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Assignment:Vegan Diets

From JFA Wiki

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Introduction

A vegan diet is one in which no animal products are consumed. While those embracing veganism are consequently on a vegan diet, a vegan diet is not synonymous with veganism, which is more generally a way of living that avoids the exploitation of animals as far as possible and practicable. Also, the phrase vegan diet refers to a dietary pattern, and not a programmatic diet such as the South Beach Diet.

Types of Vegan Diets

Vegan diets vary greatly, and those following a vegan diet usually do not adhere strictly to one of the categories of the vegan diet discussed below. Also, most of the pertinent research regarding diets does not distinguish between the categories. Still, these categories are useful for discussion.

Whole-Food Plant-Based

<-- explain what it is and briefly discuss -->

Raw Diet

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Junk Food Vegan Diet

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Others

While the categories above may be thought of as general patterns, there are other vegan diets that are more prescriptive, such as the 90/10/10 Diet, the Starch Solutions Diet, and the Thrive Diet. <-- if you wish, modify or briefly discuss further -->

Overall Benefits

Scientific Consensus

There are no governing bodies that vote on a particular scientific position that would declare the position to reach the level of scientific consensus. However, a strong argument could be made, and is made below, that there is a scientific consensus that a vegan diet is not only adequate for good health, but also nutritionally advantageous over other dietary patterns. This is because scientists specializing in the field of nutrition generally agree.

Scientific consensus is a position "generally agreed upon at a given time by most scientists specialized in a given field". It does not represent unanimity, as some scientists in the field may disagree.[1]

<--Discuss. Appeal to expertise. As summarized as possible, invoke the positions or words of Harvard Public Health, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, but more importantly, and the Dietetic Associations of US, Canada, Great Britian, and Australia to support the contention that vegan diets go beyond adequate and are advantageous. It's good to mention specific diseases these organizations mention, but save the details on each for the next section.

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Studies on General Health

<-- Briefly discuss population and other studies that show the overall health benefits of a vegan diet. -->

Why Plant Foods are Advantageous

<-- Briefly discuss the reasons vegan diets are advantageous, such as fiber, phytonutrients, etc. -->

Why Animal Products are Harmful

<-- Briefly discuss why animal products are harmful, such as animal protein, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Also mention our herbivorous anatomy and physiology and link to Table: The Comparative Anatomy of Eating and/or In reply to: Humans are natural omnivores; we digest meat, have canine teeth, and have front-facing eyes -->

Diseases and Disorders

This section discusses specific conditions that could likely be mitigated or eliminated by adopting a vegan diet. As you might expect, the benefits will be greater to whatever extent you eat plant-based whole foods instead of vegan junk foods.

Because testimonials are anecdotal, we don't include them in the sections below for each of these conditions. However, the stories of real people can be informing and inspiring. You can find an abundance of these testimonials with a Google search, or more specifically at The Center for Nutrition Studies[2], Forks Over Knives[3], and Nutriciously[4]. If you would rather hear physicians discuss what plant-based diets have done for their patients, watch the YouTube video Revealed: Dramatic Health Reversals Eating Plant-Based.[5]

<--There is an article similar to this one at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegan-diet-guide. This article presents numerous citations that could save a lot of time running down studies and sources. There may be other studies that are more convincing, valid, and definitive, in which case those other sources should be used.-->

<-- There will be a separate, more detailed article for each of the conditions below, so in this article we want to provide the best, most convincing evidence, but highly summarized. Then, as these other articles are written, we will edit this article to add links such as "additional details can be found at ...." The same can be said for the other sections after this Health Benefits section -->

Obesity

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Diabetes

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Heart Disease and Hypertension

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Cancer

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Arthritis

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Kidney Disease

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Alzheimer's

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Osteoporosis

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?Condition XXX? (or delete this heading)

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?Condition YYY, etc? (or delete this heading)

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Other Conditions

Other conditions which may be mitigated by a vegan diet, but for which the studies are not as numerous or conclusive as the ones reported above, include <-- condition-aaa[n][n]?, condition-bbb[n][n][n], and condition-ccc[n]. -->

Nutrient Concerns and Supplementation

We should all be vigilant about meeting our nutritional requirements no matter what our eating pattern, but the sometimes near-obsessive level of concern about specific deficiencies of a vegan diet are unwarranted. Vegans can, of course, be deficient in one or more nutrients, as can others. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines reveal that most Americans are deficient in seven nutrients: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.[6]

Regarding supplementation, keep in mind that taking unneeded supplements can result in health risks[7], so it's a good idea to get a professional diagnosis for any suspected nutrient deficiency.

There seems to be general agreement that vegans should supplement with Vitamin B12. In our reply to objections regarding B12, we convey recommendations for supplementation, show that B12 supplementation is inexpensive, and show that vegans' need for B12 supplementation should not be used to draw conclusions about a vegan diet not being natural or optimal.

The idea that we need animal products to be healthy is shown to be false in our reply to that notion. Protein is covered here and there will be additional articles on the JFA Wiki covering specific nutrients of concern such as Omega 3's and Calcium.

The bottom line is that science knows of no nutrient that cannot be easily obtained without difficulty in sufficient quantities for good health—outside the animal kingdom.

Getting Started

See our Getting Started with Going Vegan article for 12 tips to help you get started. In addition, our Helpful Resources table lists a number of websites, including two that have excellent sections on recipes—Forks Over Knives and The Center For Nutrition Studies. Also, you can find a list of starter kits and help sites here.

Finally, to repeat our getting started article, many have found leaving animals off the plate to be an adventure, discovering new foods, recipes, and tastes they have never before experienced. Like many changes, being vegan will soon be second nature.

See Also

How to Do a Vegan Diet Right • A YouTube video by Dr. Steven Lome. <-- Feel free to add some evidence-based outside sources that seem particularly apt to you. --:>

Footnotes

  1. “Glossary: Scientific Consensus,” accessed October 2, 2019, http://www.greenfacts.org/glossary/abc/consensus.htm.
  2. “Success Stories,” Center for Nutrition Studies (blog), accessed October 3, 2019, https://nutritionstudies.org/topics/success-stories/.
  3. “Plant-Based Diet Success Stories,” Forks Over Knives, accessed October 3, 2019, https://www.forksoverknives.com/success-stories/
  4. “14 Vegan Transformation Stories That Make You Want to Eat More Plants,” Nutriciously (blog), March 5, 2018, https://nutriciously.com/vegan-transformation/
  5. “YouTube.” Accessed October 15, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN7dCN5CCsM
  6. needs citation
  7. Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN, Jeff. “Q & A’s.” JEFF NOVICK. Accessed August 9, 2018. https://jeffnovick.com/RD/Q_&_As/Entries/2012/10/18_Supplements.html

Meta

This article was originally authored by ???, with contributions by Greg Fuller. The contents may have been edited since that time by others.


<--Other Editorial Notes

  • What have I left out? * Does there need to be additional sections, or maybe another structure is better; this is not written in stone—ping your editor. *
  • There is an article similar to this one at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegan-diet-guide. This article presents numerous citations that could save a lot of time running down studies and sources. There may be other valid studies that are more convincing, valid, and definitive, in which case those other sources should be used.
  • The following is not the responsibility of the author but could be done by the author. It is put here as a reminder:
    • After this article is complete, a search needs to be made of the phrase "vegan diet" and these phrases need to be linked to this article with "[[Vegan Diet | vegan diet]]".

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<-- This assignment contains text to be included in the article, which are not editorial notes, and which will not count as words contributed by the author -->