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Vegetarianism A Brief Overview. Objectives Define vegetarianism and associated terms Describe benefits of vegetarian diet Discuss nutrients of concern.

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Presentation on theme: "Vegetarianism A Brief Overview. Objectives Define vegetarianism and associated terms Describe benefits of vegetarian diet Discuss nutrients of concern."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vegetarianism A Brief Overview

2 Objectives Define vegetarianism and associated terms Describe benefits of vegetarian diet Discuss nutrients of concern in vegetarian diets

3 Vegetarian A general term used to describe people who exclude meat, poultry, fish, or other animal-derived foods from their diets. Vegetarians exhibit a wide diversity of dietary practices.

4 History of Vegetarian Vegetarian was coined in 1847 by Vegetarian Society of United Kingdom. enliven. The word vegetarian was derived from the Latin word vegetari which means enliven. Vegetarianism dates to ancient history where philosophers and religious gurus asked followers to avoid a flesh diet to acknowledge the sacredness of life.


6 Why Vegetarianism? Ecology – animal proteins require more land, energy, and water – Enough grain/soybean to feed 1.3 billion – 2500 gal of water/# vs. 25 gal/# of wheat Economics – plant foods less expensive Ethics – killing/confinement of animals Religious Beliefs p. 378

7 Will discuss only nutrition.

8 Types of Vegetarians Loacto-ovo: vegetarians who consume eggs, milk, and milk products Pesco: vegetarians who eat fish Vegans: vegetarians who rely exclusively on plant foods p. 378


10 Other Definitions Omnivores: people who have no formal restriction on the eating of any foods Macrobiotic diet: extremely restrictive diet limited to a few grains (brown rice, miso soup) and vegetables based on metaphysical beliefs

11 More Definitions Meat replacements: products made to look and taste like meat, fish, poultry Textured vegetable protein: processed soybeans used to make soy burgers, etc Tempeh: a fermented soybean food Tofu: a curd made from soybean; used in Asian & vegetarian dishes

12 Benefits of Vegetarianism Obesity Hypertension Heart Disease Cancer Diabetes Osteoporosis Diverticular Disease Gallstones Rheumatoid Arthritis Sabate, Forum of Nutrition, 56:218; 2003 Winston, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 25:613; 2010

13 Benefits of Vegetarianism Obesity – Vegetarians maintain lower, healthier body weight than non-vegetarians – Lower weight correlates with high intakes of fiber and low intakes of fat American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81:1267;2005 Hypertension – Vegetarians have lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension – Other factors impact hypertension Nutrition Reviews, 63:1;2005

14 Benefits of Vegetarianism Heart Disease – Incidence of heart disease much lower – Higher intakes of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, and fats Public Health Nutrition, 87:871;2004 Cancer – Significantly lower rates of cancer – Ratio of vegetables to meat may be most relevant dietary factor in prevention Forum of Nutrition, 59:130;2006

15 Other Possible Benefits Vegetarianism may help in the prevention of the following: Diabetes Osteoporosis Diverticular Disease Gallstones Rheumatoid Arthritis Leitzmann, Forum of Nutrition, 57:147; 2005

16 Nutrition Concerns Vitamin B 12 Omega-3 Fatty Acids Vitamin D Calcium Iron Zinc Protein

17 Nutrition Concerns Vitamin B 12 – Found only in animal-derived foods – Need fortified sources (soy milk, cereal) – Small amount in tempeh but inactive form – Small amount in seaweeds (nori, chlorella) but possible iodine toxicity Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Found in fatty fish – Need flaxseed, walnuts

18 Nutrition Concerns Vitamin D – Need fortified foods if inadequate exposure to sunlight – Important for infants, children, elderly Calcium – Lacto-ovo vegetarians similar to omnivores – Vegans need fortified juices, soy milk, and breakfast cereals – Important for children

19 Nutrition Concerns Iron – RDA for iron higher for vegetarians because plant iron (non-heme iron) is not as well absorbed – Body adjusts to absorb more plant iron – No more iron deficiency than omnivores? Zinc – Plant zinc not well absorbed – Soy interferes with absorption

20 Nutrition Concerns Protein – Vegetarian diets are low in high quality proteins (those containing all of the essential amino acids) – Use fortified meat replacements and textured vegetable proteins – Use complementary proteins

21 Complementary Proteins Definition: The combination of plant protein foods which when eaten together provide all the essential amino acids.

22 Vegetarian Diet Planning The more restricted the vegetarian diet is the greater the challenge is to achieve a nutritionally adequate diet. The goal for the vegetarian in diet planning is the same as the omnivore: consume a variety of foods to obtain all of the needed nutrients. Use the same diet planning principles.

23 Use a Vegetarian Pyramid Visit Vegetarian Resource Group


25 Summary Vegetarians described by what is omitted from the diet. Wide diversity of dietary practices. Several benefits to vegetarianism. Some nutrient concerns. Adequate dietary intake requires diet planning. Same diet planning principles as omnivores used.

26 Vegetarianism THE END!





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