Diet: A whole food plant-based diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and fiber, all of which are health protective. Note: It is important to incorporate a source of B12, either through fortified foods or a supplement, and it may be important to add Vitamin D, calcium and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Nutrients: Vegetarian and vegan diets are higher in fibre, folic acid, Vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals. Vegan diets are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Phytochemicals and fibre are not present in animal products, and both are very beneficial to overall health.
Heart disease: Eating a whole food plant-based diet lowers the risk of heart disease. Vegans have up to 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Randomized studies have found that vegan diets are much more effective at reducing blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels
Cancer: People eating plant-based diets including a variety of whole foods have reduced risk of breast, prostate, stomach and colorectal cancers. Red meat, smoked meat and processed meats appear to increase the risk of cancer.
Diabetes: A whole food vegan diet lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity, and can improve pancreatic function. Several long-term studies have shown that whole food plant-based diets can reverse Type 2 Diabetes (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Brenda Davis, RD)
Weight: Vegans tend to be leaner and have lower BMIs than non vegans, and several randomized trials have shown that wholefood vegan diets are effective for weight loss.