Veganism is growing at an exponential rate within the UK – today one third of the British population are trying to either reduce or eliminate meat and other animal products from their diet, and The Vegan Society claim that between 2014 and 2018 the number of vegans within the UK has quadrupled. Every year increasingly large numbers of events are created to champion a vegan diet including World Vegan Day on the 1st of November and Veganauary which, since 2014, has tried to encourage people to follow a vegan diet for the month of January.
What are the causes behind this considerable dietary shift amongst the British population? A number of factors come into play, including animal welfare and environmental concerns, as well as the proven health benefits of following a plant based diet.
The environmental benefits of a plant based diet have certainly been highlighted in the press a lot recently; a report launched by Oxford earlier this year emphasised how, if every individual on the planet was to cut out meat and dairy from their diet, the amount of farmland needed globally would fall by up to 75%. Equally impressive a statistic is the fact that, by consuming a plant based diet, an individuals carbon footprint falls by up to 73%. It is an disreputable fact that more people must be encouraged to reduce or eliminate meat and dairy from their diet in order to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees.
The health benefits of a plant based diet are equally difficult to ignore. The majority of the British population consume a diet that is incredibly high in fat, salt and sugar, and low in fruits, vegetables and dietary fibres, as well as key vitamins and minerals. Public Health England’s recently published article highlighted how the majority of children in the UK have exceeded their maximum sugar in-take for an 18 year old by the time that they are 10. Only 27% of the population eat their 5 a day, and the average British person consumes 19 grams of fibre a day, far below the 30 grams that is recommended.
Making the switch to a plant based diet makes hitting many of these key dietary targets far easier; vegan diets are naturally higher in fibre due to the inclusion of pulses, wholegrains and starchy vegetables which are fibrous powerhouses, and tend to be rich in a large variety of fruits and vegetables. Animal fats have been linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid, arthritis, hypertension and heart disease, and those following a vegan diet have been shown to have lower BMI’s and reduced risk of obesity as a result. Vegan diets are typically higher in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E then the typical Western diet, and vegans commonly have lower blood sugar levels, higher insulin sensitivity and between a 50 to 78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
now more choice…
Luckily, following a vegan diet has never been easier. Major supermarket chains have launched a number of dedicated vegan ranges, nearly doubling the amount of vegan food products between 2013 and 2017, and the number of either fully vegan restaurants, or restaurants with dedicated vegan options, has never been higher.
Yet, although new vegan options continued to be released, a number of these new products are far from healthy. Many are highly processed, composed of a high number of non-food ingredients, and just as high in fat, sugar and salt as their meat based counterparts.
However, all of our Raw Gorilla products are both 100% plant-based and Vegan Society Certified while being composed of 100% natural, unprocessed ingredients. Made of just fruit, nuts and seeds, all of our Breakfasts and Munchies are free from any added refined sugar, grain and gluten free and raw. Raw Gorilla caters for everyone; we are suitable for those who have allergies or intolerances to gluten and dairy, as well as those following a paleo diet. We have even launched our Mighty Muesli, which is the first vegan ketogenic breakfast in the UK. Our Carob and Orange and Lemon and Chia Munchies are even nut free! And none of this means that we compromise on taste – in the words of the Great Taste Award judges ‘This just tastes of goodness.’ So try our products with 20% off for January – you will not be disappointed!