Vegan Diets And Weight Loss
I had a great conversation with Louie Free, the Ohio talk radio host, who himself is a vegan. He said something I thought was very important to point out and that was he knew, as a vegan, he had to eat a “healthy” vegan diet and pay attention to all of his food selections to avoid weight gain. As he mentioned, it is possible to eat snack chips and soda pop and be “vegan” and yet such a diet would be unhealthy and would lead to weight gain and obesity.
I, myself, see a great many people who are vegans with obesity.
It is not veganism that is healthy per say. A vegetarian or vegan diet is not going to prevent obesity or solve obesity or even lead to weight loss. The food choices that will lead to weight loss are a shift away from high calorie, high carbohydrate foods and toward foods with a lower glycemic index and lower overall calories. Then combine that change with increased exercise and you have a winning formula.
It’s certainly possible to eat a nutritionally sound diet that is a vegan diet. And it is certainly possible to maintain a healthy weight and be fit and well nourished as a vegan. It is also quite possible to do the same while eating meat as part of a healthy diet. The key for vegans is to not be lulled into a sense of “healthy dieting” in believing that a vegan diet that is high in simple carbohydrates and high in calories in somehow better for the body than a diet that is lower in these things or one that might even contain meat. As I have discussed elsewhere, there are many reasons individuals choose to pursue a vegetarian diet including ecological choices, environmental awareness and an appreciation of the role that animals play on this earth and how humans should interact with them. But as a physician specializing in weight loss and the treatment of type 2 diabetes , I must point out that the real enemies for human health are not animal proteins, but are high calorie, high carbohydrate foods, especially including the sweets, treats and snacks that are packed with simple sugars. Those are the worst culprits that lead to rampant obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, hypertension, blindness, renal failure, amputations and early heart attacks, even among vegans.