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:
British Dietetic Association (2017): “Well-planned plant-based diets can support healthy living at every age and life-stage.”
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."
British Nutrition Foundation (2019): "Well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets can be nutritious and healthy."
Italian Society of Human Nutrition (2017): "Well-planned vegetarian diets that include a wide variety of plant foods, and a reliable source of vitamin B12, provide adequate nutrient intake."
Harvard Medical School (2020): "Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses."
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (2020): "A plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes is full of fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat. Eating a variety of these foods provides all the protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients your body needs. It's important to include a reliable source of vitamin B12 in your diet. You can easily meet your vitamin B12 needs with a daily supplement or fortified foods, such as vitamin B12-fortified breakfast cereals, plant milks, and nutritional yeast. Those who eat a plant-based diet lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions."
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (2016): “Poor dietary habits, rich in meat and foods that are high in sugar and fat and low in whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been closely linked to non-communicable diseases – a leading cause of premature death, not only in high-income countries but also many parts of the developing world. These diets are typically not only unhealthy, but environmentally unsustainable.”
See Viva! Health's The Incredible Vegan Health Report for more information on the latest science on human health and diets.
Learn more about vegan nutrition.