The Rise of Veganism: Start a Revolution!

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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

We already know that going vegan (eliminating all animal products from your roster, including meat, poultry, fish, and dairy) 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 up your fiber and nutrient intake. But will a vegan diet do your waistline a solid, 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. Of course, there’s more to shedding pounds than breaking up with animal-based products.

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 many sources of saturated fat from your repertoire, which in itself can help 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—and not just because it involves ghosting the processed stuff. Plant-based foods contain a much higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients than animal-based foods, but most of their weight comes from water, so 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 filling up on animal-based foods,” says Tom Hritz, Ph.D., R.D., clinical nutrition manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Vegan foods are also very high in fiber, which can slow down the digestive process, helping you to feel fuller and go longer between meals without being hungry, he adds. And more fiber helps to promote bowel regularity, helping you beat the bloat.

Plus, the fact that eating more fruits and veggies keeps your blood sugar stable—ultimately nixing junk food cravings before they start—is just icing on the cake (which you won’t be tempted to eat). Visit sparkhealthmd and learn more about dietary healthy supplements like Resurge.

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
● Percentage of meat consumed by Americans is falling
○ Consumption of beef has been declining for the past 20 years
○ Chicken has 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 overall health

What does the vegan say?

(based on a survey of more than 8 thousand vegans)
Highest percentages for all survey questions:
● 42.01% – became vegan after seeing a film, educational video or movie
● 45.06% – transitioned to a vegan diet gradually
● 52.22% – had been vegan less than 10 years
○ 2.01% had been vegan 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

Celebrity Herbivores
● 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 veggies)
● Food, Inc.
○ Directed by Robert Kenner (2008)
○ Documents food production from large corporations
○ Exposes environmentally hazardous and inhumane practices
● Forks Over Knives
○ Directed by Lee Fulkerson (2001)
○ Advocates consumption of vegan and 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 the conclusion, Morgan has gained nearly 25 lbs, has a cholesterol level of 230 and other signs of malnutrition
● Vegucated
○ 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
● Earthlings
○ Directed by Shaun Monson (2005)
○ Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix (vegan since age 3)
○ Hidden cameras document interactions between humans and animals; pets, food and scientific research
● Food Matters
○ Directed by James Colquhoun and Carlo Ledesma (2008)
○ Analyzes lack of nutritional value and potential for cancer and disease in common foods
○ Claims this is a conspiracy to increase profits for doctors and pharmaceutical companies