Diets for Weight Loss: Vegan vs Low Carb
Dietary choices have been quite the topic of conversation as of late. Eating is something we do day in and day out, a necessary means for survival. We’ve all heard the saying if you look better, you feel better, right? Now more than ever people are paying close attention to what they are consuming, and how it is affecting their bodies.Lets discuss Vegan vs Low Carb
With all of the processed food that is available, it is easy to get caught up in the grab n’ go lifestyle when it comes to food. However, over time it has come to fruition that mindless eating can lead to various dietary issues and of course, weight gain. One can practice conscious eating in many ways, whether it be avoiding overly processed foods, avoiding foods that contain animal products (veganism) or monitoring carbohydrate intake. So with all of the diets out there today, which is the best for keeping the number on the scale from going up?
What is veganism?(Vegan vs Low Carb)
Veganism is the practice of excluding all animal meat and byproducts from the diet altogether. Veganism has become quite popular in the 21st century. Extensive research has been published which reveals that increased meat consumption is a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of premature death in the United States. Dietary research has also linked dairy consumption to increased inflammatory responses in the body, which can become detrimental over time.
Why has veganism become so popular?
Veganism has become increasingly popular in society today as people are becoming more food conscious in efforts to maintain a longer, healthier life. As long-term nutrition studies come to fruition, foodborne illness no longer ends at salmonella and food poisoning. People are looking for ways to help themselves feel better on a day to day basis, and many vegans attest to the fact that removing animal products from their diet and instead maintaining a plant-based diet has helped them do just that.
Does veganism help you lose weight?
Just like any diet, veganism is not a quick fix for someone looking to lose weight. Of course removing products high in fat and cholesterol such as cheese and red meat is good for your overall health, however, simply removing these products without replacing them with healthier alternatives won’t provide the weight loss results you may desire.
One of the most common mistakes people make when switching to veganism is failing to plan how they are going to change their diet. Veganism is a lot more than just having a veggie burger instead of a real cheeseburger, and people often fail at getting the correct nutrients they need to lose weight.
Plant-based diets can lead to weight loss if the correct dietary choices are implemented. It is important to supplement the diet with plenty of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and greens to ensure one is getting a sufficient amount of vitamins, nutrients, and proteins they need. Plant-based foods are often nutrient dense, which is the main reason a vegan diet coupled with exercise can lead to weight loss.
Will ditching carbs help me ditch some pounds?
As humans, we definitely need to include carbohydrates in our diet to merely survive. Carbohydrates are our bodies source of quick energy, as they can be quickly broken down and converted to our bodies form of energy (ATP). Did you ever get a burst of energy after eating a nice starchy meal, but then feel a “crash” not long after? That is because you’re body can quickly use the carbs as energy, but the body depletes this energy source very quick as well.
Carbohydrates that are consumed and then not used for energy are stored as fat, which is why most people associate cutting carbs with shedding fat. I’ll spare you the science lesson, but cutting carbohydrates entirely out of the diet can be extremely dangerous. If you are focused on losing weight, it is best to avoid the overconsumption of carbohydrates rather than expelling them altogether.
Also, the source of the carbohydrate intake is imperative to weight loss. Bleached carbs such as white pasta and white bread are often referred to as “empty carbs” because they are stripped of their nutrient-dense grains. This is why you may hear people switching to whole grain or whole wheat bread over white bread. Whole grain carbohydrate sources are rich in vitamins and nutrients, as they are not stripped during the bleaching process, which helps you feel fuller longer.
What is a good carbohydrate intake for weight loss?
When it comes to food intake, there is no one size fits all diet to guarantee weight loss. In terms of carbohydrate intake, the sweet spot lands right in the middle of the spectrum. Underconsumption of carbs in the diet can lead to a decline in cognitive function, as the brain feeds off of healthy fats that are stored in the body by carbohydrates. Overconsumption of carbs can lead to weight gain and fatigue.
A meta-analysis published by the Lancet Journal of Public Health showed that in over 400,000 participants, those who maintained low-carb and high-carb diets had an increased risk of weight gain and mortality than those who maintained a moderate carbohydrate intake.
If I am going to decrease my carb intake, what should I eat instead?
The same meta-analysis showed that participants who supplemented their diet with plant-based fats and proteins rather than fats and protein sources derived from animal products had a decreased risk of mortality and weight gain. Focusing on the consumption of whole foods which are dense in nutrients will definitely put you on the right path for weight loss.
Any other benefits of veganism?
Today, the increased amount and increased quality of vegan alternatives that are available make it even easier to ditch animal byproducts. Tofu and soy products that mimic the taste and texture of meat are making their way into more grocery stores. Non-dairy alternatives are making their claim to fame as well, such as coconut and almond milk, and nutritional yeast which has a cheese-like flavor.
Not only can veganism help you consume more nutrient-dense foods, but it also seems to help out the environment as well. In 2012, livestock that was bred for beef consumed 65 trillion gallons of water, and that is only beef. The meat and dairy industry also contributes about 65% of gas emissions that are harmful to the ozone, which contributes greatly to climate change