There have been two population studies that have tracked vegans over time, one that followed Seventh-day Adventists in the United States and Canada, and the EPIC-Oxford study, which tracked the health of nearly 50,000 meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans across the United Kingdom. However, it can be easy to fall into the trap of consuming more “vegan junk food than the whole, nutritious foods that make a vegan diet so healthy.” Sweet Earth Foods is a relatively new brand of plant-based frozen foods and has some great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In a meta-analysis of research on iron deficiency in vegetarians, vegans and omnivores, vegans (and particularly women) come out as the highest risk group.
Although the evidence isn’t very strong for the vegan diet specifically, Cade says, the vegan diet appears to be associated with better overall health, aside from bone density and fractures, which may be more common due to possible lower calcium intake, and the likelihood of B12 deficiency. However, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that nutritional yeast is not an adequate source of B12, and that vegans should take supplements or eat fortified foods. The anti-inflammatory effect of plant-based foods is believed to be the reason why vegan diets seem to alleviate symptoms of some autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some unhealthy vegan foods that should be considered a treat rather than a health food, and what you can eat instead to curb your plant food cravings.
They may sound like a guilt-free alternative or a gateway for those curious about veganism, but vegan fast food alternatives are often worse for your health than their meat counterpart. The ability to easily substitute meat-based fast food for plant-based fast food can ease the transition to a vegan diet. The NURMI study follows 8,000 runners across Europe, including meat-eaters, vegans and vegetarians, and aims to test whether following a vegan diet over time leads to greater endurance over half marathon and marathon distances. These products are popular in vegan cafeterias, especially since getting adequate protein in a vegan diet can be a concern.
Researchers are concerned that much of the research comparing vegan diet and health outcomes (also known as observational research) is unreliable, as vegans tend to be healthier. These studies serve as a starting point, Faidon says, and since most of the data on veganism is observational, there are still uncertainties surrounding the vegan diet, especially when it comes to long-term effects. That said, there are many nutritious vegan foods that can add the extra calories needed to gain weight to the diet. You also need to consider what is added to vegan fast food to make it as rewarding and satisfying as the meat equivalents.