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Published December 11, 2010, 12:00 AM

Vegan diet found to be healthy

By: Susan Levin, Washington, D.C.

As a dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, I promote plant-based diets because they have been shown to aid in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases (“Tell food puritans, ‘stuff it,’ ” Forum, Nov. 25). Our organization – an independent nonprofit with more than 10,000 physician members – works to inform consumers about the strong connection between what we eat and how we feel.

Clear scientific evidence finds that low-fat vegan diets are the healthiest for disease prevention. The American Dietetic Association, the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals, recently released a position statement concluding that well-planned vegetarian diets are healthful and nutritious and have been shown to help prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

This is just one reason why vegetarian-friendly Thanksgivings are gaining popularity – and why The New York Times, The Washington Post and other national newspapers focused on vegetarian Thanksgivings this year.

Levin, MS, RD, is director of Nutritional Education, Physicians for Responsible Medicine.