Besides from opening the wonderful world of vegan cuisine to my senses, cutting out animal protein brought many benefits to my life.
Health is essential to me. And by health I mean: feeling better in my day to day life, and knowing that it will last longer thanks to my decision to switch.
You might wonder why becoming vegan is so good for our bodies. Well, the answer to that question is in another. Why is animal protein so bad for us? So, here are the seven deadly sins of a non-vegan life.
Eating animal protein means stocking up on phosphorus. This further leads to a rise in a little nasty called fibroblast growth factor 23.
Doesn’t sound so bad? FGF23 can harm our blood vessels in a horrific way. It’s also linked with heart attacks, sudden death, and heart failure. Steak, anyone?
This one’s a bit of a mouth full – trimethylamine N-oxide – or just TMAO. Animal protein causes high levels of this harmful hormone.
TMAO damages the lining of our vessels, causes inflammation, and assists the build-up of cholesterol. In short, TMAO means noT a lot of LMAO.
No, it’s not a cute droid in the new Star Wars movie. It’s another evil hormone – insulin-like growth factor-1.
Here’s the problem: IGF-1 causes cell division, and so is linked to higher cancer risk. But the solution is simple. Staying away from animal proteins reduces my body’s levels of IGF-1 (sad droid bleepy noise).
4. Heme Iron and Free Radicals
Meat eaters love to think that eating lots of beef will give them the iron they need to be big strong boys and girls. What they don’t know is that the type of iron found in animal protein (heme-iron) isn’t such good news.
Non-heme iron (found in plant protein) is much better at reducing free radicals. That means slower aging, guys! Non-heme iron is also less damaging to my body’s precious proteins, membranes, and DNA. Yay to the non-heme team!
5. Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids
These little vandals bring about a state called acidosis. So, to try and fix this imbalance, our bodies use calcium from our own bones. Yeah, we literally spend our bones setting things right!
And guess what, animal proteins generally contain more sulfur-containing amino acids than plant proteins. Scientists believe this is why groups who eat more meat and dairy also have more bone fractures. Oh, snap!
Most animal foods contain cholesterol. Even “lean” meats, or boiled, baked, and steamed meat dishes are guilty of this. But our bodies make enough cholesterol as it is, right?
Heart disease is to blame for a quarter of U.S deaths! Not only does my diet smash this risk for me, some studies even say that swapping a surf and turf for greens and beans can reverse the damage already done. I heart you vegan food!
7. Not Enough of the Good Stuff
This one is simple. When non-vegans pack their plate with animal protein, their portions of plant protein shrink. My plate is always rammed with whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
What does this actually do for me? Of course, the long list of vitamins and minerals I load up on is a massive plus. But the real star of the show is fiber. Plant protein comes packed with this holy health-booster. Animal protein does not.
Why am I so in love with fiber? Because a high fiber intake is linked to a lower risk of the following: cancer, Crohn’s disease, constipation, and all kinds of horrible digestive problems. More fiber may even reduce the risk of high cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease.
In a nutshell
Admit it, that’s a pretty compelling list of vegan pros. I would be sold if I weren’t the one who wrote it.
By going vegan, I basically protect myself from a bunch of vile food elements. Plus, I also stock up on the things my body really needs to give me a happy day, and a long life. Stay away from the dark side, guys!