Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Pinterest Logo Nut Gourmet Blog Logo
only search Vegetarians in Paradise
VIP Bird
VIP Banner
Fill out your e-mail address to receive our newsletter!
*E-mail address:
*First Name:
Last Name:
Please let us know your location for special events:
USA:
Los Angeles:
International
(Outside USA):
Subscribe Unsubscribe
 



***************************************

Vegan for the Holidays


Click Here for Special Purchase Price


Contents
.

Translate This Page

sphere Homepage

sphere News from the Nest

sphere Zel Allen's NutGourmet Blog

About Us

Cookbooks

Food History/Nutrition/Recipes

sphere On the Highest Perch

Awards

Nutrition Information

Los Angeles Resources

Cooking Tips/Recipes

Guest Contributors

Books/Media Reviews

Directories

sphere Archive Index

sphere Contact Us

*Privacy Policy: When you subscribe to Vegetarians in Paradise (vegetarian e-zine) your email address will not be sold or rented, and will only be used to let you know in an email what's new in our monthy web magazine.

All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegetarianism in the News


March 1, 2005 -- Vegparadise News Bureau


American Heart Association
Approves Vegetarian Diet

After being derided, even ridiculed for much of the 20th Century, the vegetarian diet has now been elevated to a hallowed ground. The American Heart Association has positive things to say about it.

On its website at http://www.americanheart.org the organization responds to the question, "Are vegetarian diets healthful?" The group states," Most vegetarian diets are low in animal products. They're also usually lower than nonvegetarian diets in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and some forms of cancer."

The AHA does caution people on a vegetarian regimen to eat "enough important nutrients" and avoid too many calories.

To vegetarians who are often challenged about not receiving enough protein or told they are denying themselves quality animal protein, the heart association supplies information to the contrary. The AHA clearly states that neither animal nor plant protein is superior to the other. "You don't need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs."

Adding to the comments on protein, the organization says that soy protein has been proven equal to protein derived from animal sources and could even be the sole source of protein. The statement also points out that whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds, and nuts all contain essential and non-essential amino acids and need not be combined in any one meal.

Iron can be a concern in a vegetarian diet because the richest sources are in red meat, liver, and egg yolk. The group does acknowledge that these foods are also high in cholesterol. For vegetarians good plant sources of iron are dried beans, spinach, enriched products, brewer's yeast, and dried fruits.

Vitamin B12 is an important issue for vegans because it is found naturally in animal sources. Vegans can obtain this essential vitamin from fortified foods like cereals and soy beverages as well as supplements.

Vegans, constantly bombarded with the message that avoiding dairy products will lead to osteoporosis, will be heartened by the American Heart Association pronouncement on calcium. "Studies show that vegetarians absorb and retain more calcium from foods than nonvegetarians do. Vegetable greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and some legumes and soybean products, are good sources of calcium from plants."

Other nutrients necessary in a vegetarian diet include vitamin D and zinc. The association advises sunlight or a supplement to obtain the optimum amount of vitamin D. For zinc, needed for growth and development, it recommends plant sources like grains, nuts, and legumes. The AHA advises supplements with no more than 15 to 18 mg of zinc. A cautionary note says,"Supplements containing 50 mg or more may lower HDL ("good") cholesterol in some people."

The group's general dietary recommendations for all vegetarians, especially ovo and lacto-ovo, would be advisable even for nonvegetarians:

  • Keep your intake of sweets and fatty foods to a minimum. These foods are low in nutrients and high in calories.
  • Choose whole or unrefined grain products when possible, or use fortified or enriched cereal products.
  • Use a variety of fruits and vegetables, including foods that are good sources of vitamins A and C.
  • If you use milk or dairy products, choose fat-free/nonfat and low-fat varieties.
  • Eggs are high in cholesterol (213 mg per yolk), so monitor your use of them. Limit your cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg per day.

The one misfire on the American Heart Association Vegetarian Diets page is the description of the types of vegetarians. The group accurately characterize vegans, lactovegetarians, and lacto-ovo vegetarians, but the definition of semi-vegetarians is ludicrous. The AHA says, "Semi-vegetarians don't eat red meat but include chicken and fish with plant foods, dairy product and eggs." If semi-vegetarian is a valid category, society could also boast groups like semi-alcoholics and semi-drug users.

The American Heart Association is to be commended for its position on vegetarian diets. The AHA position is similar to that of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada who say, "Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."

It's about time that national organizations that have an influence on the dietary habits of Americans come to recognize the efficacy of a cholesterol-free vegetarian diet. The numerous studies detailing the health advantages of a vegetarian lifestyle have long been ignored by so many of the major players who influence what people eat. We would hope that organizations like the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, and even the United States Department of Agriculture would jump on the health bandwagon to extol the benefits of vegetarian eating.


Click here for News from the Nest Index


Vegetarians in Paradise

Homepage sphere Los Angeles Events Calendar sphere Our Mission sphere The Nut Gourmet sphere Vegan for the Holidays sphere Vegetarian Survival Kit sphere News from the Nest sphere Recipe Index sphere Los Angeles Vegetarian Restaurants sphere Vegetarian Basics 101 sphere Protein Basics sphere Calcium Basics sphere Ask Aunt Nettie sphere VeggieTaster Report sphere Vegetarian Reading sphere VegParadise Bookshelf sphereHeirloom Gardening sphere Cooking with Zel sphere Dining in Paradise sphere Cooking Beans & Grains sphere On the Highest Perch sphere Road to Vegetaria sphere Words from Other Birds sphere Using Your Bean sphere Ask the Vegan Athlete sphere Vegetarian Holiday Meals sphere Great Produce Hunt sphere Farmers' Markets sphere Natural Food Markets sphere Vegetarian Associations Directory sphere Links We Love sphere VegParadise Yellow Pages sphere Media Reviews sphere 24 Carrot Award sphere Vegetarian Food Companies sphere Archive Index sphere Contact Us

© 1999-2013 vegparadise.com