As the Globe and Mail points out, you’d think that abstaining from all foods containing animal fats would keep your heart healthy. But a new study suggests that restricting one’s diet to plants could mean missing out on certain nutrients vital to cardiovascular health.
The study, which compared data on vegans around the world, reveals that vegan diets tend to be low in iron, zinc, vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids, resulting in low levels of “good cholesterol.” But critics of the study say that the role of “good” cholesterol is to counteract the effects of “bad” cholesterol, and that vegans don’t have high levels of the latter, which reduces their need for the former.
Accrued data aside, the fact is that vegans who gorge themselves on highly processed vegan substitutes are probably not getting much in the way of nutrition. One option for vegans who might not be getting the nutrients they need, say experts, is to take supplements. Another is to introduce foods like quinoa, which contains all nine essential amino acids. In any case, you should probably keep your tofu dog intake to a minimum.