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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Neha Bhagirath on Monday July 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Eng1020 at Wayne State University taught by Dr. Reeder in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Intro to college writing in Foreign Language at Wayne State University.
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Date Created: 07/11/16
Bhagirath 1 Neha Bhagirath Tori Reeder ENG 1020 Sunday, July 10 Vegan Diets Better For Health To be considered “vegan,” an individual restricts the intake of animal byproducts, such as eggs, meat, dairy, and in some strict vegans, honey and gelatin as well. They also avoid all animal made material, such as leather or animal tested products. Vegetarianism and veganism is becoming more and more mainstream, and as of 2016, 16 million Americans are vegans, with the number having doubled since 2009 (Ware, 2016). As global warming increases and food and land availability are scarce to many, reasons for changing one’s lifestyle are aplenty. Due to awareness of these global issues, people also switch over to vegan eating due to health, environmental, or ethical reasons. It has been touted as an extremely beneficial lifestyle, due to the amount of plant based foods one would be consuming compared to an omnivorous diet, the positive effects of that on the body, and the density of nutrients and minerals absorbed. Individuals who undertake this way of eating have shown increased levels of energy, healthier skin, and weight loss myriad external effects that would not come by otherwise without some kind of pill. Studies have also shown that veganism can reverse the effects of diseases such as clogged arteries, rheumatoid, or diabetes. Overall, this lifestyle has benefits that trump the common omnivorous diet, and can change one’s health for the better in ways such as altering the levels of nutrients in the body, physically looking and feeling better, and the positive changes in cells that counteract disease. Why one would attempt to change their diet by cutting out animal derived products may be questionable to those who are used to having meat, eggs, or dairy in every meal. There is a Bhagirath 2 stigma against veganism, as those who do undertake the possibly daunting task of changing their lifestyle endure remarks from those who believe it is something out of their realm of normality. Yet there are many reasons why the health aspect of this lifestyle would, and should, have an appeal. When animals are raised for slaughter, the myriad harmful chemicals and hormones that are injected into them have an adverse effect on the person who consumes it. Over time, the results of those toxins will show, and diseases will start to occur. For many, becoming crippled with illness in older age is a fact that is accepted, yet the body is extremely versatile, and will adapt to any long term change. If a conducive change is made at a young age, then illness will not be so prevalent in the later stages of life. Of the numerous vitamins and minerals the body requires, it can be difficult to constantly monitor daily intake of essential nutrients. Generally, individuals who strive to maintain a vegan diet are at risk for some type of vitamin or mineral, and must be careful to ensure that adequate daily needs are met. Some of the most easily missed nutrients include protein, iron, calcium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. For those who are not informed about the nutritional value of the foods they are consuming, there are debates about whether veganism can cover all the nutrient’s one’s body needs. Along with being abundant in antioxidants, plants are rich sources of nutrients and minerals themselves. In a study done by Department of Physiology at the University of Kuopio, participants were put on an uncooked vegan food diet, otherwise known as a raw vegan diet. They showed significantly increased Vitamin C and E levels, with red blood cell activity up as well. The antioxidants in the plant based food they were eating accounted for the carotenoids and other compounds that were absorbed and found in higher concentration in the blood and urine samples than those of meat eating individuals (Hänninen, 2000). Another study which looked at the lifestyle of individuals in Germany, participants followed a vegan diet for four years. The results showed that they had an above average healthy lifestyle with high Bhagirath 3 nutrient densities, such as that of iron. On average, they had a lower sodium intake as well, which is due to the nature of plant based foods, and lowers their risk of high blood pressure (Waldmann, 2003). A 2006 experiment published by theNutrition Revieemonstrated that vegans were slimmer than omnivores; one cause was that a vegan diet tended to burn more calories after meals instead of being stored as fat. Vegans also had a higher intake of magnesium, potassium, iron, and less overall fat. These various experiments and studies portrayed and reinforced the idea that these diets are nutrient dense, and that one can achieve almost all vitamins and minerals in full quantity while eating vegan (Tuso, 2013). In the HBO informationalhe Weight of the Natliving the typical American lifestyle meant that one would ultimately become obese. As of 2015, 30% of the United States was classified as such (Epstein, 2016). Obesity, along with the diseases and the consequences they carry, are direct causes of one’s lifestyle choices. Out of the many diet fads recommended for weight loss and healthier living throughout the years, from Atkins to paleo to vegetarianism, the vegan diet has been the one that changed the course of disease. This is seen by Dr. Matthew Lederman, producer of the documenorks Over Kniv when he attempted to switch patients to a 100% plant based diet. He states that they “saw immediate and impressive results. People struggling with chronic disease, heart disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue, arthritis — if they jump in 100 percent — they’ll see changes within a week” (Woerner, 2015). One of the reasons vegan diets are seen as beneficial are the external effects that occur through