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Why More People Are Going Vegan?

Why are more people choosing to go vegan?

Plant-based and vegan diets are surging in popularity, but why?

Health, ethics and sustainability often drive individuals to embrace vegan or vegetarian lifestyles, causing a significant shift in recent behaviors of Americans.

From reducing the risk of chronic diseases to combating climate change, 'going vegan'—eschewing all animal products—promises substantial benefits for both our own personal health and the health of our shared environment.

Nana Joes Granola and every single one of our products is proudly vegan and gluten-free.

The Health Benefits of Going Vegan are Driving Change for Individuals and the Environment

The robust correlation between plant-based diets and reduced rates of chronic diseases is a pivotal factor behind this dietary revolution. According to researchers, "Compared with typical Western diets with high amounts of animal products, healthy plant-based diets are not only more sustainable, but have also been associated with lower risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. For personalized disease management and prevention, precision nutrition has the potential to offer more effective approaches tailored to individual characteristics such as the genome, metabolome, and microbiome," (Hemler & Hu, 2019).

Individuals and families who adopt vegan diets typically ingest lower quantities of saturated fats and less bad cholesterol, both derived from animal products. Subsequently, some studies show that these people also often experience improved cardiovascular health, including lower blood pressure, better good and bad cholesterol ratios, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Further impelling the shift toward veganism is the diet's alignment with an array of preventive health strategies. Vegan diets are abundant in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals that play significant roles in bolstering our immune systems and warding off illness and disease. Embracing a vegan lifestyle may also decrease one’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, a critical factor in the pursuit of long-term health and vitality for many populations.

Combatting Chronic Diseases

Switching to a vegan diet can offer profound health benefits in the realm of chronic disease prevention and management. A vegan diet can significantly lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, offering a proactive approach to health. Adherence to a plant-based diet has been linked to enhanced metabolic function and a lower incidence of lifestyle-related diseases.

Weight Management and Energy

Vegan diets, low in calories and high in fiber, support satiety and assist in maintaining a healthy relationship with your food and your weight. Individuals seeking to manage their weight may find that a plant-based diet, rich in whole foods, provides a nourishing way to achieve their goals without feeling deprived of satisfying meals. In research on dietary patterns, vegan individuals often exhibit lower body mass indexes compared to their omnivorous counterparts. The natural tendency of plant-based foods to be less calorie-dense, while offering substantial volume, aids in weight control. Consequently, vegan dietary habits can foster an environment conducive to long-term weight management.

Naturally, a diet that emphasizes whole, plant-based foods is replete with complex carbohydrates, the body's primary fuel source. These nutrients promote steadier energy release compared to the rapid spikes and dips associated with high-sugar and high-fat diets. Therefore, a well-planned vegan diet can contribute to sustained energy levels and enhanced physical performance.

Further benefits of a vegan diet for weight management include a higher intake of water and a thermic effect from increased fiber digestion. Consuming nutrient-dense vegan foods requires more energy to digest, thus potentially increasing resting metabolic rate and aiding in weight control.

Choosing a vegan lifestyle could be a strategic move not only for those looking to manage their weight but also for individuals seeking sustained energy. The nutrient composition of a vegan diet naturally aligns with the principles of healthy eating and energy balance. There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests reducing animal-based foods in your diet even by a small amount and result in increased energy. 

Nutrient-Rich Food Choices

Vegan diets are synonymous with nutrient density.

Plant-based foods often contain a kaleidoscope of nutrients. These range from essential vitamins and minerals to phytonutrients and antioxidants, all of which play unique roles in maintaining health and preventing disease. Consequently, vegans can rest assured that their dietary choices contribute to a profound spectrum of health benefits. Learn more about vegan foods that are great choices at the grocery store. 

Diversity is key to nutrient acquisition.

A varied vegan diet ensures an abundance of essential nutrients - from protein-rich legumes to omega-rich seeds. It's a nutritional powerhouse, combining macronutrients for energy and micronutrients for cellular functions. Ever wonder what the heck a macro or micronutrient is anyways? Learn more with the Cleveland Clinic here.

Whole foods over supplements should be the mantra.

Opting for whole, unrefined vegan foods ensures optimal nutrient absorption. Evidence is mounting in favor of whole-food consumption over supplementation, especially considering the synergistic effect of nutrients in their natural form, which enhances their bioavailability and efficacy within the body.

Balanced vegan diets meet all nutritional needs.

Recent studies indicate that well-planned vegan diets under the consultation of your doctor, nutritionist or dietitian that conform to nutritional recommendations and are suitable for all lifestyles and life stages. Vegan diets have the ability to provide ample nutrients, even those nutrients traditionally associated with animal products.

Ethical Concerns Spark Action

In July 2023, Scientific American declared "A Meatless Diet is Better for You—And the Planet.The stark realities of animal agriculture - with its harrowing evidence of cruelty and environmental degradation - unequivocally fuel the vegan movement. Discerning consumers, troubled by the profound ethical implications, are increasingly choosing a vegan lifestyle to eschew participation in such practices.

As awareness burgeons, compassionate choices become more mainstream, fostering a society where empathy extends beyond our species. This moral awakening drives a surging demand for plant-based alternatives that respect animal welfare and underscores a profound shift in consumer conscientiousness.

Animal Welfare Considerations

The ethical treatment of animals is sometimes a paramount concern for many adopting a vegan lifestyle. While we won’t get into much gruesome detail here, animals in agriculture may be kept in restrictive or overcrowded environments that impede their natural behaviors leading to disease, health conditions and distress that are not otherwise present in animal populations outside of the mainstream food industry. Choosing a plant-based diet directly reduces complicity in these types of inhumane practices.

Environmental Impact Awareness

The planet's well-being has become a driving force in the migration towards a vegan diet. In recent years, stark revelations about agricultural emissions have catalyzed a global reckoning, compelling many individuals to reconsider their dietary choices from an environmental perspective. The livestock sector is notably responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, a key contributor to climate change. Research suggests that animal agriculture is at the helm of damaging impacts, including deforestation, biodiversity loss, and excessive water use.

Thus, there's a growing consciousness that our food choices are inextricably linked to environmental sustainability. By opting for plant-based alternatives, one contributes to a reduction of ecological footprints, endorsing a more sustainable food production paradigm. Vegan diets, by circumventing animal agriculture, inherently encourage a more resource-efficient approach to feeding the global population, leveraging the benefits of reduced land and water use, along with lowered greenhouse gas emissions.

The transition to a vegan diet embodies a multifaceted act of stewardship, acknowledging that sustainable living requires coherent changes in our alimentary practices. Embracing veganism is thus seen as a viable contribution to combatting global environmental challenges, highlighting our interdependence with the natural world.

Accessibility and Convenience

The proliferation of plant-based products in mainstream markets underscores a shift towards vegan accessibility. Once exclusive to health food stores, vegan options are now omnipresent, from local supermarkets to restaurants, direct-to-consumer online stores, wholesale and corporate options, and more all catering to consumers' demands for plant-based choices.

With investments surging in the plant-based sector, innovation has propelled an array of vegan products. These span beyond mere substitutions, offering gastronomically appealing alternatives that tempt even the most traditional palate, ensuring that veganism is not an austere choice but a delightful culinary exploration.

More Vegan Options in Mainstream Venues

The surge of veganism has seen a remarkable increase in plant-based offerings in conventional food establishments. Accessibility to vegan options is no longer a niche market but a mainstream expectation. This inclusivity caters to a demographic that values ethical consumption while refusing to compromise on flavor or convenience.