Low-Fat Vegan Diet Linked to Over $500 Yearly Savings on Grocery Bills

by Ella

A recent analysis conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and published in JAMA Network Open reveals that adopting a low-fat vegan diet can result in significant annual savings of more than $500 on food costs compared to diets that include meat, dairy, and other animal products.

The study not only reinforces the well-established health benefits of a vegan diet, such as reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity but also demonstrates tangible financial benefits. Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee, remarked, “We knew that a vegan diet significantly reduces your risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity—and now we have proof that opting for beans instead of beef will also lead to significant savings on your grocery bill.”


The research is a part of an analysis of a Physicians Committee study, during which participants were randomly assigned to either a vegan group or a control group. Those in the vegan group were instructed to follow a low-fat vegan diet, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, while the control group made no dietary changes. Both groups had no limitations on calorie intake or food costs.


To assess the food cost implications, the researchers linked participants’ dietary records with food price data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thrifty Food Plan for the year 2021.


The study found that total food costs decreased significantly by 16% in the vegan group, equivalent to a daily savings of $1.51, while there was no significant change in the control group’s food expenses. The decrease in costs was primarily attributed to substantial savings on meat (-$1.77 per day) and dairy (-$0.74 per day). Changes in the purchase of other food categories, including eggs and added fats, also contributed to the observed savings.


These savings more than offset the increased spending on vegetables (+$1.03 per day), fruits (+$0.40 per day), legumes (+$0.30 per day), whole grains (+$0.30 per day), and meat and dairy alternatives.

These findings align with previous research that has consistently shown that adopting a plant-based diet offers more significant cost savings compared to diets that include animal products.

In addition to the financial benefits, the study also highlighted health advantages associated with a low-fat vegan diet, including weight loss, improved body composition, and enhanced insulin sensitivity in overweight adults.



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