Jennifer Lopez is known for her curves and her voice, but she is also known for her various forays into exercise programs and dieting. Jut a few years ago the now 44-year-old was cited as a vegetarian; now, however, she says she has completely overhauled her diet and feels great about it.
Just what is Jennifer Lopez eating that is making her feel so healthy? According to reports it’s a vegan diet, and Lopez now joins the ranks of other stars cutting out animal products like Jay Z and Beyonce.
“Being vegan, it’s basically no diary, no meat, everything is plant based and from the ground. Butter is the one thing I miss!” Jennifer told New York radio station Z100. “You do feel better. I do recommend the vegan diet because you wake up and feel great!”
What does it mean to be a vegan?
There is often confusion when it comes to distinguishing between being a vegetarian and a vegan, but the two lifestyles are definitely different. According to MedicineNet, the primary difference in a vegan diet versus a vegetarian diet is what animal products are consumed.
Vegan, for example, eat no items that come from an animal. This means no meat, no cheese, no milk, no eggs, no butter, honey, etc. Vegetarians, on the other hand, do consume certain animal products, just not usually the meat of the animal itself. The rules vary from person to person, as some vegetarians do or do not believe in the consumption of eggs.
So how do vegans manage to avoid all those animal products? It isn’t easy, and often involves shopping at specialty stores and supplementing the diet with needed dietary additives. Vegans need to make sure they still have a balanced diet, even if they aren’t taking in animal products.
The typical vegan food pyramid generally consists of 6-11 servings of whole grain pastas, breads and cereals; 3-5 servings of vegetables; 2-4 servings of fruits; 2-3 servings of plant protein foods such as beans and legumes; 4-6 servings of calcium-rich vegetables or fruits; and supplementation of vitamins B-12 and D along with omega-3 fatty acids.
But is the vegan diet healthy?
Like most mainstream diets, the decision on whether or not a vegan diet is healthy all depends on the expert you ask and the manner in which the diet is being upheld. General consensus indicates that as long as a vegan diet is supplemented with certain vitamins and nutrients usually gained from eating animal products, it is a healthy diet to follow even if it is considered very restrictive.
“In human population studies, prevalence rates of heart disease and certain cancers strongly associate with animal-protein-based diets, usually reported as total fat consumption,” Dr. T. Colin Campbell told the Wall Street Journal.
“Animal-based protein isn’t the only cause of these diseases, but it is a marker of the simultaneous effects of multiple nutrients found in diets that are high in meat and dairy products and low in plant-based foods.”
It is likely that Jennifer Lopez’s vegan diet is being overseen by a nutritionist so the Latina beauty isn’t likely to be missing out on any of the essential nutrients. Just because JLo has cut out meat products doesn’t mean the diet is appropriate for everyone, however, and anyone thinking of eliminating a food group entirely should consult with their doctor and a nutritionist to make sure no adverse health consequences will develop.