In this post, I will discuss the question “is the vegan diet the healthiest?”
You may have this question in your mind if you are considering a vegan diet for your health purpose.
I grew up with an omnivore diet as my family did. I grew up eating meat, fish, dairy, and egg.
I loved meat when I was a child. I always asked my mother to cook Japanese-style fried chicken or teppanyaki beef. My mother was very happy that I ate a lot of meat. My mother believed that meat is the most nutritious protein food. And, most of the Japanese people believed so.
Until I went to the US for my job in 2003, I have never known there are people who eat only plants. I was working as a scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2003 to 2005. I got an American friend there.
One day I invited him to a party at my home. My Japanese girlfriend cooked a lot of meat dishes. He was only eating salad and drinking beer and wine. It was my first time to know a vegan exists. At the time, I didn’t pay attention much to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The answer is yes and no.
Is the vegan diet the healthiest?
A vegan diet is the best for me at the moment. Being in a vegan diet is a very natural thing for me. I am not forcing myself not eating meat. I don’t eat animals in a natural way. And, I don’t mind that people eat meat in front of me. My wife is not a vegan or vegetarian. She eats meat in front of me. When my wife cooks, she cooks vegan food. She like vegan food. But, when her mom cooks dinner with meat, she eats. She likes it too.
I have zero stress for eating a vegan diet.
Some people feel stress to do a vegan diet. At the moment, a vegan diet is not a good choice for them. Why do people feel stress on a vegan diet? It is because they choose the diet only with thought and knowledge.
One essence is missing for those who feel stress on a vegan diet. What is it?
Very important essence of choosing your diet
There is a very important essence to choose your diet. What it is?
It is a joy.
Either you chose an omnivorous, a vegetarian, or a vegan diet, you chose the diet without joy, it is not for you.
There are people who start a vegan diet and later stop. They went back to the former diet. So, for those people, the vegan diet was not the best at the moment. They may start a vegan diet with a piece of certain knowledge. The knowledge is such as health benefits or environmental benefits. But, it was not joyful for them to keep on a vegan diet.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
It is the statement from the WHO constitution about health.
Even it is good for your physical body, if you feel stressed about a vegan diet, it is not your choice at the moment. But, if you feel joyful about it, it is time for you to start! In the case, the vegan diet is the healthiest diet for you.
At first, you try a vegan diet. Then, check your feeling.
Later, if you feel a vegan diet is not for you, you can pause. You can start again anytime.
what about protein?
A lot of people discuss insufficient protein about a vegan diet. So, you may worry to get weaker and lose muscle.
Actually, protein is in any kind of lifeform. Viruses, bacteria, fungus, plants, fish, birds, animals, and humans. They all have protein. So, the protein source for a vegan diet is not a problem.
Legendary Olympic athlete, Carl Lewis is a vegan. American bodybuilder champion, Kenneth G Williams is a vegan.
There are a lot of super athletes on a vegan diet. You can remember the elephant, the rhino, and the hippo are vegan.
Vegetarian or vegan?
Again it is important if you feel joyful to choose a vegetarian diet or a vegan diet. But, the joy must come from your true self. The joy I am talking about is not from craving or addiction.
Vegetarian has several types.
Pesco-vegetarian: I was this type of vegetarian for a long time. They don’t eat animals. But, eat fish, egg, and dairy. 100 years ago, the majority of Japanese were on this diet.
Lacto-vegetarian: They eat dairy products. But, they don’t eat animals, fish, and eggs. It is a common diet in India.
Vegan: vegan people don’t eat or use any animal product. I will say I am a 99% vegan. why? I use a pair of leather shoes which my wife gave me.
I have been pesco-vegetarian for 9 years. Later, I shift to a vegan diet. 3 years for a vegan diet so far. When I was a vegetarian, I loved cheese so much! it was so addictive. I enjoyed it a lot. As, a Japanese, I grew up in a culture of seafood. For example, bonito flakes and dried fish are important for Japanese soup broth. And, it is very tasty. It is very difficult to stop. I enjoyed drinking miso soup with fish broth. Both fish broth and cheese are very addictive.
Later my feeling changed. I was in Taiwan, and I didn’t have much chance to eat cheese. I started to grow vegetables by myself. I was eating only my vegetable and rice. Only when people invite, I ate cheese and fish.
One day, I felt I want to be completely vegan. My craving for fish and cheese was not in my body anymore. It disappeared in a natural way. After the craving feeling disappeared, It never comes back again.
If you lose all your craving to meat, fish, dairy, and egg, do you still feel joyful to your current diet?
If your joy has gone with your craving gone, it was not your real joy. It was craving joy. After your craving is gone, you can feel better yourself. You can see better where your real joy is.
I need to add one sentence.
Craving is not a problem. There are vegan cheese, vegan meat, vegan milk, vegan ice cream, etc. And, they taste very good or even better than animal-based. The photo is a vegan pizza.
It is very important you enjoy the vegan diet. And, the enjoyment is from your true self. The enjoyment is not from craving and addiction. So, your vegan diet has zero stress. It is your healthiest diet.
For nutrition matters, many discussions are going on between doctors and scientists.
One says meat and dairy are not healthy because of full of antibiotics. The other one may say, a vegan diet is dangerous because of a lack of nutrition. So far, my feeling and condition are good with a vegan diet after 3 years. I am healthy. My health improved. My allergy has gone.
If you feel joyful about it, you can start to enjoy your vegan diet anytime. If you still worry, start with once a week or every 2 days. It is up to your feeling.
Then, if you enjoy it, you can expand more. You will see lots of health benefits!
If you have any comments or questions, I am happy to hear from you!