‘Is Vegan Diet Healthy?’ – Here’s What 65 Experts Have to Say

Veganism is BIG now! Everyone is talking about it. Not that everyone is fond of it, that’s not the case for sure. There are people throwing claims and facts at each other that support their own opinion.

But what’s the truth? Is Vegan Diet really healthy os is it just a hoax? Are you missing out on protein and have the risk of deficiency? Is animal protein is a must for our body?

And that’s not all. Even if we believe a vegan diet is good is healthy (or not), the confusion remains. For instance, it’s healthy for whom? The adults? the kids? people with diabetics or cancer? What about the women in pregnancy?

Sadly, no one can answer all these questions at once. But don’t lose hope yet, because luckily, you have found the right source for all your questions.

Because I decided to gather all the experts and credible information on the web that answers all our questions. Let me tell you, the facts and insights I got from those are nothing short of AMAZING! Trust me on this.

is vegan diet healthy

I listed all of them below. Oh and BTW, I gathered 60 responses, and I categorized them into 10 sections. Find them below: 

Is Vegan Diet Healthy for Adults?

Let’s cover the basics first, is it healthy for the mass of us?

Appropriately planned … vegan diets … are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle
American Dietetic Association (ADA)
Source: NCBI

It changed my entire health. Everything changed about my body when I switched to a plant-based diet—and that was it.

A vegan diet can be among the most healthful ways to eat. …you’ll get plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy oils while limiting calories, salt, sugar, and harmful fats. You can get all the protein you need from soy and grains combined with beans, nuts, or seeds. The benefits of a vegan diet extend beyond your own health to that of the planet.

A vegan diet made up of foods that have a low glycemic load also may help enhance healthy gut biofilms, the thin protective barriers that form around bacteria in the gut and make it hard for glucose to penetrate, which in turn slows the glycemic effect in the diet

The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest.

People truly have to understand that what they put in their mouth affects their health. You’re gonna have to commit to yourselves and acknowledge that your current diet is hurting you. By eating the wrong foods, we increase our insulin levels

By eating a healthy vegan diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but balanced enough to include fibre and protein, blood glucose levels can be made easier to control

How Does It Impact Weight Loss and Obesity

Some people react as if raising children on a vegetarian or vegan diet is a health crisis – when the real crisis is childhood obesity. No one cares about protein until you say you’re vegetarian or vegan – then everyone wants to know where your protein comes from. But adults and children can meet their protein needs with high-protein plant foods like legumes, tofu, nuts and whole-grains.

it’s possible people who try vegan diets learn how to swap in healthier plant-based dishes for their old meat-centric foods, which may help them lose weight even if they don’t ultimately stick with it.

Natural, unprocessed foods are loaded with fiber and water, which make you feel full without delivering as many calories. Watch out with the oils, as people often take a perfectly good salad with low calorie density and then add a ton of oil-filled dressing that’s extremely calorie dense.

First, sweet potatoes are high in fiber. Fiber works towards weight loss efforts in two ways. One, fiber leaves the consumer feeling fuller which makes them less likely to overeat at mealtimes and eat less between meals. Two, fiber removes toxins from the body and keeps the bowels regular, both of which reduce inflammation and weight.

What if we had a world without processed food in it? We wouldn’t have the weight problems we have now if it weren’t for processed food. It would be very difficult to become obese while eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Veganism Against Cancer and Heart Diseases

Vegetarian eating patterns have been associated with lower risk of premature death, while red and processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Australian diets are typically high in meat and low in vegetables and legumes.

Plant-based food can help decrease the risks for certain cancers,” “The idea that if you’re going to eat an egg you might as well smoke a Marlboro, I don’t find it accurate.

Two large meta-analyses looking at vegans showed they tend to have less chance of suffering from cancer and heart disease. When you look at the healthiest populations in the world, they eat a predominantly plant based diet high in legumes, grains and starches.

For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed.

Animal testing has shown exposure to high levels of chemicals such as these is linked with cancer, but these are levels of exposure much higher than humans would get from eating meat. Some studies do appear to have shown that meat that has been burned, fried or barbecued is associated with higher possibilities of certain cancers, but these links are hard to prove for certain.

Vegan diet can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients.”
Research suggests that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day may lower your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%. Vegan diets generally contain more soy products, which may offer some protection against breast cancer.

What About Diabetics? Is It Any Good?

A plant-based diet is a powerful tool for preventing, managing, and even reversing type 2 diabetes. Not only is this the most delicious ‘prescription’ you can imagine, but it’s also easy to follow. Unlike other diets, there’s no calorie counting, no skimpy portions, and no carb counting. Plus, all the ‘side effects’ are good ones.

A vegetarian diet can have many benefits to a person with diabetes, including better blood sugar control and reduced risk of serious health complications. Getting the vital nutrients your body needs and choosing foods that are appropriate for your personal diabetes care plan are key to a healthy vegetarian diet. Therefore, it is important to work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist prior to making dietary changes. With some dedication, nutrition awareness from a healthcare professional, and healthy food choices, a vegetarian diet may help you achieve better blood sugar control.

