Veganism is on the rise in the US as individuals, including nurses, look for healthier ways to eat that are also better for the environment.
Are You a Veggie Lover?
- Veganism has grown to 2.5% of the US population
- Up from 1% in 2009
- number has more than doubled in 3 years
- (based on relative scale from 0-100) Google searches for “Vegan” have risen from 38/100 prior to 2004 to 88/100 at the end of 2013
Going Vegan means eliminating all animal products from your roster, including meat, poultry, fish, and also dairy. We already know that going vegan can be good for your health if you do it right. Thanks to the low-calorie, nutrient-dense nature of plant-based foods, you’ll get more fiber and nutrients. But will a vegan diet do your waistline a favor too?
Science says yes. A 2016 study published in the Journal of General Medicine found that people who follow a vegan diet see better results than dieters on other weight-loss plans, losing an average of five pounds more in the short term. But, of course, there’s more to shedding pounds than breaking up with animal-based products. So here’s how to decide if going vegan is your ticket to a slimmer future.
Vegan Weight-Loss Benefits
Ditching animal-based eats means eliminating cholesterol and also many sources of saturated fat from your repertoire. This change helps promote a healthy body weight and body mass index (BMI), says New Jersey-based registered dietitian Alyssa Cohen.
Plus, relying on nutrient-dense whole foods automatically slashes your calorie intake, not just because it involves ghosting processed stuff. Plant-based foods contain a much higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients than animal-based foods. Still, most of their weight comes from water so that you can enjoy a higher volume of grub without over-drafting your calories.
“Since you can only fit so much food in your gut at any meal, filling up on plant-based foods to satisfaction nearly always means consuming fewer calories than you would be filling up on animal-based foods,” says Tom Hritz, Ph.D., R.D., clinical nutrition manager at Magee Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Vegan foods are also very high in fiber, which can also slow down the digestive process. Therefore, he adds that you feel fuller and go longer between meals without being hungry. Furthermore, more fiber helps to promote bowel regularity and helps you beat the bloat.
Additionally, eating more fruits and veggies keeps your blood sugar stable. So, ultimately nixing junk food cravings before they start is just icing on the cake (which you won’t be tempted to eat).
Veganism Compared to Searches for “Obesity”
■ 77/100 in 2004 to 19/100 at the end of 2013
- Americans still consume ⅙ of the total meat consumed worldwide
- Even though Americans are less than 1/20th of the total population
- The average American eats about ½ pound of meat per day
- However, the percentage of meat consumed by Americans is falling
- Consumption of beef has been declining for the past 20 years
- Chicken has also dropped sharply in the past five years
- Pork has shown a slow, steady downturn over the past five years
- Americans consumed approximately 12.2% less meat in 2012 than in 2007
Americans in 2013
1 million – vegan
- 78.51% – female
- 21.07% – male
7.3 – vegetarian
- 59% female
- 49% male
- 42% – ages 18 -34
- 40.7% – ages 35 – 54
- 17.4% – over age 55
53% want to improve their overall health
What Does the Vegan Say?
Responses from a survey of more than 8 thousand vegans. The highest percentages for all survey questions are listed.
● 42.01% – became vegan after seeing a film, educational video, or also a movie
● 45.06% – transitioned to a vegan diet gradually
● 52.22% – had been vegan less than ten years
○ 2.01% had been vegan for over 30 years
● 35.29% – have a non-vegan spouse or domestic partner
● 69.16% – became vegan on behalf of animals
● 45.22% – describe themselves as spiritual but not religious
○ 43.48% – describe themselves as atheist or agnostic
○ 11.41% – follow a major religion
● 61.99% – are politically liberal
○ 33.16% – are not political
○ 4.85% – are politically conservative
● 38.70% – do not have and do not want children
○ 32.95% – may have children at some point
○ 9.97% – are raising young children vegan
● Person: Al Gore
○ Reason: Health benefits
● Person: Rosie O’Donnell
○ Reason: She had a “Widow Maker” heart attack
● Person(s): Alicia Silverstone, Dennis Kucinich, Ellen DeGeneres
○ Reason: Against mistreatment of animals
● Person: Usher
○ Reason: Health benefits
● Person(s): Alec Baldwin, Russell Simmons
○ Reason: Concern for the planet and personal health
● Person: Bill Clinton
○ Reason: Wanted to reverse coronary artery disease
Influential Films for Veganism and Vegans
● Food, Inc.
○ Directed by Robert Kenner (2008)
○ Documents food production from large corporations
○ Exposes environmentally hazardous and also inhumane practices
● Forks Over Knives
○ Directed by Lee Fulkerson (2001)
○ Advocates consumption of vegan and also whole foods
○ Correlates illness and disease to diets rich in meat
● Supersize Me
○ Directed by Morgan Spurlock (2004)
○ Follows Morgan Spurlock as he eats a diet of McDonald’s food for 30 days
○ At conclusion, Morgan has gained nearly 25 lbs, has a cholesterol level of 230, and also other signs of malnutrition
○ Directed by Marisa Miller Wolfson (2011)
○ Follows 3 New Yorker’s on a humorous journey of being vegan for six weeks
○ The film advocates for veganism while showing some of the struggles of the diet
○ Directed by Shaun Monson (2005)
○ Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix (vegan since age 3)
○ Hidden cameras document interactions between humans and animals; pets, food, and also scientific research
● Food Matters
○ Directed by James Colquhoun and Carlo Ledesma (2008)
○ Analyzes lack of nutritional value and potential for cancer and also disease in common foods
○ Claims this is a conspiracy to increase profits for both doctors and pharmaceutical companies