Biology 100- Section 005
November 4, 2013
The Benefits of Veganism
The Benefits of Veganism
There is a great deal of debate among people as to which diet should guide their nutritional lifestyle. There are many diets to choose from. Diets where no meat is consumed to diets where only meat is on the menu. There are fiber-based diets, no dairy diets, fruit diets as well as, see food diets. One of the most popular diets open for discussion is Veganism. It isn’t just considered as a diet but more of a life-style. Vegans do not partake of any animal meat as well as any products an animal may produce such as milk or eggs. There has been a great deal of research on this way of life. However, varying opinions about Veganism is evident. An important question is, can a Vegan gain the important nutrients living this type of lifestyle? If so, are there any negative effects of abstaining from animal based products?
Four random individuals were asked to define Veganism. They responded… “vegetarian”, “vegetables”, “skinny people”, “yeast”, and something to “improves acne”. When asked if they felt Veganism would be a healthier lifestyle, they all shared concerns about Vegans not receiving enough nutrients and protein from this type of diet. Where do Vegans get their protein and calcium from if it isn’t from eating meat, drinking milk or consuming milk products? This is often the most common question and misconception of Veganism. The answer lies in plant-based food products. In fact, Vegans get the necessary protein and nutrients while also staying away from potential diseases, which come from animal products. Researchers consider Vegans to be healthier due to avoiding animal products like meat and dairy, which can have a negative impact on the body (1).
Red meats are often thought of as being suitable to ingest. However, studies show that the average American eats twice the amount of protein needed and much of this protein is coming from red meats (1). Studies have shown that red meat contains saturated fats and contributes to heart disease and cancer. Saturated fats also lead to excessive weight gain. Research shows that the body has a difficult time breaking down red meats during digestion. This is due to the amount of enzymes necessary to process digestion. Researchers have also sited the ingestion of red meat may double their risk of colon cancer. (3) To non-Vegans, chicken is the primary source of protein in the world. This is a concern for the Vegan diet. Chicken is by far the easiest meat to cook and is found in many prepared dishes. One cup of chicken has roughly 306 calories and a skinless chicken breast has around 160 calories. Chicken contains 18 grams of fat, 4.9 grams of saturated fats, 109 grams of Cholesterol, 94 mg of sodium and 232 mg of potassium. The most significant purpose of consuming chicken is the protein. Chicken contains roughly 35 grams of protein and other common vitamins, which are essential to the human body (14). However, there are some negative aspects to eating chicken. Ninety-nine percent of broiler chickens were found to contain detectable levels of E.coli. Chicken also made the “10 Dirtiest Foods” according to Men’s Health magazine (14). The chickens that people consume are often kept in un-livable conditions and given drugs to speed up their weight gain. The high usage of antibiotics has also led to an increased risk of bacteria developing antibiotic resistance. (15) Most people are led to believe that open range chickens roams around freely. This is a myth. In fact, I personally know a farmer in Caruthers, California and talked to him about the chickens he raises for market. Open range chickens really means that there is a chicken door in the side of the barn, which leads to an outdoor, enclosed pen. If a chicken wants to go outside, on the “range’, they can. The chicken feed also contains a chemical called arsenic, which