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Overall, results suggest that vegan diets might reduce the risk of premature mortality, NCDs, and excessive weight gain. However, the health benefits of any diet partly depend on the variety of foods consumed and the way in which food is stored, processed, and prepared Variety is important because the chemical and physical properties of individual food components interact to alter our ability to digest, absorb, and release nutrients from foods.
For example, vitamin C in fruits and vegetables enhances the absorption of nonheme iron from plant-sourced foods 48 , whereas lactose and vitamin D increase the absorption of calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B, folate, magnesium, and zinc However, some foods e. In some cases e. Human health depends on the consumption of a wide range of macronutrients and micronutrients, some of which may be difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities from plant sources alone 54 , Although low serum vitamin D concentrations are common irrespective of diet type, risk is higher among people who consume vegan diets or do not consume milk or dairy While some studies report higher intakes of dietary iron among people who consume vegan and vegetarian diets, plasma ferritin and hemoglobin concentrations often remain low, leading to an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia 62 , 64 , This is partly because plant sources predominantly contain nonheme iron, which has a lower bioavailability than animal-sourced heme iron 62 , but also because plants contain iron-absorption inhibitors, such as phenolic compounds, oxalates, and phytates A modeling study designed to assess the nutritional benefits of switching from unregulated diets i.
Similarly, a modeling study designed to generate sustainable healthy diets for adults in the Netherlands found that, whereas flexitarian diets met nutrient needs, vegetarian and vegan diets did not provide sufficient n—3 fatty acids, and the vegan diet only met requirements for vitamin B and calcium through high intakes of fortified soy drinks e.
Flexitarian diets may be particularly beneficial for populations who require high intakes of certain nutrients e. The WHO advises that infants should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 mo of life and alongside complementary food ideally until 2 y of age The duration of breastfeeding varies considerably between countries and regions, with some infants not being breastfed at all and others being breastfed longer than 2 y of age.
Cases of vitamin D deficiency—related bone fracture , hypocalcemia leading to seizures, severe anemia, respiratory distress with metabolic alkalosis, growth retardation, and even death have been reported among infants following restrictive diets due to food allergies 99 and inadequate vegan diets without fortified plant-based alternatives In particular, meat should be replaced with greater intakes of iron- and protein-rich plant-based alternatives, such as pulses, legumes, tofu, and nut butters, and fortified flours and cereals should be used in preference Table 3.
While nonorganic fortified plant-based alternatives are similar in calcium content to cow-milk products, these products vary in other micronutrient additions and they are generally lower in energy and significantly lower in protein, except for soy-based alternatives. Parents should be strongly dissuaded from making their own plant-based drinks, which are nutritionally inferior to those that are fortified. A survey conducted in Italy found that almost one-quarter Consistent with these observations, a survey of HCPs found that Where possible, families should be referred to a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Infants, children, and especially adolescents who experience rapid growth at puberty require more energy and nutrients per kilogram of body weight than adults to ensure normal growth rate and development of neural, endocrine, and immunological systems , This might prove challenging for smaller children with limited stomach capacity and for adolescents with very high nutritional demands.
Primary health concerns for vegan or vegetarian children and adolescents include lower than recommended intakes of vitamin B required for RBC formation, nerve function , zinc growth and sexual development , calcium skeletal growth , iodine physical and neurological development , and n—3 fatty acids healthy neurological function and eyesight Table 3 , — As for other populations, the incidence of iron deficiency among vegan or vegetarian children and adolescents is high, with the prevalence of low ferritin concentrations ranging from 4.
However, the vegan group failed to achieve RNIs for iodine, vitamin B, and calcium; both the vegetarian and vegan groups failed to achieve the RNI for selenium; and all 3 groups failed to achieve RNIs for iron.
However, iodine supplements and iodized salt may not increase iodine concentrations in the blood to adequate concentrations and iodine is not always fortified in nondairy drinks , Compared with men, women of reproductive age have considerably higher RNIs for iron due to blood losses during menstruation. A study in Australian women found that the highest rates of iron deficiency or anemia were observed among people consuming vegetarian diets Compared with Western diets, plant-based diets in HICs are associated with a reduced risk of excess maternal weight gain during pregnancy and lower rates of pre-eclampsia — and gestational diabetes 92—94 , In contrast, vegan diets in HICs have been linked to small-for-gestational-age SGA newborns and lower birth weights 68—71 , whereas plant-based diets in LMICs have led to low birth weights, fetal neurological disabilities, and malformations Further studies are required to determine whether plant-sourced dairy alternatives have similar benefits for vegans.
Nutritional guidelines recommend that all women should receive iron supplements to avoid anemia and folic acid supplements to avoid neural tube defects before, during, and after pregnancy and that increased energy intakes are required from the second trimester 91 , Compared with Western diets, plant-based diets have been associated with improved physical fitness and cognition among elderly populations, and increased longevity — The inclusion of small amounts of meat in the diet will also help maintain vitamin B concentrations, which tend to decrease with age This is important because a diverse microbiome is essential for our digestive, metabolic, immune, and mental health, and helps modulate the risk of chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, inflammatory disorders, and autism , Plant-based diets foster greater microbial diversity than Western diets due to increased fiber intake , However, diversity can be further increased through the consumption of probiotic and fermented foods e.
However, further work is required to establish whether plant-based diets increase the risk of mental health disorders or whether people with mental disorders choose these diets as a form of self-protective behavior The effects of food production on climate change have led to decreased agricultural yields and increased food insecurity in some regions of the world This, together with the burgeoning worldwide population, means that current food systems are unsustainable.
