A dietitian weighs in on the pros and cons of the vegan diet. The vegan diet is becoming more and more mainstream, with people cutting out animal products for environmental, ethical and health reasons. So is veganism more of a personal or moral decision? Or is it how we should all be eating for long-term health? Plant foods vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and soy are the mainstays of all vegetarian diets. Whether foods like milk, yogurt, and eggs are included with that depends on the type of vegetarian diet being followed. Some vegetarians include dairy or eggs, and certain vegetarians even consume fish at times. Vegan diets consist only of plants foods. This includes all vegetables, non-starchy and starchy; legumes, lentils, and peas; nuts, seeds, and nut butters; fruits, grains, and soy products like tofu. However, meal planning does take a little more thought to ensure plant protein sources complement one another to provide all essential amino acids.
Back to Eat well. If you choose to include foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts. See the Eatwell Guide for more information about a healthy diet. The only group the Eatwell Guide is not suitable for is children under the age of 2, as they have different needs. During pregnancy and when breastfeeding, women who follow a vegan diet need to make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals for their child to develop healthily. Find out more about a vegetarian and vegan diet for mums-to-be. Find out about vegetarian and vegan diets for babies and children. The body needs vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
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The year was and veganism was a long way from the current boom, which has established it as one of the most in-vogue dietary trends. But Wirnitzer, a sports scientist at the University of Innsbruck, had become intrigued by the resurgence of ancient theories linking plant-based diets with improved athletic performance. Over the past decade, she has led the NURMI study, the broadest initiative so far investigating the effects of a vegan diet in high-performance, ultra-endurance sports. The most recent survey by the Vegan Society estimates that there are around , vegans in the UK — a fourfold increase over the past five years — while high-profile athletes from Lewis Hamilton to Jermain Defoe have begun experimenting with veganism. However, despite the boom in veganism, even the most optimistic scientists caution that there is still much we do not understand about the diet. In particular, little is known about the long-term consequences of veganism and whether it does hold significant advantages over an omnivorous or vegetarian diet. Portrayals of the diet can be partisan: the recent blockbuster Netflix documentary The Game Changers has since been tainted by revelations that the executive producers are cofounders of a vegan food company and that much of the evidence presented in the film is selective, low-quality and anecdotal. This is perhaps unsurprising.