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Is A Vegan / Plant-Based Protein Diet Healthier?

Healthy plant-based diet

In the race to extend and improve the quality of human life, scientists and medical doctors are leaning towards adapting a bold idea – veganism.  The plant-based diet has been around for millennia, but is now being hailed as the more sustainable and healthier option. It is considered as the best alternative to manage weight, control diabetes, hypertension and kidney problems.

Collective recently ran a report backing up this claim. The article featured several well-respected doctors and scientists who reached ripe, old ages by doing away with animal protein.

“I would tell the patients that the vegetable-based diet was the healthy way to go”

“Veganism is a very fine form of nutrition. It’s a little extreme to tell a person who is using flesh foods that you’re going to take everything entirely away from them. When I was in practice in medicine, I would tell the patients that the vegetable-based diet was the healthy way to go, and to keep away from the animal products as much as possible. People are very sensitive about what they eat. You can talk to people about exercising, relaxation, good mental attitude and they will accept that. But you talk to them about what they are eating and people are very sensitive about that. If an individual is willing to listen, I will try to explain to them on a scientific basis of how I think it’s better for them,” explained Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, 100 years old and only recently retired as a heart surgeon. Dr. Wareham has been a vegan for over 50 years.

His expert opinion was seconded by Kim A. Williams, M.D., the American College of Cardiology’s incoming president. The chairman of Rush University Medical Center- Chicago’s Cardiology department also adopted a vegan / plant-based diet and strongly recommends the transition to patients who are struggling with weight, diabetes, and cholesterol problems. Dr. Williams believes that vegans live longer than meat eaters and enjoy lower incidences of heart diseases, kidney problems and type 2 diabetes.

Plant based protein - veganismDr. Dean Ornish, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, conducted studies on patients to test this theory. Dr. Ornish, who has authored books on heart disease, believes in reforming diets and changing lifestyles when treating people for health problems. He found that patients who were placed on a vegan diet showed  less coronary plaque as well as fewer ‘cardiac events’.

The number of doctors and scientists who are veering away from animal protein-based diets could be attributed to more than just their personal preferences. Harvard Medical School also published an article which strengthens these claims: “studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”

Basically, protein is broken down into amino acids in the human body. The reason for the long-standing debate between animal and plant protein is that the latter is said to be an “incomplete” source. According to Authority, plant proteins are often low in methionine, tryptophan, lysine and isoleucine. Protein from animals, which include, fish, dairy, eggs, poultry and meat have a similar composition to the protein found in humans, and contain the essential amino acids it needs to function effectively. This, in essence, makes them complete sources of protein.

On the other hand, vegans sometimes take protein supplements to make up the difference. Eating well goes beyond nutrition, and affects all aspects of everyday life. If you’re ready to embrace this bold and challenging lifestyle concept in the name of better health, you better be ready for some drastic changes. People who have embraced veganism say the health benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

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