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
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