Vegetarian Diets Deemed Healthy and Environmentally Safe

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These food plans are safe at all stages of life, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says.
These food plans are safe at all stages of life, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says.

HealthDay News -- According to a report published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarian diets are healthy for people of all ages, as well as the environment.

Studies show that vegetarians generally have lower risks of obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). 

The report also stressed another point: Vegetarian diets can be safe and healthy for people of any age.

The academy also noted that vegetarian and vegan diets can be safe during pregnancy and lactation. These diets can also be appropriate for athletes and the elderly.

According to the AND report, vegans should take supplemental vitamin B12. Vegetarians usually need supplements or B12-fortified foods, too, since their dairy intake may not supply enough of the nutrient. The new report also claims that the diets are kinder to the environment.

"Vegetarian diets leave a lighter carbon footprint," Susan Levin, RD, one of the report authors and director of nutrition education at the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC, told HealthDay.

Reference

Melina V, Craig W and Levin S. "Position Of The Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets". Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016. 116(12): 1970-1980. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.025

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