Veganuary- the Health Benefits

 In Dr Marc Hughes

Veganuary has been taking place this month, providing an opportunity for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike to experience being vegan for a month- and while to some veganism may seem like the latest craze and a bit of a fad, cutting out animal products is really beneficial to your oral and general health. Here are some of the many ways that Veganuary could be improving your health: 

General Health 

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the fastest growing global conditions, with cases in the UK tripling from 1.4 million in 1996 to 4 million in 2018, and is a major cause of death and disability in the western world, leading to vascular complications which can cause heart disease, ulcers and kidney failure. The high levels of fruit and vegetables present in a vegan diet have been shown to contribute to decreased incidence of Type 2 Diabetes when compared to a normal diet. This is due to a vegan diet having an increased fibre content and decreased sugar content- meaning that vegans are 68% less likely to suffer from this disease than non-vegans.  

Furthermore, studies conducted by the American Heart Association have shown that a vegan diet reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood, with vegans having the lowest cholesterol levels when being compared to meat-eaters, pescatarians and vegetarians. Furthermore, vegans were also found to have a significantly lower blood pressure than non-vegans, due to the lack of saturated fats in their diets. Low cholesterol reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks as well as artery disease, whilst a low blood pressure means you are less at risk of suffering from kidney failure and coronary heart disease too! 


Oral Health 

Unfortunately, many people have been put off becoming vegan due to the perceived detrimental effects it has on oral health. A vegan diet high in fruit can lead to issues with tooth decay and enamel erosion due to the higher sugar content of said fruit. However, this problem can be easily solved through maintaining a regular brushing schedule and balancing your diet, so it consists of less fruit. What many don’t realise about veganism is how it can positively affect your dental hygiene by reducing the risk of periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases such as gingivitis are infections of the gums and surrounding areas and can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and respiratory disease. Thankfully, a fibre-rich vegan diet has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of contracting periodontal disease alongside a good oral hygiene routine. 

In summary, Veganuary this year may be proving the most successful to date for a reason, incorporating more fibre-rich vegan alternatives into your diet will have a positive impact on your general and oral heath! Even though you’re eating foods that may improve your oral health, it is still important to have regular check-ups from your dentist. Call us at Strand on the Green Dental Practice on 020 8995 0298 to book an appointment now. 

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