WHY A VEGAN DIET IS GOOD FOR YOU AND THE ENVIRONMENT
January 4 , 2023
Veganism is on the rise. A survey by finder, has shown that 14% of adults in the UK are following a meat-free diet. Around 1.6 million of them are currently vegan.
Veganism is on the rise. A , has shown that 14% of adults in the UK are following a meat-free diet. Around 1.6 million of them are currently vegan. The plant-based food market by 11.9% by 2027 reaching a global value of $74.2 billion. The rapid growth of plant-based diets can be attributed to a few factors including greater knowledge on the environmental impact of animal agriculture and increasing concerns over climate change.
People follow plant-based diets for a variety of reasons, including:
Studies have shown that high fruit and vegetable intake can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians have even been found to have a lower risk for cancer compared to non-vegetarians.
As with all diet changes, you need to ensure you are balancing your plate with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Those following a whole plant-based diet need to ensure they’re eating foods with vitamins B2, B12, D, iodine, zinc, calcium and selenium. Vegan diets can be nutritionally complete with a good variety of plant-based foods. If you have any specific nutritional or health concerns you should speak to a GP or a registered nutritionist.
The type of food we eat can have a massive impact on the environment. In the EU, , by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, has shown the average citizen has a food footprint of 1070 kg of CO2. That’s equal to 2,656 miles driven by gasoline powered vehicle!
Reducing your intake of meat and dairy can have a big impact on your personal CO2 footprint. has shown that plant-based foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, have among the lowest impact on the environment. Whilst unprocessed and processed red meat had some of the largest negative impacts. Other animal-based products, including dairy and poultry, have a moderate effect.
animal agriculture contributes to 80% of air pollution through the use of
fertilisers and pesticides and the accumulation of animal waste. In addition,
meat and dairy doesn’t just cause direct issues to the environment, but also
contributes to deforestation for
Showing just how effective a plant-based diet can be for your health, many top athletes follow the diet to perform at their best. Here are a few examples of athletes and sports teams leading the charge!
Venus Williams is a former professional tennis player winning seven Grand Slam single titles and three Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles with her sister Serena. She is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of tennis.
Venus switched to a vegan diet after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Sjogrem’s Syndrome. causes joint pain and fatigue and could have seriously hindered her court performance. Speaking to , Venus talks about her switch to a plant-based diet:
Patrik is a 2012 European Powerlifting Champion breaking 3 world records in strong man events. Patrik is proof that you can be vegan and also be the strongest man in the world. In advocating for veganism, he has inspired many other athletes to try diets and dispelled the myth that a vegan diet can’t make you strong. After winning the 2012 world record in yoke walk, he :
Four-times world record breaking ultramarathon
runner, Fiona Oakes proves that a vegan diet can supercharge athleticism. Fiona
became a vegan at the age of six in the 1970s and has started a group
called aimed at showing how a healthy
plant-based diet can help improve running performance. Fiona said to the :
Five-time Formula 1 champion, Lewis Hamilton, changed his diet in 2017 to follow a strictly plant-based diet having previously followed a mostly pescatarian diet.
It’s not only individual athletes that recognise
the benefits of a plant-based diet, some sports teams are using a plant-based
diet to fuel their performance.
League 1 team, , are the only vegan football club in the world. Their stadium’s catering is completely plant-based and most of the players follow a vegan diet. Their vegan ‘Q-pie’ was commended at the British Pie Awards and they have been awarded ‘Menu of the Year’ from Sport and Leisure Catering Magazine.
Philip Bryden, the Green Gazelles nutritionist credits a wholefood plant-based diet for reducing inflammation. When speaking about the common fear for athletes around protein on a plant-based diet, he says