Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Weighing the Claims
1–10% of the population in developed countries are thought to be vegetarian, with higher numbers among women.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are heterogeneous in nature, which makes provision of dietary recommendations difficult.
Populations following vegetarian diets have potential health benefits including reduced risk of coronary heart disease and obesity.
Very restrictive or unbalanced vegetarian diets can result in nutrient deficiencies, particularly iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D.
Carefully planned vegetarian and vegan diets can provide adequate nutrition for all stages of life.
Key WordsVegetarian diets vegan diet Mediterranean diet health benefits plant-based diets nutrient deficiencies plant proteins
Suggested Further Reading
- American Dietetic Association & Dietitians of Canada. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc 2003; 103:748–765.Google Scholar
- Sinha R, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, Leitzmann MF, Schatzkin A. Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169:562–571.Google Scholar
- http://www.vrg.org The Vegetarian Resource Group provides information on vegetarianism, vegetarian books and recipes, and links to related sites.
- http://www.soyfoods.com This U.S. Soy Foods Directory website is an essential resource for anyone interested in learning more about soy foods. The site includes a searchable database, recipes, and research information about the health benefits of soy foods.
- 1.European Vegetarian Union. How many Veggies? Available at http://www.european-vegetarian.org/lang/en/info/howmany.php. Accessed January 20, 2008.
- 2.The Vegetarian Resource Group. How many Adults are vegetarian? http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2003issue3/vj2003issue3poll.htm. Accessed January 20, 2008.
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- 18.American Dietetic Association & Dietitians of Canada. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc 2003; 103:748–765.Google Scholar
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