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Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets.

Abstract

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association 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. 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. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence- based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI, USA.

    ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Child
    Child, Preschool
    Chronic Disease
    Diet, Vegetarian
    Dietary Proteins
    Dietetics
    Fatty Acids, Omega-3
    Female
    Humans
    Infant
    Infant, Newborn
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Minerals
    Nutrition Policy
    Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
    Nutritional Requirements
    Pregnancy
    Societies
    United States
    Vitamins
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Practice Guideline

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19562864

    Citation

    Craig, Winston J., et al. "Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets." Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 109, no. 7, 2009, pp. 1266-82.
    Craig WJ, Mangels AR, American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(7):1266-82.
    Craig, W. J., & Mangels, A. R. (2009). Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(7), pp. 1266-82.
    Craig WJ, Mangels AR, American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(7):1266-82. PubMed PMID: 19562864.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. AU - Craig,Winston J, AU - Mangels,Ann Reed, AU - ,, PY - 2009/7/1/entrez PY - 2009/7/1/pubmed PY - 2009/7/10/medline SP - 1266 EP - 82 JF - Journal of the American Dietetic Association JO - J Am Diet Assoc VL - 109 IS - 7 N2 - It is the position of the American Dietetic Association 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. 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. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence- based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs. SN - 1878-3570 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19562864/full_citation L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0002-8223(09)00700-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -