In recent years, the popularity of veganism has risen sharply and many more people are now becoming vegan or buying vegan products than ever before. National and international health institutions pay close attention to all health and nutrition issues and have been producing studies and statements on plant-based diets for many years. The public is not always aware but the support for veganism from these institutions is overwhelming. Here’s what they say about vegan diets:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Melina, Craig and Levin, 2016): “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease. Vegans need reliable sources of vitamin B-12, such as fortified foods or supplements.”
American Dietetic Association (Craig and Mangels, ADA, 2009): “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”
British Dietetic Association (Garton, BDA, 2014): “Well planned vegetarian diets can be nutritious and healthy. They are associated with lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain cancers and lower cholesterol levels.”
British Nutrition Foundation (Philips, BNF, 2005): “In terms of nutrition, vegan and vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate, provided they are carefully planned.”
Canadian Paediatric Society (Amit, CPS, 2010): “Well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets with appropriate attention to specific nutrient components can provide a healthy alternative lifestyle at all stages of foetal, infant, child and adolescent growth.”
Food and Agriculture Organisation & World Health Organisation (2001): “Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods.”
Italian Society of Human Nutrition (Agnoli et al., 2017): “Interest in and appreciation of vegetarian [including vegan] diets are growing in Italy and elsewhere. The evidence reviewed in this paper makes it clear that well-planned vegetarian diets that include a wide variety of plant foods, and a reliable source of vitamin B12, provide adequate nutrient intake.”
See Viva! Health’s The Incredible Vegan Health Report for more information on latest science on human health and diets.
Learn more about vegan nutrition.