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Is Vegan Right For You?

Eating healthy doesn't really take much effort.

Eating healthy doesn't really take much effort.

Eating healthy doesn't really take much effort.

Gabrielle Ramsthel, Staff Reporter

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The American diet is being adopted across the world. With the american obesity epidemic on the rise, why would anyone want to eat like us? According to the National Cancer Institute- any given day, three out of four Americans don’t eat a single piece of fruit. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reports that only one in ten Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables.The Grapefruit Juice Diet,  The hCG Diet, The Baby Food Diet, The Magnetic Diet, and The Hollywood 24 Hour Miracle Diet all claim to be the magic solution to your growing waistline, but are they? Among these diets lay a popular controversial topic: The Whole Foods Plant Centered Diet. This diet has many variations and many names such as vegan and plant based. Overall it just means a diet derived from plants, so no meat, no dairy, no processed foods, etc. I talked to a naturopathic doctor and a high school student to gain more information on this intriguing lifestyle. Dr. Daniel Chong, a naturopathic doctor, gave his insight on a whole foods plant centered diet. When asked if he thought the American diet has influenced healthcare in a negative way, Daniel Chong responded with “Absolutely, in many negative ways. I think it’s the primary controllable factor involved in the onset of chronic disease in this country.  “When asked-What benefits are there from a plant based diet, Daniel Chong believes a whole food plant centered diet has too many benefits to be counted. “In my opinion, having practiced now for almost 20 years, I don’t think there is anything more powerful than your diet in terms of how to positively affect you health.The main reason is because its so controllable. There are a lot of things that contribute to our health that are not controllable like our genetics, the air that we breathe, the environment we live in, possibly our work environment or our stress levels, whereas we can, if educated properly, pretty much very clearly control what we do and do not put into our mouths.”

Henry Charles Parker a freshman at Milwaukie High School told me his story of going vegan and how it affected him. “I was 12 years old and knew nothing about nutrition. I mean, I probably couldn’t name all three of the macro-nutrients. One day I was lazing around watching YouTube videos and in my recommended list was a video essay about vegetarianism. I ignored the video because deep down I knew that if I watched it, I would have to justify eating meat to myself, so somewhere inside me I knew I was doing something wrong. Eventually I forced myself to watch the video and the points made, instantly sparked my interest. I started reading a few simplified versions of medical journals about the subject, and realized that not only was abstaining from meat moral, but it was healthy as well. That day, I cut meat from my diet. About a year later I discovered video footage of how dairy cows and chickens were being treated, and what their living conditions looked like. Then I realized that eating eggs and consuming dairy was still contributing to animal exploitation. The point is that carnism is a culture and I just wanted to see an end to this culture…That’s why I became vegan. My parents were concerned about me missing vital nutrients, but with a well planned diet, I now have a near perfect blood test results, and I hardly ever have to restrict the amount of food I’m eating. Some people don’t want to go Vegan because of all of the tastes they’ll miss, but honestly becoming vegan made me adopt cooking into my regular lifestyle, and I started to really enjoy the food that I was eating without all the amazing flavors being drowned out by sugar, fat, or salt. Before I was eating a strictly plant based diet I was just slightly overweight. I’m now 160 lbs. and 5’10, and I run 5 miles every other day. Building muscle hasn’t been a problem either. As long as you eat enough food, a whole foods, plant centered diet will really benefit your health.” These arguments are quite convincing, and the research backs them up. So instead of eating baby food as adults, why not adopt this amazing lifestyle?

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Is Vegan Right For You?