American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets Are Healthful

Vegetarian Diets Are Healthful

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.

That should silence any doubt out there about whether or not we need to eat animals to be healthy.  The American Dietetic Agency is conservative, and even they finally agree that eating veg isn’t just for hippie extremists.  Vegetarian diets are good, solid diets for everyone.

They note further that the diet is appropriate for all stages of the life cycle including infancy, childhood, pregnancy, during breastfeeding, and for athletes. In their position statement, they review the evidence for a vegetarian diet’s health promoting capacity. 

They note that vegetarians have a lower risk of death from heart attacks than non-vegetarians.  Vegetarians also have lower blood pressure, presumably leading to fewer strokes, and also less risk of late-onset diabetes than their animal eating counterparts.

People who follow a wholly plant based diet have lower overall cancer rates, and they weigh less than those who consume meat. The benefits of a vegetarian diet are thought to be due to a higher intake of fruits and vegetables that help the body to fight disease, a lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, and more fiber, whole grains, nuts, and soy products.

The American Dietetic Association finally echoes the wisdom of the yogis from centuries ago. As stated in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, all meat including fish is not recommended for perfect spiritual, physical, and mental health.

Are vegetarians healthier? Should I eat meat?

Dr David Stenholz: Pros and cons of a vegan diet

Is the vegan diet really good for you? When you should stop

The vegan diet may be a trend these days, but it does come with some health concerns that officials want you to take into account. Sure, eating healthy is something that many people want to do, but it can quickly go wrong when people stop listening to their bodies and start thinking too much in the healthy lanes to the point where it becomes unhealthy.

With any diet, it is important that you follow a certain pattern of eating, so you get all of the vitamins and nutrients you want and need for your body to function.

According to a new report, a vegan diet can become dangerous and you should listen to your body if you want to try this kind of diet. “Veganism can be a great diet for many people, but there are certain situations where it may not be best for someone’s optimal health,” says Boston-based dietitian Kate Scarlata, R.D.

Going vegan can be dangerous for some people, because people can quickly turn this way of eating into a disorder, where they become too focused on what they can and cannot eat. Orthorexia is an eating disorder which is characterized by an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. But there are signs if you are heading down the wrong track.

vegetables and fruits

If you are bloated, then something could be wrong

“I see a lot of patients who say, ‘I just turned 30, I’m going to eat like a grown-up now!’ So they start with the kale smoothies—but soon they feel even worse,” says Scarlata. Bloating is natural when you try different foods, as your body adjusts to it, but if it persists, then something is wrong.

“Sometimes bloating happens when you switch up your food, but if it persists for weeks, that may be a sign veganism isn’t the right diet for you,” says Scarlata.

Do you have a family history of osteoporosis?

You may want to reconsider this form of eating if you have a family history of osteoporosis. Dairy is the best source of calcium, so cutting it out means you’ve got to supplement in other ways. But you may need your milk and diary if you have a family history of osteoporosis.

“It may be harder for you to truly meet your nutritional needs for calcium,” says Scarlata. “Combined with your family history, even if you turn to supplements, it’s something to consider.”

You feel "tired all the time"

A diet should not make you feel sluggish either. The idea is that you have plenty of energy and ready to face the day. “We rely on heme iron, and that comes from animals,” says Scarlata.

“Vegan diets consist of non-heme irons, which aren’t absorbed by the blood as well.” If you are feeling tired and weak, consider eating some meat and iron.

Veg vs. non-veg diet debate

Vegetarian diet vs non-vegetarian diet is a crazy worldwide debate that has raged back and forth about the inadequacies of a veg diet versus hazards of a non-veg diet.

What's your take on vegan diets? Would a pure vegetarian diet be adequate to meet nutritional needs? What's YOUR opinion on this debate?

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