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DISADVANTAGES OF A VEGETARIAN DIET

الكلية كلية التمريض     القسم قسم التمريض العام     المرحلة 2
أستاذ المادة سلمى كاظم جهاد الابراهيمي       19/04/2014 20:20:47




DISADVANTAGES OF A VEGETARIAN DIET
Protein Deficiency
Include dairy products, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds in your diet to make sure you re getting enough protein from various plant-based sources. One possible disadvantage of a vegetarian diet is a protein deficiency. Since vegetarians do not eat meat and meat is a primary source of protein in most humans diets, it s conceivable that a vegetarian could have difficulty getting the recommended daily amount of protein.
Mineral Deficiencies
Follow a vegetarian food pyramid or eating recommendations from your doctor to make sure that you re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need in your daily diet. The Mayo Clinic states that as diets become more restrictive, it becomes more difficult for those who follow them to get a healthy balance of nutrients and vitamins. If a vegetarian is lactose-intolerant and does not eat dairy products, for example, that person becomes susceptible to calcium deficiency or vitamin B-12 deficiency. vegetarians are also deficient in zinc, iron and vitamin D.
How many people follow vegetarian and vegan diets?
About five per cent of the UK population consider themselves to be vegetarian, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. That s about 3 million people, with women more likely to call themselves vegetarian than men. The figure for vegans is smaller - consumer surveys suggest they make up about one per cent of the UK population.
People choose to follow vegetarian and vegan diets for a variety of social, religious, lifestyle, moral, environmental and health reasons.
What is a vegetarian and vegan diet?
Strictly speaking, a vegetarian diet is one that includes only cereal products, nuts, seeds, and fruit and vegetables, and may or may not include the use of dairy products and eggs. Vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or foods containing meat products.
Vegans will not eat dairy products, eggs or any other food derived from animals.
Probably the most common type in the UK are lacto-ovo vegetarians, who include eggs and dairy products in their diet. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs.
For both vegetarians and vegans, avoiding certain products can be tricky. For example, animal fat and ingredients such as gelatine may be used in manufactured foods. Rennet, which is extracted from the stomach lining of cows, is often used in cheese making.
In many cases, there are vegetarian alternatives to these ingredients so, if you are considering a vegetarian or vegan diet, it s well worth taking some time to read food labels.
There are also several variations on the above diets. Pescatarians will include fish and/or shellfish in their diet, and semi or demi-vegetarians will occasionally include meat or poultry. The more foods that are excluded, the greater the care that s needed to ensure a balanced diet.
Nutrient intake
Vegetarians should follow the same healthy eating guidelines as meat eaters, as outlined by the eatwell plate . They should choose foods from all the main food groups, including alternative sources of protein such as low-fat dairy products, eggs and pulses.
Several large studies have examined the nutrient intake of vegetarians and meat eaters, and most have shown no difference in nutrient intake. Vegetarian or vegan diets may be more healthy or less healthy than diets of meat eaters, depending on specific food choices.
Protein
Following a vegetarian diet involves more than just avoiding meat and meat products. A sensible non-meat eater s diet contains alternative sources of non-meat protein. This shouldn t just be limited to dairy products but can include other sources of protein such as pulses (for example, lentils), nuts and seeds, beans, eggs, soya products such as tofu, and vegetable protein foods.
Eating a variety of non-meat protein foods will ensure you get all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) your body requires.
Iron
The most easily absorbed iron is found in meat. Iron from plant foods is less well absorbed, which may increase your risk of iron deficiency. But with good food choices, the risk of iron deficiency should be no greater for vegetarians than for meat eaters.
Selenium
Selenium is an antioxidant found in meat and fish, and non-meat sources include Brazil nuts, seeds, grains, soya beans and mushrooms. The selenium content of plant foods can depend on how much selenium is present in the soil they re grown in.
This may partly explain why some studies have shown selenium is in short supply in vegetarian diets, while other studies have shown vegetarian diets provide adequate amounts of selenium.
Calcium
Dairy products are a major source of calcium in the diet. Calcium from plant foods isn t so well absorbed. For vegans, calcium-fortified foods such as fortified soya milk may be useful.
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found predominantly in meat. There are some non-meat dietary sources such as miso and tempeh, but they appear not to be as useful to the body as the B12 found in meat. Only very small amounts of B12 are required, but it s important for vegans to include a reliable source of vitamin B12 in their diet, which could include:
• Fortified yeast extract
• Fortified breakfast cereals
• Fortified soya milk or rice milk
• Fortified soya protein
Vegetarian diet and health
Well-planned vegetarian diets boost the intake of fibre, and fruit and vegetables, and are generally lower in saturated fat. This dietary pattern helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Several studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans are more likely to adopt other healthier lifestyle habits, such as being more physically active and not smoking. Together, these various factors help to explain why a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often linked to improved health.
Are vegetarian diets suitable for all?
Vegetarian diets can meet the nutrient requirements of different groups of the population such as children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and older people, provided they re well planned.
If you re already a vegetarian or vegan, or are planning to stop eating meat and meat products, it s worth thinking about what foods you need to eat to ensure you have all the nutrients required for good health.
How many calories a day for men women and children?
Here are some examples for all age groups, with guidelines for weight loss or weight maintenance. It depends on your body weight, body composition, level of activity, and health status. It also depends on whether you want to:

lose weight
maintain weight
gain weight.

If in doubt, consult with your physician or medical adviser. As we do not know your health status, general guidelines are given.

FIRST, CALORIE COUNTS FOR ADULTS to maintain weight (then we move on to weight loss, then we move on to children):
2,500 calories per day for men (more if you are very active)
2,000 calories per day for women (more if you are very active)
2,500 in the third trimester of pregnancy.

For the free vegetable and fruit calorie charts that are used as daily guides for either weight loss or weight maintenance, see the page links, further down this page, listed under Sources and Related Links.

In addition, where your calories come from is crucial. For either good health, weight loss, or weight maintenance, avoid getting your calories from refined processed carbohydrates. For good health, weight loss, or weight maintenance, strictly limit refined processed carbohydrates (apart from the occasional treat). Refined processed carbohydrates are a major cause of heart disease, excess stomach fat, insulin resistance, heart disease, hypertension, weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and many diet related diseases.


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