The authors explore the health benefits of vegan diets compared to other dietary choices; explain protein and amino acid requirements at various stages of life; describe fats and essential fatty acids and their value in plant-based diets; investigate carbohydrate facts and fallacies; reveal the truth about wheat, gluten, and grains; pinpoint where to obtain calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals without animal products; clarify the importance of obtaining vitamin B12; and show how to attain optimal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.
Nutritional guidelines are provided for infants, children, teens, and adults, including seniors; and a section is devoted on how to achieve and maintain healthy weights and exceptional fitness on a vegan diet. Numerous tables and graphs illustrate each section. A handy graphic of the vegan plate offers a daily plan for healthful eating. Equally beneficial are the sample menus designed for people of various caloric needs.
While much of the emphasis is on the health advantages that vegan diets offer, an opening chapter is devoted to the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and the degree of inhumanity that has dominated the industry. Plant-based nutrition truly benefits the entire planet, and every bite makes a difference.
Registered dietitian Brenda Davis is a leader in her field, an internationally acclaimed speaker, a past chairperson of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the 2007 inductee into the North American Vegetarian Society's Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Vesanto Melina, a registered dietitian, has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia and Bastyr University in Seattle. She coauthored the joint position paper on vegetarian diets for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) and Dietitians of Canada, and is currently a consultant to the government of British Columbia. Brenda and Vesanto's books on vegetarian, vegan, and raw diets are in print in seven different languages and are sold in more than 15 countries.