To vegan, or not to vegan. That is the question …
As more people than ever consider changing to a vegan diet, they need to understand one vitally important truth: that veganism and good health do not necessarily go together. Why is that?
The vegan trend has affected what we buy.
In a mere decade, things have gone from most people not knowing what the term meant, to grocery stores heavily stocked with products proudly displaying themselves as vegan. In the search for better health outcomes and weight loss, people of all sizes and shapes have chosen to explore veganism. But there’s one key element missing from the conversation that even the “experts” fail to tell us.
What are the experts not saying about veganism?
In the past, people chose to practice veganism for strictly moral reasons. A key driver of the original vegan movement was opposition to factory farming and other issues surrounding animal rights.
See What Is A Vegan for more information.
Over the past decade, however, more and more people have turned to veganism as a means of achieving health goals. They see it as a way to lower their risk of atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and a plethora of other health-related threats. An equally powerful motivator is the desire to lose weight.
But the truth is, a vegan diet does not necessarily guarantee you good health. Veganism provides the potential for better health, but it also provides equal potential for the opposite outcome. Why? Because confusion of meaning has resulted in a confusion of new “vegan” products on the market. More and more processed foods are flooding the shelves of grocery stores and being promoted as vegan.
Think about it. Oreo Original cookies are vegan. Potato chips are vegan. Coca-Cola is vegan. There are vegan ice cream products with extraordinarily high amounts of sugar. Every day more and more processed foods are flooding the shelves of grocery stores and being promoted as vegan.
The food companies are acutely aware of the misunderstanding. They are capitalizing on it using the same methods applied when low-fat became the craze, and fat was replaced with extra sugar and salt.
By removing animal products, but adding high levels of fat, salt, and sugar, these products are still contributing to ill health and overconsumption.
So here’s the problem: a lack of clarity as to what the term “vegan” really means. And in the interest of profits, food companies have taken advantage of this confusion to lead people down the wrong path–a path completely opposed to achieving the better health that many, if not most, desire.
Time to clarify and welcome the rise of a new trend!
Fortunately, there’s a new trend in town. Proponents like to call it the Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFPB) movement. It’s not as easy to say as “vegan” but it gets to the heart of what is healthy and what is not. Whole, plant-based foods are good for your health. Non-whole foods (processed foods high in refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, salt, sugar, chemical flavor enhancers, preservatives, etc.) are bad for your health regardless of whether they contain meat or not.
So the WFPB diet, while still completely “vegan,” has an an entirely different objective from that of veganism as originally defined. Here the emphasis is on health. The name says it all. Avocados are WFPB. Fruit Loops are not. Apples are WFPB. Apple Jacks are not. Homemade cookies with the only ingredients being bananas, apricots, dates, nuts, and seeds are WFPB. Oreo Cookies are not. If it’s highly processed, then it’s highly unlikely that it’s WFPB.
To conclude: Veganism as originally defined is a moral choice, not a health choice. A vegan by this definition is commonly considered to be a person who does not consume ANY type of animal product. This refers not only to diet but to all things. No leather interior in the car. No leather belts, shoes, or other clothing made from animal products. In the most extreme cases, veganism includes avoiding any products like shampoos or other personal care products made using animal products. It also includes avoiding doing business with any companies that engage in or condone animal testing.
What’s your objective? Time to choose!
- You can eat a whole food, plant based diet and enjoy better health, or,
- You can eat a diet of “vegan” processed foods and suffer even worse health problems than you had before you made the change.
In other words, if your objective is morally driven, then veganism is the way to go. If better health and good news from your doctor is your objective, then switching to a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet is the answer. In a perfect world, a combined prescription of veganism and a WFPB diet would be the best medicine for all, would it not?
To Your Health!
Visit Oklahoma Academy Country Store
Your BEST source for Whole Food Plant Based products.