What is a plant-based ‘diet’?
A whole foods, plant-based diet is focused on foods which come from plants, and includes: all vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and fruit.
Is this a good way to lose weight? Is it safe?
Will it affect my other health conditions – high cholesterol, diabetes, or others?
What if I’m a picky eater?
Check out the recipes page and see what we eat! Do you like eating pasta, cake, salads, pizza or pancakes? You can eat our versions of these food, lose weight, and get rid of diabetes (type II diabetes mellitus).
How does this type of eating affect the planet?
Eating less (or no) animal products helps the environment by using less environmental resources, such as land and water, and drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions – all this just by simply changing what you choose to put on your plate!
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What groups or organisations promote a plant based approach?
It turns out that many of the most reputable dietary organisations in the world support a plant based lifestyle. The following is not by any means an exhaustive list, click on each group to see what they have to say.
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.
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Vegans don't eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs. You should be able to get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet. A healthy vegan diet contains: plenty of fruit and vegetables, plenty of starchy foods, some non-dairy sources of protein, such as beans and pulses, some dairy alternatives, such as fortified soya drinks, just a small amount of fatty and sugary foods.
With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs. If you don't plan your diet properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.
During pregnancy and when breastfeeding, women who follow a vegan diet need to make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals for their child to develop healthily. If you're bringing up your baby or child on a vegan diet, you need to ensure they get a wide variety of foods to provide the energy and vitamins they need for growth.
A healthy vegan diet has many health benefits including lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
It may take planning to get enough protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins D and B12 and omega-3 fats from foods or supplements. A healthy vegan diet can meet all your nutrient needs at any stage of life including when you are pregnant, breastfeeding or for older adults.
A vegetarian diet can be healthy for a child as long as it is well balanced and adequate amounts of essential nutrients and vitamins are consumed. In fact, researchers are currently trialling vegetarian diets as a management strategy for obesity in children. A vegan diet for a child is more complicated to manage in terms of gaining essential nutrients and vitamins. Prescribing multiple supplements for children to overcome dietary deficiencies is not as desirable as a well balanced diet. Parents should take this into consideration when making dietary choices for their child. Advice from a nutritionist should be sought.
In children with a vegetarian or vegan diet, consider the possibility of vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium and iron deficiency; consider supplementation if the child is unable/unwilling to consume enough of these nutrients from dietary sources.
Vegan diets are a type of vegetarian diet, where only plant-based foods are eaten. They differ to other vegetarian diets in that no animal products are usually consumed or used. Despite these restrictions, with good planning it is still possible to obtain all the nutrients required for good health on a vegan diet.
Most vegetarian diets are low in or devoid of animal products. They’re also usually lower than nonvegetarian diets in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.
Vegetarian diets can be healthful and nutritionally sound if they’re carefully planned to include essential nutrients. However, a vegetarian diet can be unhealthy if it contains too many calories and/or saturated fat and not enough important nutrients.