February 11, 2022 — When Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York City and vegan since 2017, was reported this week for eating fish, the media went wild, and the Twitterverse soon considered the FishGate reveal. After all, if you follow a plant-only diet, enjoying fish isn’t exactly the definition of pure veganism.
But then again, what’s wrong with combining diet plans? Nothing, top dieticians told WebMD after hearing the news.
“Diversifying your diet is completely acceptable and beneficial,” he says. Kristin Gillespie, a registered dietitian in Virginia Beach, VA. “Many diets that exclude entire food groups or types of nutrient-rich foods end up lacking vital nutrients our bodies need.”
Adjusting your diet as your needs change is a great strategy, says Joy Bauera registered dietitian nutritionist and the Today expert in nutrition and health of the program.
“What Mayor Adams is doing is adapting his ‘veganism’ to fit his lifestyle and food preferences,” she says. “You can call this a ‘pescatarian‘ (vegetarian diet with fish) or a ‘flexitarian’ (part-time vegetarian diet) plan, but it’s incredibly healthy, even though it’s not ‘vegan’ by definition.”
Adams has long been a promoter of the health benefits of veganism. In healthy at lasta book he wrote that was published in 2020 says that within 3 months of adopting a plant-based diet, he lost 35 pounds, lowered his cholesterol by 30 points, restored his vision, and reversed his diabetes.
It is now on a mission to revolutionize the way New Yorkers approach healthy living, including recently adding vegan meals on Fridays to serve an estimated 938,000 students in New York City public schools.
The rewards of veganism
Adams is just one of many who are interested in going plant-based. In recent years, vegan (and vegetarian) diets have become more popular for reasons ranging from improving health to saving the planet, says Bauer.
“Some make the decision to give up only meat products like beef, pork, and poultry while enjoying dairy and eggs (known as vegetarians), or choose to avoid all animal products, including eggs and dairy (known as vegan), due to religious or ethical motivation,” she says. “Others are motivated by health benefits: A plant-based diet is better for the heart and has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of health conditions.”
Ultimately, Adams will play a major role in promoting the benefits of this diet, whether or not you occasionally eat fish.
“Whether you choose to go vegan, vegetarian, or simply include more plant-based foods in your diet, this is the key to good health,” he says. patrick bananaregistered dietitian nutritionist and author of From Exhaustion to Balance. “From fruits and vegetables Like nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains, plant-based foods are not only packed with fiber (provided only by plants), but you get a host of other essential nutrients and phytochemicals for optimal health.”
If you want to follow in the footsteps of the mayor, all you have to do is make sure you’re taking care of your vitamin B12 and zinc levels, he says. Elizabeth Smitha registered dietitian in New York City.
“Those are the nutrients and minerals that can be missing when you follow a vegan diet,” she says. “We always have to think about making sure we’re getting what our body needs.”