Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Balanced View on Veganism

I just read this great article in Whole Food's little free magazine taste for life about different diets and weight loss.  It talks about a study done where they split participants up into different groups, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pesco-Vegetarian, Semi-Vegetarian (flex-atarian), and omnivore, and gave them the typical low-fat low-GI guidelines.  Calories were not restricted.  Not surprisingly, the Vegans lost the most weight over the short and long term when put on this diet.

This isn't the interesting part actually.  If it is to you, then this is the interesting part, but it gets MORE interesting.

The article ends by telling you to aim for veggie-centered Veganism in your daily life, in a positive way, aka without obsessing, and by default, you will add more vegetables into your diet.  So even if you "cheat" every once in a while, I don't like using that word, but they used it in the article, your consumption of the nutrient rich veggies will still be highest than if you aimed for any of the other dietary lifestyles out there.

It's like the idea, "shoot for the moon and you'll hit the stars" (even though its way more accurate to say "shoot for the starts and you'll hit the moon").  You get the idea regardless.  I've never read an article saying, it doesn't matter if you don't adhere 100%, because aiming for veganism will change the way you eat in a positive way.  That it's okay not to be 100%.  I've read that in some great diet/cookbooks, but never in a magazine or article. It was refreshing not to read about strict guidelines and black or white thinking.  Because, frankly, people are so, so many more than 50 shades of grey.  Had to do it.

I was vegan for 5 years and even if I diverged from the path I was still consuming so many more veggies and fewer animal products than if I wasn't striving.  Even now, as a selective omnivore, I eat mostly plants and I feel strongly that if I hadn't been vegan I would probably be a very unhealthy overweight chick or an unhealthy slim chick.  Veganism taught me how to eat veggies in so many ways.  I think everyone should be vegan at least for an extended period of time just to learn how to expand their vegetable cooking/uncooking repertoire.

I am still a huge supporter of veganism and many of the causes vegans are behind.  I just loved this article's take on things, even though it was about weight loss more than nutrition.  Shoot for healthful veganism and you'll hit the veggies.

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