The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets

The Plant-Based Recipe Cookbook

The Plant-Based Recipe Cookbook offers systematic procedures and the ingredient required to cook most vegan dishes. The recipe book holds approximately 150 recipes for the preparation of vegan dishes. In the changing times, many people are shifting their feeding preferences to include vegan dishes due to their high content of natural nutrients that are healthier. Apart from benefiting the health, vegan meals are medicinal, and they naturally increase the ability of the body to fight germs. Foods such as meat and dairy are harmful to our health, and that is why The Plant-Based Recipe Cookbook offers recipes for the preparation of many other different vegan foods. People think that most vegan dishes are not tasty, but they are wrong since they have tasted vegan foods that have not been appropriately prepared. With the recipe at hand, most people can now make their vegan dishes at home, using the recipe book as a guide, and this explains the sudden shift to Vegan dieting in most people. Research has it that approximately 50% of the celebrities have shifted to Vegan diets, and this shift is an indication that most people want to eat healthily and live long. Vegan dishes are a variety, and their preparations are secure since they contain natural nutrients, therefore not overcooked. Read more here...

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Vegan The New Ethics of Eating

Because of the importance and urgency we feel the message of Vegan The New Ethics of Eating holds for the larger world beyond our regular distribution channels, Erik Marcus, the author and copyright holder, and McBooks Press, the publisher, have created this free, downloadable edition. To order copies of Vegan The New Ethics of Eating, or other books on veganism and vegetarianism call toll free at 1-888-266-5711 or visit the McBooks website http Vegan is also available through your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. Erik Marcus and Erik Marcus is a writer and public speaker who is dedicated to the advocacy of vegan and vegetarian diets and is the publisher of the http website. The site features news updated daily, as well as comprehensive information for both vegans and aspiring vegetarians. You can contact Erik Marcus through by sending an e-mail to correspondence For more information about Farm Sanctuary the havens...

Topics Requiring More Research A Coronary Heart Disease in Vegans

There are few data on the long-term health of vegans. The pooled analysis of five prospective studies described above included 27,808 vegetarians, but only 753 of these subjects were vegans.52 Compared with regular meat-eaters in these cohorts, the death rate ratio for CHD in vegans was 0.74 (95 CI 0.46-1.21). The confidence interval for this estimate is wide, so that it is currently impossible to say whether mortality from CHD in vegans differs from that in regular meat-eaters, although the death rate ratio is In terms of coronary risk factors, all studies have shown that vegans have a substantially lower serum total cholesterol concentration than meat-eaters (around 1 mmol l lower) and are also thinner than meat-eaters (by 1 to 2 kg m2). These differences would be expected to cause a substantial reduction in mortality from CHD. No consistent differences in blood pressure or in hemostatic factors have been established. Vegan diets are often low in vitamin B12, which could potentially...

Lipid Differences Between Omnivores And Vegetarian Or Vegans

The elderly vegetarian, particularly the elderly vegan, is in a protective life-style that minimizes ischemic damage, plaque formations, and lipid depositions involved in atherosclerotic disease, hypertension, stroke, or rheumatic heart disease. Plant dietary protein minimizes endogenous cholesterol and triacylglycerol production as previously discussed. Exogenous plant dietary fat supplies a dominance of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids to minimize not only the atherosclerotic diseases, but also several of the rheumatoid states, the mineral problems of osteoporosis, and possibly several types of cancer by the inclusion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).3,40,41 This protective diet combined with adequate exercise inhibits the initiation of these diseases before they reach the lipid deposition stages by decreasing the initial free radical attack with antiox-idants. For example, in coronary artery disease (CAD), the vegetarian or vegan diet supplies the antioxidant vitamins and...

Carbohydrate Differences Between Omnivores And Vegetarians Or Vegans

Polysaccharides (hemicelluloses, pectin, gums, and mucilages). These become the indigestible bulk of the stool. The free sugars of fruits are accompanied by protein, a small amount of lipid, minerals, a variety of accessory food factors including vitamins, and the soluble and insoluble fiber fraction.76,77 Elderly vegetarians or vegans have a high amount of fiber as a natural part of their dietary intake. This contrasts to the omnivore diet, which is either deficient in fiber or requires fiber supplements to obtain adequate stool bulk. Glucose is the major energy source for brain function. In the non-fed or fasting state, glucose levels are normally maintained from liver glycogen. In longer fasting periods or fasts combined with high-level energy expenditure, glucose levels are depleted and skeletal muscle breakdown occurs to supply glucose (gluconeogensis). Alanine, along with lactate and pyru-vate, are released in high amounts to maintain blood glucose levels, and to supply pyruvate...

Protein Differences Between Omnivores And Vegetarians Or Vegans

The percentage of calories contributed by protein in human diets, from vegan to omnivore, can vary from 8 to 18 , with approximately 2 to 10 greater intake of protein by the omnivore subjects vs. the vegetarians. The lowest level of protein intake is in vegans.12 Animal protein is considerably higher in essential amino acids and sulfur amino acid content and promotes a higher rate of growth in a growing animal than will any single dietary plant protein. When two or more dietary plant proteins are combined in a single meal or meals for the day, however, this potential for growth difference is offset in growing children.13,14 The adult vegans in the Haddad et al. dietary study15 had higher serum albumin levels than the omnivore controls, which demonstrated vegan dietary protein adequacy. The vegans demonstrated this while maintaining lower blood urea nitrogen values. Long term, this pattern aids in the reduction of the incidence of chronic renal failure. Additional advantages from the...

Minerals And The Elderly Vegetarian Or Vegan

Mineral metabolism in human nutrition still remains a subject that requires extensive study. Even routine mineral evaluation methods are lacking, particularly as an inexpensive sampling technique that will answer adequacy or deficiency questions of whole body content. For the elderly vegetarian or vegan, this chapter will confine the discussion on minerals to a short presentation on calcium metabolism, while placing the emphasis on magnesium and selenium because of their major importance and frequently low intake in the elderly. lead to increased bone resorption, postulated as a risk factor for increased bone loss.3 The high animal protein intake of the omnivore diet causes a high acid load that contributes to both bone and muscle wasting in aging.16,18 The elderly vegan subject avoids this acid load. The LOV use of milk and eggs increases the sulfur load. If vitamin D intake is maintained by supplementation, the elderly vegan should more than maintain bone density, compared with LOVs...

After dietary assessment recommend nutrient supplements for vegan diets which are found to be nutrit

With careful planning, vegetarian diets for infants and children can be nutritionally adequate (Sanders, 1995 Sanders and Reddy, 1994). For vegan infants who are not breastfed, commercially prepared soy-based infant formula is recommended during the first 2 years of life to provide adequate nutrients and energy for growth and development. For older infants, a carefully selected vegetarian diet can meet all the requirements of a growing child however, deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and energy have been reported in vegetarian children (Sanders, 1995 Jacobs and Dwyer, 1988). The guidelines presented for introducing solid foods (see Transition to Solid Foods) apply to all healthy infants, including vegans. Parents who feed their infant vegan diets in the first 2 years of life may benefit from consultation with a dietitian or nutritionist to ensure the adequacy of their infant's food (nutrient) intake, and to assess the need for nutrient supplements.

