Happy Healthy Secrets!

 #3: Two 'Vs' or a 'W'?

There is a lot of confusion about what the words ‘Vegan’ and ‘Vegetarian’ really mean/ Here's the full story on this important point. Originally the term ‘Vegetarian’ meant that the person ate a plant-based diet, but then it began to include those who did not eat flesh-meats but used eggs and/or dairy products. These are also called Lacto-vegetarians (using Dairy products); or Lacto-Ova Vegetarians (using Dairy products and eggs). Then some people still call themselves ‘Vegetarians’ and also use fish in addition to the eggs and dairy. Then there are ‘Partial Vegetarians’ who only avoid red meat and use poultry as well as the above items, and some just use flesh and animal foods sparingly.

Now it is important to realize that from a health standpoint, research has shown that the addition of any animal products, especially above a mere 4% of total calories, decreases health benefits in proportion as the animal intake increases. Persons who eat meat sparingly, or use dairy and eggs, do somewhat benefit health-wise from this choice, and any reduction in use of animal products certainly does benefit the environment somewhat. The less animals eaten, the fewer will be suffering the tortures of modern factory farms and slaughter houses. But changing the two ‘V’ words to a ‘W’ and going all the way to a Vegan Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet is the best choice all round!

Let's explore what ‘Vegan’ actually means and where the idea came from in diet-ology.  A true Vegan, in the strictest sense, is a person who uses absolutely no animal products at all. In fact, not only in diet do they avoid animal products, but they wear no fur, leather, or wool; they do not use honey either. They take this stance for ethical and humanitarian reasons.

Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?

It can be, but being Vegan alone, does not automatically make it healthy. Many people on becoming Vegan, simply leave the animal products out of their diet, and otherwise continue to eat what they ate before. This is why you will often hear it claimed that a Vegan diet is not a healthy diet; and yes, there are many folk who get sick or even overweight on a Vegan diet.

Why? Because you can be a Vegan and load up on processed foods and refined products, candy, soda drinks, snack-foods and junk. Leaving all animal products out of a junk-food diet does not make it healthy. Sadly many ethical Vegans go this route and can run into problems.

One man tells how his ‘Vegan Diet’ consisted of Miller’s Lite Beer and Fritos potato chips.  He was grossly obese—over 300 lbs.! It was ‘Vegan’; there were no animal products in it! However it was nutritionally worthless. After he learned the difference between food, and food-like substances, he added nutrition to his valid concern for animal welfare and he is now slim, trim and fit!

We sure do not downplay the value of become Vegan for ethical reasons; it is a very valid consideration. ‘Saving the Animals’ from torture and exploitation is a noble and important consideration. Indeed, anyone who insists on keeping animal flesh and other animal products as a part of their diet should see the videos of what goes on in factory farms and slaughterhouses. It is rightly said that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, there would be a lot fewer eaters of animal flesh. If people had to kill it and prepare it themselves; few would do so.

I want to suggest to you that the first 'animal' you should save, is yourself! To do that you need not only an ethically correct diet, but a healthy Whole-food plant-based diet! You don’t need to be ‘Vegan’ and sickly, you can be ‘Vegan’ and remarkably healthy, and that is worth going after!

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