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Following A Vegan Diet

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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General | Latest Info

For years, registered dietitians and food scientists alike have touted the perks of eating plants and cutting back on meat. And it seems people are catching on. A study published in Permanente Journal in the summer of 2016 notes that plant - base diets have gone mainstream partly because advantages have been well research and healthcare practitioners recommend this way of eating as many have seen incredible results from their patients. Maya Feller, CDN, dietitian based in Brooklyn, New York, and author of Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook, says it is also popular because it can reduce human environmental impact and many celebrities, including Beyonce and Tom Brady, have embraced this way of eating. Whether you are an animal lover, environmental advocate, or want to live your healthiest life, being plant base is one underlying thread that seems to be compelling so many of us, Feller say. Going plant base is not so much dieting as it is a general approach to eating. There is no need to count calories or stress about meeting certain macronutrient goals each day. In essence, it is simply about eating more plant - base foods. Vegetarian Diet Individuals who are Vegetarian may eat cheese, eggs, and milk, but they do not eat meat, such as chicken, pork, and beef. Instead of meat, they lean on plant - base protein. Vegan Diet these people choose to forgo animal products altogether and exclusively eat plants as part of their vegan lifestyle. Raw Vegan Diet Others may follow the aforementioned rules and eat only raw, plant - based foods. Flexitarian Diet Some people are more flexible. They try to simply cut down on their meat intake and eat a diet that is primarily filled with plants but with some animal products here and there. She says that for current meat eaters, dismissing animal foods across board can make mealtimes stressful and make it challenging to source micronutrients that are hard to come by in plant - base foods, such as B12 and iron. All people can benefit from health effects of increasing proportion of plants on their plates, Feller say. Here is what research has find.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Research

While generally higher in carbs, vegan diets were up to 2. 4 times more effective at improving blood sugar management in people with diabetes, compared to controlled diets. In 7 out of 8 studies, research shows that vegan diet improves glucose management more effectively than conventional diet, including those recommended by ADA, AHA, and NCEP. In the eighth study, researchers report that the vegan diet was as effective as the control diet. This may be due to higher fiber intake, which could blunt blood sugar response. Greater weight loss on a vegan diet may also help lower blood sugar levels.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Nutrients of Concern

Iodine Dietary Reference Intakes

AgeUS DRI (g)Upper Limit (g)
0-6 mos110A
7-12 mos130A
1-390200
4-890300
9-13120600
14-18150900
19+1501,100
18220900
182201,100
18290900
182901,100

While a vegan diet can be very nutrient - rich, there are few nutrients to be particularly aware of when adopting this style of eating: most notably Vitamin B12, calcium, certain Omega - 3 fatty acids and iron. Vitamin B12 is important for metabolism, heart, nerve and muscle health and it is mostly found in animal products. Those following a vegan diet should opt for foods fortified with B12. Moreover, individuals following a vegan diet should communicate with health care providers about monitoring their levels of B12 and their potential need for supplement, keeping in mind that deficiency in B12 could take years to manifest on blood test. Calcium is essential for dental, nerve, bone and muscle health and it is best absorbed with Vitamin D. This nutrient is found predominantly in dairy foods and in lesser amounts in leafy greens like kale and broccoli. It is also found in fortified foods, such as tofu, bread and plant - base dairy alternatives. A Systematic review found that individuals following a vegan or vegetarian diet had lower bone mineral density and higher fracture rates. Because calcium and Vitamin D are key to bone health, those on a vegan diet are advised to talk to their healthcare provider to determine whether supplements may be necessary. Iron is a vital component of metabolism and heart health. It is found mostly in animal foods. Although fortified whole grains, beans, lentils, spinach and other plant - base foods provide iron, it is in the form of non - heme iron, which is not as bioavailable as heme iron found in animal foods. Omega - 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat shown to support cardiovascular health. The three most common types we eat are Alpha - linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Ala is found in plant sources like flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts, but EPA and DHA are found mainly in animal foods with the exception of some marine plant sources. Ala is converted by our bodies into EPA and DHA, but only in small quantities. Vegan options for EPA and DHA are microalgae and seaweed food products or supplements. Interested in learning the basics of other food, nutrition and health topics? Check out our What Is series. This article includes contributions by Kris Sollid, and Ali Webster, PhD,

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

ALA Dietary Reference Intakes

AgeMale mg/dayFemale mg/day
1-3700700
4-8900900
9-131,2001,000
14+1,6001,100
Pregnancy1,400
Breastfeeding1,300

