Some of us got hungry just reading the title. Vegan is bad enough, but gluten-free on top of it? What do these people eat! The truth is we were born to consume a diet that largely (but perhaps not exclusively) contains zero highly processed foods, fatty meats, and no dairy. Since 90% of our grocery store aisles laugh at that idea, we have to do a little more digging.
1. Nearly 30% suffer from lactose intolerance.
That phlegmy cough you get to enjoy after a big bowl of cereal or ice cream comes from the lactose, whey, and lactose in dairy. Most of us have some sort of adverse reaction to dairy products. What happens is the body recognizes those particular proteins and lactose as foreign substances and can’t process it because intolerant or allergic people don’t have the right enzyme.
But your body’s rejection to it doesn’t stop at a little annoying mucous, or even more serious stomach cramps and flatulence. The long-term effect of dairy ingestion for a body that’s not designed to eat it is very serious–the cilia in the intestines are gradually worn down impairing all digestive processes. Dairy makes most of us feel like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man.
2. Gluten intolerance affects around 15% of the population.
Similar to a dairy allergy, gluten is often the culprit of a variety of physical ailments–chronic headaches, eczema, lethargy, and digestive issues. The problem? Gluten is in practically everything! It includes wheat, rye, barley, and some oats. Gluten is the “glue” that holds together breads, pastas, and other processed foods like ketchup and ice cream.
Since wheat first made its appearance in human food, with just 2 sets of chromosomes, the highly processed variety we now consume contains 6, 8, 12 or more sets making it much more difficult to break down. In those of us that absolutely can’t digest it develop an auto-immune disease called Celiac. We are consuming huge amounts of stuff our bodies were never designed to eat.
3. Meat is expensive.
Vegetables range around 65-72¢/lb. where as the cheapest of poultry cuts starts around $1/lb. Costs of red meat are astronomical in comparison! By eliminating all dairy and meat purchases, the average grocery bill drops by about 40%. Obviously, shoppers would need to increase the amount of vegetables and whole grains, but the total cost rarely exceeds 75% of the original shopping total.
4. The original human beings were vegetarians.
Three major world religions–Chritianity, Islam, and Judaism–believe in the Book of Genesis, which states very clearly that humans did not eat meat (or not much of it) until after the Great Flood. Only then were the remaining people given clearance to be carnivorous, indicating that the original design for mankind was a primarily plant diet.
5. Limit weight gain.
According to the Journal of Obesity, over 30,000 participants were measured to determine the link between eating habits, lifestyle, and obesity. Meat eaters had an average 2% increase in Body Mass Index (body fat) as compared to vegan eaters. Other factors such as exercise, smoking, and education level only accounted for 5% of the difference. As a nation of 30% obese citizens, weight is a huge factor for all areas of health.
6. Reduce coronary artery disease, cancer, hypertension, and type II diabetes.
Substantial information reaffirms that a diet rich in nutrient food that comes directly from the Earth aids in prevents or eliminating many disgusting diseases. he World Cancer Research Fund produced compelling evidence that a diet rich in “predominantly plant-based diets rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans” lowers the risk of cancer.
7. Get more energy.
Most vegans report feeling incredibly energetic and alert during the day. Eliminating dairy and gluten from an already meatless diet may seem like doom and gloom, but you’ll soon notice how well your body responds in just one week of elimination.
Ashley writes about a variety of topics on the Eco Frugal Life section of Coupon Sherpa, including ways to save money (like not eating meat!) and live healthy (like not eating meat!). Catch more of her writings over at CouponSherpa.com.