With a little planning, vegan foods can be a healthy choice – Harvard Health Blog

Lately there has been a lot of debate and a lot of questions about vegan food. Are vegan foods – excluding meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and milk – healthy? Do they provide complete nutrition? Should I try one? Will it help me lose weight?

Many people around the world eat vegetarian foods for a variety of reasons, some of which meat is not readily available or affordable, others due to religious conviction or concern about animal welfare. Health has become another reason people move to plant-based foods. The research supports the idea that plant-based foods, including vegan foods, provide health & # 39; health benefits.

What does science say?

A recent study, published Internal Medicine JAMA, looked at nine observational studies with more than 300,000 participants to see how plant-based (vegan and vegetarian) foods are associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. plants (focusing on foods that include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and fruits, while avoiding or eliminating & # 39; not eating animal foods such as meat, milk, and eggs) The risk of developing type 2 for diabetes.

A 2016 study published American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers have analyzed the diet of more than 26,000 men for nearly eight years. They found that vegan foods were associated with a lower risk of 35% of prostate cancer & # 39; prostate & # 39; compared to vegetarian diets.

And an extensive review of the published literature The The Lancet February 2019 shows that most plant-based diets can prevent nearly 11 million deaths a year, and that it can consistently produce enough food for people living around the planet without harming the environment. .

Finally, a letter from the Nutrition and Nutrition Academy says that vegetables that are properly planned (including vegan) healthy, nutritious foods, and may provide health benefits & # 39; prevention and treatment of certain diseases. She further stated that these foods are suitable for all stages of life including pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

Careful planning is important for vegan food

While vegan foods may be healthy, you may have to make a small plan to balance a vegan dish and make sure you get enough protein, calcium, iron, and B vitamins.12. Here are some of the foods and nutrients to pay attention.

Protein. Different vegan foods are rich in protein. They include soybean products (tofu, edamame, tempeh), seitan, lentils, beans or peas, nutritious yeast, spirulina, soy milk, red milk, nuts and nuts, pork and pork, and meat substitutes.

Healthy fats. Healthy, vegan sources of fat include a variety of oils (olive, canola, sunflower, saffron, soybean, and maize), nuts and seeds, avocado, flax, and chia seeds. It is important for vegans to eat foods that contain alpha-linolenic acid, a type of fat that can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) in your body. The richest sources of alpha-linolenic acid are flax-producing and flax oil, chia seeds, hempseed oil, walnut oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. If you do not eat these things daily, consider eating extra oil.

Calcium. Milk & # 39; m, eating an unhealthy vegan requires calcium. Aim for one to two cups a day with well-absorbed sources of calcium such as tofu, low-calorie vegetables, Chinese cooked cabbage, poultry greens, mustard greens, or herb milk. hard (soy, almond, cashew). If you fall short of your daily goals, you may need calcium.

Vitamin B12. There are two reliable sources of vitamin B12 of vegans; solid foods and supplements. Examples B12Prepared foods include: fortified milk (soy, almond, cashew), other meat, fortified cereal, and nutritional yeast. If you do not eat about six micrograms a day, talk to your doctor about taking vitamin B12 more.

Iodine. Vegetables that do not eat important sources of iodine, such as iodized salts or seafood, are at risk of iodine deficiency. Sea salt, kosher salt, and sparkling salt like energy are generally not iodized.

Divide your diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Ideas for a vegan balanced diet


  • Quinoa porridge is made from almond milk, almonds, and blueberries
  • An omelet made from tofu, fried soy, chopped vegetables; 1 slice of whole wheat bread
  • Beans & # 39; pinto & # 39; cooked in whole beans with tomatoes, onions, and fresh salsa


  • Vegetable pizza baked with wooden crust, tomato slices, cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and onions
  • Mediterranean barley salad: cooked barley with celery, red onion, red pepper and bell pepper, cannellini beans, olive oil and vinegar with vinegar
  • Lentil stew


  • Vegetable chili made from red, black, and kidney beans, canned tomatoes, celery, onions, carrots, and spices
  • Fried tofu with fried beans, perfume, parsley, and yellow pepper
  • Pasta full of wheat with garbanzo beans and beans covered with pesto sauce; Another salad with artichoke hearts, parsley, and balsamic vinaigrette


  • Fruits, hummus and carrots, beans with whole-grain bread, apples including peanut butter, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, baba ghanoush and wheat bread.