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It’s Veganuary! 5 reasons to try a plant-based diet

According to Vegan Food and Living, one in six (16%) food products launched in the UK last year was vegan – twice as many than in 2015. 

And, undoubtedly, the demand is there. In fact, The Future of Food Report suggests a staggering 25% of Brits will adopt the plant-based diet by 2025. 

But why?

Well, it’s no secret that going vegan is a great way to help prevent animal cruelty; this has been covered in great detail over the years. However, here are 5 more reasons to give veganism a try this January

1. It reduces your carbon footprint

With the unavoidable cloud of climate change looming over us, this is the reason that many people have reduced their meat and dairy intake. Research from the award-winning Netflix documentary Cowspiracy suggests that the meat and dairy industry uses an alarming ⅓ of Earth’s water. Consequently, a plant-based diet cuts your carbon footprint by 50%. See an infographic of statistics here

2. It can help you maintain a healthy weight

Obviously, you can still eat unhealthily as a vegan. In 2019, there are plenty of processed, plant-based ready meals available – not to mention junk food equivalents. However, most plant-based foods have far fewer calories – whilst being more nutritious – than meat and dairy products. Sports dietitian Alina Petre spoke to the Independent about how a fibre-rich, vegan diet can help you maintain a healthy weight. Adding more fruit, veg and oats can also help to lower your blood pressure (amongst other health benefits). 

Which leads us to our next point…

3. It can help you manage type 2 diabetes

It’s no surprise that a healthy diet includes plenty of fresh vegetables, pulses, fruits and whole grains. However, NHS researchers have reported that a vegan diet could actually help people better manage type 2 diabetes. Along with fruit and vegetables, a balanced vegan diet tends to be low in saturated fat. What’s more, it’s high in fibre, phytochemicals and other antioxidants. According to diabetes.org.uk, this is a suitable diet for anybody trying to manage type 2 diabetes. We’ve mentioned other ways to help tackle type 2 diabetes before. 

4. It will help you take back control

Feeling out of control in any aspect of our lives can be disconcerting. And when it comes to food, we don’t always know what we’re putting into our bodies. 

Jay Brave – spoken word artist, entertainer and vegan ambassador – says that for many, choosing plant-based cuisine “comes from a place of personal autonomy.” it allows people to “take back control of their own diet”, in a system where they’re not always in control of the things they buy.

5. It’s a chance to get creative

Cutting out meat and dairy isn’t about depriving yourself of what you love; it’s a chance to get creative in the kitchen. Instead of scrambled eggs for breakfast, why not try some spicy scrambled tofu? Along with tofu, seitan and tempeh, pulled jackfruit is a great alternative to meat. This works amazingly in chillis and fajitas. Alternatively, lentils are the perfect substitute for mince in bolognese, whilst soaked cashews make the ideal base of any “cream” sauce. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. In 2019, veganism is now so widespread that there are endless recipes online. And what better time to cleanse that Christmas excess than in January?

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