VE­GAN

Popular Science - - FOOD FATALE -

A life free of all an­i­mal prod­ucts can be good for your heart, blood su­gar, and waist­line. But Co­caCola, white bread, french fries, Oreos, and Spicy Chili Dori­tos are ve­gan. Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity nu­tri­tion­ist Christo­pher Gard­ner says that many Amer­i­cans opt for a ve­gan diet for eth­i­cal rea­sons rather than health con­cerns, and thus don’t fully con­sider the over­all nu­tri­tion of the lifestyle shift. While study af­ter study con­firms the bod­ily ben­e­fits of plant-based meals, the re­search ap­plies only to those who fol­low a bal­anced plan to the let­ter. When done care­lessly, cut­ting out all an­i­mal prod­ucts risks de­fi­cien­cies in iron, B12, and cal­cium—nu­tri­ents we typ­i­cally get from meat, seafood, and dairy. Ve­g­ans have an in­creased risk of os­teo­poro­sis later in life, and, in the short term, too lit­tle B12 can cause weak­ness and fa­tigue. If plant eaters take the proper ap­proach, they can get the nu­tri­ents they need from pro­duce such as beans, broc­coli, and leafy greens—with­out the need for ar­ti­fi­cially for­ti­fied pro­cessed foods such as break­fast ce­re­als and nut milks. But, Gard­ner says, that rarely hap­pens.

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