Internationally acclaimed dietitians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina specifically designed this fully referenced, comprehensive edition to meet the needs of health professionals, academic librarians, and curriculum developers as well as lay readers with a deep interest in nutrition. The authors explore the health benefits of vegan diets compared to other dietary choices; explain protein and amino acid requirements at various stages of life; describe fats and essential fatty acids and their value in plant-based diets; investigate carbohydrate facts and fallacies; reveal the truth about wheat, gluten, and grains; pinpoint where to obtain calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals without animal products; clarify the importance of obtaining vitamin B12; and show how to attain optimal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation. Nutritional guidelines are provided for infants, children, teens, and adults, including seniors; and a section is devoted on how to achieve and maintain healthy weights and exceptional fitness on a vegan diet. Numerous tables and graphs illustrate each section. A handy graphic of the vegan plate offers a daily plan for healthful eating. Equally beneficial are the sample menus designed for people of various caloric needs. While much of the emphasis is on the health advantages that vegan diets offer, an opening chapter is devoted to the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and the degree of inhumanity that has dominated the industry. Plant-based nutrition truly benefits the entire planet, and every bite makes a difference.