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NotSoHealthy Veggie

While a plant-based eating pattern can seem to be the utmost picture of health, if the diet is not well balanced and adequate in all macro- and micronutrients, vegetarians and vegans alike are at risk for nutrient deficiencies. It is well known that these specialized diets do not automatically mean that they are healthy. We know one lacto-ovo vegetarian who has now found that a breakfast of doughnuts and coffee, a lunch of grilled cheese, French fries, and pop, and a dinner of deep-fried falafel or pasta with cream sauce completely complies with his vegetarian choice. We've also come across young athletes who have chosen to follow a vegan diet for ethical reasons but who despise vegetables. As you can imagine, without the guidance of a dietitian, these young athletes are headed for severe Vegan In short, vegetarian and vegan diets can constitute a nutritional disaster if not properly planned.

Have You Had Enough B Today

Getting enough vitamin B-12 can also be an obstacle for strict vegans, simply because B-12 is derived primarily from animal foods. Once again, you lactos and ovolactos are off the hook because dairy and eggs provide enough to satisfy your daily requirements. The vegan gang has to dig a little deeper. Buy food products that are B-12 fortified cereals, breads, some soy-analogs, and possibly tempeh. You might also want to pop a B-12 supplement providing 100 percent of the RDA, just to be safe. Vegans who don't eat dairy and aren't regularly out in the sun should buy foods fortified with vitamin D or speak with their doctors about vitamin D supplementation.

Have You Ever Wondered 104

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian kids generally can get enough nutrients from well-chosen foods alone. In fact, vegetarian eating may encourage more fiber, folate, vitamins A and C, fruits and vegetables, and perhaps fewer sweets, fast foods, and salty snacks, than nonvegetarian eating. For vegan infants, children, and teens, some nutrients may need special attention calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. If your child is a vegan, offer a variety of foods with adequate amounts of these nutrients. Poor choices can put vegetarian kids at greater risk for nutrient inadequacies and their health consequences. Infants exclusively breast-fed for longer than six months are at risk for iron and vitamin D deficiencies. That's true whether the mom is a vegetarian or not. As a guideline for all infants at this time Healthcare providers may advise an iron-fortified cereal or an iron supplement, and perhaps a vitamin D supplement if the baby's exposure to sunlight is limited. Vegetarian or not, the...

Are Vitamin and Mineral Needs Greater During Infancy

Complementing breast-feeding with a vitamin D-fortified infant formula can assist in meeting an infant's needs. Because the iron content of breast milk is relatively low, the introduction to solid foods between ages 4 to 6 months becomes very important in supplying this nutrient. Iron-fortified cereals are very good choices. Many pediatricians will recommend an iron supplement for infants during their first few months of life. Again, complementing breast-feeding with an iron-fortified infant formula can assist in meeting an infant's needs. Furthermore, infants fed a vegan or other meat-restrictive diets would need a vitamin B12 supplement.

Have You Ever Wondered

What about nutrient supplements The same advice applies to all pregnant women, vegetarian or not. In addition, a vitamin B12 supplement-and perhaps a vitamin D supplement if sunlight exposure is limited-are advised for vegan women. Some vegetarian women also may need zinc or calcium supplements if their food choices come up short. Vegetarian women usually consume more folate than nonvege-tarian women still, a folic acid supplement or folic-acid-fortified foods are advised. For more guidance, see The Vegetarian 'Mom' in chapter 20.

Feeding Healthy Children

The most beautiful children I have met or seen have been children raised on raw plant foods. They are alert, content, happy, and eager to explore life. The world's most famous childcare specialist Dr. Benjamin Spock recommended, in the seventh edition of his famous book Baby And Child Care, breast-feeding until solid foods were introduced. He specifically recommended a vegetarian diet at that point and, beyond age two, a vegan diet with an emphasis on raw plant foods. Dr. Spock's own vegetarian diet had given him a new lease on life. He wanted the seventh edition of his book to be in the forefront of linking animal foods and disease.

Weight Loss And Vegetarian Diets

Data showing that vegetarians tend to have lower body weights and BMI scores than those who do not abstain from meat are quite consistent. There are, however, virtually no appropriate studies evaluating the use of vegetarian diets for weight loss. Nicholson et al.23 reported that, in a very small 12-week pilot intervention study of type 2 diabetic patients, those on a low-fat vegan diet lost a mean of 7.2 kg, compared with those on a conventional low-fat diet where the weight loss averaged 3.8 kg. This study is flawed regarding its weight loss component in that the diets were not isocaloric.

Mary Frances Picciano and Michelle Kay McGuire

Summary National surveys indicate that as many as 97 of women living in the United States are advised by their health care providers to take multivitamin, multimineral (MVMM) supplements during pregnancy, and 7-36 of pregnant women use botanical supplements during this time. Although there is evidence of benefit from some of these preparations, efficacy has not been established for most of them. This chapter reviews some of the most commonly used prenatal supplements in terms of the evidence for their need, efficacy, and safety. Specifically, MVMM, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, zinc, magnesium, and iodine are discussed, as are several botanicals. Data indicate that, in general, evidence for benefit gained from taking prenatal MVMM supplements is not well established except for women who smoke, abuse alcohol or drugs, are anemic, or have poor quality diets. Because of folate's well-established effect on decreasing risk for neural tube defects, it is recommended that...

Deficient in the Big Guns

Besides being at risk for micronutrient deficiencies, vegetarians and vegans also can be at risk for a certain macronutrient deficiency, the macronutri-ent being protein. When eating a properly balanced diet, the active vegetarian or vegan has no reason to experience protein malnutrition. One should be aware, however, that as stated before, not all proteins are equal and close attention should be paid to protein sources. By combining various plant sources throughout the day, essential amino acid needs can be met. For further thoughts on protein sources for vegetarians, refer to the following table.

Figure Vegetarian Dishes From Around The World

Vegetarians may be lacto vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, or vegans. 3. Vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate when varied and adequate in kcalories (except for vegan diets, which need supplementation with vitamin B12). Most vegetarians get enough protein, and their diets are typically lower in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Accessory Growth Factors

While the diet of an older vegetarian may not contain all nutrients in sufficient quantities, it does contain a greater dietary variety compared with those elderly subjects on the omnivore diet who appear to be lacking in many B vitamins and the antioxidant fat soluble vitamins.81 However, there are two obvious exceptions to this generality for the vegetarian or vegan that deserve special emphasis.

Dietary Guidelines

The vegetarian label encompasses a wide variety of dietary and life-style values and practices. For the purposes of this chapter, the term vegetarian refers to a diet that avoids flesh foods such as meat, poultry, and fish but may include dairy products or eggs. The term vegan applies to a diet composed entirely of plant foods. Vegetarian and vegan diets emphasize plant foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Plant-rich diets are those that include a generous proportion of plant foods and relatively small amounts of animal foods, whether meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or dairy products. Plant-rich diets such as those consumed by traditional populations in Mediterranean countries or the Far East are sometimes referred to as vegetarian-like diets. Table 15.2 Vegan, Vegetarian and Mediterranean Dietary Patterns compared to the Dietary Guideline Recommendations14-18 Vegan

Counseling The Vegetarian Mother

Current evidence supports the position of the American Dietetic Association that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can provide the nutrients needed for a successful pregnancy.21 Pregnant vegetarians should receive that assurance along with advice regarding sources for the nutrients usually obtained from any food groups they do not consume. This implies that the health professional will be knowledgeable or will refer the woman to a dietitian who is knowledgeable about alternative nutrient sources that are acceptable to various vegetarian philosophies.

