Nutritional Adequacy of Plant-Based Diets

Cortical bone density of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous women

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian women fifty to eighty-nine years of age lost 18 per cent bone mineral mass while omnivorous women lost 35 per cent. This study established that this difference could not be explained by a greater bone density in the lacto-ovo-vegetarians during the third, fourth, and fifth decades of life. The possibility of higher sulfur content in the meat-containing diet, the effect of excess phosphorus, and the effect of an acid-ash diet are discussed. From the standpoint of a general survey, comsumption of calcium-containing foods was not appreciably different in the two groups.

Preschool vegetarian children. Dietary and anthropometric data.

Three-day dietary intakes were obtained on forty-eight preschool children between two and five years old, who had followed a vegetarian diet since birth. Intakes were calculated for food energy and selected nutrients. In addition, the children were measured for height, weight, triceps and subscapular skinfolds, and arm circumference. Average dietary intakes of the children compared favorably with the Recommended Dietary Allowances. Calcium was the only nutrient consumed in less than optimal amounts.

Zinc and copper content of foods used in vegetarian diets.

The zinc and copper content of seventy-four foods was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Each of these foods was reported to have been consumed by practicing vegetarians. Legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, hard cheeses, and some nutritional supplements were found to be excellent sources of both zinc and copper. Vegetables, fruits, and their products were generally poor sources of trace minerals, with the exception of seed and bean sprouts. Milk and milk products, including rennetless cheeses, contain small quantities of these minerals.

The iron and zinc status of long-term vegetarian women.

Iron and zinc status of 56 Seventh-Day Adventist Canadian women (mean age 52.9 +/- 15.3 yr) following vegetarian diets for 19 +/- 17 yr were investigated. Energy, protein, iron, available iron, zinc, and total dietary fiber intakes were calculated from 3-day dietary records. Hemoglobin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, serum and hair zinc concentrations were also determined. Plant products provided 92 and 77% of the total dietary iron and zinc intakes, respectively.

An anthropometric and dietary assessment of the nutritional status of vegan preschool children.

he nutritional status of 23 vegan children between one and five years was assessed using anthropometric and dietary criteria. All of the children had been breastfed for at least the first six months of life and in most cases well into the second year. The majority of the children were growing normally but they did tend to be smaller in stature and lighter in weight when compared with standards. Energy, calcium and vitamin D intakes were usually below those recommended. Their diets, however, were generally adequate but a few children had low intakes of riboflavin and vitamin B12.

Content of trans-octadecenoic acid in vegetarian and normal diets in Sweden, analyzed by the duplicate portion technique.

The intake of trans fatty acids by subjects adhering to the normal Swedish diet or to different vegetarian regimes was studied, using chemical analysis of duplicate portions. Trans-octadecenoic acid was 5.0, 3.9, and 1.8% of dietary fatty acid in the normal, lactovegetarian, and vegan diets, respectively, corresponding to 2.0, 1.3, and 0.5% of energy intake. The results are related to the content of trans-octadecenoic acid in some edible fats.

Nutritional status of vegetarian children.

Thirty-nine preschool children consuming different types of vegetarian diets were studied. Type and amount of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and amount of sodium and cholesterol provided by their diets were more like intakes suggested in the proposed Dietary Goals for the United States than to levels in usual diets of nonvegetarian children. Macrobiotic vegetarian children consumed less animal food than did other vegetarian children. The mean intake of vitamin D of macrobiotics was an eighth of the Recommended Dietary Allowance and mean serum alkaline phosphatase values were elevated.


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