What is the optimal diet for health and longevity? Is it a vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet? In the following blog, I tried to summarize the key points to help you make an educated and conscious decision.
Vegetarian, Vegan and Plant-based diets
Firstly, let’s take note that none of these labels exist in nature. Still, we need to have some sort of labeling system to classify things. Once we put an object (diet) into a box, our brain knows how to relate to it. Secondly, there is absolutely no universal right or wrong way to eat. And, I don’t believe that eating any specific diet makes one a better human. Of course, there is no arguing that a well-balanced diet leads to better health. At the same time, no one truly knows what that diet is.
Based on my experience, I would say that whole foods plant-based diet is optimal for weight-maintenance, simplicity, and super budget-friendly.
Likewise, some of the revolutionary doctors and scientists (David Sinclair, Michael Greger, and Valter Longo) all agree that whole foods plant-based diets are optimal for better health and longevity.
So, let me take you through my journey on how I ended up on a whole food plant-based diet. And why I think it is best?
In 2002, at the beginning of my health transformation journey, I decided to become a vegetarian. A vegetarian diet is not to digest animal and sea creatures, but cheese and eggs are acceptable. When I switched from a classic Western diet to a vegetarian diet, I lost weight, my health improved, and I started feeling much better.
In 2016, in preparation for my stem cell regenerative procedure, I parted my ways with my beloved cheese. Within a few weeks, I dropped an extra few pounds. A vegan diet eliminates all animal products, including dairy, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and honey.
However, a few years flew by. I got a new and pretty challenging job. At this time, I gained another 10 pounds and started to feel pretty sluggish. I was 100% vegan.
In 2020 at 44 years young, one more time, I turned my world upside down. I cleaned up my plate and switched to a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet includes plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes; and excludes any animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and cheese. Similarly, plant-based diets focus on eating whole foods balanced diet.
In summary, a vegan or vegetarian diet could be a fantastic gateway to healthy living. On the other hand, neither vegan nor vegetarian diet is optimal for health and longevity. For the reason that we can consume a lot of junk. From vegan cookies, potato chips, and other vegan junk foods coded with sugars, refined oils, and salts. Not to mention, a vegetarian diet, in addition to all vegan junk, also includes cheese. So, both vegan and vegetarian can be high in calories and poor in nutrients.
For this reason, a plant-based diet is my winner!