Adding Calcium to Your Diet

You can get enough calcium in your diet even if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, are lactose intolerant, follow a low-fat diet, or just don't eat dairy products. A combination of the foods listed in this section will enable you to get enough calcium in your diet while suiting your particular needs.

Vitamin Mineral supplementation of breastfed infants

The quality of the breastfeeding mother's diet is important for her health and energy, but has a variable effect on milk production and on milk composition (Riordan and Auerbach, 1993). Minerals and fat-soluble vitamin (A,D,E,K) levels in breast milk are minimally influenced by recent maternal diet as these can be drawn from storage in the body. Water-soluble vitamins (eg. ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, B12) are readily influenced by the maternal diet (Riordan and Auerbach, 1993 Atkinson, 1992). However, if the mother is well nourished, there is no need for supplementation. Only if a mother eats a very restricted diet (e.g. vegan) should supplemental nutrients be recommended to ensure adequate nutrient intake for her and adequate delivery of vitamins to the breastfed infant. With the exception of vitamin D, vitamin and mineral supplementation of breastfed term infants in the first 6 months is not recommended.

Habitual Intakes Of Protein For Athletes

Coaches, trainers, and athletes are apt to question whether a vegetarian diet can provide adequate protein to meet the increased dietary needs of highly trained athletes 56 . Concerns may stem from the ability of a vegetarian diet to provide all essential amino acids (EAA) in the diet. Because a vegetarian diet is a plant-based diet, the quality of the ingested protein may be questioned. All EAA and nonessential amino acids can be supplied by plant food sources alone, provided that a variety of foods are consumed, and energy intake remains adequate to meet these needs 56 . Of particular concern, however, are individuals who avoid all animal protein sources (ie, vegans) because plant proteins may be limited in amino acids containing lysine, threonine, tryptophan, or sulfur 57 . If the diet is too restricted, suboptimal mineral and protein intake is possible. Although most vegetarian diets meet or exceed dietary recommendations for protein, they often provide less protein than do...

Diseasespecific Guidelines

The relationship between diet and coronary heart disease is more complex than one that simply considers the influence of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol on blood lipid levels. Processes such as plaque formation, thrombosis, endothelial function, and antioxidant status may be influenced by a number of dietary components and interactions. Vegetarian diets that include small amounts of non-fat or low-fat dairy products, or vegetarian diets based entirely on plant foods (vegan) may provide greater overall benefits that go beyond those obtained by simply reducing fat or saturated fat. The impact of fatty acids on thrombosis is unclear. A higher proportion of omega-3 relative to omega-6 inhibits platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. Although fish consumption is somewhat protective, fish oil supplements may not provide a beneficial effect.67 Omega-3 fatty acids are lower in erythrocyte, platelet, and serum phospholipids of vegetarians, especially vegans, who also show increased...

Definition and Types of Vegetarians

A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, fish, poultry, or products containing these foods 1 . Within the broad category, there are numerous subcategories. The most common are lacto-ovo vegetarians, lacto vegetarians, and vegans. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy products. Lacto vegetarians use dairy products but not eggs, and vegans (pronounced VEE-guns) avoid all animal products including dairy products, eggs, honey, and gelatin.

How to Ensure an Adequate Protein Intake

All vegetarians can easily meet their protein needs. Protein doesn't discriminate it's found in both animal and plant foods. Low-fat dairy and eggs can provide generous amounts of protein for vegetarians who dare to eat them, and the vegans in the crowd should become close pals with tofu, nuts, seeds, lentils, and tempeh. Flip back to Chapter 3 to refresh your memory on complementary proteins that is, making a complete protein (a protein containing all of the essential amino acids) by combining two or more incomplete plant proteins.

Weight gain and birth weight in vegetarian pregnancy

Vegetarians as a group tend to be leaner than do nonvegetarians, with vegans tending to have a lower BMI than other vegetarians 16, 17 . This suggests that vegetarian women tend to begin pregnancy with a lower BMI than do nonvegetarians. Standard weight gain recommendations should be used for vegetarians 18 . Weight gain of pregnant lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans is generally adequate 14, 19, 20 . Birth weights of infants of vegetarian women have been frequently shown to be similar to those of infants born to nonvegetarian women and to birth weight norms 19-22 .

Have You Ever Wondered 103

. . . if you need nutrient supplements if you're vegetarian That depends on whether you choose your foods carefully. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians (except perhaps premenopausal women) probably don't if they consume enough iron from plant sources of food. Vegans, however, may need extra calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B 2 and D, depending on their overall food choices. Consult a registered dietitian and doctor to see if you need a nutrient supplement. See Vitamin Mineral Supplements For Whom in chapter 23.

How Much Protein Does a Mother Need During Pregnancy

Protein requirements are increased during pregnancy to allow for adequate protein production in the mother and developing baby. An increase of 25 grams of protein per day above the RDA is recommended for pregnant teens and women, going from 46 to 71 grams daily. The use of a protein supplement is probably not necessary for most women as their typical protein intake is typically greater than requirements during pregnancy or is accounted for through increased energy intake during pregnancy. Vegetarian females should be particularly careful of their protein intake, especially vegans or fruitarians.

MyPyramid for Vegetarians

Especially for vegans For vegans, use soy margarine in place of butter or other margarines. Most margarine contains some ingredients derived from milk, such as whey or casein. Cookies, pastries, and other baked goods made with margarine may have a different texture than those made with butter. Remember that lard is another fat of animal origin and that stick margarine contains trans fatty acids use mostly soft or liquid margarine. Enjoy thick, creamy fruit shakes If you're a lacto-vegetarian, make them with milk, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. If you're a vegan, blend fruit instead with soft

Sources of Vitamin B in the Diet

Vitamin B12 is synthesized by bacteria and found primarily in meat, eggs, fish (including shellfish), and to a lesser extent dairy products. Fortified breakfast cereals provide a significant source of vitamin B12 (6.0 mcg 3 4 cup), particularly for vegetarians. Plant sources, such as spirulina (algae) and nori (seaweed), contain vitamin B12 analogues, which can compete with vitamin B12 and inhibit metabolism. Lactating vegetarians may need to also be advised that milk and milk products are a good source of vitamin B12 (0.9 mcg 250 ml), while vegans are recommended to consume a supplement ( 2.8 mcg day) and or ensure their diet includes foods fortified with vitamin B12 such as textured vegetable protein and soy milk.