We would say that people with type 2 diabetes following a plant-based diet might be happier because, as the studies suggest, the majority found that through this eating pattern they can have better control of their condition.If through diet they can have the power to improve their physical symptoms and their glucose levels, and reduce or even stop some of their medication, then this has a huge impact on their quality of life.

Higher intake of vegetables, whole-grain foods, legumes, and nuts has been associated with a substantially lower risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and improved glycemic control in people who are insulin-resistant as well as in those who are not.3 The key to eating a vegetarian diet when having diabetes is ensuring you eat adequate amounts of protein and healthy fat, choose high fiber carbohydrates and exercise portion control.

There is a large body of evidence that has consistently demonstrated vegetarians enjoy lower rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. A vegetarian Mediterranean diet may also be associated with lower rates of depression, however this relationship is less clear.

Adams was losing his eyesight from the condition and suffering from nerve damage in his hands and his feet. He claims that although it wasn’t recommended to him by a physician at the time, he decided to take matters into his own hands and manage his condition with an active lifestyle and a healthy vegan diet. Within three months, Adams says his diabetes diagnosis was reversed and he was able to safely stop taking his medication.

We want to reassure vegans that their lifestyle choice supports healthy living and give dietitians confidence to deliver reliable vegan-friendly dietetics advice.

Against Osteoporosis

Certainly milk drinking does not seem to confer any protection against osteoporosis. The countries with the highest dairy consumption – the U.S., the U.K., the Scandinavian countries, etc. have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Vegan Diet Against Blood Pressure

Compared to meat eaters, plant based eaters have a staggering 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

Is There Any Skin Benefits?

In several studies in the US, Italy and Malaysia there have been links between dairy and acne. if you are suffering with acne, it may be beneficial for you to reduce the amount of dairy that’s in your diet. Generally, a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and saturated fats is going to have a positive impact on the skin.

How Does It Benefits Athletes?

Eating a plant-based diet helped me manage my health issues and led me to discover what a “high-energy” life is really all about. With this beautiful level of vibrancy available to me, I got into fitness, and I started running. Eventually, I even signed up for endurance races, completed a full marathon (that’s someone who couldn’t even get out of bed a few years back due to severe chronic fatigue). I was the fittest and healthiest I had ever been in my life and my body radiated well-being.

Eating a plant-based diet poses some concerns for athletes who need to ensure they are meeting their energy and nutrient needs for training, performance, and proper recovery. However, through strategic meal planning, athletes can achieve their nutritional needs and gain the health benefits as well by eating a plant-based diet.

There is a lifestyle diet, one that I’ve discovered works well for most people—including me, an athlete, a dietitian, a mom, and someone who just wants to be her healthiest self. That diet is a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet is simple: a diet that’s full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and low in animal products.

Is Vegan Diet Bad for Pregnancy?

Women who consume a vegan or vegetarian diet and are going through a pregnancy may worry whether they can get enough nutrients for themselves and their unborn child while maintaining their typical eating regimen. But they need not fret. “Vegans and vegetarians can have a healthy pregnancy. Moms report many changes with pregnancy and children, but giving up vegan or vegetarian ways does not have to be among them.

If someone adheres to the proper vegan diet, then yes, it is possible to be healthy while pregnant. Those foods are high-glycemic, which means [the carbs are] going to convert to a lot of sugar. She also doles out the advice vegans have likely heard before: Get your nutrients through unprocessed, whole foods.

Getting enough calcium used to be a problem for vegans, but now you can take advantage of a variety of calcium-fortified foods including juices, cereals, and even caramel- or chocolate-flavored calcium “candies.” Adequate calcium in the diet is important for building bones in the developing baby. If the fetus cannot get enough calcium from the mother’s diet, calcium will be leached from the mother’s bones.

I’ve since gone through two plant-based pregnancies and have two healthy and thriving plant-based kids, now 4 and 6 years old. A whole-food, plant-based diet should be the cornerstone of healthy lifestyle changes for children and adults. It is the most powerful change we can make.

Is Vegan Diet Harmful for Kids?

Kids can safely follow a vegan diet if their meals and snacks are carefully planned out to obtain all the nutrients necessary for optimal growth and development. Specific nutrients that need to be monitored are vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and zinc. I would recommend working with a Registered Dietitian initially to ensure your child is consuming a well balanced, nutrition dense diet before becoming strictly vegan to avoid any delays in proper growth for their age.

The key is to make sure it’s well planned out and you’re meeting all of your child’s nutritional needs.

It’s more and more common for parents to ask questions about health and safety aspects of a vegan diet for their children. My answer is that a vegan diet can be healthy for children, but there are several extra factors to consider.

The last edition of his iconic parenting book, Baby and Child Care, published shortly after he died, advised that children shouldn’t be given dairy products after they are two years old and that they can get plenty of protein and iron from vegetables, beans, and other plant foods that avoid the fat and cholesterol that are in animal products.

As supported by lots of studies over generations, if the diet is well-planned, there is no risk of children being malnourished while following a vegetarian diet.“Both short-term and longitudinal studies1 have found that vegetarian children grow at the same rate as their meat-eating peers and grow up into being very healthy adults.” Children need to be monitored regularly by their GP for growth and parents need some advice from a paediatric dietitian to make sure their children are getting essential nutrition.

