reasons beyond dietary health benefits why a person may want to adhere to vegan principles.
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