Vitamin D Not Just from Sunshine

However, vegans or anyone who doesn't drink milk or eat fatty fish need to be careful to get enough vitamin D, especially during the winter in northern climates and if housebound. That's true, too, for older adults, who don't synthesize vitamin D as efficiently. If you're a vegan, check the Nutrition Facts on food labels some breakfast cereals, some soy and rice beverages, some cereal bars, and some calcium-fortified juices are fortified with vitamin D.

Im looking for an iron supplement Whats this ferrous stuff

Vegans vegetarians who avoid all foods from animals, including dairy products have a similar problem getting the calcium they need. Calcium is in vegetables, but it, like iron, is bound into hard-to-absorb compounds. So vegans need calcium-rich substitutes. Good food choices are soybean milk fortified with calcium, orange juice with added calcium, and tofu processed with calcium sulfate.

Possible Risk Factors Homocysteine

Typically, vegetarians have relatively high intakes of folate and similar intakes of vitamin B6, as compared with the general population.58 However, vegetarians (and particularly vegans) typically have relatively low intakes of vitamin B12.59 Vitamin B12 is essentially absent from plant foods and is present in small amounts in dairy products (but in somewhat higher amounts in eggs). Therefore, dietary intake of vitamin B12 in vegetarians is low unless they consume large amounts of dairy products and eggs, or regularly consume fortified foods or vitamin supplements. For example, Hokin and Butler60 reported that 73 of vegetarian Seventh-Day Adventist ministers in Australia had low serum vitamin B12 (

Summary and conclusion

In summary, although most pregnant women take one or more dietary supplement, there is strong evidence to support the efficacy of only three of these products during this period of the lifespan, especially for otherwise healthy women. These include folic acid, iodine, and iron, and published recommendations concerning these nutrients are provided in Table 14.2. Additional supplements may be useful in specific circumstances. For example supplemental zinc may be necessary for vegans and women who smoke, have poor quality diets, or are carrying more than one fetus should consider taking a MVMM supplement. Other nutrient supplements such as vitamin A may be warranted for poorly nourished women, especially those with comorbidities. There is very little high quality research on the efficacy and safety of botanical supplements during pregnancy, and extreme care should be taken when recommending their use during this time. The American Dietetic Association and the Institute of Medicine...

Dietary Intake Assessment and Nutritional Status in Special Populations of Female Athletes

Aside from disordered eating, many female athletes are vegetarians for various reasons, which also could affect nutritional intake and status. Janelle and Barr 35 compared the nutrient intakes of vegetarian (n 23) and nonvegetar-ian (n 22) athletes, 20 to 40 years old, using 3-day dietary records. The vegetarian athletes had lower intakes of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, zinc, and sodium intakes, while consuming higher intakes of folate, vitamin C, and copper compared with the nonvegetarians. Within the subgroup of the vegetarians, vegans consumed lower calcium and vitamin B12 compared with lactovegetarians. Despite the health-conscious nature of many vegetarians, dietary intake still may be inadequate and is definitely not the same among subgroups of vegetarians. Vegetarian athletes may need more information on proper nutritional intake to ensure adequate energy and micronutrient intake for optimal performance and health.

Mineral Bioavailability

In general, minerals from animal sources are absorbed better than those from plant sources as minerals are present in forms that are readily absorbed and binders that inhibit absorption, such as phytates, are absent. Vegans (those who restrict their diets to plant foods) need to be aware of the factors affecting mineral bioavailability. Careful meal planning is necessary to include foods rich in minerals and absorption-enhancing factors.

The functionality of meat

Traditionally, the vegetarian was likely to consume a wider range of foods than the meat eater. Consequently, vegetarians in Europe and North America historically had similar energy intakes to meat eaters and greater intakes of vitamins Bj, C, E, folic acid, b-carotene, potassium and fibre (Sanders, 1999). Today, vegetarianism cannot be assumed to provide a favourable fatty acid intake. Comparative studies of vegetarian and omnivorous children surveyed from 9 to 17 years old found that saturated fat intakes were no lower in the vegetarian children (Nathan et al, 1994 Nathan et al, 1997 Burgess et al, 2001). There was no significant difference between energy intakes and the percentage energy from fat, or saturated fat intakes between vegetarian and omnivore adolescents in northwest England (Burgess et al, 2001). Vegetarian women have lower zinc intakes and status than their omnivore counterparts (Ball and Ackland, 2000). A recent study in Australia showed vegetarians had a lower intake...

Nutritional Requirements

Dan Glickman

Vegan person who consumes no animal products, including milk and honey Protein is a vital dietary component for preschoolers and toddlers, as it is needed for optimal growth. Enough protein should be consumed every day to allow for proper development. Protein deficiencies are rare in the United States, since most U.S. children consume plenty of protein each day. When protein malnutrition does occur, it is usually seen in those from low-income homes, those who follow a strict vegan diet excluding all animal sources, and those with multiple food allergies.

What I Learned From the Yaqui Medicine

He has followed a vegan diet since birth, as taught to him by his mother (overturning the false idea that indigenous peoples are not vegetarians or vegans). Only 3 times in his life has he eaten animal foods (raw rattlesnake twice as a ceremonial experience and turtle soup once). He can identify thousands of herbs.

Biochemistry And Bioavailability Of Carvocrol

Dutch, on alternative diets, 188 growth studies on vegetarian, 178-179 lacto-ovo-vegetarian, 180 macrobiotic, 186 obesity and vegetarian, 92, 99 quantities of soy products received by vegan, 302 Seventh-Day Adventist, 180 vegan, 183 definitions, 175-176 Competition, 289 Complementary proteins, 199 Connecticut Tumor Registry, 69 Conservation tillage, 446 Constipation, 256 Copper-rich manure, 453 Coronary artery disease (CAD), 256, 257 Coronary heart disease (CHD), 34, 92, 350, 382 decreased death rates from, 291 mortality rates, in Western vegetarians, 44 Coronary heart disease, vegetarianism, coronary risk factors, and, 33-54 topics requiring more research, 46-48 CHD in vegans, 46-47 CHD in vegetarian South Asians, 47 n-3 fatty acids, 47-48 vitamin B12 and homocysteine, 47 vegetarianism and coronary heart disease, 43-46

The Effect Of A Vegetarian Diet On Performance

Modern-day research comparing physical fitness performance in vegetarians and non-vegetarians began in the 1970s. Cotes et al.22 compared thigh muscle width, pulmonary function measures, and the cardiorespira-tory response to submaximal cycle ergometry exercise in 14 vegan and 86 non-vegetarian women. Ventilation responses during rest or exercise did not differ between the groups, and thigh muscle width was similar. The authors concluded that the lack of animal protein did not impair the physiological response to submaximal exercise.

Vitamin and Minerals at a Glance

This B vitamin is necessary for DNA synthesis and for the formation and function of red blood cells deficiencies can lead to anemia. Because of its role in oxygen-bearing red blood cells, it has been suggested that additional B12 might improve performance in athletic events in which oxidative metabolism is important. However, there is no evidence that B12 supplements or injections improve performance. And B deficiency among athletes is rare. Since B12 is found only in animal-based products, vegan athletes need to take B12 supplements or include B12-fortified foods in their diets. Supplementing with large doses of other vitamins, such as vitamin C, may actually decrease vitamin B12 availability and lead to a B12 deficiency.

