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sexta-feira, 1 de abril de 2011

Position of the American Dietetic Association

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. A vegetarian diet is defined
as one that does not include meat (including
fowl) or seafood, or products
containing those foods. This article
reviews the current data related to
key nutrients for vegetarians including
protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc,
iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and
B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current
recommendations for all of these
nutrients. In some cases, supplements
or fortified foods can provide useful
amounts of important nutrients. An evidence-
based review showed that vegetarian
diets can be nutritionally adequate
in pregnancy and result in
positive maternal and infant health
outcomes. The results of an evidencebased
review showed that a vegetarian
diet is associated with a lower risk
of death from ischemic heart disease.
Vegetarians also appear to have lower
low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels,
lower blood pressure, and lower
rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes
than nonvegetarians. Furthermore,
vegetarians tend to have a lower body
mass index and lower overall cancer
rates. Features of a vegetarian diet
that may reduce risk of chronic disease
include lower intakes of saturated fat
and cholesterol and higher intakes of
fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts,
soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals.
The variability of dietary practices
among vegetarians makes individual
assessment of dietary adequacy essential.
In addition to assessing dietary adequacy,
food and nutrition professionals
can also play key roles in educating
vegetarians about sources of specific
nutrients, food purchase and preparation,
and dietary modifications to meet
their needs.

J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:

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