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Government recognises vegan diet as viable option for all Australians

12 July 2013. Australia's peak health body, the NH&MRC, has finally recognised that a vegan diet is a viable option for all Australians. Australia's top health experts are now in agreement with those in the USA and Canada that well-planned vegan diets are safe and healthy for all age groups.

In the newly-released Australian Dietary Guidelines, plant-derived foods are given as alternatives to animal-derived foods, with meal planning advice accommodating vegan eating. In fact, the Guidelines state that alternatives to animal foods (such as nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and tofu) can, for all Australians, "increase dietary variety and can provide a valuable, affordable source of protein and other nutrients found in meats."

Vegan Australia is pleased that government health experts are finally taking on board the large body of scientific evidence that a vegan diet is not only a viable option for people of any age (including babies and pregnant and breast feeding women) but that eating plant foods in favour of animal-derived foods can confer many health benefits, such as reduction in incidence of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some types of cancer.

"This has been a long process and I am very happy that the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) has looked at all the evidence and at last presented Australians with the real option of choosing a vegan diet," said Greg McFarlane, Chair of Vegan Australia.

Amanda Benham, Food Industry and Consumer Campaign Manager of Vegan Australia and an Accredited Practising Dietitian, said "This is fantastic news for all Australians who are interested in eating in a cruelty-free, healthy and eco-friendly way. The Guidelines and the new Australian Guide to Healthy Eating not only endorse a vegan eating pattern, but provide valuable information on how to plan healthy vegan eating patterns for people of any age or stage of life."

Vegan Australia is a national organisation that aims to promote veganism to the broader Australian public. Vegan Australia envisions a world where all animals live free from human use and ownership. Compassion is the foundation of Vegan Australia - compassion towards animals, people and the earth. Vegan Australia believes that the starting point for people to put this compassion into action is to become vegan and to encourage others to become vegan.

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