Eating Healthier and Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle.

Meat has never been abundant in the current generation. This is the era where a plate of rice and vegetables is not celebrated. Various stakeholders such as nutritionist, teachers, and activist for animal rights have been in the forefront championing against meat eating. They have come up with compelling reasons discouraging consumption of animal products due to negative implication they bring into human health. Current medical research conducted in the United State indicate that low fiber diets contributes significantly to cardiovascular diseases (Adams et al., 2014). The information further justifies a linear link between the animal products to cancer of colon, cervix, breast prostate and uterus.

Eating Healthier and Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle.
Eating Healthier and Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle.

A normal diet in the United States is characterized by high portentous meat (Melina & Davis, 2013). This behavior has contributed to obese teenagers, who suffer rejection from their peers. The Vegan diet has been penetrating in the lives of the people slowly (Knowles, 2017). The momentum with which it’s appreciated has generated heated debates among various researchers and the entire human sphere. Transitioning to this diet is partly contributed by the information which people receives from nutrionist and other media campaign programs. Some divert to this direction with little knowledge concerning the vegetarian nature of lifestyle.

Vegan diet is basically restrictive. This is whereby an individual stick to vegetable and purely abstain from the animal meat. It could be due to health issue or contributed by ethical stands. However, controversy exist of adopting this lifestyle (Adams et al., 2014). Some critics questions the purpose of Vegan foods probably due to lack of enough information. With increased information concerning the damages that animal products contribute to human health, people are slowly migrating towards vegetarian way. This has been fuelled by increased awareness programs through magazines and media (Melina& Davis, 2013). However, the experts fail to elaborate on span over which an individual should not use these products. There are people who have continually relied on animal diets and yet remain healthy. Convincing such individual would require succinct details on negative implications.

Effects of eating poorly on Health

The overall consumption of meat in the United State and developing nations has increased in the last few years. Irrespective of poultry farming, red meat still has market in the world. For example, it was found that red meat consumption in the U.S attribute to 58 %( Patrick, 2011). Moreover, 22% has resorted to consumption of processed meat.  According to National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES), the United State averaged a consumption rate of 128g/day (Adams et al., 2014). Increased production of animals in the third world nations has attributed high demand for meat consumption. The trend has negated consumption of cereals. It is important to note that meat production has tripled over the last one.

According to research conducted by World watch Institute, meat consumption in the world has increased by 20% for past 10 years (Stevens et al., 2017). Besides, developed countries consume almost double the amount in the third world countries. Pork is widely consumed followed by poultry, then beef and finally Mutton.

Epidiomelogical evidences suggest a direct link between increased use of red and processed meat to cardiovascular diseases. It should be understood that red meat has high cholesterol. Animal fat is dangerous since it clog the veins and arteries (Waldmann et al., 2003). The resultant implication is high blood pressure which affects normal functioning of the heart. Subsequently, the cholesterol components accumulates around the heart causing further complications. It also predispose the user to cancer of the colon, prostate gland, cervix and uterus. The conditions are health risk and might lead to death cutting down the age limit.

Withal, accumulation of fats is the leading cause of obesity cases. Individual develops heavy body size. The condition is psychologically traumatizing and hence not embraced by most people. Large set up of meat production increases the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmospheres. The commonly emitted gas is methane (Adams et al., 2014). World Health Organization has classified it as a major contributor to climatic change in the world. Huge quantities of antibiotics are used on animals more than human beings. The traces are found in the meat which is consumed by people. The data depicts that 80% of antibiotics which were sold in the year 2009 were used in livestock (Knowles, 2017). Since human beings consume meat with the traces of antibiotics, it has lead to the increased resistance to human medicine. World Health organization released the information justifying the high cases of antibiotics resistance in patients.

Fast foods and processed foods

Industrialization of food system has contributed largely to unhealthy citizens. Irrespective of availability of cereal and fresh food directly from the farm, human beings have resorted to consumption of cheap processed foods. They are characterized with additive chemical which are not healthy to the body (Adams et al., 2014). Overconsumption of these fast and processed foods have deleterious effect to the national health. Knowles (2017) notes that the adoption of this kind of lifestyle is largely contributed by the nature of work people engage in. We are living in society where people are busy in their work.

