So you have taken the first step towards a healthier you by eliminating meat.
The question is can you sustain a meatless diet?
And is being vegan good for your long term health?
According to our resident Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner, Robyn Chuter the answer is YES!
But, only if you eat real foods.
What do we mean by real foods?
Many vegans – both newbies and old pros – fall into the trap of relying on heavily processed vegan alternatives for their favourite ‘omni’ foods, such as faux meats, isolated soy protein-based burgers, ‘not’ cream cheese and highly sweetened non-dairy ice cream.
These are fine as occasional treats or something to throw on your non-vegan friend’s barbeque, but relying on these foods as staple items in your diet will undermine your health and vitality.
Can you be an unhealthy vegan?
Some Vegans who don’t eat real foods over long periods of time, will not feel well. Just like non-vegans who also don't eat real foods and rely on heavily processed foods, will usually present with fatigue, low immunity and are just generally not well or thriving. They don't feel their best on a day to day basis, have low energy, terrible skin and the list goes on. According to Robyn, her clients that have presented with these symptoms are usually based on their diets. The large majority of unhealthy and unwell people, have a diet high in heavily processed foods rather than fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
‘Fake’ foods and heavily processed foods are high in salt, sugar, refined starches, inflammation-promoting omega 6 oils and trans fats. These are the triggers that pull the gun on lifestyle diseases and illnesses. These types of processed foods are extremely low in health-promoting antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fibre and resistant starch, which our bodies need to thrive on and survive.
Even if your motivation for going vegan is solely ethical, you still need to take your own health into account.
Some people who abandon a vegan diet do so because they feel their health has suffered on it.
We don't want this to happen to you.
Robyn and the team at Garden of Vegan strongly encourage you to fill your plate with fresh, minimally processed foods every day, and watch your health and vitality soar!
Dr Andrew @plantbased_doctor provides his insights on a plant-based diet.
“There is nothing you can’t get from a plant-based diet that you can get from a meat diet.”
So why do people say that after going vegan or plant-based, they don’t feel well?
Dr Andrew believes people are not eating enough of the right types of foods, being wholefoods. Real foods like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, legumes etc. are the real foods full of nutrients that the body needs to thrive off.
B12 is the only nutrient that plants can’t naturally produce. Everything else either the body makes naturally or we can obtain from plants. To learn about how you can get your B12, any why over 1/4 of Australians are deficient irrelevant of a vegan or meat based diet, please click here.
He states that the reason vegans may feel unhealthy and want to revert back to a meat diet, has nothing to do with nutrient quality or lack of protein as they may believe. It has everything to do with the quality of plant-based foods they are choosing to consume.
So why else might you not be thriving off a plant-based diet? Dr Andrew believes it could also be a mental connection.
Maybe it's because of an ingrained belief system that we have been fed.
Maybe it is because of the misleading health information we have been subjected to.
“There is no-one that can't eat a plant-based diet… any human can thrive on a plant-based diet....” according to Dr Andrew.
To hear more from Doctor Andrew go to @plantbased_doctor
To learn more for Robyn Chuter head to; https://empowertotalhealth.com.au/