Emerging evidence continues to favour a plant-based diet in conferring multiple health benefits including reduction in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers including colon cancer. So are there any disadvantages to eating a plant-based diet?
Despite several health benefits of going meat-free, a purely plant-based diet is far more likely to leave people deficient in important nutrients like zinc, vitamin D, B12, iron, calcium and omega 3 which are more readily available in fish, poultry, red meat and dairy foods. Vitamin B12 in particular is almost exclusively sourced from meat, which also contains more readily bioavailable iron in the form of heme iron.
The following article was published by a dietician in an Australian GP news article endorsed by the Australian College of GP's (RACGP). It describes a number of nutrients lacking in the vegan diet and suggestions for plant-based food sources.
It is important to note that additional supplementation may be required for nutrients like Zinc, Vitamin D, B12, iodine, iron and omega 3.