The Vegan Diet Best for the Planet?

The Vegan Diet Best for the Planet?

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Shown above: Tropical Spinach Mango Salad Recipe

The Vegan Diet Best for the Planet?

A federal panel that helps set federal dietary guidelines is recommending Americans eat less meat because it’s better for the environment, sparking outrage from industry groups representing the nation’s purveyors of beef, pork and poultry. 
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a federally appointed panel of nutritionists created in 1983, decided for the first time this year to factor in environmental sustainability in its recommendations. They include a finding that a diet lower in animal-based foods is not only healthier, but has less of an environmental impact.

What is Veganism?

Veganism has come a long way: once reserved for peace-loving hippies, interest in a totally animal-free diet is at an all-time high, with celebrities like Bill Clinton, Alicia Silverstone, Jay Z, and Beyoncé leading the charge. Beyonce has even launched a vegan home-delivery service.

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.

People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons. For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products. That is, once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too old to be productive, they are often sold as meat; and since male calves do not produce milk, they usually are raised for veal or other products. Some people avoid these items because of conditions associated with their production.
Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world. They know they are not perfect, but believe they have a responsibility to try to do their best, while not being judgmental of others.

Types of vegetarian diets

According to the Mayo Clinic, when people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn’t include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude:

Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.
Some people follow a semivegetarian diet — also called a flexitarian diet — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

What about Protein?

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein planning or combining is not necessary. The key is to eat a varied diet.
Almost all foods except for alcohol, sugar, and fats provide some protein. Vegan sources include: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, broccoli, kale…

Read More at: http://thehill.com/regulation/237767-vegan-diet-best-for-planet-federal-report-says

FOOD AND DRINK, Life, News

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