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The advantages of a therapeutic vegetarian diet

 

  •  The American Dietetic Association, the authority in problems of nutrition in USA, states that the vegetarian nutrition is healthy and has curative effects in different chronic diseases, like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, or has preventive effect in cancer.

The American Dietetic Association’s position on vegetarian diets

  • The vegetarian diets are healthy and nutritionally adequate if they are planned appropriately.
  • The key is to consume enough calories in order to meet the energetic needs of the body and to include a variety of foods.
  • Vegetarian diets can be healthy for any age.
  • Also, now it is clear that vegetarian diets that include milk and eggs are appropriate for children.
  • The development of the lacto-ovo vegetarian children is not different of the development of the omnivore children.

American Dietetic Association, 1992, 1993,  J Am Diet Assoc 1993; 93:1317-1319
Sabate J, Am J Dis Child , 1990; 144:1159-1163; Tayter MS, J Am Diet Assoc 1990; 89:1661-1663

Dr. William C. Roberts, MD, former chief editor for the prestigious American Journal of Cardiology was saying that: “the human beings are not naturally carnivore. When we kill animals in order to eat them, they actually kill us because their meat, that contains cholesterol and fats, was never designed to be consumed by the human beings that are herbivore through their nature.”

Vegetarian diets – 2003

Shared position of the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada  

In the issue from June, 2013 of the prestigious official magazine of the American Dietetic Association (Journal of American Dietetic Association, vol. 103, nr. 6, 748-765) was published the position of this organization regarding vegetarian diets. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is currently the global leader in the field of medical dietetics and states its position in all the “hot” issues related to human nutrition. The last statement regarding vegetarian diets was issued 6 years ago, in 1997. What is interesting for us is that for releasing this statement, for the first time, the Americans united their forces with the Canadians, magnifying the power of this statement.

Shared position of the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada on vegetarian diets

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and of the Dieticians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

Journal of American Dietetic Association, 2003 vol.103, nr. 6, 748-765

Shared position of the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada

Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Journal of American Dietetic Association, 2003 vol.103, nr. 6, 748-765

Abstract

Approximately 2.5% of the US adult population, 4% of Canadian adults and over 10% in England have a vegetarian diet. The vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat, fish or fowl. Interest in vegetarianism appears to be increasing, with many restaurants and college foodservices offering vegetarian meals routinely. Substantial growth in sales of foods attractive to vegetarians has occurred, and these foods appear in many supermarkets. This position paper reviews the current the current scientific data related to key nutrients for vegetarianism, including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, n-3 fatty acids, and iodine. A vegetarian, including vegan, diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, use of fortified foods or supplements can be helpful in meeting recommendations for individual nutrients (ex. Supplements of vitamin B-12 for vegans – the vegetarians that do not consume dairy products.)

Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals.

Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.

Because of the variability of dietary practices among vegetarians, individual assessment of dietary intakes of vegetarians is required (in fact, in any case, ADA recommends individual assessment of the nutritional intake, with the help of some computerized programs.)

Dietetics professionals have a responsibility to support and encourage those who express an interest in consuming a vegetarian diet. They can play key roles in educating vegetarian clients about food sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and any dietary modifications that may be necessary to meet individual needs. Menu planning for vegetarians can be simplified by use of a food guide that specifies food groups and serving sizes.


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