Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vegetarian Diets Get the Nod from the ADA

The American Dietetic Association has had a positive position on vegetarian diets for well over a decade, possibly longer, with the publication of their position paper in 1997 (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, November 1997, Volume 97, Number 11).

Well, now they've reaffirmed that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet is "appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes" (Volume 109, Issue 7, Pages 1266-1282) I think the inclusion of "all stages of life" is very important. While most people are now accepting of vegetarian diets for adults, vegetarian--and especially vegan--diets for children and pregnant women are still frequently frowned on.

Another keyword here is 'well-planned'. Simply substituing lettuce, broccoli or rice for the traditional meat on your plate doesn't cut it nutritionally. But well-planned doesn't have to mean complicated. Here are a couple of tips from the folks at Vegetarian Nutrition and the Toronto Vegetarian Association.

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