Nutritional Adequacy of Plant-Based Diets

Food, plant food, and vegetarian diets in the US dietary guidelines: conclusions of an expert panel.

We summarize conclusions drawn from a panel discussion at the "Fifth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition" about the roles of and emphasis on food, plant food, and vegetarianism in current and future US dietary guidelines. The most general recommendation of the panel was that future dietary guidelines, following the lead of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, should emphasize food-based recommendations and thinking to the full extent that evidence allows.

Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets.

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.

[Effect of vitamin D supplementation on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and bone turnover markers concentrations in vegetarian children].

PURPOSE:Vitamin D plays a key role in bone mineralization by regulating calcium and phosphate metabolism. Deficiency of this vitamin may lead to disturbances in bone metabolism as well as to osteopenia and osteoporosis. AIM:1. Assessment of daily intake of calcium and vitamin D in children on vegetarian diet. 2. Measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and biochemical bone turnover markers levels in vegetarian children supplemented with calcium and vitamin D, before and after the intervention.

Effect of a Klamath algae product ("AFA-B12") on blood levels of vitamin B12 and homocysteine in vegan subjects: a pilot study.

Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient that is often inadequate in a plant-based (vegan) diet, thus the inclusion of a reliable vitamin B12 source in a vegan diet is recommended as essential. Unfortunately, many natural sources of vitamin B12 have been proven to contain biologically inactive vitamin B12 analogues, inadequate for human supplementation.

Development of a diet quality index with special reference to micronutrient adequacy for adolescent girls consuming a lacto-vegetarian diet.

Recent dietary guidelines emphasize micronutrient sufficiency by giving importance to consumption of whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. The objective of this study was to identify a measure of micronutrient quality of diets in adolescent girls consuming a lacto-vegetarian diet. Data were collected on the nutritional status of 630 schoolgirls (ages 10 to 16 years) from Pune city, India, in a cross-sectional survey during 2006-2007. Dietary intakes were assessed by 24-hour recall on 3 nonconsecutive days.

Nutrition concerns and health effects of vegetarian diets.

Vegetarians exhibit a wide diversity of dietary practices, often described by what is omitted from their diet. When a vegetarian diet is appropriately planned and includes fortified foods, it can be nutritionally adequate for adults and children and can promote health and lower the risk of major chronic diseases. The nutrients of concern in the diet of vegetarians include vitamin B(12), vitamin D, ω-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Vegetarian diets in children and adolescents.

A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide for the needs of children and adolescents. However, appropriate caloric intake should be ensured and growth monitored. Particular attention should be paid to adequate protein intake and sources of essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins B₁₂ and D. Supplementation may be required in cases of strict vegetarian diets with no intake of any animal products. Pregnant and nursing mothers should also be appropriately advised to ensure that the nutritional needs of the fetus and infant are adequately met. Recommendations are provided.

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