Summary And Conclusions

To ensure a practical approach based on type of diet, the multiple investigations on vegetarian children have been assembled in three groups of studies, i.e., Seventh-Day Adventist children, studies on vegan children, and studies on macrobiotic children. Of course, as Dwyer et al.49 also pointed out, the patterns of animal food avoidance in vegetarians may vary considerably from group to group. This is true within a particular category of vegetarians, such as lacto-ovo-vegetarians, as well as between the different types. A pure vegetarian or vegan diet does not seem to preclude optimal growth and development, provided a well-planned and balanced plant-based diet is followed with appropriate supplements of fortified foods. Even with careful balance, both the parents and the physician should be aware that growth might be slower than expected. This, however, does not mean that this slow growth can be equated per se with poor health. A macrobiotic diet is far more restrictive than a...

Macronutrients Energy

The relative increased need above nonpregnancy is greater for protein (54 increase) than for any other nutrient. However, because protein intakes tend to be high relative to needs in the nonpregnancy state, averaging approximately 60 g day for nonpregnant women 4 , inadequate protein intake is not common in the United States, even among pregnant women. However, vegans and women carrying multiple fetuses may need to pay close attention to their protein intakes.

Nutritional Adequacy of Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate when varied and adequate in kcalo-ries (except for vegan diets, which need supplementation with vitamin B ). Most vegetarians get enough protein, and their diets are typically lower in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. 1. Vitamin B12. Vitamin B- 2 is found only in animal foods. Lacto-ovo vegetarians usually get enough of this vitamin unless they limit their intake of dairy products and eggs. Vegans definitely need either a supplement or vitamin B12-fortified foods such as most ready-to-eat cereals, most meat analogs, some soy beverages, and some brands of nutritional yeasts. 2. Vitamin D. Milk is fortified with vitamin D, and vitamin D can be made in the skin with sunlight. Generally, only vegans without enough exposure to sunlight need a supplementary source of vitamin D. Some ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and some soy beverages are fortified with vitamin D. 3. Calcium. Lacto vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians generally don't have...

Meat and micronutrients Iron in meat

Groups at risk of vitamin Bj2 deficiency include vegans and strict vegetarians, because vitamin Bj2 is exclusively of animal origin, and the elderly, because their ability to absorb this vitamin from the diet diminishes with age (Allen and Casterline, 1994 Swain, 1995 Baik and Russell, 1999 Drake et al, 1999a). In the past some vitamin B12 was provided from the soil of poorly cleaned foods. This may in part explain the apparent absence of deficiency in some vegan groups. Today, with the emphasis on good food hygiene practices, this source can no longer protect against deficiency in vulnerable individuals. Vegans are recommended to take vitamin B12 supplements since the quantity consumed from foods fortified with the vitamin is too low (Jones, 1995 Draper, 1991 Sanders and Reddy, 1994). The RNI for vitamin Bj2 among the elderly is 1.5 mg day (Department of Health, 1991). A 100g portion of lean trimmed beef contains 2 mg vitamin B12, thus supplying all their daily needs for this...

Special Concerns For Athletes On Vegetarian Diets

Have intakes that fall below the added demands created by heavy exertion.39-65 Most athletes are able to meet these extra demands without protein supplementation by keeping dietary protein intake near 15 of total energy intake.65 The vegan athlete can achieve optimal protein intake by careful planning, with an emphasis on protein-rich plant foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grain products.

Vegetarian Nutrition References

Rauma, A.L., Nenonen, M., Helve, T., and Hanninen, O. Effect of a strict vegan diet on energy and nutrient intakes by Finnish rheumatoid patients. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 47, 747, 1993. 37. Sanders, T.A., Ellis, F.R., and Dickerson, J.W. Haematological studies on vegans. Br. J. Nutr., 40, 9, 1978. 75. Lau, E.M., Kwok, T., Woo, J., and Ho, S.C. Bone mineral density in Chinese elderly female vegetarians, vegans, lacto-vegetarians, and omnivores. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 52, 60, 1998. 111. Outila, T.A., Karkkainen, M.U., Seppanen, R.H., and Lamberg-Allardt, C.J. Dietary intake of vitamin D in premenopausal, healthy vegans was insufficient to maintain concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and intact parathyroid hormone within normal ranges during the winter in Finland. J. Am. Diet. Assoc., 100, 434, 2000. 120. Bar-Sella, P., Rakover, Y., and Ratner, D. Vitamin B-12 and folate levels in long-term vegans. Isr. J. Med Sci., 26, 309, 1990. 122. Campbell, M., Lofters, W.S., and Gibbs, W.N....

Lesson My Personal Diet

Perhaps I was predestined to be a raw-foodist. My ethnic heritage comes from Persia where there is a long history of raw-foodism and veganism. In fact, in the Persian language (Farsi) there is a specific term for a raw-foodist Khom Gia Khori (raw plant eater). This term is about as popular in Persia as the word vegan in the United States.

Meta Analysis of Nutritional Studies on Vegetarians

In 1954, Hardinge and Stare13 compared the nutritional status of strict vegetarians (vegans) and lacto-ovo vegetarians with non-vegetarians of southern California. No differences in height were reported, but vegetarians and especially vegans weighed about 10 kg less than the non-vegetarian counterparts. Since the publication of this landmark research, scores of similar small studies have been conducted comparing vegetarians from many countries with their non-vegetarian counterparts.14 Evidence from these small-sample-size studies of vegetarians indicates that BMI values are either similar to or lower than non-vegetarians. On these types of studies, however, differences between vegetarian and non-vegetarians were most likely minimized due to the selection criteria for study participants (i.e., matching on anthropometrics, ineligibility of obese people).

Dietary Pattern And Pregnancy Outcome

The first comprehensive study of pregnant vegetarians, including dietary intake, nutritional status and health history, was reported by Hardinge et al. in 1954.2 Although vegans were included in the larger study of which this was a part, none was pregnant consequently, comparisons were made between lacto-ovo-vegetarians (LOVs) and omnivores. There was no difference in height, weight, or weight gained during pregnancy and there were no serious delivery complications in either group. Birth weights and lengths were not significantly different. Nearly 20 years passed before Thomas and Ellis compared pregnancy outcome in 14 vegans (28 pregnancies) with 18 controls (41 pregnancies) in England.3 There were no significant differences in live births, still births, toxemia of pregnancy, or infant birth weight. More recently, a tendency toward lower birth weight in term infants was reported in British vegans.4 * Vegetarian as used in this chapter includes all types of vegetarian diets that may...


Vegetarian diets normally contain substantial amounts of potassium, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, copper, fiber, vitamins C, E, and K, and vitamin A (carotenoids). Since the different types of vegetarian diets are quite varied in their composition, nutrient concerns will vary from one to another. Appropriately planned vegan or LOV diets can be nutritionally adequate. However, there are significant nutritional concerns regarding vegetarian diets such as a strict macrobiotic diet. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans tend to consume sufficient protein in their diets. Even though vegetarians consume iron in a less bioavailable form (non-heme iron), the consumption of a well-balanced vegetarian diet is not associated with any greater risk of iron deficiency. Vegetarian females, especially vegans, tend to have a lower zinc intake and possibly a lower zinc status than omnivores. However, the zinc intake of vegetarian males, both LOV and vegan, appears to be adequate. Female vegans should be...

Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarianism is a general term encompassing diets that contain no food of animal origin ( vegan ) and plant-based diets that contain dairy products ( lactovegetarian ) or dairy products and eggs ( lacto-ovovegeta-rian ). Although meat is a concentrated source of energy, protein, iron, and zinc, it is not an absolute dietary requirement for humans. Lacto-ovovegetarian diets provide optimum nutrition if foods are carefully chosen. However, strict vegans need to be particularly careful when choosing foods or they may not obtain enough of several important micronu-trients. The potential deficiencies in vegetarian diets are as follows. Vitamins B12 and D are found only in animal products. Although certain vegetarian foods (such as miso, tempeh, seaweeds, and spi-rulina) have been recommended as potential sources of vitamin B12, they contain only compounds that resemble vitamin B12 but that are not active.35 Therefore, strict vegan diets need to include a vitamin B12 supplement and or...


Vegetarian athletes have a limited choice of protein sources, especially if they are vegan. These athletes would almost require the inclusion of soy protein in their diet to be able to consume an adequate protein intake. While it appears that soy protein may not be the ideal choice for maximal muscle PS, it has been shown to be viable as a sole source of dietary protein. Studies have been conducted where soy protein was used to replace other protein sources without negative effects on the subjects.66-73 However, these tests were conducted in nonexercising individuals. As shown by Phillips, soy protein may not be the optimal choice for athletes and those seeking increased muscle mass. Additionally, because both resistance and cardiovascular exercise alone can decrease cardiovascular risks,74 the benefits of including soy in the diet of an athlete may not be worth the potential decrease in attained muscle mass. However, sedentary persons may notice less of the diminished effect of soy...

Energy Intake

Vegetarians may be similar in weight to the general populace or weigh somewhat less.16 This is particularly true of vegans, who may weigh as much as 10-20 less than omnivores or LOVs.2,17 This may, in part, be due to dietary factors such as the higher intake of plant foods, which contain much more fiber and are usually less energy dense than animal food products, as well as the somewhat lower fat intake. Thus, some vegetarians may enter pregnancy at a lower weight for height and may need more careful monitoring of weight status. Birth weight among macrobiotic infants was positively associated with maternal weight gain in pregnancy, as it was in the recent study of LOVs.5,18 Although studies have reported birth weight of infants born to vegetarians, little is known about maternal energy intake and gestational weight gain in such populations. Energy intake was reported to be low in Hindu vegetarian women however, there was no evidence that it was lower than in Muslim women.14 Weight...


Vegetarians in Western countries typically fall into three main categories lacto-ovo-vegetarians (LOVs), vegans, or other vegetarians. LOVs use dairy products and eggs, but do not use meat, fish, or poultry. Many individuals, such as Seventh-Day Adventists, have been following LOV diets since the mid-1800s. They are less likely to have low intakes of vitamin B12 and calcium than other vegetarians. Those who follow traditional Western vegan diets use a wide variety of fruits, grains, nuts, legumes, and vegetables, but do not use meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products. This usually corresponds to a lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol than for omnivores or LOVs. Consequently, vegans have a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.2 Vegan diets are generally adequate except for the need for vitamin B12 supplementation. Some evidence suggests that female vegans may need to carefully plan their calcium intake to ensure optimal bone mass. This may necessitate the use of...


Two main categories of vegetarian diets can be distinguished. Neither meat, fish, nor poultry are consumed in these categories. The most lenient of the two is the lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV) diet, which allows for milk, dairy, and egg consumption. Lactovegetarians (LV), on the other hand, consume milk and dairy products, but do not eat eggs. The pure or strict vegetarian diet, usually referred to as the vegan diet, contains no food derived from animals. Often, the macrobiotic diet is ascribed to the vegan category of diets. However, followers of this largely spiritually based regimen may occasionally use some lean fish and meat. Typical macrobiotic dietary items such as unpolished rice and other whole grain cereals, seaweeds, soya products, and miso soup are eaten regularly, whereas fresh fruit and salads are avoided or used sparsely. This explanation is important because, in the last three decades, the numerous published studies examining the growth and development of vegetarian...

Omega Fatty Acids

Unsupplemented vegetarian diets contain little and vegan diets contain virtually no DHA or EPA these omega-3 fatty acids are mainly found in oily fish. Vegetarians' limited intakes of EPA and DHA are reflected in blood and breast milk concentrations. Lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans, including pregnant women 22 have lower blood concentrations of EPA and DHA than have nonvegetarians 68-70 . Breast milk concentrations of EPA and DHA reflect the amounts present in the mother's diet and are lower in breast milk of vegetarian and vegan women 71, 72 . microalgae-derived DHA either in liquid or vegan gelatin capsules. Eggs from hens fed DHA-rich microalgae are another potential source of DHA and have been effectively used to increase the DHA intake of pregnant women 79, 80 . Other foods that have been fortified with microalgae-derived DHA include soymilk, energy bars, yogurt, and veggie burgers 81 . One expert panel has recommended a DHA intake of 300 mg day in pregnancy and lactation 82 .

Vitamin B

Since vitamin B12 is well conserved in the body, it is difficult to become deficient from dietary factors alone, unless a person is a strict vegan and consumes a diet devoid of eggs and dairy for several years. Deficiency is usually observed when B12 absorption is hampered by disease or surgery to the stomach or ileum, damage to gastric mucosa by alcoholism, or prolonged use of anti-ulcer medications that affect secretion of intrinsic factor. Age-related decrease in stomach-acid production also reduces absorption of B12 in elderly persons. These groups are advised to consume fortified foods or take a supplemental form of vitamin B12. vegan person who consumes no animal products, including milk and honey


Legumes are an important source of protein for vegetarians, especially vegans. The protein in legumes is considered incomplete, however, and needs to be eaten in combination with whole grains to make a complete (high-quality) protein (e.g., green beans, lentils, and rice navy beans and barley soybeans and sesame seeds red beans and rice). Such combinations vegan person who consumes no animal products, including milk and honey


While lacto-ovo vegetarians include dairy products and eggs in a plant-based diet, vegans consume a plant-based diet exclusively. Some studies have shown that an exclusively plant-based diet may actually be detrimental to bone health. Bone density at the lumbar spine and femoral neck was measured using dual-photon absorptiometry in 258 postmenopausal Taiwanese vegetarian women.26 The vegans were found to be at a higher risk of exceeding lumbar spine fracture threshold and of being classified as having osteopenia of the femoral neck. They had lower protein intake than the lacto-ovo vegetarians, suggesting that total protein intake may be an important predictor of bone density. Similar findings were reported among premenopausal vegans.27 Vegans in this study not only had lower protein intake than LOV and non-vegetarians, but also had the lowest calcium to protein ratio among the three groups. Not all studies comparing vegetarians distinguish between vegans and LOV. Cross-sectional...

