Video: A Vegan Diet Won’t Solve All Your Problems

A vegan diet is often credited with curing all sorts of health conditions. Beyoncé thinks a vegan diet is responsible for getting into great shape. She’s so convinced that she maintains a vegan diet most of the time while continuing to eat animal products occasionally. Vegan health gurus claim veganism cures everything from Chron’s disease to cancer.

Is there truth to these claims? Yes and no. A healthy vegan diet makes you feel better if you weren’t eating a terribly good diet to begin with. But if you’ve always eaten well, you likely won’t see as much of a difference.

And thanks to research, we know a low-fat vegan diet reduces the risk of heart disease and helps with inflammation.

A vegan diet may be healthy, but it’s not  magic

But for some people, that’s not enough. They want to sell you veganism by claiming a vegan diet can solve all your problems. And this just isn’t true.

In this video, I argue that while veganism is a great choice for your health, you’ll be disappointed if you go vegan thinking it will solve all your health problems. Or make you look like a superstar.

Going vegan is one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I feel at peace knowing that I’m working to make the world a better place. And in a world full of real anguish, it’s great to know your diet is contributing less pain and suffering.

There are so many good reasons to go vegan. For the planet, for the animals, and yes, for your own health. But I think it’s important to enter into your decision to go vegan with your eyes open and a healthy amount of skepticism towards dubious health claims.

Misleading claims hurt veganism

Promising magical cures is irresponsible. And ultimately, it undermines veganism.

Recidivism is a huge problem within veganism. 84% of people who go vegan or vegetarian will give up (many within the first year).

And among those who abandon vegetarianism/veganism health was far and away they top reason for going vegan in the first place. People who go vegan or vegetarian for environmental and animal rights reasons are much more likely to stick with their principles (source: Faunalytics).

It makes sense. If the only reason you go vegan is to lose 20 pounds, and the diet doesn’t produce the desired effect, why should you stick with it?

As the data from Faunalytics demonstrates, this happens all the time. People sell veganism as a cure-all, converts become disillusioned, and then they give up.

Misrepresenting the health benefits of a vegan diet will not grow and sustain veganism. This movement can’t reach critical mass if most vegetarians and vegans abandon the diet after less than a year. If we really want to help people become vegan long-term, we need to be honest with them.

 

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