The tight working schedule alienate human beings from adopting the right eating habit. Additionally, laziness has taken root in a generation which want immediate things. Individuals opt to access already made food so that they can engage in other activities (Melina & Davis,2013). We can therefore say that the new changes of way of living have contributed to unhealthy eating. Data significantly indicate an increase of obesity cases in the world. The United State tops the list where a huge number of teenagers are suffering from it. This is the age which takes everything they find in the street. Moreover, parent contribute to their unhealthy living by funding them to buy cheap and fast foods. Food production has considerably evolved all over the world for the past 50 years (Adams et al.,2014). Agricultural practices continues to change, with scientific methods being appreciated in cultivation of various food crops. The situation has therefore increased the rate at which cereals and other agricultural products are produced. It is important to note that an increase in primary production results to increased manufacture of processed foods. Along, people have also increased their consumption rate.

Fast foods are defined as diets containing high energy density. Patrick (2011) asserts that the foods are prepared away from home and have been branded as westernized diet. They are ready prepared and therefore the person can easily consume. The questionable aspect of fast foods is the environment in which they are prepared. The hygiene element is the one which makes nutritionist discourage people from consuming them. Additionally, oil used to prepare them has been associated with low quality (Stevens et al., 2017). Since fast foods are bought from restaurants or other food shops, it is speculated that they use animal fats. These are high cholesterol component which affects the health of users negatively. On the other hand, processed foods are those that undergo industrial modification. Some components are removed or added.

The chemicals used are not human friendly when used for long period. They act as radicals when they are ingested hence precursors to some diseases such as cancer. The pattern of convenient food is creeping into the society leaving family members with little time to interact with each other (Adams et al., 2014). For example, fast food consumption is a trend which is basically seen with young people between aged 2-19 years. The figure below illustrate data based on consumption rate.

The figure above indicate that 65.7% of the teenage population did not consume fast foods between the years 2011-2012(Knowles, 2017). It therefore translates that 34.3% have been involved in consumption of high calories fast foods.  Federal data confirms that more than 1/3 of the teenagers and kids consume fast foods in a given day. According to their research, they revealed that adolescent use an average of 12.4% of the calorie per day (Waldmann et al., 2003). The researcher noted that high calorific foods results to unplanned adding of weight.

It’s important to note that processed foods goes beyond a drink of coca cola. Anything that undergoes industrial process to add anything on top of natural ingredient is termed processed. An average of 61% of United State population use processed products. General liking for junk food is drawing the country to unforeseen danger (Knowles, 2017). WHO classifies anything that is not raw in nature as processed.In this case, even pasteurized milk is included in the list.

Benefits of Plant Based Diet

Plant foods are in most instances ignored. The commentaries argue that they are traditional and therefore finding acceptance in the market is a bit tricky. This assertion no longer hold. Health experts have come out rightly and defended the importance of embracing plant based foods(Adams et al.,2014). Concerted efforts to educate people on the need to embrace the cereals and fiber foods are not going futile. Remarkably, most animal products have to undergo processing stages in order for them to remain under right condition for consumption. This makes them more harmful to health since they develop other chemical compounds. The current generation comprises of people who have evolved due to technological changes. Someone can easily buy ready packed food for the family.

 Subsequently, one uses more on foods which can be locally made at lower cost. This leads us to our first point that plant based diet is cheap compared to fast foods. Anything that undergo processing is costly due to the component added. For plant based diet, one just requires to use them in their raw state. No additives are required to sweeten or make the product appealing to the eyes(Melina & Davis,2013). Industrial conversion of plant based product to a secondary item changes the chemical composition. The chemical reactions that takes place results to complex products that could be harmful to health of the consumers. On economic aspect, plant based diet is more friendly. Plant based diet has enumerable benefits. One, it reduces the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Researchers have confirmed that the highest contributor to increased levels of cholesterol is animal products. Plants contains no cholesterol.

Additionally, they fight blood sugar. Fiber products prevents absorption of sugar in the blood. It has also been confirmed that plant based diet such as vegetables helps in the balance of cortisol. This is chemical which contribute to stress(Stevens et al.,2017). Continued intake of animal products damages the psychological health of the person. Further, they assist in loss of weight. Animal fats are not digested but they deposit underneath the skin. One sure way to clear some weights is taking foods rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals. These components are found in plants. Finally, blood pressure can also be managed by eliminating eating fast and processed foods. Fats clogs the arteries hence increasing the blood pressure (Waldmann et al.,2003). Vegetables and whole grains contains high content of potassium. Contrary, meat has little to zero content of the same element. Potassium lowers blood pressure by eliminating accumulation of cholesterol.

Demographics on The growing Trend of Vegans and Vegeterians.