physical changes such as weight loss. A study publisheedical Hypothesjournal showed that a vegan diet regulated IGFI, a growth hormone that is responsible for aging and maturity in humans. This could be a cause for slowing down the human aging process (McCarty, 2003). In a second study published Elsevier Scien participants were enrolled in a six month trial, including vegans, vegetarians, pescovegetarians (those who eat only seafood), and omnivores. Bhagirath 4 At the end of the trial, the weight loss in the vegan group was significantly different from the other groups, with more decreased fat, concluding that vegan diets are better for weight loss (TurnerMcGrievy, 2015). Plant based diets are low in complex carbohydrates, which take a longer time to break down and digest; fiber, such as broccoli and carrots; and water, such as celery and watermelon. A diet that is traditionally plant based increases satisfaction and satiety with fewer calories, and increases energy expenditure after eaten, due to the breakdown of the complex carbohydrates and fiber. These studies reinforce the thought that a vegan diet can contribute to external positive effects, such as weight loss. One common backlash on the vegan diet is that vegans have a lower than average weight, along with nutrient deficiencies. In the previous Plant Based Diet study, close to a quarter of the participants following veganism were underweight at the termination of the experiment (Tuso, 2013). Vegans may have a challenge in meeting the recommended intake for vitamin B12, protein, calcium, and even calories, when compared to vegetarians and omnivores. Adjusting and monitoring their intake can fix this; it can be shown in a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information on the fracture risk comparing vegetarians, vegans, and meateaters, where they were followed for 5.2 years, that vegans had higher bone fracture rates. However, when they were meeting their daily calcium needs, the omnivorous group was the one with the higher risk rate (Appleby, 2007). This shows that if one is obtaining the adequate amount of nutrients, obtaining those from a vegan diet is more beneficial to the body. Another nutrient that is often questioned is protein, and how vegans can obtain sufficient amounts. Protein is composed of amino acids, some of which the body cannot synthesize, and so the food one consumes should contain those minerals. A lack of protein can lead to muscle deterioration; however, contradictory of common belief, animal products are not the sole source of these amino acids, as vegan foods, like quinoa, contain them as well. Iron is another mineral Bhagirath 5 that is publicized as being low in vegans. Used for carrying oxygen through the body, a lack of this mineral can lead to loss of organ and mental function. According to the Permanente Journal, the “iron in plants has a lower bioavailability than meat based iron.” Beans, spinach, and nuts are all excellent vegan sources of iron, but the American Dietetic Association affirms that lack of iron to the point of anemia is infrequent in individuals who properly follow a plant based diet (Tuso, 2013). These are common questions asked by the general public on vegan diets, as many are ill informed about the topic. Vegan diets have often been touted as beneficial due to their ability to counteract disease, as shown in many studies. Everything from joint pain to heart disease, conducted studies have shown that cells in the body have undergone changes to be able to work more efficiently, and at least partially, if not fully, reverse these issues. One example of how eating vegan can change internal body composition is shown by the cardiovascular benefits of the diet, in a 2013 study done concerning a compound by the name of “carnitine” (Grudnik, 2013), occurring only in red meat. Carnitine was found to initiate atherosclerosis due to bacteria in the digestive tract metabolizing it and promoting artery hardening in the process. Omnivores had the highest bacteria levels compared to their planteating counterparts, thus leading to disease quicker. A second study compared vegetarians, omnivores, and vegans in different health aspects. The results showed that those on a meat free diet had an 8% lowered risk of cancer, 68% lowered risk of heart disease, and 48% decrease in mortality rate from disease, as well as lower cholesterol (Lap Tai, 2014). The lowered risk of heart disease may be related to zero cholesterol levels in plant based foods. Since cholesterol is only found in animal products, the metabolic pathways are improved as cholesterol remnants are removed from the bloodstream in vegan diets. All of these combined result in a longer life expectancy for nonmeat eaters; however, vegans experienced greater risk reduction for these diseases. The study on plant Bhagirath 6 based diets published intermanente Journaimed for physicians to present an update on vegan eating in order to improve patient health; the case study consisted of a 63year old man diagnosed with diabetes, along with hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity. He was downing several pills a day to counteract these illnesses. Over a 16week period, “he was completely weaned off of amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, glipizide, and neutral protamine Hagedorn insulin.” This knocked down the amount of pills he was taking to just metformin, to control the diabetes. Blood pressure levels decreased to below 125/60, with a perfect blood pressure being at 120/80. Total cholesterol improved as well, decreasing from 283 dL/mg to 138 dL/mg, with a healthy level being at 200 dL/mg or lower (Tuso, 2013). A second 2008 study done by theeprtment of Internal Medicine at Loma Linda University in ttempted to examine the link between meat intake and diabetes. 