Nutrition

7 Tips for Sticking With Your New Vegan Diet

Maybe you’ve decided to jump right into a vegan diet or maybe you’re dipping a toe in the water and opting for a gentle transition. Either way, there are lots of things that newbie vegans can do to make their diet feel more practical and sustainable for the long run.

1. Embrace your cooking style.

In their annual click bait story on the “best” diets, US News and World Report suggested that eating vegan means spending lots of time in the kitchen. This is a poorly-informed and limited view of veganism.  […]

By | 2017-11-01T17:17:56+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

Vegan Diets Are Safe for Children

preschooler eating pastaLast week, the Wall Street Journal reported about a preschool in Jersey City, NJ that offers only vegan food. The article kind of made me cringe. It made veganism look like a somewhat nutty, somewhat elitist diet that denies kids cupcakes at birthday parties.

But at the very least, it didn’t question the safety of vegan diets. An article in Slate magazine did question it, though. Science writer Melinda Wenner Moyer said that she “couldn’t help but wonder: Can kids actually get the nutrients they need on a […]

By | 2016-04-11T06:54:09+00:00 April 11th, 2016|Tags: , , |24 Comments

Vegan Diets are Dangerous? Here is What the Research Really Says

Messina Plant PlateDoctors at the Cleveland Clinic suggest that vegans should know something about diet planning in order to make sure they are meeting nutrient needs.

Their conclusions were published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The paper doesn’t say anything that is particularly alarming, and, with a few exceptions, there isn’t much in it that I would take issue with.

But the Cleveland Clinic press-released the findings, giving the media a chance to scaremonger about vegan diets—and you know how much they like to do that.

As is often the […]

By | 2016-03-19T11:49:20+00:00 March 19th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , |14 Comments

New Vegan Nutrition Primer on Iron

lentil soupIron deficiency anemia is a serious and common public health problem for people eating all different kinds of diets. While vegans don’t seem to develop anemia any more often than people who eat meat, we do have higher iron needs. It’s hard to know just how much higher those needs are for individual vegans, though, since requirements depend on a number of other factors—including how much iron you have stored in your body and what the rest of your diet looks like.

You probably already are eating a diet rich in […]

By | 2016-01-22T07:20:55+00:00 January 22nd, 2016|Tags: , , , , |9 Comments

Preventing Ex-Vegans: Why Nutrition and Nutritionism Matter

Natural vitamins in fruitEating healthy whole foods is important—and so is paying attention to individual nutrients. Lately, though, that’s become an unpopular thing to say. It’s what food activists like Michael Pollan refer to as “nutritionism.” That is, he and others say we should stop worrying so much about nutrients and just eat food (or “real” food as they refer to it). As physician David Katz says “If you eat whole foods, the nutrients sort themselves out.”

But this is not exactly a science-based observation; it’s an opinion or at […]

By | 2015-07-09T10:41:32+00:00 July 9th, 2015|Tags: , , |20 Comments

Why Do Some People Fail at Being Vegan?

Photo courtesy of Humane Research Council Photo courtesy of Humane Research Council

It’s no secret that many people give veganism a try only to quickly abandon it. But the findings from last month’s Humane Research Council survey were especially sobering.

According to their study, a cross-sectional survey of 11,400 U.S. adults, nearly three-quarters—70% to be exact—of those who have tried a vegan diet end up abandoning it. The numbers are even higher for vegetarians. Alarmingly, the survey found that there were five times more ex-vegetarians/vegans than current vegetarians/vegans.

Now this is a […]

By | 2015-01-06T11:59:41+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Tags: , |25 Comments

Safety of Vegan Diets for Babies

Vegan diets aren’t dangerous. However, people with irrational ideas about nutrition are. The stories of vegan parents who starved their babies because of mistaken beliefs about infant feeding are clear proof of that. It is horrible and it’s heartbreaking. But it has nothing to do with veganism.

Why is it that journalists can’t figure this out? Mary Elizabeth Williams’ article in Salon was another attempt to tie the actions of a handful of misinformed parents to veganism. She made the case that some babies […]

By | 2014-07-01T12:55:25+00:00 July 1st, 2014|Tags: , , , |32 Comments

Introducing the Plant Plate: A Food Guide for Vegans

My new food guide The Plant Plate made its debut on VeganForHer.com today. This is a colorized version of the guide that will be in the book Vegan for Her (which will provide a little more detail on using the plate.)

The information is almost identical to the food guide that Jack and I created for Vegan for Life. But I wanted an appealing graphic and was thrilled to find artist Ari Evergreen from Shirari Industries to illustrate it […]

By | 2013-06-05T10:28:29+00:00 June 5th, 2013|Tags: , , |7 Comments

Ten Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy on a Vegan Diet

There is a long list of reasons why people fail on a vegan diet and return to the world of cheese sandwiches and fish fillets. They might have developed overt deficiencies or vague symptoms of poor health. Some ex-vegans say that they experienced depression or foggy thinking or fatigue without animal foods. Others struggled with challenging social situations or with cravings for animal foods.

The following ideas for staying happy and healthy on a vegan diet are all things I’ve written about before, but I wanted to condense them into a sort […]

Vegan Diets, Critical Thinking, and 9 Blogs You Need to Read

I had the great pleasure of speaking to the members of the Vegan Chicago Meetup  last week. In addition to being warm and welcoming, this is another group on my list of organizations that aim to promote an evidence-based approach to vegan advocacy. Before my talk on the Seven Habits of Healthy Vegans, event organizer Dave Sutherland introduced the group’s Vegan Chicago Baloney Detection kit—a guide to critical thinking for vegans, which is based on material from Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World.

Detecting baloney is no easy thing. Resources on veganism are packed […]

By | 2012-02-21T13:35:28+00:00 February 21st, 2012|Tags: , , |40 Comments