ALA Amounts in Plant Foods

FoodSizeALA mg
Chia seeds1 tsp713
Flaxseed oil1/4 tsp608
Flaxseeds - ground1 tsp570
A English (light brown) walnuts3 halves (1/5 oz)515
Soybeans - cooked1/2 cup500
Soy oil1-1/2 tsp450
Canola oil1 tsp433
Tofu - firm1 cup400
Tempeh1 cup400

Zinc

AgeUS DRI (mg)Upper Limit (mg)
0-6 mos24
7-12 mos35
1-337
4-8512
9-13823
14-18 male1134
14-18 female934
19 male1140
> 19 female840
14-181234
19-501140
14-181334
19-501240

Below are the U.S. recommended vitamin D intakes.

AgeUS DRI (IU)Upper Limit (IU)
0-6 mos4001,000
7-12 mos4001,500
1-36002,500
4-86003,000
9-706004,000
> 708004,000
> 146004,000

Below are the U.S. recommended calcium intakes.

AgeUS DRI (mg)Upper Limit (mg)
0-6 mos2001,000
7-12 mos2601,500
1-37002,500
4-81,0002,500
9-181,3003,000
19-501,0002,500
51-70 men1,0002,000
51-70 women1,2002,000
> 701,2002,000
14-181,3003,000
19-501,0002,500
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Types of vegetarian diets

Although vegetarian usually means plant - base, there are a few different types of vegetarian diets. What version of vegetarian diet a person follows depends on many things, including health, environmental, ethical, religious or economic reasons. Lacto - Ovo - vegetarian - people who do not eat any meat and seafood, but include dairy foods, eggs and plant foods. Lacto - vegetarian - people who do not eat meat, seafood and eggs, but include dairy foods and plant foods. Ovo - vegetarian - people who do not eat meat, seafood and dairy foods, but include eggs and plant foods. Vegan - people who avoid all animal foods and only eat plant foods. Two other diets that are not strictly vegetarian but still focus on reducing or limiting the amount of animal products eat are: pescetarian - people who do not eat any meat, but include seafood, dairy foods, eggs and plant foods. Flexitarian - people who mainly have a plant - base diet but that sometimes includes small portions of meat and seafood; sometimes also called semi - vegetarian. People following pescetarian or Flexitarian diets often do so to get health benefits of eating a largely vegetarian diet without giving up meat entirely.


Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Planning a healthy vegetarian diet

Table

NutrientExamples of plant-based food sources
CalciumVegetarians: Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese Vegetarians and vegans: Fortified soy milk or rice milk, fortified orange juice, tofu with added calcium, broccoli, beans, leafy green vegetables, almonds, almond butter, sesame seeds, soybeans
IronVegetarians: Eggs, enriched breads and pasta Vegetarians and vegans: Soy nuts, tofu, kale, spinach, beans, peanut butter
ProteinVegetarians: Eggs, milk and other dairy products Vegetarians and vegans: Lentils, beans, quinoa, oatmeal, nuts
Vitamin B12Vegetarians: Eggs, milk and other dairy products Vegetarians and vegans: Fortified soy milk or orange juice, fortified cereals

The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from eating meat, fish and poultry. People often adopt a vegetarian diet for religious or personal reasons, as well as ethical issues, such as animal rights. Others decide to become vegetarian for environmental reasons, as livestock production increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change and requires large amounts of water, energy and natural resources. There are several forms of vegetarianism, each of which differs in their restrictions. Lacto - ovo - vegetarian diet: eliminate meat, fish and poultry but allow eggs and dairy products. Lacto - vegetarian diet: eliminate meat, fish, poultry and eggs but allow dairy products. Ovo - vegetarian diet: eliminate meat, fish, poultry and dairy products but allow eggs. Pescetarian diet: eliminate meat and poultry but allow fish and sometimes eggs and dairy products. Vegan diet: Eliminates meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products, as well as other animal - derive products, such as honey. Flexitarian diet: mostly vegetarian diet that incorporates occasional meat, fish or poultry.


Types of vegetarian diets

When people think about a vegetarian diet, they typically think about a diet that doesn't include meat, poultry or fish. But vegetarian diets vary in what foods they include and exclude: lacto - vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are include. Ovo - vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs. Lacto - ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs. Pescatarian diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish. Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products and foods that contain these products. Some people follow a semivegetarian diet, also called flexitarian diet, which is primarily a plant - base diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.


