Health improvements since going vegan?

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Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby sprout » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:52 am

Since there is so much health-related pro-meat n dairy dietary propaganda out there, I thought it might be a nice balance for those of us who are newbie vegans to hear some of the health improvements that longer term ex-omni vegans have experienced since going vegan. Was inspired myself to make this thread cuz even though I've only been vegan 3 weeks have made a small improvement already - my gums! I've always had slight bleeding when brushing n flossing my teeth: my dentist said it wasn't gum disease, just sensitive gums and there's nothing really that can be done about it. About a week after changing to a vegan diet I noticed the bleeding had stopped. :D That's probably way too short a time to make any internal health change that can be seen on the outside?? ... so am thinking that it was my life-long and large daily dairy consumption that was irritating my gums, that caused the bleeding (rather than meat n egg consumption which wasn't a daily occurance). I dunno, but it sure is a positive change. :)
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby beforewisdom » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:23 pm

Bad news:
You don't get improvements in health or weight management, automatically, eating a vegan diet. It is still about food choice. Eat a lot of processed, packaged foods, eat unrestrained portions and your health/weight management will improve only slightly, if at all.

Good news:
You can improve your health and weight management with a vegan diet. The key is to get most of your calories from foods that are, all at the same time, high fiber, high bulk ( a lot of water and fiber combined ) unrefined and low fat. Basically, most of your diet should be focused on legumes, *WHOLE* grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds if you want to improve your health.

The biggest health boost I got was several years ago when I started keeping a food diary. It got me to identify a bad habit: picking/snacking. Stopping that, I lost 48 lbs over the course of a year, sports damaged joints functioned better and a case of NASH vanished.

I went vegetarian over 30 years ago and have been so aside from about 2 years in college. I went vegan back in the 90s.

Unlike many people my age ( and younger ) I do not take a regular prescription of any kind. I weigh about what I did in high school. I have no cardiovascular issues, which runs in my family. I do not use glasses, which most of my family members do. It is subjective, but I get told I look young for my age. I have a slightly better attitude about life than most people my age.

HTH

"The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby Hiking Fox » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:38 pm

After turning vegan, I switched to very light and almost pain-free periods, with no acne at that time of month. Result!
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby xrodolfox » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:55 am

I think that beforewisdom hit the nail on the head. Well at least said what I could've said, but better.
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby Talyn » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:02 pm

In the time I've been vegan I've been the healthiest I've ever been but also at different times been the unhealthiest I've ever been.

Going vegan =/= health improvements.

Eating better in general = health improvements.

This is something that is lost on a lot of people that go vegan purely for 'health' or 'weight loss' reasons.

Veganism has nothing to do with health, but if you end up healthy because of it that's a good thing.
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby sprout » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:04 am

Thanks beforewisdom for that reply, great advice (and xrodolfox for seconding it! :D ). I really like the food diary idea ... so the food I'm eating now is much healthier than before, but do need to keep track of what exactly I'm eating (and how often) to ensure there's enough variety: when I ate omni I would get into food ruts, especially when doing shift work and was too tired to care about what I was eating as long as I ate something (usually high in fat n sugar, have always gone for that when tired). Would wind up eating the same foods over and over, day in, day out. So yes, the diary (and variety!) are in.

Hiking Fox, that's great about the light periods! I've been lucky, they've never been much of a bother to me. However have only got maybe 5 years left before I hit perimenopause; my mother had a difficult time when she went through it, so am hoping that a healthy vegan diet will make 'the change' less of a shitfest.

Talyn wrote:In the time I've been vegan I've been the healthiest I've ever been but also at different times been the unhealthiest I've ever been.

Going vegan =/= health improvements.

Eating better in general = health improvements.

This is something that is lost on a lot of people that go vegan purely for 'health' or 'weight loss' reasons.

Veganism has nothing to do with health, but if you end up healthy because of it that's a good thing.

Just quoted the entire post for truth. Thanks Talyn :)
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby xrodolfox » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:49 pm

We can certainly show what healthy vegan food and living looks like.

I have been my healthiest ever as a vegan. It was amazing. I can write about that. (But the nearly worst health I've had has also been as a vegan.) We don't have to write about that, right?
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby beforewisdom » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:38 pm

Talyn wrote:Veganism has nothing to do with health, but if you end up healthy because of it that's a good thing.


A useful thing Dave Noisey used to do, on multiple places on the internet, was to repeatedly post a brief history of the word "vegan".

Around 1944 Donald Watson *AND* his wife created the word "vegan" to refer to someone who holds the belief that it is wrong to "exploit" animals, that is, to use them for our own selfish purposes.

