In general, humans tend to be omnivorous – eating just about anything we can get our hands on. And, for the most part, the human body runs pretty well on this diet. The modern American diet, though, is by no means balanced. Just to illustrate this, consider the results of a 2010 study conducted by the USDA. The paper reported that Americans ate 20 percent more meat than recommended, with grain intake 30 percent higher than it should be. Fruit and vegetable consumption, on the other hand, were 60 percent and 20 percent too low, respectively.
This imbalance could be largely to blame for so many of the health problems – including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity – that are on the rise in this country. Perhaps in responses to these concerns, vegan and vegetarian diets have gained popularity quickly over the past few years. But, making the switch and totally cutting animal products out of your diet could be a stretch for you. Instead, why not have defined periods where you go on a vegan cleanse? What exactly does this program entail and what are the benefits?
Why You Should Try a Vegan Cleanse
While many vegetarians still consume some animal products – like milk, eggs or by-products used in processing foods such as gum – vegans strive to be totally free of anything that came from an animal. Studies have found that vegans tend to be thinner and have an overall lower risk of cardiovascular disease than both omnivores and vegetarians. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) also reports that plant-based diets bring with them a decreased risk of certain cancers, as well.
ACE also states that many Americans eat much more protein than they actually need while relying too heavily on animal sources – which often come bundled with saturated fats and excess calories. The truth is that many vegetables contain more-than-enough protein for the average person who doesn’t have aspirations of being a bodybuilder.
The problem facing vegans, though, is a significantly increased risk of various vitamin deficiencies. To get around this, many vegans are forced to take supplements or make a special effort to regularly consume specific foods.
And than there’s the obvious issue: Bacon. After a lifetime of eating animal products, it can be very difficult to give these things up in the long-term.
As a way to enjoy the above-mentioned benefits of veganism, while minimizing the risk of deficiencies and withdrawal, many people have started practicing vegan cleanses. While the exact protocols vary, the typical cleanse lasts about 7 days – during which time you refrain from any and all animal products. Some take it even further and go gluten-free at this point, as well.
But the key is to not allow your calorie intake to drop significantly. Remember, you aren’t necessarily fasting; Instead, you are replacing meat with plant products. The drastically increased intake of fruits and vegetables – even for that short period – can go a long way towards improving your health. You may also find that these cleanses work well as a sort of dietary audit. Use this time to take a step back and examine your regular diet, making any necessary changes to clean it up once the cleanse ends.
To help you keep your diet on track during the cleanse, a product like Gnarly Vegan Feast could be a powerful tool. Vegan Feast is a complete meal replacement, offering a balance of complete proteins, quality carbs and healthy fats in one convenient little scoop. Check out the product page for more information.