In an effort to get leaner and stronger, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has adopted a vegan diet.
“There is a misconception that you cannot meet protein needs with plants and that a big, strong, football player needs meat. This is not true and I applaud Justin and wish him the best,” said Dena Champion, a registered dietician with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “With proper planning, he can expect to feel fantastic.”
The planning aspect of adopting a vegan diet cannot be stressed enough. Chad Goodwin owns two local vegan restaurants—Eden Burger and 4th & State.
“Oreos are technically vegan,” Goodwin pointed out. “But does it offer the same nutritional composition of, you know, a kale and quinoa salad or something like that?”
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So vegans don’t have to give up cookies. In fact, Goodwin argues they don’t have to give up much, not in comparison to those who moved to a plant-based diet years ago.
“The substitutes are incredible,” he said. “Now we’ve got vegan ice cream in every flavor imaginable. He can really go and find about anything he wants.”
Those wishing to follow Fields’ path might see some health benefits.
“A well-planned plant-heavy diet provides gut-healthy fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants to fight free radical damage and possible cancers from developing,” said Champion. “Anyone who cuts out all animal products will need to supplement with Vitamin B-12.”
And this is a good place in which to be a vegan, according to WalletHub. They researched the city’s availability of plant-based foods, how affordable it is, and how engaged the local vegan and vegetarian communities are. In the end, they ranked Columbus as the No. 60 city in the country.