A person can eat a "vegan diet" -> meals free of animal products, without actually holding that belief and actually being a "vegan".

The belief and animal product free diets have become conflated and the word "vegan" is mistakenly used for both.

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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby loveliberate » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:59 pm

I actually had some very positive health/physical changes upon becoming vegan:

First off, I trimmed down a fair bit though that's likely more because I was pretty broke & houseless most of the time then - and because back then (20ish years ago) there were a lot less vegan junk/
convenience foods around. :oops:

I also very quickly stopped having these terrible headaches that i'd had previously. I suspect that this was because dairy was causing mucus build-up in my sinuses and/or that I was at least somewhat lactose intolerant. Regardless, the headaches never came back! :D
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby Goob » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:59 am

beforewisdom wrote:
Talyn wrote:Veganism has nothing to do with health, but if you end up healthy because of it that's a good thing.


A useful thing Dave Noisey used to do, on multiple places on the internet, was to repeatedly post a brief history of the word "vegan".

Around 1944 Donald Watson *AND* his wife created the word "vegan" to refer to someone who holds the belief that it is wrong to "exploit" animals, that is, to use them for our own selfish purposes.

A person can eat a "vegan diet" -> meals free of animal products, without actually holding that belief and actually being a "vegan".

The belief and animal product free diets have become conflated and the word "vegan" is mistakenly used for both.

]

Just because it can't be said too much.

But, I did have lots of stomach issues that went away completely when I stopped eating dairy products. I'm assuming it's that I am lactose intolerant because I was as an infant and young child, but it was assumed I had grown out of that at some point.
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby osric » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:07 am

It's really easy these days to be a "junk food vegan" and be very unhealthy. I see lots of new vegans chomping on processed foods that are free of animal products but clearly aren't good for you. A healthful diet and vegan ethics do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.

I will say that when I eliminated dairy and eggs and honey from my veggie diet, my skin got clearer and my hair and nails got much shinier and stronger. A bunch of digestive problems went away, and a lot of the visible signs of ageing slowed dramatically. (I'm over 40 now and people often comment that I look much younger.)

I have also (so far) avoided all of the medical conditions my immediate family suffer from -- high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiac issues, arthritis -- and I believe that stems from my diet.

But I eat well, not recklessly, and I avoid all that vegan junk food that's so popular these days. It's not hard to do, and I think it's worth it for my health and for the animals. :)
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby sosso » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:00 am

I went vegan around the same time as I started lifting weights, so yeah I am stronger now, but I can't say that eliminating animal products has made me healthier. I don't really have anything to compare in terms of things like BP, cholesterol and other indicators of health. I know what they are now, and everything's in the normal range, but I don't know what they were before.. soo yeah I can only really comment on subjective things such as how I feel and I feel great.
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby blinki » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:06 pm

I think we'll increasingly see there not being a benefit from going vegan. Most of the benefit comes from having to stop and re-evaluate your diet and being excluded from the dominant food culture (rather than veganism itself being inherently healthy). I think we've all ready seen that happen for being vegetarian. I've been vegetarian my whole life. I'm 21 and not from a properly rural place but as a kid we couldn't go to the supermarket and get processed veggie food, we had to go into the city to even get most herbs. That meant our diet had to be more focused around veg, have less processed stuff and my parents had to cook from scratch. That's far from the case in most places now and I think that being more possible for vegans can't be too far behind. Though it is pretty geography dependant.

Personally I saw no health benifits but I never ate meat and barely ate eggs my whole life. I didn't really become vegan at a particularly point but it sort of happened over a few years after I was buying my own food.
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby gabrielxxx » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:33 am

I noticed better BO, great shits and not feeling so heavy after lunch, but with a stronger insulin spike.
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Re: Health improvements since going vegan?

Postby 7bluewren » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:09 pm

I honestly haven't noticed a lot of health benefits from being a vegan... however my diet can be a bit sporadic. BUT I'm pretty sure I'd be twice my size if I were omnivorous! Actually reading over the other responses I'm inclined to agree with some of them, I have been a vegan for a while so I might have forgotten some of them but better BMs is a definite!! I also think that maybe I don't sweat as much as I used to? When I keep a clean vegan diet (ie don't overdo the nuts lol) I notice a lot less bloating. I think my whole digestive system is happier. Less heavy after meals. I have to eat a lot of fibre to feel normal now, but my former diet was low in fibre. The best improvement I've noticed is that I enjoy my food a lot more and I love cooking :D And the dishes are easier to clean lol
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