Diet And Evolution

Obviously different blood groups, races, and ethnic groups share different affinities for natural foods (e.g. northern Europeans tend to like green apples, southern Europeans tend to like red apples). Each group has different enzymatic capabilities to digest their traditional cooked staples. So there is a partial truth in the blood-type theory however, the blood-type theory makes no distinction between raw or cooked foods, nor dos it address blood type O's who thrive on a vegetarian, vegan, or raw-food diet - indicating a flaw in its reasoning.

Vitamin D

Vegetarians have been shown to have a lower mean intake of vitamin D and a lower mean serum vitamin D level. In a study of Finnish women, the dietary intake of vitamin D in vegans was found to be insufficient to maintain blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone within normal ranges during the winter.111 Both LOV and vegan premeno-pausal women had vitamin D intakes significantly lower than the omnivores. The vegans had significantly lower (12 ) bone mineral density (BMD) in the lumbar region of the spine than the omnivores, and the vegans' spinal BMD tended to be lower than the LOVs. In addition, BMD in the neck of the femur tended to be lower in the vegans. The higher levels of parathyroid hormone found in the vegans would indicate that low vitamin D levels had a negative effect on their BMD. The serum vitamin D levels of the vegans were lower, and their parathyroid hormones higher, throughout the year. The researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation or...

Lesson Teeth

One of the ways anthropologists date human fossils is by looking at skull teeth. The more modern the fossil, the more tooth decay. Analyses of striations on fossilized teeth show no decay or premature wear when homonids ate a raw-vegan diet. Most paleontologists agree that tooth decay coincided with the discovery of fire and accelerated with the advent of agriculture.

Vitamin B cobalamin

See Vitamin B 2 A Challenge for Vegans in chapter 20. Strict vegetarians, who eat no animal products, and the infants of vegan mothers are at risk for developing a vitamin B12 deficiency. This could cause severe anemia and irreversible nerve damage. The elderly also are at risk. Including foods fortified with vitamin B12 or dietary supplements can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. The Dietary Guidelines advise for people over age fifty, consume vitamin B12 in its crystalline form (e.g., fortified foods or supplements).

Be Aware of B

Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is one of the greatest nutritional challenges for vegans. Because vitamin B is most readily available from animal sources, vegetarians and vegans alike are at high risk for this nutrient deficiency, often referred to as pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 assists in the formation of blood and, because it helps to maintain the sheath that coats nerve fibers, is essential for the healthy functioning of the nervous system. The consequences of a vitamin B12 deficiency are dire and include an increased risk of heart disease, diminished exercise tolerance, excessive fatigue, and other signs and symptoms. While vitamin B12 is found in fortified products such as soy milk and cereals, many vegans tend to avoid these products. Vegans and individuals who avoid fortified foods must be diligent about taking a supplement. Some supplements and food items geared toward vegans claim to be potent sources of vitamin B12. Here are some food items that...


The American Dietetic Association and the IOM recommend that all pregnant women who smoke or abuse alcohol or drugs take MVMM supplements as should those with iron deficiency anemia or poor quality diets 2, 16 . This recommendation also applies to vegans and women carrying two or more fetuses. The recommended amounts of micronutrients in prenatal MVMM preparations are provided in Table 14.1. Care should always be taken that intake from these supplements not result in consumption of nutrient levels above the ULs set for pregnancy.


Appropriately planned vegetarians diets can be healthful and nutritionally adequate and are appropriate for use in pregnancy. Key nutrients for pregnant vegetarians include protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium and vitamin D (for vegans). Practitioners should be aware of good sources of these nutrients and be able to assess the need for supplements. Practitioners should also be able to provide current, accurate information about vegetarian nutrition and foods (see Tables 15.1-15.4).

Types of Vegetarians

There are several vegetarian eating styles. Most vegetarians consider themselves lacto-ovo vegetarians, meaning they generally eat dairy and egg products, but do not include meat, poultry, or fish in their diet. Lacto vegetarians eliminate all animal foods except dairy products. Total vegetarians, or vegans (pronounced VEE-guns), eliminate all animal products. Individuals who occasionally eat meat, poultry, or fish consider themselves semi-vegetarian.

Cobalamin vitamin B

Only microorganisms synthesise vitamin Bj2 and the vitamin gets into the food chain from the bacteria present in the digestive system of herbivores. Herbivores are then eaten by animals higher in the food chain. For humans, food sources of vitamin B12 include almost all animal products, certain algae and bacteria. Vitamin B12 is not present in vegetables or fruits. The dietary intake of vitamin B12 is about 5 mg day (Weir and Scott, 1998). The current RDA for Bj2 in most countries is between 1 and 20 mg day the British RNI are given in Table 3.1. Since food sources of vitamin B12 are limited to those of animal origin, vegetarians and especially vegans are at risk of becoming deficient and should take an oral supplement. Studies on these groups have shown evidence of biochemical deficiency such as raised concentrations of homocysteine and methylmalonic acid but no clinical evidence of anaemia or neuropathy. The exception is breastfed infants of vegans, who have developed neuropathy.


These include dairy products, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, legumes, and sea vegetables. While vegetarian adults in Western nations generally have somewhat lower riboflavin intakes than do omni-vores,77 they still have intakes of riboflavin above the U.S. RDAs (1.3 mg for males 1.1 mg for females). Vegans often report a lower riboflavin intake than omnivores or LOVs, but their intakes are still generally adequate.78 In a study of elderly women in California, the lacto-vegetarians reported slightly higher riboflavin intakes (1.46 mg d) than the omnivores (1.36 mg d).33 Many teenagers have a marginal riboflavin intake, possibly due to poor dietary choices. Among Canadian teenagers, slightly more lacto-vegetarians and semi-vegetarians had inadequate riboflavin intakes than did omnivores.48

High Risk Groups

A vegetarian diet can be a very healthy option. However, adolescents who follow a vegetarian diet, whether for religious or personal reasons, need to carefully plan their intake to get the protein and minerals they need. Strict vegetarians (those who do not eat eggs or dairy products), also known as vegans, may need nutritional supplements to meet their needs for calcium, vitamin B12, and iron.


Meat protein has a higher biological value than has plant protein because some of the amino acids are limiting in plant protein. For example, lysine is the limiting amino acid in wheat, tryptophan is the limiting amino acid in maize and sulphur-containing amino acids are limiting in soyabean. It is necessary for vegans and vegetarians to eat a wide variety of vegetable protein foods to provide the necessary amounts of each amino acid. Meat is a rich source of taurine. Taurine is considered to be an essential amino acid for newborns, as they seem to have a limited ability to synthesise it. Taurine concentrations in the breast milk of vegans were shown to be considerably lower than in omnivores (Rana and Sanders, 1986). The significance of this finding is unknown.


Although vegetarian diets are generally relatively rich in carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, they are not necessarily rich in selenium, another antioxidant nutrient. Selenium levels are high in fish and moderately high in meat, but the selenium content of plant foods is strongly determined by the selenium content of the soil. Some small studies have reported low selenium levels in vegetarians and vegans, for example, in Britain,64 Finland,65 and Slovakia,66 probably reflecting the low soil selenium levels in these countries.