If it’s important to you that your child adhere to a vegan diet in all settings, you should talk about strategies for navigating that, both in terms of making sure your child has food to eat in every setting, and in terms of helping them talk about their dietary choices with their friends.

Planning a Vegan Family?

We have found that raising a vegan family is so much more than just swapping out animal-derived products for plant foods. It’s about teaching our kids the true meaning of compassion, environmental stewardship, feminism, and equality, while setting them up for optimal long-term health and showing them a unique way to positively impact the world around them.

There is no reason why vegan parents should not offer the same diet to their young children. Many families are raising happy, healthy vegan children. A big part of being vegan is being health-conscious and knowledgeable about where our food comes from, so parents will be instilling messages about healthy eating and nutrition from an early age

Is Cutting the Animal Protein Necessary?

The rich western diet is full of fat, sugar, cholesterol, salt, animal protein – all the wrong foods for people. Look around the world and see where people are thin and healthy.

Wealthy countries are already massively over-consuming protein…we don’t need alternate protein sources – if we cut in half the amount of protein we are already eating, we would be at healthier levels.

In the next ten years, one of the things you’re bound to hear is that animal protein is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered.

Is Vegan Diet Really Better Than Meaty Diet?

In the battle between meat eaters and non-meat eaters, everyone’s looking for one answer, If we can only declare that one’s better than the other. But it’s not better, it’s just different.

Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally and in most regions.

It seems that vegans get sick less often; vegans are reported to have fewer colds and enjoy better immune health generally, possibly due to the types of fat consumed (seeds, nuts and their oils). These are beneficial sources of plant lignans, which are high in protective anti-oxidants and directly support immune cells.

Is There Any Risk of Deficiency for Vegans?

Claims a vegetarian diet lacks iron, protein or zinc are unfounded. It’s true those who follow a vegetarian diet have lower levels of iron stored as ferritin, but the levels are in the normal range and do not equate to a deficiency.

For generally healthy people, I don’t see any reason that eating a vegetarian diet is risky to health,” The benefits of eating plant-based diets, including vegan and vegetarian diets, far exceed small risks in deficiency.
Qi Sun
Assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Source: WebMD

Do You Need Supplements?

You do not need to take a choline supplement when you switch to totally plant-based nutrition if you eat a balanced and varied diet containing plenty of minimally processed plant foods. The evidence base shows that this way of eating can support excellent health.

Dont be judgmental about the rights and wrongs of vegan diets for young children, but any parent wanting to raise their child as a vegan needs to be very well-informed. Vegan children can be deficient in vitamin D, calcium, iron and possibly vitamin B12, so they need supplements.

If you’re looking for vitamin K, broccoli or cabbages have it. If it’s vitamin E you’re seeking, there’s plenty in wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds or almonds. Folate/vitamin B9 is in kidney beans, lentils or cauliflower. If it’s about monounsaturated oils, extra virgin olive oil and sesame or peanut oil are great alternatives.

However, Be Careful

I’ve noticed more people are not necessarily going full vegan or vegetarian but are making an effort to eat more plant-based foods,””
You can meet your protein needs on a vegetarian or vegan diet—you just have to make sure you’re eating adequate protein, such as beans, nuts, or soy, at each meal.

Remember, a plant-based diet isn’t automatically healthy… It’s still important to read food labels and understand what you are eating.

There are some amazing benefits that come with a plant-based diet. However, as with any lifestyle changes, there are things to be aware of as well. The first of which is a potential lack of Vitamin B12.

Make Sure You’re Getting What You Need

Many people have ethical or health-related reasons for following a vegetarian or vegan diet. – You can opt for the vegan hot dogs while waiting for that bun in the oven — just be sure to watch your iron and B12 intake, if you do.

I don’t think vegan pregnancies are more complicated or that you have to worry about any perinatal outcomes due to diet. If you’re vegan, you need to think about the nutrients you’re not getting from food and then supplement accordingly. You can take prenatal multivitamins which has no animal ingredients.

Is Going Vegan a Hard Thing to Do?

Some people think the ‘vegan diet’ is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.

I eat plant-based. To me, that means I really really really like plants, but sometimes I eat eggs, fish, and if something has dairy in it. I’m down to taste and see if I like something, instead of put it off limits because of what it contains.

It’s much easier to have a healthy well-balanced vegan diet than it is to have a healthy non-vegan diet. A vegan diet is loaded with vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains – all very rich in vitamins and minerals, much richer than you would find in a typical meaty diet.

Should You Really Become a Vegan

According to the scientific literature, a plant-based diet comprised primarily of vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains is very effective in managing type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing comorbidities, such as obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, kidney disorders, and hyperlipidemia.

Our current method of growing crops to feed to animals so we can eat animals is shockingly inefficient, By 2050, [almost] all meat will be plant-based, or cultivated.

Foods that are lower in calorie density (fruits, veggies, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes) are also higher in nutrient density. Therefore, by following a diet lower in calorie density, one also automatically consumes a diet higher in nutrient density.
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Stephen Williams

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