Deuce Lutui, a veteran offensive lineman who signed with the Seahawks just last week, has announced that he’s a vegan. The 29-year-old, who was 396 pounds in 2010 and was struggling with health and weight issues, decided to adopt a vegan diet after failing a physical in July 2011 with the Cincinnati Bengals. He recognized the need to make changes to his diet and lifestyle, and so when a nutritionist he was working with suggested a vegan diet, he decided to give it a try.
In an interview with Seahawks.com, Lutui confirmed the rumor. “It’s true”, he said, “and coming into the offseason, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in. I credit that vegan diet.” As proof, Lutui not only pointed to his weight, he pulled up his shirt and offered, “I can finally see a six-pack there.” Lutui said he’s already at his game weight (340 pounds), a process that usually takes him much longer.
“My whole family is vegan,” he said of his wife, Puanani, and their four children. Lutui then cracked the slightest of smiles before adding, “It’s a little different from the Tonga traditional cuisine. But it’s a lot of education, really, that has kind of opened that insight for me.”
“If you were to go to my house and open up the fridge, you’d see all-vegan, all-natural products,” he says. “I’m glad I’ve educated myself about what’s going in my mouth. I’ve educated myself, and that’s what’s causing my fitness and how I’ve really taken care of myself physically. And it’s also taken a toll on me mentally, just to really be disciplined.”
Lutui seems to be a part of a growing trend for athletes to acknowledge the benefits of a vegan diet for their health and fitness. He joins other former and current vegan/vegetarian NFL players like Ricky Williams, Tony Fiammetta, and Tony Gonzalez.