When it comes to food, there is not doubt that what we eat affects us in a major way. The diet we choose to consume affects our health, our vitality, and even the way we look… which is why many of us are moving towards not only staying away from unhealthy foods, but actually consciously consuming a healthier diet overall. The truth is that most of us are tired of feeling sick, tired of carrying around extra weight, and not happy about the way we feel and the way we look. Many of us are consciously taking a stand against the unhealthy food that seemed to be all the rage in years past, and instead actively choosing foods that are healthy for us and that do not weigh us down. The truth is that we all want to feel good and we all want to look good, which is why, along with engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, drinking a lot of water, and keeping our stress levels down, making sure to consume a healthy diet is at the top of the list.
But, the question remains, what does a healthy diet actually look like? How do we define what eating healthy really means? What should we shop for at the grocery store in order to eat a healthy diet? What should we stay away from? The reality is that eating healthy can differ slightly for certain people, but at the end of the day, eating healthy has a lot to do with consuming whole foods that are free of chemicals and other additives, it also means consuming a diet full of whole foods that have as little processing as possible, which are also usually extremely limited in their salt, sugar, and preservative content, and that also means that (most of the time) a healthy diet comes primarily from the ground.
When many people think of eating as healthy as possibly, they usually think of consuming primarily plant-based foods, which includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds, essentially, plants. And this is why plant-based diets, which includes veganism, is taking an upturn for becoming the most popular way of eating for many of us. And, the good thing is that healthy eating knows no bounds, all types of people are jumping on the healthy bandwagon, including men, women, and children of all ages, from all demographics, all races, and even all religions. As it goes to show, a healthy diet, full of plant-based foods, and veganism, does not know any boundaries, and is not seeming to be stopping anytime soon.
Since plant-based diets and veganism are showing to have so much upward momentum, not only in this country, but all over the world, there are a lot of statistics out there that point to why a plant-based diet / veganism is beneficial the human body. This includes statistics that point to the fact that eating meat has been shown to contribute to clogged arteries, obesity, and even heart attacks. It has also been proven that the less meat someone eats, especially if they are carrying around some extra weight, the better. And, while the reality is that there are nutrients in meat that are beneficial to the human body, such as iron and amino acids, the goods don’t necessarily outweigh the bads.
According to www.livekindly.co:
- The demand for vegan food has spiked 140%
- Vegan alternatives make up 40% of new ‘dairy’ products
- Nearly 50% of Americans support a ban of slaughterhouses
- 40% of consumers try to include more vegan foods into every meal
And, according to www.plantbasednews.org:
- The global plant-based ‘milk’ market set to reach $21.6 billion by the year 2022
- Google trends show a 90% increase in vegan searches
- U.S. meat giant Tyson has bought a 5% stake in a plant-based business
- The vegan leather industry is set to hit $85 billion globally
- 1.5 million Americans over the age of 17 are now vegan
These statistics not only showcase the way that plant-based diets and veganism has increased not only in this country, but in the world, but they also show that the way many of us view food and the meat industry is drastically changing.
Now, let’s switch gears a bit. To be fair, a lot of the bad rap that meat has gotten as of late is due to not only the meat affecting the human body itself when eaten, but the fact that factory farming exists and is so prevalent, especially in this country. Aside from the humanitarian aspect of staying away from meat, there is something going on that is very bleak when it comes to the way meat, chicken, and pork is raised and then slaughtered. The entire process is not only cruel and inhumane, but is extremely unhealthy for us to consume. Cows, chickens, and pigs are consistently injected with hormones, and when we eat meat, chicken, or pork, we consume these hormones. Aside from meat, chicken, and pork including hormones, this also includes dairy, cheese, and eggs, which are also laden with many unhealthy substances that we consume. This problem even spreads to fish consumption. The reality is that a lot of fish, especially fish-farmed salmon and tuna, have a lot of warnings associated with regular consumption of it, and this is due to its high contamination content. According to the website, www.mindbodygreen.com, “farm-raised salmon contains unhealthy levels of contaminants like PCBs, dioxins, and other chemicals that cause cancer and developmental problems in kids.” The website goes on to say that “one study of US salmon consumption says ‘young children, women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and nursing mothers’ should avoid farmed salmon if they’re ‘concerned with health impairments such as reduction in IQ and other cognitive and behavioral effects.’” And tuna has its own host of problems with high-levels of mercury.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the decision of how you want to feel, how you want to look, and what you want to eat. But, it all goes to show that while eating meat, dairy, and the like might not be all that bad, the world is moving towards eating a healthier diet overall, full of plant-based foods and veganism as it’s foundation for living a healthier lifestyle.