Review

The Vegetarian Advantage: Its Potential for the Health of Our Planet, Our Livestock, and Our Neighbors!

Although vegetarianism has existed for thousands of years, the motivation originally came from philosophical and religious practices and traditions. Beginning about 200 years ago (particularly in the U.K., Germany and soon after the USA) there were prominent advocates for the positive effect of vegetarian diets on physical, and possibly mental health [1].

The role of low acid load in vegetarian diet on bone health: a narrative review.

Vegetarian and vegan diets contain low amounts of protein and calcium. For this reason they are supposed to cause low bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis. But this is not the case, except for vegans with a particularly low calcium intake. The absence of osteoporosis or low BMD can be explained by the low acid load of these diets. Nutritional acid load is negatively correlated with bone mineral density (BMD) and positively with fracture risk. Low acid load is correlated with lower bone resorption and higher BMD.

Effects of sugar and fat consumption on sweet and fat taste

Excessive consumption of fat and sugar is associated with development of diet related diseases. While there are multiple factors involved with overconsumption of sweet and fatty foods, the taste system is responsible for identifying sugars and fats in foods, and in this way inform consumption of potential foods. Published research linking sweet taste and sugar consumption is limited and conflicting with one recent dietary intervention supporting a link between sweet taste and sugar consumption.

The moderate essential amino acid restriction entailed by low-protein vegan diets may promote vascular health by stimulating FGF21 secretion.

The serum total and LDL cholesterol levels of long-term vegans tend to be very low. The characteristically low ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat in vegan diets, and the absence of cholesterol in such diets, clearly contribute to this effect. But there is reason to suspect that the quantity and composition of dietary protein also play a role in this regard. Vegan diets of moderate protein intake tend to be relatively low in certain essential amino acids, and as a result may increase hepatic activity of the kinase GCN2, which functions as a gauge of amino acid status.

The importance of habits in eating behaviour. An overview and recommendations for future research.

There is ample evidence to suggest that a significant part of daily eating behaviours consists of habits. In line with this, the concept of habit is increasingly incorporated into studies investigating the behavioural and psychosocial determinants of food choice, yielding evidence that habit is one of the most powerful predictors of eating behaviour.

Vegetarian nutrition: past, present, future.

Early human food cultures were plant-based. Major religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism have recommended a vegetarian way of life since their conception. The recorded history of vegetarian nutrition started in the sixth century bc by followers of the Orphic mysteries. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras is considered the father of ethical vegetarianism. The Pythagorean way of life was followed by a number of important personalities and influenced vegetarian nutrition until the 19th century. In Europe, vegetarian nutrition more or less disappeared during the Middle Ages.

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