Health Benefits

Switching to a vegetarian diet can be an effective strategy if youre looking to lose weight. In fact, one review of 12 studies notes that vegetarians, on average, experience 4. 5 more pounds of weight loss over 18 weeks than non - vegetarians. Similarly, six - month study in 74 people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that vegetarian diets were nearly twice as effective at reducing body weight than low - calorie diets. Plus, study of nearly 61 000 adults shows that vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index than omnivores. Bmi is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.


Potential Downsides

However, it may also increase your risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Meat, poultry and fish supply a good amount of protein and omega - 3 fatty acids, as well as micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron and vitamin B12. Other animal products like dairy and eggs also contain plenty of calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins. When cutting meat or other animal products from your diet, it is important to ensure you getting these essential nutrients from other sources. Studies show that vegetarians are at higher risk of protein, calcium, iron, iodine and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Nutritional deficiency in these key micronutrients can lead to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, anemia, bone loss and thyroid issues. Including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein sources and fortified foods is an easy way to ensure youre getting appropriate nutrition. Multivitamins and supplements are another option to quickly bump up your intake and compensate for potential deficiencies.


Foods to Eat

A vegetarian diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats and proteins. To replace protein provided by meat in your diet, include a variety of protein - rich plant foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, tempeh, tofu and seitan. If you follow the lacto - ovo - vegetarian diet, eggs and dairy can also boost your protein intake. Eating nutrient - dense whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will supply a range of important vitamins and minerals to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet. Few healthy foods to eat on a vegetarian diet are: fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, melons, pears, peaches Vegetables: Leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots Grains: Quinoa, barley, buckwheat, rice, oats Legumes: Lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts Seeds: Flaxseeds, chia and hemp Seeds Healthy fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocados Proteins: Tempeh, tofu, seitan, natto, nutritional yeast, spirulina, eggs, dairy products


A Diet Plan for Vegetarians

Many people are really worried about their weight and they wonder if the diets they are on are actually effective when it comes to weight loss. Is a vegetarian meal plan solution for erasing those extra pounds you are carrying? Here are various studies on whether vegetarian diets really do promote weight loss or not. Meta analysis on vegetarian diets and weight loss was done. Researchers included 12 randomized control trials with an average duration of18 weeks and had a total of 1151 participants. Results show that individuals assigned to vegetarian diets lose considerably more weight than those individuals who had non - vegetarian diets. People on a vegan diet lose more weight than people on a lacto - ovo - vegetarian diet. More weight loss was also experienced in individuals who were on vegetarian diets that follow energy restrictions as compared to those on vegetarian diets that do not follow energy restrictions. Another study was do on type of vegetarian diet, body weight and type 2 diabetes. This study analyzes data from a 2002 - 2006 survey of Seventh Day Adventist church members across North America. The population includes 22434 men and 38469 women. Analysis shows that vegans had the lowest body mass index. Their results were followed by lacto - ovo - vegetarians, pescatarians, semi - vegetarians and finally non - vegetarians. Non - vegetarians had the highest body mass index. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was lowest in vegans and highest in non - vegetarians.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Getting started

One of the most powerful steps you can take to improve your health, boost energy levels, and prevent chronic diseases is to move to a plant - base diet. If you have seen Forks Over Knives, you know that science shows changing your diet is a powerful way to live longer, help the environment, and reduce your risk of getting sick. Youre probably thinking that moving to a plant - base diet sounds like a great idea, but you dont know where to start. Dont worry, youre in right placeweve got tools, insight, and expertise to make change easy and enjoyable. Well answer your questions, provide helpful advice, and share techniques you need.


How To Start a Plant-Based Diet

There is a lot of misinformation out there and you will run into more than just one conversation about how unhealthy, complicated or useless a vegan diet is. We have all been taught that animal products are part of a proper diet and it is understandable that people around you are opposed to the idea of eating only plants. Whether its real concern, curiosity or being offended on their part, having a few facts on hand is always a good idea. Lots of huge organizations like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have stated that properly planned vegan diets are healthy for all stages of life, lots of doctors and dietitians recommend eating a plant - base diet for prevention of chronic diseases - plus there are anecdotes and real - life examples of people thriving on plants. On top of the aforementioned documentaries and YouTube videos, you can also grab some wonderful books about veganism and plant - base eating. Or just start by browsing our blog for some informational articles!

