3% of Americans are vegan. Reasons vary. Veganism can promote health. Plant-based diets may reduce illness risk. Some avoid meat to protect animals or the environment.
Vegans have healthier hearts. Meat-free diets reduce obesity, heart disease, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Vegan women had less diabetes, breast, ovarian, and uterine malignancies.
Nutrition is another benefit. Vegans eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. These foods provide fiber, antioxidants, and chemicals that fight diabetes and cancer.
Vegan diets are healthful, although they lack protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Protein fuels all body chemical processes. Calcium strengthens bones and teeth.
Omega-3 fatty acids protect your heart and cells from heart disease and stroke. Pregnant women and toddlers need these nutrients.
Protein: almonds, soy, beans, quinoaCalcium: soy milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, tofu, broccoli, kale, almonds.
Omega-3: flaxseeds, vegetable oils, plant-based supplements.Iron: tofu, soy nuts, spinach, peanut butter, fortified cereals
Fresh producePeas, beans, and lentilsNuts, seedsBread, rice, pastaAlmond, coconut, and soymilk are dairy replacements.Veggie oils