Study Says Los Angeles Is Second Best City for Vegans and Vegetarians

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Los Angeles has a great reputation for food. Some of the world's finest restaurants and chefs call L.A. home giving us no shortage of options for foodies who want to take their palate on an adventure. But, with about ten million adults in the United States saying they've adopted a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it can be a challenge for many people to find something to eat while out at restaurants and buying groceries at the supermarket. According to a new study from WalletHub, L.A. stands out as a great city for everyone who prefers a meatless meal.

The study found the best and cheapest places to go on a plant-based diet by comparing the 100 largest U.S. cities across several key indicators of vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness, including the share of restaurants that offer vegan and vegetarian meals, the number of salad shops by capita and availability and number of Farmers Markets and CSA programs.

While Los Angeles was among the highest-scoring cities in WalletHub's survey giving it the number two slot, several other cities across California showed up in WalletHub's list of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly cities.

San Diego and San Francisco, California were also among the best cities to go meat-free thanks to having the most Farmers Markets and CSA programs per capita and were tied for 1st for the number of juice and smoothie bars per capita.

Some people say they don't want to adopt a vegan- or vegetarian lifestyle because the cost of vegan or vegetarian meals are much higher than what is otherwise available at grocery stores or restaurants. Judith Rodriguez, a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Chairperson and Professor Emerita, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at Brooks College of Health says planning your menus is key to making sure your meals are sound and healthy.

"But a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle can be more economical than an omnivorous diet. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy are very expensive, can easily consume the highest % of the food budget," Rodriguez says.

Rodriguez says parents can encourage their kids to eat more vegetables by introducing them early in their life.

"Some persons prefer crunchy, others cooked, or small finger foods, etc. Serve in small amounts when first introduced. We don't all like something the first time we see or eat it, so small gradual introductions to increase familiarity and find the preferable way to consume by the individual. Avoid forcing or negative situations or reactions to the child's reactions."

Photo: WalletHub and Getty Images

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