The summary of the latest version of the Australian Dietary Guidelines released by the National Health and Medical Research Council states that “Australians following a vegetarian diet can still meet nutrient requirements if energy needs are met and the appropriate number and variety of serves from the Five Food Groups are eaten throughout the day”.
The guidelines offer advice and meal plans for vegans, including tips for choosing non-dairy options. They also note that eating more plant-based foods – which are cholesterol-free and tend to be low in saturated fat and high in fibre, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and other essential nutrients – would benefit everyone. As the summary states, “Alternatives to animal foods include nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and tofu. For all Australians, these foods increase dietary variety and can provide a valuable, affordable source of protein and other nutrients”.
According to the guidelines, approximately a quarter of Australian children are now overweight or obese. Ditching meat can help combat Australians’ growing girth, as meat-eaters have three times the obesity rate of vegetarians and nine times the obesity rate of vegans. Going vegan can also lower your risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer.
Going vegan is also better for the environment. Raising animals for food is a leading cause of water pollution, land degradation and the greenhouse-gas emissions responsible for climate change. According to a United Nations report, “A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products”.
And, of course, going vegan saves animals from extreme suffering on factory farms, in slaughterhouses and on the decks of fishing boats. So please order your copy of the new PETA Australia vegetarian/vegan starter kit today and start living a greener, healthier, cruelty-free life.
Posted by Claire Fryer