Why celebri­ties are go­ing nuts for the latest health trend: a ve­gan diet.

It’s the 22-day eat­ing plan that celebri­ties swear by. A pass­ing fad? Or should we be con­sid­er­ing ve­g­an­ism as a way of life? Gail Short­land in­ves­ti­gates

Friday - - Front Page -

When it comes to en­dorse­ments for go­ing ve­gan, they don’t get much bet­ter than a roll call of gush­ing A-lis­ters. ‘You wake up and feel great,’ in­sists world-fa­mous beauty J-Lo, and Gwyneth Pal­trow is look­ing younger ev­ery day thanks to her strict ve­gan diet. Su­per­star Bey­oncé and hus­band Jay-Z have been us­ing ve­g­an­ism to lose weight – claim­ing it had dra­matic re­sults af­ter just 22 days.

For ac­tors Brad Pitt, Anne Hath­away and TV-star Ellen DeGeneres, it’s a way of life. It takes con­vic­tion and sac­ri­fice, but it seems es­chew­ing dairy, meat and fish may be worth it, as con­verts boast of ben­e­fits in­clud­ing high energy, lower choles­terol and im­proved skin.

The term “ve­gan” was coined back in 1944 by an­i­mal rights ac­tivist Don­ald Wat­son, who co-founded The Ve­gan So­ci­ety in the UK. A ve­gan diet ex­cludes any­thing that is de­rived from an an­i­mal – that is meat, dairy, eggs and even honey. For many, ve­g­an­ism is a con­scious eth­i­cal de­ci­sion to pro­tect an­i­mals, as some even refuse to wear wool and leather, or use prod­ucts tested on an­i­mals.

Oth­ers are ve­gan for the health ben­e­fits, and ac­cord­ing to Asma Be­gum, nutri­tion spe­cial­ist at Su­per­foods LLC, Dubai, many are cottoning on to the ben­e­fits. New ve­gan restau­rants and ve­gan op­tions are pop­ping up too. The raw cho­co­late fon­dant with co­conut fill­ing served at Be­stro in The Dubai Mall is the new go-to dessert ac­cord­ing to the foodie buzz, while Cac­tus Cantina in Wafi Mall serves de­li­cious Mex­i­can food with­out the cheese, and Coco Yoga at the Fri­day Foodie Mar­ket in Safa Park of­fers ve­gan cheese­cakes, and ice cream made from co­conut milk.

‘With so many celebri­ties go­ing ve­gan and more restau­rants and su­per­mar­kets cater­ing to this way of life, pop­u­lar­ity is sky high’, says Asma. ‘It’s great for weight loss be­cause it is a high-fi­bre diet that makes you feel fuller for longer.’

As a re­sult you’ll eat less, and ex­pel tox­ins from your sys­tem. ‘The re­sult is a lighter, more en­er­getic body,’ she adds.

A ve­gan diet can also be ef­fec­tive in reg­u­lat­ing blood sugar lev­els, hy­per­ten­sion and hy­per choles­terol, as

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