Veganism seems to have become more popular than ever over the past year. Most supermarkets now have a vegan section offering a large range of foods and alternative milks, Greggs’ vegan sausage roll was a hit earlier this year, and this week McDonalds announced it will be launching vegan nuggets in its UK restaurants from January.
Some people have gone vegan for environmental reasons – but do we know what it means for our health? Can we assume meat-free and dairy-free is better for us? What does the evidence tell us about vegan and vegetarian diets and cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and longevity? Are there important nutrients missing in a vegan diet, and should vegans take supplements? Are all modern vegan foods healthy?
Ahead of Veganuary 2020, journalists came to the SMC to hear from three of the scientists who have done most of the UK’s research on vegan and vegetarian diets and health.
Prof Tim Key, Professor of Epidemiology and Deputy Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford
Prof Janet Cade, Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Leeds (appearing by phone)
Prof Tom Sanders, Professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics, King’s College London