The Vegan Diet Is Best, As Long As You Know the Rules

The Vegan Diet Is Best, As Long As You Know the Rules
Let’s take a moment to discuss the many different diets that one can adopt, what the differences are, and which of them are most conducive to optimal health!

When people begin to stray from the Standard American Diet (SAD Diet), the most common eating styles include “flexitarian”, “pescatarian”, vegetarian, vegan, and raw food vegan. Let’s define each:

Flexitarian” — One who eats a diet of mainly fruits and vegetables, but occasionally eats meat and dairy. This diet is less restrictive because there isn’t anything you CAN’T eat.

Pescatarian” — This is someone who, in regards to meat, only consumes fish and other seafood. They likely consume dairy as well.

Vegetarian — This is someone who does not eat any meat. Their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and seeds. Many vegetarians also eat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.

Vegan — This is someone who eats absolutely nothing that comes from animals. All dairy products are removed from their diet. This includes butter! Their diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Raw Food Vegan — This is similar to a vegan, except that the eater does not consume any cooked products. They eat everything just as it came when it was picked from the earth.

So, What’s the Moral of the Story?
As you can see, none of these diets are perfect. In terms of how good they are for the body, some are much better than others, while others are only slightly different from one another. If you only remove certain items from your diet but don’t concentrate on what you are eating, you will likely come up short in your goal of achieving optimal health. Let me reiterate this point:

It is not what you don’t eat that makes you healthy, but rather what you do eat.

All foods contain varying levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, etc. These are commonly referred to as nutrients and are the vital components of a healthy body. When we don’t get a steady intake of nutrients, we become malnourished in some form. Therefore, it is most important to focus on the nutritional content of the food we do eat. Food that is high in nutrients not only supplies the body with everything it needs, it also seeks out and destroys free radicals and absorbs the toxins we intake from other, non-nutritious foods.

The most nutritious foods, by far, are green vegetables. They often contain 4-10 times the nutrition level of other food choices, even fruits. They also contain a high protein percentage! Center your meals around a high intake of green and other vegetables, and be sure to get 3-5 servings of fruit per day. This will provide you will the appropriate amount of nutrients, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates to support a healthy body.

If you make these items the cornerstone of your diet, occasionally eating some meat, fish, cheese, or ice cream isn’t that big of a deal. We do not need to totally abstain from certain food groups. Rather, we need to rearrange the way we think about food, educate ourselves on what is best for our bodies, and eat those foods every day.