Diabetes Prevention And Treatment
Research shows eating a plant-based diet may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes.
A 2017 research review found plant-based diets reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, may help to treat diabetes, and may reduce complications.
According to the study authors, the research shows eating a diet focused on unrefined carbohydrates, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, and plant-based protein can reduce insulin resistance, promote a healthy body weight, and improve blood sugar levels.
Lower Pain From Arthritis
Vegan diets rich in antioxidants and natural foods may help people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Also, studies show that a vegan diet can help with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms like pain, joint swelling, and morning stiffness. These benefits are because of the vegan diets higher antioxidant, probiotics, and fibre content and the absence of some trigger foods.
Read Labels And Count Grams
If you are new to counting calories or tracking macros, you may find that using a smartphone app is helpful. Apps like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt! have databases of thousands of food items. You can either scan a product barcode or manually input a specific portion of food to instantly see how many calories and fat grams the food provides.
You can also use a simple food journal to keep track of your fat and nutrition intake. Use the nutrition facts label on the foods you consume to calculate your fat intake. You’ll see that fat is the first listing under calories on the label. In addition to total fat grams, the label is also likely to provide information about saturated fat grams and trans fat grams.
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Fiber Intake Can Be Higher On A Vegan Diet But Choose Carefully
Vegan foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain healthy amounts of fibers. Most of us need more fiber, undoubtedly.
Fiber helps improve beneficial bacteria in the gut and supports healthy cholesterol levels as well as immune function.
Yet, soy foods and grains, the mainstays of protein in a vegan diet can be very challenging and limiting for many people, especially those people with autoimmune diseases.
Grains, soy, legumes, and other plant foods also contain:
These compounds are known as anti-nutrients.
A high intake of grains like wheat also can worsen autoimmune disease symptoms in many people. When soaked or fermented, this can reduce the anti-nutrients of vegan foods.
In my experience, most people arent taking the time to do these steps.
Not to mention, if grains and legumes arent organic, they may defeat the purpose of fiber by possible chemical-induced gut microbiome changes.
Translation: Plant compounds can be hard to digest and make it so you absorb fewer nutrients from what you eat. Serving up chemicals at the table from processed vegan foods is likely hard on your immune system.
Balanced Alternatives To High
The typical western diet is one high in animal proteins, refined sugar, and fried foods, while low in complex carbohydrates. These include whole grains, pulses, and vegetables. This type of diet also reduces good gut bacteria, thereby causing gut health issues that reduce your overall health. Your gut, just like the bioenergetics circuit, also plays a crucial part in your NEM stress response.
Any diet where you completely cut out one food type while loading up on another is risky at best. A healthy balance is necessary to ensure your body gets an adequate supply of all the nutrients it needs to function correctly.
When looking at different populations and their eating habits, scientists rate how healthy they are by their obesity, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes statistics. Where these are low, their diet is often a healthy, balanced one.
People from Japan tend to live longer and have a healthier body weight than their western counterparts. This is due to their diet, which contains little refined sugar and animal protein, but is high in fresh vegetables and fish.
Another diet that westerners may find easier to follow is the Mediterranean diet. This balanced diet contains lots of plant fiber, fresh fruit, and vegetables, and a moderate amount of fish and meat. People in these areas of Europe tend to have a healthier body weight and better heart health with obesity a rare occurrence.
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Cooking Without Oil: Quick Tips
Its easy to adapt your favorite recipes and cooking methods to an oil-free lifestyle. Try these simple tips to remove oil without losing flavor:
- Roast vegetables at lower temperatures for a longer time
- Mist vegetables with low-sodium vegetable broth or apple cider vinegar and your favorite seasonings prior to roasting
- Steam vegetables before seasoning as desired
- Use silicone mats, pans, or molds for roasting and baking
- Saute with small amounts of water, vegetable broth, or naturally flavored vinegar
- Heat pans to higher temperatures for stir frying
- Invest in an air fryer for fries and chips
- Replace oil in baked goods with applesauce, nut butters, pumpkin puree, aquafaba, or plant-based yogurt
Experiment until you find your favorite methods, and you wont miss the greasy, heavy feeling of oil at all. Your heart, gut, and taste buds will thank you for it.
Undeniable Cons Of A Vegan Diet
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There is no perfect diet. Whether vegan, ketogenic, Atkins, blood type, or the paleo diet, there has yet to be one strategy that works for everyone. Thats because everyone responds to food differently.
Unlike other diet strategies that focus exclusively on ones health outcomes, a vegan diet has a deeper-rooted meaning. Specifically, avoiding animal products because of the cruelty and suffering needed to create them.