Veganism is growing rapidly in the United State and the entire world. The rise towards embracing plant based foods is tremendously contributed by negative implications it has been associated with. Over and above, experts in public health have continued to warn the public on reliance on animal products. The defiant nature which was experienced in sometime later is diminishing (Patrick, 2011). The data released by Global Data identified that the population in the United State that identifies itself as vegans stands at 6%. This is a rise from 1% in the year 2014. Consequently, 44% of the population in Germany are identified as vegans (Stevens et al., 2017). There is a gradual shift towards plant based diet in the current generation. According to the vegetarian resource group, about 5% of the world population have adopted vegan lifestyle. Further, it is estimated that vegetarians total to an estimated of 350 million (Adams et al., 2014). The graph below illustrate the general growth trend of vegans and vegetarians in the world.

The information depicts the general growth of vegan and vegetarians from the year 1950 to the year 2050. The graph indicate a general linear relationship of the vegans as years progress. This is attributed by the general awareness which has been created by nutritionist and other experts in the field of health (Waldmann et al., 2003). Although increase in awareness is cited as the major contributor to resorting to plant based foods, crop production has also evolved. It is important to give credit to improved agricultural production methods which are practiced in the current times. Farmers are incorporating technological commercial farming by use of modern tools and chemicals to prevent plant diseases. This has increased production significantly. Moreover, third world countries still register low number of animal products consumption.

Moreover, organic foods are produced following the standards that regulateorganic foods in the market. In order to be allowed to market food as organic, one has to comply with regulations set down by the relevant body (Knowles,2017). They contain little chemicals as opposed to others produced in conventional methods. Controlled pesticides are used and basically organic manure is used instead of fertilizers. The market for organic foods is moving from a niche market to wider coverage. There is more entrance into the new areas where the products were not accepted.  Global market for organic foods stands at 41%. It is estimated that by the year 2022, the consumption of organic foods will increase by 16%(Adams et al.,2014). Apart from the awareness of the organic foods, other factors that have contributed towards increased sales of organic foods is improved standards of living. Purchasing power is increasing with time, as people learn new ways to make money (Knowles,2017). Withal, the government initiative to discourage people from using high chemically produced products. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their personal health hence changing their preference.

Natural foods market was valued at $79,137 by the end of the year 2017. It is estimated to increase by 13.7% by the year 2020 (Adams et al., 2014). Natural foods are minimally processed and devoid of some artificial chemicals such as sweeteners. Consumers are inclined toward health aspect of the food they consume. Traditional factors such as prices and accessibility no longer take much consideration in the present era. Due to these effects, anything that might risk the lives of people is kept aside (Waldmann et al.,2003). Traditional eating habit are slowly becoming the norm of the day at an expensive price. Purchasing unprocessed products from the supermarket is more expensive. This goes along the demand and supply rule. More people are resorting to use of organic and natural products but they are seasonal. The shifts in supply creates unstable prices. Nonetheless, the market is growing because even the restaurants and food shops are forced to provide healthy consumables. The graph below indicate development of global organic foods.

Besides, the rate of accessing unhealthy foods is almost twice that of Vegan meal. As it was alluded in the previous paragraphs, the proliferation of processed foods has subdued the natural ones. A case of interest was cited in United State, where young people are exposed to fatty foods more than vegans’ meal. For a healthy living lifestyle, it is important to shun consumption of meat in our daily diets. It is high time we embrace the plant based foods, which have no cholesterol value.

References

Adams, C. J., Messina, V., & Breitman, P. (2014). Never too late to go vegan: The over-50 guide to adopting and thriving on a plant-based diet. New York: Experiment.

Knowles, N. (2017). Proper Healthy Food: Hearty vegan and vegetarian recipes for meat lovers.

Melina, V., & Davis, B. (2013). Becoming vegetarian: The complete guide to adopting a healthy vegetarian diet. Toronto, Ontario: HarperCollins Canada.

Patrick, C. (2011). The 30-day vegan challenge: The ultimate guide to eating cleaner, getting leaner, and living compassionately. New York: Ballantine Books.

Stevens, J. A., Sleet, D. A., & Rubenstein, L. Z. (2017). The Influence of Older Adults’ Beliefs and Attitudes on Adopting Fall Prevention Behaviors. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Waldmann, A., Koschizke, J. W., Leitzmann, C., & Hahn, A. (2003). Dietary intakes and lifestyle factors of a vegan population in Germany: results from the German Vegan Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57(8), 947-955.

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