Dietary iron intakes of vegetarian women of childbearing age vary with mean iron intakes of 11-15 mg day reported for lacto-ovo vegetarians and 14-23 mg day for vegans 2 . Mean dietary iron intakes of 13.8 mg day and 17 mg day have been reported in pregnant lacto-ovo vegetarians supplemental iron increased total mean iron intake to 57 mg day and 37 mg day, respectively 5, 21 .


Vegetarians and vegans typically attempt to fill the space for fat with cooked vegetables. Cooking densifies vegetation and gives the body the illusion of fullness and satiation that fat provides. Many non-raw-food vegans and vegetarians I have met, to me, look deficient in raw fat and overloaded on cooked vegetable starch. I have observed that a fat-deficient state coupled with sugar imbalances due to cooked starch can lead non-raw vegans and vegetarians back to animal foods to get fat for its own sake, and to get fat to slow the entry of sugar into the blood. For vegans and vegetarians, I recommend replacing cooked starch with cooked non-starchy vegetables (purple cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, artichoke), transitioning into The Raw-Food Diet, and including significantly more raw plant fat into the diet.

N Fatty Acids

Vegetarian diets are generally very low in long chain n-3 fatty acids. Eggs can provide significant amounts if the chickens are fed a diet high in a-linolenic acid, but most egg production in Western countries relies on feeds such as corn, which have a very high ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids and the resulting eggs are low in long chain n-3 fatty acids.74 Dairy products contain only trace amounts of long chain fatty acids, and plant foods none (with the exception of some algae). Vegetarian diets generally provide reasonable amounts of a-linolenic acid (about 1.5 mg day), but can also be very high in n-6 linoleic acid, which competes for the same enzymes. Tissue levels of long chain n-3 fatty acids are relatively low in vegetarians and vegans.59,75


Because vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods, infants of vegetarians (vegans) who are exclusively breast-fed may develop anemia and neurological problems due to vitamin B12 deficiency.11 Lactating women who are vegetarians should consider taking a vitamin-B12 supplement - the vitamin will then be passed to their infant in their milk.

Major Minerals

Dietary deficiency is unlikely for most major minerals, except in starving people or those with protein-energy malnutrition in developing countries, or people on poor diets for an extended period, such as those suffering from alcoholism, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia. Most people in the world consume a lot of salt, and it is recommended that they moderate their intake to prevent chronic diseases (high salt intake has been associated with an increased risk of death from stroke and cardiovascular disease). However, certain conditions, such as severe or prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, the use of diuretics, and some forms of kidney disease, lead to an increased loss of minerals, particularly sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium. Calcium intakes tend to be lower in women and vegans who do not consume dairy products. Elderly people with suboptimal diets are also at risk of mineral deficiencies because of decreased absorption and increased excretion of minerals in the urine.


And this is where my scientific interest in vegetarian diets began. On graduating from medicine (1942) I began teaching at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Although raised as a life-long vegetarian (lacto-ovo), I began to wonder if sound scientific investigation would vindicate such a diet's adequacy. In the fall of 1948, I enrolled as a graduate student in the Harvard School of Public Health. Doctor Fred Stare, then chairman of the department of nutrition, became my senior professor. My doctoral research was approved, and a comparative study of the nutritional status of vegetarians versus non-vegetarians began. Three groups were evaluated, namely, adults (men and women), adolescents (boys and girls), and pregnant women. Complete vegetarians (vegans), and lacto-ovo vegetarians (use milk and eggs but no fish or fowl) were compared with non-vegetarians.

Ann Reed Mangels

Summary A vegetarian diet, defined as an eating style that avoids meat, fish, and poultry, can be healthful and nutritionally adequate for a pregnant woman. Some vegetarians, called vegans, avoid dairy products and eggs as well as meat, fish, and poultry. Vegan diets can also be healthful and nutritionally adequate for pregnancy. Vegetarian diets can provide numerous long-term health benefits including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, and hypertension. Key nutrients for vegetarian pregnancy include protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarian women should also be counseled to follow standard weight gain recommendations. A vegetarian or vegan diet can meet requirements for all of these nutrients although in some instances, fortified foods or supplements can be especially useful in meeting recommendations. The nutrient content of supplements targeted to pregnant vegetarians should be evaluated to make sure...


Antioxidant intake of the vegetarian or vegan diet, as part of every meal, appears to promote a longer life-span for elderly subjects.9 The necessity of supplemental vitamin B12 and vitamin D for the elderly vegetarian or vegan might be construed as a problem, but less so than for the elderly omnivore, who has a longer list of required supplemental vitamins and minerals. The mineral advantage, in terms of a lower calcium requirement for elderly vegans, is possibly the biggest advantage of all, if they also have supplemental vitamin D. of the vegetarian or vegan lifestyles,115 and the vegan elderly have been noted to have elevated immune capability vs. omnivores.15,34 Dietary guidelines for the elderly emphasize consumption of high-quality, nutrient-rich foods.116 Table 11.2 illustrates the recognition that age-related changes in body composition and physiology change the elderly subjects' nutrient requirements.116 The elderly vegan can, for the most part, meet these demands with...

Body Mass Index

Key & Davey12 used data from approximately 4000 men and women collected in England for the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC study) to examine the relationship between obesity and meat intake. Subjects were classified as meat eaters if they ate any meat, as fish eaters if they did not eat meat but did eat fish, as vegetarians if they did not eat meat or fish but did eat dairy products or eggs, and as vegans if they did not eat any of these four categories of food. Among both men and women, mean BMI was highest among meat eaters, lowest among the vegans, and intermediate among the fish eaters and vegetarians. These differences in body mass index are equivalent to mean differences in weight between meat eaters and vegans of 5.9 kg in men and 4.7 kg in women. In the groups that did not eat meat, mean BMI was lower among those who had adhered to their diet for 5 or more years than among those who had adhered to their diet for a shorter period. According to...


Vegetarian categories nine out of 23 studies deal with lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV) subjects,19'21-23'25'27'28'37-38 five with vegan subjects,20-2639-41 three with macrobiotic (Mbiot) subjects1-2-24-47 and six with macrobiotic and LOV subjects.6-11 Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan lifelong 15 children did not mind eating non-vegan foods 2. vegan 2. Vegan Children In the '80s, two studies of vegan children who lived on The Farm, a strict vegetarian commune near Summertown, Tennessee, were reported in the scientific literature.26,39 With the exception of margarine, white sugar, infant A much larger study of 404 vegan children aged 4 months to 10 years in this community of plant-food eaters was conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The Farm.26 Eighty-three percent of these children had been vegans after weaning, eating no animal products at all. The results of this study show that most of the height, weight, and weight-for-height data were within the 25th and...


To heal the eyes, stop eating cooked fasts - especially animal fats. Large molecules of cooked fat, devoid of their lipase enzyme, can lodge in the fine capillaries of the eyes creating blockages and weakening the eye's fine-tuned motor muscles. John McCabe, in his excellent resource book Surgery Electives, cites a 1995 study of 2,000 people which linked the consumption of (cooked) saturated fat to blindness. He also concludes that a vegan diet can improve some vision imparities.

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