Yet even with all of the great health and environmental benefits of eating vegan, its still not perfect. So whether youre knee-deep in vegan eating or just about to dip your toes into the water, continue reading to learn the quick fix methods to overcome the most common challenges of a vegan diet.
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What Are Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil is extracted from cold-water fish, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and cod, per the Mayo Clinic.
The substance contains a blend of omega-3 fatty acids made up of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid , both of which are essential for such basic bodily functions as muscle activity and cell growth.
The supplements will differ in ingredients â some will focus on sardine oil, for example, while another may be more concentrated in salmon or anchovy oil.
Because our bodies don’t make these omega-3 fats, we have to source them through food or supplements. Good dietary sources include the fish mentioned above, as well as shellfish â such as crabs, mussels and oysters â and some nuts and seeds, like chia and flax seeds, according to the USDA. The supplements are available in liquid, capsule and pill form, per the Mayo Clinic.
While there’s no exact recommended dosage for omega-3s, per the NIH, we do know that an absence of this essential nutrient is associated with a number of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, mood disorders and certain cancers, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
For this reason, many people turn to fish oil supplements to make sure they’re getting enough.
While these are deemed “generally safe,” per the Mayo Clinic, it’s a good idea to get to know the fish oil benefits, pros and cons if you’re planning to add these nutrients to your dietary plan.
It May Cause Personal Or Social Awkwardness
Everyone seems to become a nutrition expert when you tell them youre vegan. What about protein? Youre going to be deficient in B12! How are you going to get your calcium without milk? Its actually quite comical, but can get awkward at times.
Something similar happens at the dinner table too. Whether you like it or not, the conversation usually ends up centering around your diet.
People seem to love to share every reason why they cant do it or why its too hard to eat vegan. You start to hear the same excuses and may find it hard to sympathize, especially after it becomes normal for you.
Despite your feelings, always take the high road and encourage, educate, or entertain. You never know what may resonate with your family and friends.
Less commonly, you may become the target for food humor. Statements like: this meat tastes so good, you want some? Are you just going to eat spinach and carrots every day? Our ancestors ate meat, so should we!
If you were the first one to go vegan in your circle, you know what I mean.
In order to prepare yourself for this barrage of questions and arguments, educate yourself. Look to , books, online blogs and reach out to others who have already transitioned.
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Calculate Your Fat Intake
Low-fat diets usually require you to count macronutrients and/or calories. So, if your goal is to stay under 30% of daily calories from fat, you’ll need to calculate your total calorie intake and make sure that your fat grams don’t contribute more than 30%.
Total Grams of Fat Per Day = / 9 Calories Per Gram of Fat
- If you consume 2000 calories per day, 600 calories can come from fat on a low-fat diet. Since each gram of fat contains 9 calories, you would be able to consume about 66.7 grams of fat per day.
- Those consuming 1800 calories per day would be able to consume 540 calories from fat, or 60 grams.
- Those consuming 1500 calories per day could consume 450 calories from fat or 50 grams of fat.
A Closer Look At Coconut
Bacuacu and babassu oils have more, but chances are you will never eat those in your entire life.
Not to be confused with palm oil, but palm kernel oil is readily available for sale in the United States and its cheap at that.
You may want to skip palm kernel. Why? Since its made from the hard pit it means the extraction process isnt what you would call organic-friendly. A petroleum-based solvent often has to be used. Is that healthy for you?
Ultimately, the highest and most readily available natural source remains coconut. Plus, MCT coconut oil is the most common form made. For these reasons, it deserves an in-depth analysis.
At least one major Paleo website incorrectly claims that coconut is only 15% medium chain. If you take a closer look at the source they cite, you will see it actually doesnt say that!
Rather, their cited source claims 15% represents these specific lipids :
Theyre not counting the 4th type, lauric acid. That makes up the bulk of its medium chain content.
There will only be a negligible difference between organic unrefined vs. refined coconut oil. The latter type simply refers to additional processes involving bleaching, deodorizing, etc. The nutrition facts between the two types are identical, at least in terms of their calories and lipid profile.
How much MCT is in coconut oil? Without fractionation, heres a full breakdown of the medium and long chains you will find.
So what are you missing out on by using MCT fat instead of coconut?
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Possibly Linked To Increase Prostate Cancer Risk
The verdict is still out, but it seems possible that the fatty acids in fish oil may affect the risk of prostate cancer.
A July 2013 study in the âJournal of the National Cancer Instituteâ found that men with high blood concentrations of omega-3PUFA have an increased likelihood of developing the disease.
But some similar research, including a March 2017 review of 44 studies in âIntegrative Cancer Therapiesâ, has found a possible link between higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid intake and lower mortality rates from prostate cancer.
In short: Further research is necessary to draw any firm conclusions.
