Sunday, September 20, 2009

Newsflash: Vegetarian/Vegan Diets are Healthful According to the ADA

The American Dietetic Association released a report suitable for the “no duh” files. The July 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association states:

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.

The ADA also posits that vegetarian dieters are slimmer and have a lower risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Heart disease and cancer together kill over a million people in the United States each year. The full press release can be found here:

The classic food pyramid has often caused a disapproving snarl to appear on many vegetarians’ faces. The ADA’s study regarding vegetarian diets prompted a revised food pyramid, which can be found here along with suggestions to help vegetarians and vegans meet more challenging requirements for nutrients like vitamin B12 and calcium.

A survey by the ADA found that 40% of true vegetarians (those who never consume meat products) are indeed vegan. The ADA believes that the percentage of vegetarians will only continue to increase in the future.

Just in time for grilling season, the ADA has provided veggie burger and veggie dog statistics and information here:

Vegetarians might consider memorizing a few phrases such as “According to the ADA, vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle,” as a ready response when encountering omnivorous naysayers.

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