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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Are Vegetarian Diets Healthy


Vegetarian diets are basically healthy and far superior to the low carb revolution, but many would argue that a more balanced diet would be better. Vegetarian diets are healthy and nutritionally adequate when well planned. Vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle. Vegetarian diets are lower in saturated fats, cholesterol,and animal protein. Vegetarian diets are associated with a reduced risk in heart disease and other diseases, and are generally very high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and anti-oxidants. Vegetarians are people who don’t eat meat.

Vegetarians who eat milk or eggs are called lacto ovo vegetarians". Vegetarian diets typically consist of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Vegetarian diets are high in: vitamin C, fiber and folate. Vegetarianism is not recommended for young children because it is extremely difficult for them to consume the nutrients they need in adequate amounts for optimal growth without consuming any animal products. Vegetarians typically have less risk of CHD, cancer, obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension. Vegetarians have reduced rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer. Vegetarian diets are often nutritionally inadequate. There is a possibility that some 'strict vegetarians' may be at risk of deficiencies.

Diet is important to maintain health for everyone. Diets that are high in fat and a lifestyle lacking in exercise, have lead to obesity spreading like wildfire across the Western world. Diets that do not include fish or eggs lack the long chain n 3 fatty acid docosahexanoic acid (DHA). Dietary supplements are advised for vegans only if they do not meet calcium requirements from food. Diets largely based on plant foods, such as well-balanced vegetarian diets, could best prevent nutrient deficiencies as well as diet-related chronic diseases.

Health implications of vegetarianism vegetarian diets low in fat or saturated fat have been used successfully as part of comprehensive health programs to reverse severe coronary artery disease . Healthy eating based on the food guide pyramid learn how easy it is have sound, nutritional eating habits. Healthier fat sources include soybean products, avocados, and nut butters. Foods rich in calcium, iron, and zinc should be emphasized.

Vegetarians tend to have a lower incidence of hypertension than non vegetarians. Vegetarians have been reported to have a lower body mass index than non vegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer. Vegetarians eat diets based on plants, and avoid one or more of the following: meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs. Vegetarians are generally advised to seek out extra protein in foods such as beans and grains, and to make sure they get enough calcium, iron and B-complex vitamins. Vegetarians fall into groups defined by the types of animal derived foods they eat. Vegans eat only plant based foods. Vegetarians who eat no dairy products must get calcium from other foods. Vegetarians suffer markedly lower mortality from coronary heart disease compared to non-vegetarians.

Meat is not a dietary requirement for the human body. Meatless products, such as tofu dogs, soy burgers, nut loaves or texturized vegetable protein, add variety to your vegetarian diet.

Vegans or total vegetarians avoid all animal products and include only plant foods. Vegans eat nothing but vegetables, while lacto vegetarians include dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and cream. Vegans are at the highest risk of nutrient deficiency because they tend to have lower dietary intakes of protein, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 which is only found in foods from animal sources. Vegans should include a regular source of vitamin B-12 in their diets along with a source of vitamin D if sun exposure is limited. Vegan choices are some of the most far-reaching personal, practical and ethical choices you can make.

Vitamin B12 is an important issue for vegans because it is found naturally in animal sources. Vitamin B12 and iodine are two nutrients of which vegan mothers should make sure they have a reliable supply. Vitamin B12 can be found in dairy products and eggs. Vitamin B-12 status of long term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet is compromised.

Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including tissue building and repair. Protein deficiency is extremely unlikely on a diet drawn from a variety of plant foods. Protein Rich and vegetarian almonds, black beans, brown rice, cashews, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, peanut butter, pinto beans, quinoa, seitan (a wheat-based mock meat), soybeans, soy milk, sunflower seeds, textured vegetable protein, tofu, vegetarian hot dogs and burgers iron rich and vegetarian black beans, bran flakes, cashews, hot whole grain cereals, garbanzo beans , cold whole grain cereal, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, raisins, soybeans, soy milk, spinach, sunflower seeds, tofu, tomato juice, whole wheat bread calcium enriched and broccoli, calcium-fortified orange juice, collard greens, great northern beans, kale, kidney beans, mustard greens, navy beans, sesame seeds, soybeans,and tofu. A diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.

