No longer a fringe movement, a survey last November found that over half of UK adults are adopting vegan buying behaviours and there are now more than 3.5m full-time vegans. Why are people doing it? Although it’s often driven by concerns for the environment and animal welfare, many people believe a completely animal-free diet is healthier. So is it? In many ways, yes, says GH’S Anita Bean. ‘Switching to a plant-based diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, beans and pulses means more fibre and more phytonutrients.’ Studies show that, on average, vegans have a lower BMI and less obesity than meat eaters. But there are pitfalls. Vitamin B12, vital for your nervous system, is mainly found in animal sources so you’ll need to get it from supplements or fortified products.