Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 11 August 2003 Issue
DIETETIC ASSOCIATIONS COMMEND VEGETARIANISM
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) together with Dieticians of Canada(DC) recently released a position paper recognizing health benefits of a vegetarian diet. The paper states that appropriately planned vegan and other
vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and appropriate for people of all ages, including infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant and lactating
women. Disease prevention benefits of vegetarianism are also noted, with vegetarians reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians; lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer. According to the associations, 2.5% of adults in the U.S. and 4% of adults in Canada follow vegetarian diets. Interest is vegetarianism appears to be increasing, with many restaurants and college food services routinely offering vegetarian meals (see also:
Dietetics professionals are said to have a responsibility
to support and encourage those who express an interest in a vegetarian diet.
An initial, one-month study has found that a low-fat vegetarian diet including soy, eggplant and almonds can reduce cholesterol levels about as much as widely used statin drugs. If the results bear out in more comprehensive studies, they could have broad implications for the millions of people with high cholesterol. Statin drugs are said to be effective but costly. The vegetarian group averaged a 28.6% drop in the type of cholesterol that can increase heart disease risk. In contrast, a low-fat diet only group had a corresponding drop of 8%.
"Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada: vegetarian diets," Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice, Summer 2003.
"Vegetarian Diet May Cut Cholesterol As Well As Drugs," Associated Press,
July 22, 2003.
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