You try to live healthy. You drink your water, you hit the gym regularly, and you watch what you eat. But what do you eat? There are dozens of diets out there, each with its own set of complicated rules to learn and follow. Veganism is one of the oldest, simplest diets around – just avoid eating anything that came from an animal. This means no meat, dairy, or eggs.
Following a vegan diet, or even eating vegan some of the time, can significantly improve your health by helping you get to a healthy weight, decreasing your risk of common chronic diseases, and minimizing your risk for certain types of cancer. With all these benefits, you’d think there would be more vegans out there, but the Vegetarian Times reports that only an estimated 0.5% of American adults are vegan. Here are a few facts about veganism that may encourage you to make the switch.
Vegans Generally Have a Lower Body Mass Index
Your BMI is an indicator of your weight category, and the number is calculated by dividing your body weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. Vegans are less likely to be overweight or obese according to their BMI as they tend to consume less fat, refined sugar, and salt than people following a conventional American diet. So, going vegan may make it easier for you to lose weight and keep it off, as the weight loss will result from a permanent lifestyle change rather than a temporary diet.
Vegans Are Healthier and Live Longer
In 2008, 63% of deaths globally were due to chronic diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. A vegan diet lowers your risk for all of these diseases by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A vegan diet is also related to lower rates of colon and prostate cancer in men.
How does this work? Recent studies have shown that your gut bacteria metabolize a chemical called l-carnitine found in red meat into a chemical called TMAO, which is related to increased risk of heart disease. Vegan diets are also much lower in saturated fats, another risk factor for chronic disease.
Vegans Can Be Athletes
One concern men often have about switching to a plant-based diet is fear of not getting enough protein and other nutrients to support their athletic pursuits. These worries are unfounded, as a well-rounded vegan diet will provide all the vitamins and minerals, and proteins needed to support your joints and growing muscles throughout your workouts and during recovery.
There are plenty of plant-based protein sources including nut butter, whole grains, and beans, and the sports nutrition industry has worked hard to provide vegan protein powders and other vegan dietary supplements so that the vegan athlete is able to meet their nutrition goals. Notable professional athletes that follow a vegan diet are Venus and Serena Williams, track star Carl Lewis, and boxing champion Mike Tyson.
Vegans Have Better Sex
More zinc and B vitamins in the typical vegan diet lead to higher testosterone levels and an increased sex drive. Lower risk of heart disease and high blood pressure means less risk of erectile dysfunction. Better overall health makes you feel good, so you are in the mood more often. A study has even shown that if a man avoids eating red meat, he smells better to the opposite sex, and you know how important the sense of smell is in attraction. Lastly, making conscientious decisions about your life choices leads to confidence, and as everyone knows, confidence is sexy.
Vegans Do Eat Dessert
If you’re afraid to go vegan because you don’t want to give up the occasional guilty pleasure, fear not – there are vegan snacks, junk foods, and desserts. There are a growing number of companies providing completely plant-based food options for items like veggie burgers and other meat replacements, but also for new food replacements like Just Cookies and Just Cookie Dough. You can learn more about Hampton Creek foods, and it’s entirely vegan cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth. And since Just Cookie Dough doesn’t contain eggs, you can eat it right from the jar with no worries about salmonella poisoning. There are also a ton of vegan cookbooks out there with recipes for delicious animal product-free baked goods and other desserts.
Veganism is a simple diet that can help reduce your risk for chronic diseases, improve your sex life, help you live longer, and you still get to eat dessert! With all these reasons, why not try going vegan for a day, or even just for a meal? One small change can make a big difference in your health, attractiveness, and quality of life.