A vegan diet is one which excludes any animal products. Vegans do not eat meat, poultry, fish or seafood, eggs, dairy products, or bee products (honey, bee pollen, etc.).

Vegan diets consist mostly of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains. Today, there are many substitutes available for all the animal products that non-vegans enjoy—agave nectar to replace honey, nut milk to replace cow’s milk, as well as many other products to replace cheese, meat, and other animal foods.

Going vegan may not be easy, but those who do can enjoy many benefits, including the ten, listed below.

1. Lower cholesterol

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high cholesterol. When a person has too much ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in his blood, it attaches to the inside of blood vessels and builds up to create plaque. This is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Countless studies indicate that a vegan diet directly results in lower blood lipid levels—or lower cholesterol levels. The best way to lower your cholesterol is to avoid foods which contain the ‘bad’ kinds of fat— saturated fat and trans-fat. Foods that contain these kinds of fats include butter, meat, and full-fat dairy products— all things which vegans avoid.

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