Ask the Dietitian: Overall Health

Q: Can I actually be healthy on a vegan diet?

Ginny Messina, R.D.: Not only can you be healthy on a vegan diet, but many people see their health improve when they incorporate more plant foods into their menu. Replacing animal foods with whole plant foods is likely to reduce your intake of saturated fat and boost fiber intake. It can help lower blood pressure and protect your heart health. It may even lower your risk for some cancers.

With the exception of vitamin B12 (you’ll need to take a supplement or use fortified foods) and vitamin D (which you can get from sunshine or a supplement) plant foods provide all of the essential nutrients.

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