Veganism & Health
One of the common reasons for both becoming vegan, and not becoming vegan is how a plant based diet will effect the health. This is very understandable. If all vegans are unhealthy, a vegan diet would not be sustainable, so we ask ourselves:
Can you stay healthy as a vegan.
From the systematic review "The Safe and Effective Use of Plant-Based Diets with Guidelines for Health Professionals", we see that
"Plant-based eating patterns are becoming more and more common—for good reason. There is significant scientific data on a plant-based diet's ability to help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis. They are also known to be safe for a wide variety of people at all life stages, including small children, pregnant and lactating women, and older adults. "
Another common worry is that plant based diets are bad for the bones. However, the systematic review "Plant-based diets and bone health: sorting through the evidence" finds that "There is no evidence that a plant-based diet, when carefully chosen to maintain adequate calcium and vitamin D levels, has any detrimental effects on bone health. Theoretical findings suggest a long-term plant-based diet may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, through mechanisms that are currently speculative.". However this only considers optimal plant based diets, what about the average plant based diet? Another systematic review finds that average plant based diets are associated with lower bone mass density compared to average omnivore diets. This suggests care should be taken to design a plant based diet such that it does not compromise bone health, or supplements should be taken to compensate.
However, we can conclude from the above that it is possible to stay healthy on a plant based diet even if you need to take greater care of your bone health.