On 1 November The Vegan Society celebrates World Vegan Day and its 75th anniversary – what a great opportunity to take stock of vegan health and nutrition. It’s also a good time to reflect on how the food industry has been revolutionized by increasing demand for vegan options.
As an educational charity, The Vegan Society strives to communicate evidence-based messages. So how do vegan diets fit into evidence-based nutrition in 2019? Studies suggest that this way of eating can support excellent health. Research has linked vegan diets to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Studies of vegans have also associated totally plant-based nutrition with lower rates of type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is the professional association for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Vegan Society is proud to work with the BDA, sharing the message that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Both organizations are passionate about helping people to follow a healthy lifestyle that is in line with their beliefs and values.
An opportunity to eat better
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey suggests that UK diets contain too much saturated fat and too little fibre, fruit and vegetables. Normalizing vegan food can help people to address these imbalances and become more familiar with veganism. Switching to a totally plant-based diet can make more room for health-promoting plant foods like wholegrains, nuts, fruit and vegetables, including beans, peas and lentils. The Vegan Society encourages people to eat in a way that’s good for us, good for animals and good for the planet.
In recent years, companies have been working hard to harness the power of the vegan pound. Today, The Vegan Society’s Trademark is used on over 30,000 products, enabling consumers all over the world to recognize authentic vegan products at a glance. The food industry has responded to the increasing demand for vegan options by developing plant-strong menus and innovative alternatives to animal products.
The growing number of vegan products means that it’s never been easier to embrace veganism, which is certainly something to celebrate. However, now that vegan convenience food is widely available, it’s important that consumers are supported to optimize their nutrition. This can be achieved by encouraging them to eat plenty of minimally processed plant foods and use food labels to keep an eye on added fat, salt and sugar.
Watch this space
The Vegan Society wants to raise awareness that people of all ages can thrive without animal products, as well as promoting good nutritional planning. With this aim in mind, we’re launching a campaign about vegan health and nutrition tomorrow. Don’t forget to check out the new content at vegansociety.com.