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How would a vegan diet be healthy for me?

Jonny Bowden
Nutrition & Dietetics
Vegan diets are not innately "healthier" than non-vegan diets. And it's possible to be a vegan and still eat a bunch of useless, processed foods. But the spirit of the vegan diet is something I agree with -- eat more plant foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables offer an array of compounds -- flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, phenols, polyphenols, catechins, flavanols -- that act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The fiber in these foods helps control blood sugar and energy and may protect against cancer.
 
The problem with the vegan diet is that humans really do better with some animal products in their diet. You will not get sufficient B-12 or zinc or iron from a vegan diet, nor will you get the most important of the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, which for the most part are found in animal foods.)

Some people clearly thrive on vegan diets -- at least for a while. Particularly if your diet has been horrific -- meals at McDonald's, processed food everywhere, toxic meat -- a switch to a vegan diet (with more fruits, vegetables and legumes) is going to be a welcome change. But there have been many anecdotal stories of long-term problems with the "vegan orthodoxy", including loss of energy, brittle lifeless hair, and other side-effects. 
 
My personal opinion is that that diets should be front-loaded with plant foods and should ALSO contain some HEALTHY sources of animal protein like grass-fed beef, truly free-range poultry and eggs, and wild salmon. But remember, everyone's different -- no diet philosophy is going to be equally valid for everyone.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Research studies have consistently proven that vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters, they have lower blood pressure. A vegetarian diet was proven to decrease risk for heart disease and in fact reverse heart disease (Dr. Dean Ornish). Following a vegetarian diet also helps prevent cancer and with diabetes control/management.
Kathy Freston
Nutrition & Dietetics

Veganist and best-selling author Kathy Freston explains why a vegan diet is healthy for you. Watch Kathy Freston's video for tips and information on healthy living and conscious eating.


Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A vegan diet is a meal plan that has long-lasting health benefits. In this video, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen catch up with Rocco, the Vegan Cowboy, who saved his own life with a vegan diet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.