If you’re among Britain’s 600,000 vegans — or the estimated 400,000 more who signed up for Veganuary this year — the chances are you stopped eating animal products for the sake of the environment and your health. But is it possible the world’s fastest-growing consumer trend could actually damage, not improve, your health?

No-one disputes that eating more fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and nuts is good for us and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. But scientists and nutritionists are concerned that popular fake meats and vegan fast foods may be less healthy than their meaty alternatives.

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