8,401 nondiabetic participants between the ages to 4588 were studied for a 7year period. At the conclusion, 543 cases of diabetes were analyzed. Subjects who consumed meat weekly were at the highest risk of developing diabetesat 74% higher than nonmeat eaters (Vang, 20 plant based diet may improve the risk for diabetes by repairing insulin sensitivity and decreasing insulin resistance. For heart disease, experiments spanning a certain period of time showed that the patients with heart disease who ate vegan had partially reversed the effects of the atherosclerosis, and the control group who did not change their diets had shown a worsening of the disease. A last study published in the jouElsevier Sciencttempted to prove the effectiveness of a vegan diet on the symptoms of patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis by putting them on a raw vegan diet. Rheumatoid disorders immobilize individuals due to joint inflammation, most often at the extremities. In this study, voluntary participants were monitored on a vegan diet for a specified period of time. At the conclusion of the experiment, the patients with the joint pain demonstrated significant alleviation of their symptoms, with the symptoms worsening once they returned to Bhagirath 7 their previous omnivorous diets. The lessening of the pain could be caused by heightened levels of antioxidants in the body, as plant based foods contains high levels of nutrient density and antioxidants. Consistent with previous beliefs, these studies have proved that veganism is beneficial over the regular omnivorous diet, and even vegetarian diets, at least to some extent. Therefore, through these many studies, it can be concluded and agreeable that a lifestyle change of this sort may aid those with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, cardiovascular disease, or other illnesses, as results proved individuals to have benefitted after veganism (Hänninen, 2000). Many times, the media portrays veganism and skepticism as going hand in hand; with even doctors ignoring the benefits of plant based nutrition and prescribing a pill to come up with a quick, and temporary, cure. This can be seen with the way veganism interacts with the body, through increasing the levels of nutrients, causing one to physically look and feel better, and creating positive changes in cells that counteract disease. T he future of health is evolving into one where prevention of an illness is favored over medicinal treatment, as is evident in a world where pharmaceutical companies trump plant based remedies. The implications of this type of research open a new door to treatment, with the hopes that future treatment will not be based at an over the counter drugstore. Bhagirath 8 Works Cited Appleby, P. "Risk of Bone Fracture in Comparative CNational Center for Biotechnology Informatio. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Feb. 2007. Web. 09 July 2016. Epstein, Zach. "CDC Study Finds America Has Never Been More ObBGR. N.p., 26 May 2016. Web. 09 July 2016. Grudnik, Lynn. "Study Offers New Understanding of Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Vegan, Vegetarian Diets.Health Scienc National Health Association, Apr. 2013. Web. 9 July 2016. Hänninen, O. "Antioxidants in Vegan Diet and Rheumatic Disorders." Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd., 30 Nov. 2000. Web. 9 July 2016. Leiser, Lap Tai, and Joan Sabaté. "Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohortdpi. Vegan Diets and Human Health, 27 May 2014. Web. 9 July 2016. McCarty, Mark. "A Lowfat, Wholefood Vegan Diet, as Well as Other Strategies That Downregulate IGFI Activity, May Slow the Human Aging Process." Medicalhypotheses Medical hypotheses, June 2003. Web. 9 July 2016. TurnerMcGrievy, Gabrielle. "Comparative Effectiveness of Plantbased Diets for Weight Loss: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Five Different Dciencedirec Elsevier Science Ltd., Feb. 2015. Web. 9 July 2016. Tuso, Philip J., Mohamed H. Ismail, Benjamin P. Ha, and Carole Bartolotto. "Nutritional Update for Physicians: PlantBased Dieshe Permanente Journa The Permanente Journal, 2013. Web. 09 July 2016. Waldmann, A. "Dietary Intakes and Lifestyle Factors of a Vegan Population in Germany: Bhagirath 9 Results from the German Vegan Study." E uropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Nature Publishing Group, 2003. Web. 9 July 2016. Ware, Clayton. "16 Million People in the US Are Now Vegan or Vegetarian! ." Vbetweenthelines . N.p., 20 Jan. 2016. Web. 09 July 2016. Woerner, Amanda. "Forks Over Knives: Can a Vegan Diet Cure What Ails You?" D ailyburn N.p., 20 Jan. 2015. Web. 9 July 2016. Vang, A. "Meats, Processed Meats, Obesity, Weight Gain and Occurrence of Diabetes among Adults: Findings from Adventist Health Studies." Karger, 2008. Web. 09 July 2016. Bhagirath 10 Reflection To reflect on this research essay, apart from the fact that I had to pick a stance and argue it, my findings have led me to fully believe that vegan diets are highly beneficial to health. My argument was a cause and effect type, where one cause (vegan eating) leads to many effects. The research databases brought about many articles, all with similar studies and results found, which contributed to the ethos of the author and was a good start to finding credible information. Although I found evidence leading me to believe that veganism is indeed better for one’s health, ethical and environmental reasons supporting this were found as well, even though that was not the main topic I was looking for information on. One effective portion of the essay I feel I did well on was integrating the research effectively into the topics I was discussing, as there were bounteous studies to support my statements, and I was able to pull information from many different experiments to build a strong case against the arguments in my body paragraph. Two learning outcomes I feel I improved upon the most were my researching abilities; originally, if I needed information on a subject, I would google it and grasp an understanding that way. I was unaware there were countless journals on online databases that were reviewed and had credible information in them, and now I can develop ideas based on what I have found from different sources. The second learning outcome I improved upon was the reading, as now I can analyze a piece of text and understand how to evaluate and argue against it. In ways such as these, this project has taught me unique skills that are not obtained from writing the common argumentative essay.
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