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Are Vegans Healthier? Unveiling The Truth.


Are Vegans Healthier?

Oh how I LOVE this question...

The question of whether vegans are healthier than meat-eaters has been debated for many years and to be frank, there's no easy answer. That's because as the evidence is generally quite mixed and let's face it, there are healthy and non-healthy people on both sides of the plate. That being said, there's a substantial amount of evidence to suggest that vegans have a lower risk of certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancer. One reason for this may be that vegan diets are typically (much) lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, whilst also being higher in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Vegans on the whole tend to get more fibre from their fruit, vegetable, and whole-grain intake than non-vegans and fibre is super important for our gut health, so by consuming more of it we can help reduce our risk of many chronic diseases. Vegans also tend to get more vitamin C and E from our fruits and veggies and these are packed full of antioxidants that can help protect the body from inflammation - many diseases are exacerbated by inflammation.

Vegan diets also tend to be lower in calories than meat-centric diets and this can help us manage our weight more effectively, again, lowering our chances of disease.


So what exactly do the data say? Are Vegans healthier? Here are some of the potential health benefits of a vegan diet:

  • Lower risk of heart disease. A study published in the journal Circulation found that vegans had a 32% lower risk of heart disease than meat-eaters.

  • Lower risk of stroke. A study published in the journal Stroke found that vegans had a 25% lower risk of stroke than meat-eaters.

  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that vegans had a 40% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than meat-eaters.

It's expected that this lower risk of Heart Disease, Stroke and Type 2 Diabetes is due to a lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol in vegan diets.

  • Lower risk of some types of cancer. A study published in the journal The Lancet found that vegans had a 15% lower risk of all types of cancer and a 21% lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who consume meat. This is likely due to the lower intake of red and processed meat in vegan diets. These meats come with increased health risks and complications.

  • Lower blood pressure. A study published in the journal Hypertension found that vegans had lower blood pressure than meat-eaters. This is likely due to the lower intake of sodium in vegan diets.

  • Lower cholesterol levels. A study published in the journal Journal of the American Medical Association found that vegans had lower cholesterol levels than meat-eaters. Again, this is likely due to the lower intake of saturated fat (and cholesterol) in vegan diets.

  • Improved weight control. A study published in the journal Obesity found that vegans were more likely to be at a healthy weight than meat-eaters. This is likely due to the lower calorie density of vegan diets

  • Increased energy levels. A study published in the journal Nutrition Journal found that vegans had higher energy levels than meat-eaters. This is likely due to the higher intake of fibre and antioxidants in vegan diets.

  • Improved gut health. A study published in the journal Gut found that vegans had a healthier gut microbiome than meat-eaters. This is likely due to the higher intake of fibre and prebiotics in vegan diets. Roughly 80% of our immune system lives in our gut.

  • Increased skin health. A study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy found that vegans had healthier skin than meat-eaters. This is likely due to the higher intake of antioxidants in vegan diets - berries, berries, berries!

Looking at the data it looks like vegans have better odds of sustaining their health than those consuming meat. However, it would be unfair not to mention some of the potential risks associated with following a vegan diet too. Vegans who don't plan a balanced diet may find themselves at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency, or calcium deficiency. That being said, these risks can be easily minimised by consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods (eating the rainbow) and if necessary, taking supplements.


Overall, the evidence suggests that a well-balanced vegan diet can be healthy for most people. However, the key is in balancing your meals. Make sure you're consuming a diverse range of plants, grains, seeds, nuts and legumes and you should be covering all of your bases. If you're concerned at all, you can always ask your doctor to run a blood check.


So there you have it - Are vegans healthier? The answer is in what you consume!

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