Approximately 41% of Americans start out the new year with ambitious resolutions that they try to pursue in the following weeks and months. Per Statistic Brain, the number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and develop healthier eating habits. These popular resolutions are likely due to the obesity crisis reflected in one-third (36.5%) of adults in the United States. Not only is obesity costly, since the medical costs for obese people are approximately $1,429 higher, but those who are obese are more likely to suffer from serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer. Even despite a large number of diets marketed at Americans, the weight keeps going up. Two-thirds of Americans who lost weight because of a diet gained it all back in less than a year and 97% gained it back within 5 years.
In addition, anatomy and human evolution experts have found, through a study about meat consumption and obesity rates in 170 countries, that sugar availability in a nation explains 50% of obesity variation, while the other half is explained by meat availability. In addition to meat being linked to obesity, studies have shown that high-protein diets, like the Atkins diet, work for only a short period. On the other hand, the vegan/plant based diet is one of the few diets that has been proven to reduce weight and work long-term. Although being vegan doesn’t guarantee weight loss, it has been proven that vegans are leaner, have lower BMIs and lower percentages of body fat which can be correlated to the higher consumption of fiber, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Studies show that meat-eaters have three times the obesity rate of vegetarians and nine times the obesity rate of vegans. This information is summed up by the leading epidemiologist in the world, Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, who states: “Quite simply, the more you substitute plant foods for animal foods, the healthier you are likely to be. I now consider veganism to be the ideal diet. A vegan diet- particularly one that is low in fat- will substantially reduce disease risks. Plus, we’ve seen no disadvantages from veganism. In every respect, vegans appear to enjoy equal or better health in comparison to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.” The goal is to consume six servings of grains, five servings of legumes, nuts and other types of protein; and four daily servings of veggies, two servings of fruit and two servings of healthy fats such as sesame oil, avocado, etc. Overall, this diet is not complicated to follow, albeit it does require preparation.
There are plenty of plant-friendly diets like, for example, the Engine 2 Diet. This diet cuts out vegetable oils because, per its creator Rip Esselstyn, they strip the plant of its nutrients leaving in its place a lot of saturated fat and calories. Contrary to the consumption of animal products which offer “artery-clogging saturated fat” and “plaque-promoting dietary cholesterol”, plants provide the right nutrients, fats and proteins, therefore, providing this diet with the right tools to prevent and often reverse the diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, caused by the Standard American Diet. The Engine 2 Diet claims to help lose weight, increase lean muscle mass, sharpen your mind, and energize your body.
Every day, more information about health is available to the public; not only do consumers have access to information about the possible causes of specific diseases, but they are also given the information to prevent or reduce the risk of developing some of them. If there is one thing to remember, it’s that it is never too late to search and adopt a healthy diet, the key to achieving a healthy lifestyle.