Who Invented The Engine 2 Diet
Engine 2 was developed by Rip Esselstyn, who is a former Texas firefighter, pro triathlete, and health activist, always great credentials for writing a diet book. He was in that stinker of a film The Game Changers .
He looks like someone my mom would call a hunk, standing there with his muscles and his firefighter paraphernalia. But does he know what hes talking about when it comes to nutrition?
Rip seems to ride on his cardiologist daddys coattails for Engine 2, having been inspired by his dads research.
Interesting. Theres a real trend of people thinking theyre nutrition experts and are really NOT, and publishing houses giving them airtime.
Anyhow, Rip put all his colleagues at the firehouse on this diet. He must have a been a real popular guy. *eyeroll x1000*
I probably would have sprayed him with a firehose until he stopped, but thats just me.
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May Be Unnecessarily Restrictive
Though research supports the benefits of excluding specific grains from certain peoples diets, evidence on the benefits of excluding all grains from everyones diet is lacking.
Plus, most of the benefits linked to a grain-free diet can be achieved in ways that dont require cutting out an entire food group.
Moreover, excluding all grains from your diet can reduce variety and make your diet unnecessarily restrictive. This may make this way of eating less sustainable in the long term.
Whats more, unnecessarily demonizing grains under the disguise of health may serve to promote extreme fixation on healthy eating, which is common in people with orthorexic disordered eating behaviors .
Grain-free diets may limit nutrient intake, increase your risk of constipation, and be difficult to sustain in the long term. Unnecessarily demonizing grains for purported health reasons may also promote orthorexic eating behaviors.
The following food categories can be included on a grain-free diet:
You may also choose to include marinades and salad dressings as added fats, as well as sweeteners, such as sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Still, youre encouraged to focus on whole, minimally processed foods.
A grain-free diet allows most foods, as long as theyre devoid of grains. This includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, pseudocereals, nuts, seeds, and non-grain-based flours.
Grain-free diets generally exclude the following food categories:
May Boost Skin Health And Appearance
While more research is needed to fully grasp fish oil’s effect on skin health, some studies show promise.
The fatty acids in fish oil may be helpful in improving skin barrier function, inhibit UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, reduce dry skin, accelerate skin wound healing and prevent skin cancer development, per an August 2018 review in â.â
Fish oil may also play a role in reducing the appearance of fine line. In an August 2008 study in the âInternational Journal of Cosmetic Scienceâ, post-menopausal women who were given a supplemented drink containing soy isoflavones, lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin E along with a fish oil capsule saw a clinically measurable improvement in the depth of facial wrinkles following long-term use.
Collagen, a structural protein found in the body’s tissues, helps support cell health and maintain tissue structure. The protein is important for healthy looking skin, and research suggests that a fish oil supplement may support collagen growth and reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles.
In an August 2008 study in the âInternational Journal of Cosmetic Scienceâ, post-menopausal women who were given a supplemented drink containing soy isoflavones, lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin E along with a fish oil capsule saw a clinically measurable improvement in the depth of facial wrinkles following long-term use.
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+ Fuel Up With Whole Foods
Youll want to fill up on healthy whole foods like tofu, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, eggs as they contain protein and will make you feel satiated.
Also, include whole grains quinoa, brown/black rice, freekeh and other whole grains which will help you feel full. Dont forget healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocado.
Pros And Cons Of Veganism: Ecosystem Issues
The vast majority of all foods, including plant-based foods, are raised in a way that is very costly to the environment.
The monoculture of soy or any crop is just that: costly to our ecosystem and animal diversity.
Some plants support a healthy ecosystem. However, most vegan crops like soy and legumes are grown in a very non-green way.
Single crops create imbalances in the environment, cause runoff, require tons of chemicals, and cause erosion of soil, according to Dr. Allen Williams, an expert in soil health and regenerative agriculture.
These chemicals include:
This is not sustainable agriculture and its not sustainable for your health either.
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A Plant Based Diet Will Provide Healthy Benefits For Your Body
In contrast to a vegan diet, a plant-based diet is also more likely to result in more weight loss. The reason is that vegan diets eliminate animal products but do not restrict calories, fats or sugars, whereas plant-based diets use little oil, include few added sugars, avoid processed ingredients and focus on whole foods.
Pros And Cons Of Veganism: The Wrong Omega
Vegan Omega 3 fatty acids are plentiful in foods like nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.
The form of omega-3 in plants is called alpha-linolenic acid.
Humans, on average, convert between 0 to 8% of plant omega-3 fats into active omega-3 fats called DHA and EPA.
The best sources of vegan omega-3 fats are chia seeds, hemp, and algae oil. If you eat these daily, you may be able to convert enough active omega 3s in your body.
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