Vegetarian and vegan diets are healthful, may prevent and treat chronic diseases, and are better for the environment, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals. Researchers updated the 2009 position paper on vegetarian diets and concluded that not only are vegetarian and vegan diets appropriate for all stages of the life cycle (pregnancy, infancy, childhood, etc.), but they also help reduce the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, obesity, and some types of cancer. The updated position paper presents a section on environmental issues which concludes plant-based diets are more sustainable and less damaging to the environment.
- Melina V, Craig W, Levin S. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: vegetarian diets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116:1970-1980.