The vegan diet is an ideal one for building health. As mentioned in a previous article, however, it is still possible for there to be overweight vegans because all you need to do is consume too many calories. You can also be unhealthy as a vegan by not getting enough of the right nutrients. However, those problems can be easily fixed by cutting calories and creating better, more complete meals.
However, some people have bigger health problems to worry about. Some may be using the vegan diet to help them restore their health. Others chose to become vegans for other reasons and it just so happens they have health problems such as diabetes.
Here is a list of some common health afflictions and how to adjust the vegan diet to accommodate it. Remember that the vegan diet is a healthy diet to begin with so it makes these adjustments a lot easier.
There are two kinds of diabetes – Type 1, which people are born with, and Type 2, which comes later in life. The vegan diet, especially a low-fat one, is especially useful for people who have Type 2 diabetes. However, Type 1 sufferers can also benefit.
If you stick to low-fat foods, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and plenty of fruits and vegetables it will help manage your condition naturally. Also, make sure to take the medication you are supposed to. When your body can’t produce insulin or doesn’t manufacture enough, there’s no other way for your body to get it except with the medicine.
Diseases Of The Circulatory System
Diseases of the circulatory system, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and generalized heart disease, all benefit from the vegan diet naturally. This is because it is low in fat and cholesterol. Also, if you have high blood pressure, you can take an extra step and make sure that you don’t consume excess salt.
This is another case where following the vegan diet as you normally would benefits your health and can help with these health problems.
Low Fat Diet
The vegan diet is naturally low in fat. In fact, because you are not consuming any meat products, it is low in saturated fat and high in the helpful fats that come from avocado, nuts and seeds, and various vegetable oils.
However, there are some things to keep in mind. First, stay away from trans-fats. In many ways, these are even worse for you than saturated fats. Also, you may need a small amount of saturated fat in your diet. You can get what you need by eating coconut every once in a while. You can also cook with coconut oil which could take the place of butter or lard.
Low Sugar Cooking
If you follow the vegan diet as it is meant to be followed, the vegan diet is naturally low in sugar. However, just like with any lifestyle, there is the possibility that you can overdo it. Yes, your body needs some sugar. You can get it naturally from fresh and dried fruits as well as maple syrup, sugar cane, or rice syrup.
However, there are also baked goods and other sugary possibilities (such as vegan-friendly chocolate) that can become just as addictive as their non-vegan counterparts. Moderation is the key. If you want to follow a low-sugar diet, train your body to enjoy sugar in its natural state when it’s present in fruit and not to enjoy baked foods.
Low Sodium Cooking
People who follow the vegan diet are just as prone to consuming too much sodium as anyone else. Followed in its purest state, the vegan diet is low in sodium. But reach for the salt shaker too often, and this could negatively affect your health.
Packaged and processed foods exist no matter if you are a vegan or not. So does the salt shaker. Avoid it, especially if you have a tendency to retain water or if have high blood pressure.
At first glance, it may seem like a challenge to do away with gluten on a vegan diet. However, it is still very possible. If you need to avoid gluten, here is a short list of some of the grains to avoid:
However, there are still plenty of grains and starches that you can eat.
- Rice, especially brown rice
Just follow the vegan diet as you normally would but only stick with those grains that don’t produce gluten. As you can see, you can easily adapt the vegan diet to help with a variety of health problems.