Eating an adequate number of calories derived from any normal variety of plant foods generally gives us all the protein our bodies need. Eating at restaurants can be difficult for vegetarians sometimes, but if you do eat fish, you can usually find something suitable on the menu. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables is the simple 5 A Day message, and a smart strategy for better health. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is the number one recommendation by physicians to maintain a healthy heart, but many people still do not know what an ideal diet consists of. Eating three small meals a day and a couple of healthy snacks such as a piece of fruit, a low-fat yogurt or a bowl of cereal in between, is a much better way to control your calories. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are a really important part of a healthy balanced diet because they are great sources of protein and vitamins A, B12 and D. Include regular helpings of complex carbs, like whole wheat bread, wholegrain cereal, oats and rice in your weight loss plan. Include good sources of non-animal proteins such as dried beans, nuts, soy and whole grains.

Soy is the only complete vegetable protein. Soy milk sold in grocery stores for adults is not the same as soy baby formula, however, and is not adequate for infants. Soy products, legumes, tofu, dark green vegetables, collard greens, kale, broccoli, enriched cereal, beans, peas, lentils and whole-grain products can all help you get the nutrients that you normally get from meat. Milk and yogurt are tops if you're eating dairy products — although vegetarians will want to look for yogurt that does not contain the meat by-product gelatin. Soy protein is equal to animal protein.

Researchers have found that overweight people consume about the same number of calories as slim people—but they don’t consume the same kinds of food. Researchers report that the act of cooking helps to increase the availability of iron already contained in vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes, making it easier for your body to absorb. Research suggests that complementary proteins do not need to be consumed at the same time and that consumption of various sources of amino acids over the course of the day should ensure adequate nitrogen retention and use in healthy persons.

ADA releases updated position paper on vegetarian diets. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. ADA's position, published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, represents the Association's official stance on 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. ADA's position and accompanying paper were written by Winston Craig, PhD, MPH, RD, professor and chair of the department of nutrition and wellness at Andrews University; and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, nutrition advisor at the Vegetarian Resource Group, Baltimore, Md.

Vegetarianism excludes high-calorie foods and animal products laden with saturated fats. Vegetarianism Throughout the Life Cycle Well-planned vegan and lacto ovo-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy and lactation.

Raw foods diets are variously described as uncooked vegan diets, uncooked vegetable diets, and living foods diets. It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Raw food eaters are convinced that raw food diets are absolutely necessary in order to maintain a healthy weight.

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Lacto ovo vegetarians eat eggs, milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogurt, in addition to plant-based foods. Lacto vegetarian includes all of the elements of a vegan diet, however, honey and dairy are allowed on the diet. Lacto ovo vegetarian and vegan diets can meet the nutrient and energy needs of pregnant women.

Vegetarian diets are often associated with health advantages including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, according to ADA’s position. Vegetarian diets are low in: calcium, protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12. It is possible to obtain all essential nutrients by eating a completely plant based diet, however the planning is critical to the health. Vegetarian diets are typically high in fiber, antioxidants and phyto chemicals, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Vegetarian diets are classified as:Vegan: No meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or milk products. Lacto-vegetarian: No meat, poultry, fish, or eggs; includes milk products. Lacto ovo vegetarian: No meat, poultry, or fish; includes milk products and eggs. Semi-vegetarian: Some animal foods excluded, usually red meats; may include fish, poultry, eggs, or milk products. Vegetarian Diets are varied, from avoiding some meats to absolutely no animal products. Vegetarian diets are often lower in calories and fat than meat diets, and rates of overweight and obesity among vegetarians are lower than among meat eaters. Diets that are high in fiber tend to be more filling, and as a result strict vegetarians may feel full before they've eaten enough calories to keep their bodies healthy and strong. Nutrition Considerations for vegetarians plant sources of protein alone can provide adequate amounts of essential amino acids if a variety of plant foods are consumed and energy needs are met. The American Dietetic Association has released an updated position paper on vegetarian diets that concludes such diets, if well-planned, are healthful and nutritious for adults, infants, children and adolescents and can help prevent and treat chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.
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