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Health Benefits

Studies show that vegans have better heart health and lower odds of having certain diseases. Those who skip meat have less chance of becoming obese or getting heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Vegans are also less likely to get diabetes and some kinds of cancer, especially cancers of GI tract and breast, ovaries, and uterus in women. Going vegan might even help you live longer, especially if you also cut down on your daily calories. Better weight control may be one reason for all of these health benefits. Vegans have a lower body mass index than people who eat animal - base products. Good nutrition is another perk. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are staples of the vegan diet. These foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and compounds that help protect against diseases like Diabetes and Cancer.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Risks

Those following a vegan diet may want to be extra careful to ensure they are consuming enough iron, zinc, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Omega - 3 fatty acids. Vegans are also at high risk of developing Vitamin - B12 deficiency that, if untreated, can potentially cause neurological effects that are irreversible. Following a vegan diet can be unsustainable for some individuals, so it's important to remember that it's not a diet that works for everyone. Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories. Like with any diet, veganism comes with benefits and drawbacks. And though veganism can be a healthy, sustainable diet for some, it's important to learn about any potential risks associated with this popular eating pattern before choosing to adhere to it. Here are some of the potential drawbacks of following a vegan diet.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Path to improved health

Table

NutrientExamples of plant-based food sources
CalciumVegetarians: Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese Vegetarians and vegans: Fortified soy milk or rice milk, fortified orange juice, tofu with added calcium, broccoli, beans, leafy green vegetables, almonds, almond butter, sesame seeds, soybeans
IronVegetarians: Eggs, enriched breads and pasta Vegetarians and vegans: Soy nuts, tofu, kale, spinach, beans, peanut butter
ProteinVegetarians: Eggs, milk and other dairy products Vegetarians and vegans: Lentils, beans, quinoa, oatmeal, nuts
Vitamin B12Vegetarians: Eggs, milk and other dairy products Vegetarians and vegans: Fortified soy milk or orange juice, fortified cereals

A well - planned Vegan Diet can offer you fulfillment of following your beliefs and may give you enjoyment of living a longer, healthier life. A vegan diet may provide health benefits, including: lower cholesterol levels. Lower blood pressure. Lower intake of saturated fats. More vital Nutrition. Decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Healthier body weights. The vegan lifestyle requires careful attention. It can be hard to get enough of vitamins and minerals found in animal products. You have to eat a balance of foods to avoid health risks. Focus on including nutrients below in your diet. Iron plays a key role in production of red blood cells. These cells help carry oxygen throughout your body. Good sources of iron include beans, broccoli, raisins, wheat, and tofu. Iron - fortified cereals are also are good source. Iron found in non - meat sources is harder to digest. You should eat foods rich in Vitamin C, such as oranges and broccoli. They help your body absorb iron. Protein is an important component for almost every part of your body. Your skin, bones, muscles and organs need protein to be healthy. Amino acids are building blocks of protein. Without meat and dairy, you still need to consume essential amino acids. Vegans can get protein from nuts, peanut butter, seeds, grains, and legumes. Non - animal products like tofu and soymilk also provide protein. Vegans have to consider getting enough complete proteins. Complete protein contains all the amino acids your body needs to help maintain your metabolism. Calcium builds strong bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. This is a disease that weakens your bones and can cause breaks. Soybeans and dark leafy greens, like broccoli, bok choy, and kale, contain calcium. You can also drink fortified soymilk and juices. Calcium Supplements are also available. Vitamin D also plays an important role in bone health. It helps your body absorb calcium and promotes bone growth. Your body produces some Vitamin D in response to sunlight. You should get 10 minutes of sun exposure 3 to 4 times a week, if possible. Base on where you live, this should be all Vitamin D you need. Make sure you always use safe practices in the sun. If you need more Vitamin D, look for fortified products. This includes soymilk, rice milk, and some cereals. Vitamin B12 helps produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in fish, shellfish, meat, and dairy products. Try to eat products that fortify with this vitamin. This includes soymilk and some cereals. Talk to your doctor about taking B12 supplement. Check the label to make sure it doesnt contain animal products. Zinc is vital to your immune system. You can find it in beans, nuts, and soy products. Omega - 3 fatty acids improve your heart health and brain function. Flaxseed meal and oil are two sources. You should also look for food products fortified with omega - 3 from plant source.S Talk to your doctor about taking omega - 3 supplement.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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