For Your Health

Compared to usual western diets, which are too high in saturated fat and too low in fiber, vegan diets offer a number of health benefits:

  • Plant foods contain no cholesterol and are generally low in saturated fat.
  • Some plant foods are rich in unsaturated fats, the type of fat linked to lower risk for heart disease.
  • Whole plant foods provide dietary fiber which is linked to lower risk for cancer and heart disease. There is no fiber in meat, dairy foods or eggs[.
  • Plant foods are rich in phytochemicals and in nutrients like folate, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C, all of which may protect against chronic disease.

Given these benefits, it’s not surprising that research links vegan diets to improved health.

  • Vegans tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower rates of diabetes, relative to non-vegetarians and to lacto-ovo vegetarians. [1]
  • Vegans have lower blood levels of artery-clogging cholesterol compared to people who include animal foods in their diets.[2]
  • Vegans have lower blood pressures than meat eaters or lacto-ovo vegetarians.[3]
  • Heart disease is less common among vegan men compared to other groups.[4]
  • Plant-based diets may protect against certain cancers.[5,6]


Learn how to transition to a plant-strong diet at


1. Tonstad T, Butler R, Yan, Fraser GE. Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2009;32:791-96.

2. Bradbury KE, Crowe FL, Appleby PN, Schmidt JA, Travis RC, Key TJ. Serum concentrations of cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I and apolipoprotein B in a total of 1694 meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014;68(2):178-183.

3. Fraser GE. Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases? Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(5):1607S-1612S.

4. Orlich Orlich MJ PS, Sabate J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Knutsen S, Beeson L, Fraser G. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist Health Study-2. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(13):1230-8

5. Tantamango-Bartley Y, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Fraser G. Vegetarian Diets and the Incidence of Cancer in a Low-Risk Population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013;22(2):286-94

6. Key TJ, Appleby PN, Crowe FL, Bradbury KE, Schmidt JA, Travis RC. Cancer in British vegetarians: updated analyses of 4998 incident cancers in a cohort of 32,491 meat eaters, 8612 fish eaters, 18,298 vegetarians, and 2246 vegans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100(Supplement 1):378S-385S.