Although scientists need to do more studies, it seems that Prevotella bacterial abundance in vegans may be beneficial for regulating blood sugar and weight. In the UK, it is estimated that well-planned, completely plant-based, or vegan, diets need just one third of the fertile land, fresh water and energy of the typical British ‘meat-and-dairy’ based diet. Good plant choices include wheat germ, beans, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and some fortified breakfast cereals. How these are made remains a mystery to most consumers, with the vegan “meat” manufacturers like Beyond Meat and the Mighty Mushrooms Co tight-lipped on the subject. Most qualify as Ultra Processed Food, although Prof Kuhnle insists that this is “a red herring” and we should focus on nutrition levels instead. “The processes don’t sound appetising, but then neither are slaughterhouses,” he says.

Our expert dietitian service showed Jim some new ways to cook his favourite veggie dishes, packing them full of the good stuff he needed. This service is crucial, and provides a place for people to turn to when they need help. Your donation of £3 a month will allow this vital service to continue. There have been conflicting reports about whether or a vegan diet is the panacea for good health. Sans meat, you’ll probably be chowing down on much more fibre than the average omnivore – and your stomach will thank you for it.

This is a UK cohort of 65,000 men and women living in the UK, many of whom are vegetarian, with most recruited between 1993 and 1999. EPIC-Oxford is part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, which is one of the largest cohort studies in the world, and is coordinated by the World Health Organization. The aim of EPIC is to understand how diet, nutritional status, lifestyle and environmental factors influence the incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases. It involves more than half a million participants recruited across 10 European countries between 1992 and 1999 and followed for about 20 years. That said, be aware that some nutrients are harder to come by on a vegan diet, such as vitamin B12. It isn’t produced by plants, so the Vegan Society recommends taking a 10mcg supplement daily.

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Plant-based diets are often portrayed as repetitive, bland and predominantly based on nut roasts. But this ignores the incredible variety of ingredients, cultures and cuisines that vegetarian and vegan diets can embrace. At NDPH’s Old Road Campus, this can be seen every day (in non-pandemic circumstances) at the Tulip Tree Café, which became the University of Oxford’s first meat-free café in March 2020. The menu includes a full English vegetarian breakfast, daily soups such as miso noodle broth, and main courses that include vegan spiced pulled oats and seitan cottage pie. Meat, particularly red meat, is rich in heme iron, a well-absorbed source of iron, lack of which can cause anaemia (a lack of red blood cells to transport oxygen to the body’s tissues). Plant-based sources of iron are less easily absorbed by the body compared with heme iron; in addition, phytate and tannin compounds present in plants can inhibit non-heme iron absorption.

  • On hearing that nuts and seeds are “healthy”, some people may think “great, I can have 12 packets of peanuts in the pub!
  • However, 80 per cent of the world’s soy harvest is used for animal feed, so meat eaters bear a heavy responsibility, though only about 35 per cent of what is imported into the UK is destined for feed bins.
  • There’s evidence that people who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
  • It has been shown that only a small proportion of these fats can be converted into long-chain omega-3s.
  • These two nutrient-dense food types certainly tend to feature in the diets of many vegans and they definitely should be included in a healthy, well-balanced plant-based diet.

Find out about all our product for individuals, including personal health checks, GP video calls and private health insurance. Alternatively, as suggested by the Vegan Society, you could take a vitamin B12 supplement. Females who are pre-menopausal are more at risk of iron deficiency. You could also use spray oils to reduce the amount of oil you use for cooking. When heated, oils expand so heating oil in the pan before you use it will make it go further so you do not need to use as much. Hosted by Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News delivers pioneering vegan news and ethical views weekly.

On our colourful and informative pages, you will find out what you need to be healthy and which foods you need to eat to get all the nutrients you need to thrive. Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. But they do still contain high levels of fat, so eat them in moderation.

Georgina Camfield, Associate Nutritionist At Axa Health

According to the review, vegans have lower body mass index and cholesterol levels than vegetarians, which may account for the additional health benefits. Although health is not everyone’s motivation for becoming vegan, it’s essential to understand if plant-based eating provides the nutrients someone needs when following the diet. Seitan contains no fat or fibre, and a fair amount of protein (about 20g per 100g, compared with chicken’s 30g), but unlike meat and dairy it isn’t a complete protein. A typical, firm tofu has 1.2g saturated fat per 100g, much less than a rump steak but more than a skinless chicken breast (0.5g).

Vegan Fitness

These products may make the transition to a plant-based diet easier. But, ultimately the goal should be to consume a WFPB diet – which is made up of whole, unrefined, or minimally processed plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. It is worth mentioning that tofu, tempeh and whole grain flours and pastas are considered minimally processed and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy WFPB diet.