A vegan diet is based on grains, legumes (dried beans and peas), fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It is a vegetarian diet and does not include animal products (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products, eggs, and honey) or ingredients derived from animals, including gelatin and lanolin. Vegan diets are chosen for a variety of reasons, including health benefits, environmental considerations, and animal welfare concerns. This entry provides information about nutritional considerations for those choosing vegan diets and describes the health effects of vegan diets.

Background of Vegan Diets

The first use of the word vegan was apparently in 1944 by Donald Watson, a founding member of the U.K.-based Vegan Society. The American Vegan Society was founded in the United States in 1960.

According to a 2009 Harris poll, ...

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