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Fitness & Wellness

Are There Health Benefits To A Vegan Diet?

If you come to The Worx in Alexandria, VA, you find a friendly environment where people put their all into their exercise routine and achieving their goals. However, losing weight and getting healthy requires more than just exercise. It involves healthy eating, too. It can mean cutting down on carbs, cutting out sugar and for some, eating a vegan diet. Are there health benefits for this type of diet? The answer is yes, if you do it properly.

Weight loss is one of the benefits of a vegan diet.

It only makes sense that if you cut out sugary foods and opt for a plant based diet, you’ll probably lose weight. That’s because most vegetables are lower in calories, particularly low glycemic index ones. Studies indicate that a vegan diet can increase weight loss. One study that lasted 18 weeks showed that the vegan diet produced a ten pound higher weight loss than the control diet. Even an eat-until-you’re-full diet that was vegan outperformed a restrictive low calorie diet. It worked for all those that ate vegan, even for people that didn’t strictly stick to protocol, but cheated a bit in what they ate.

Vegan diets provide high amounts of nutrients.

Fiber is one of the reasons this diet can benefit you. Fiber helps feed beneficial bacteria, slows sugar absorption and helps you go. Plant-based diets contain more fiber, but also contain more nutrients than other types of diets. It contains nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, whole grain and fruit. The nuts, legumes and seeds are a source of protein that contain other nutrients you don’t find in meat. Vegan diets are high in antioxidants, magnesium, folate, potassium and vitamins A, E and C.

If you have insulin resistance, kidney functioning problems or type 2 diabetes, a vegan diet can help.

You can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels when you consume a vegan diet. That improved insulin sensitivity helps lower blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. A vegan diet has been shown superior to the American Diabetes Association—ADA diet, the National Cholesterol Education Program—NCEP diet and the American Heart Association—AHA diet for blood sugar control. In fact, one study showed diabetics using the vegan diet could lower their medication levels more than those on an ADA diet.

  • Not only is a vegan diet good for diabetics, it’s heart healthy, too. The fiber helps lower cholesterol levels and the nutrients in the diet help lower blood pressure. Both affect heart health.
  • You’ll get phytonutrients in a vegan diet that provide benefits beyond the traditional vitamins and minerals Many can help lower the risk of cancer, benefit eye health, reduce inflammation and are anti-oxidants that protect cells.
  • Planning is important when you opt for a vegan diet. It’s harder to get adequate B12, zinc, iodine and calcium on a strict vegan diet. Don’t choose fast food vegan options, but go for whole foods.
  • Besides being heart healthy and good for diabetes, many studies show a plant based diet of raw foods provided prebiotic and probiotic foods that helped relieve the pain, swelling and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

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