According to the WRI, a combination of changes will be required to reduce the impact of our diets on the environment, including a shift in our food choices, changes in food production sourcing and transformation , and reductions in food losses and waste However, emissions vary within this food group, with meat, fish, and eggs accounting for 2 to 3 times more GHGEs per kcal of energy than milk and cheese and beef accounting for considerably greater GHGEs per unit of protein or kilogram of edible food than pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk Figure 1 , This is largely because ruminants produce methane, but also because beef cattle produce greater volumes of nitrogen and phosphorus manure and require up to 28 times more land than all other animals including dairy cattle combined , Greenhouse gas emissions in the production of foods.
Values shown in the boxplots are minimum and maximum values, IQRs rectangle borders , and medians line inside the rectangle. CO 2 e, CO 2 equivalents; n, number of studies included.
Reproduced with permission from reference ; adapted from reference with permission. According to these assessments, the reductions in GHGEs achieved by shifting from animal-sourced foods to plant-sourced alternatives are often offset by the environmental impacts of transporting out-of-season fruits and vegetables across the world, especially when transported by air Similarly, the benefits of reducing GHGEs and land use by replacing animal-sourced foods with isoenergetic volumes of nuts, fruits, and vegetables are reduced for plant-sourced foods that are produced in greenhouses or in climates that require large volumes of freshwater for irrigation This suggests that, while animal-sourced foods especially red meat have a more negative impact on the environment than plant-sourced foods in terms of GHGEs, the impact of flexitarian diets that respect regionality and seasonality i.
The food life cycle and burden on environmental resources. The global consumption of red meat is projected to increase from approximately million metric tons MMT in to more than MMT by To meet this demand, the expansion of cattle farms has led to large-scale deforestation in some of the most biodiverse regions of the world, with devastating effects on climate change and biodiversity 6 , This is important because the production of animal feeds increases the requirement for land, fertilizer, and water and places cattle in direct competition with humans for nutrition.
In addition to land and water use, the expansion of livestock and cattle feed farms has led to eutrophication of freshwater rivers and lakes, and acidification of seawater due to nitrogen and phosphorus leaching from manure and excessive use of fertilizers on animal feed farms In terms of plant-sourced foods, agricultural practices increasingly rely on the use of chemical fertilizers to restore nutrients to the soil, thereby enabling farmers to plant just 1 crop, without the need for rotational cropping i.
Although monocropping can result in higher food yields and lower prices in the short term, it is also associated with deforestation, poor soil quality, and reduced biodiversity and food security in the long term However, the benefits of organic farming are typically offset by the need for more land due to lower yields.
Mixed-farming strategies that combine animal farms with crop agriculture can improve our land use while enabling farmers to recycle plant and animal waste into natural fertilizers for crops, thereby reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and reducing eutrophication.
Overall, data suggest that the environmental impact of foods varies depending on the way in which they are produced and that the impact of both animal-sourced foods and plant-sourced foods can be reduced by changing the way in which food is produced. Food losses food lost during production and food waste food produced but not used have a major impact on the environment , Food losses are more common in LMICs than in HICs due to increased rates of animal mortality, crop failure, and inadequate farm storage facilities Compared with animal-sourced foods, plant-sourced foods especially fruits and vegetables are associated with greater food waste, but less land waste , , Consistent with this observation, a study conducted among Canadian families found that daily per capita fruit and vegetable waste increased as the quality of the parental diet improved However, whereas GHGEs and nitrogen application were reduced in all countries, land use, freshwater use, and phosphorus applications were reduced in high- to middle-income countries but increased in low-income countries LICs due to differences in crop yields and agricultural inputs fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation.
Percentage change in environmental impacts for different diet scenarios worldwide in Environmental impacts were estimated using a model that combines regional food consumption, production and country-specific environmental footprints for greenhouse gas emissions, cropland use, freshwater use, and nitrogen and phosphorus application, taking into account trade, feed, and processing of primary commodities. Accessibility and affordability of nutritious diets vary between countries.
For example, vegetables, fruits, and certain nuts excluding peanuts that are high in essential nutrients are often less affordable in LMICs than in HICs. Greater efforts are required to ensure that affordable and nutritious foods are evenly distributed across the world.
This suggests that sustainable healthy diets account for a small proportion of average income in HICs and are generally similar or less expensive than national diets 13 , , In contrast, EAT Lancet diets can be 1.
A study assessing food prices in Switzerland in found that vegetarian and flexitarian diets were slightly cheaper than vegan and pescatarian diets Figure 4 However, further studies are required to determine whether this relationship applies to other countries. The acceptability of different foods depends on nutritional and environmental factors as well as functionality convenience, availability, packaging, durability , socialization family, friends, habits , sensory attributes taste and texture , culture traditions, religions , and context place, time, and company However, people's notions of acceptability vary between countries and cultures.
Whereas consumers in Europe are moderately open to substituting meat with dairy, fish, and eggs, they are less keen to replace meat with plant-sourced alternatives and even more unwilling to try novel foods, such as insects or synthetic meat , However, trends are changing in both regions 9 , To minimize the number of food changes thereby maximizing acceptability and the likelihood of long-term compliance with recommended dietary changes , sustainable healthy diets are often optimized for different countries 12 , 13 , 33 , 81 , , — However, energy and nutrient requirements vary between populations and, without careful adjustment, recommended diets might not be suitable for populations with different energy or nutrient needs.
Consequently, modeling studies are beginning to emerge that optimize country-specific sustainable healthy diets for different populations. Population-specific recommendations are available for children over 9 y of age, adolescents, women, the elderly, and vegans 12 , 54 , — Compared with Western diets, plant-based diets can reduce the risk of obesity, NCDs, and premature mortality while reducing the impact of food production on the environment Table 1. However, without professional supervision, traditional plant-based diets i.
Greater efforts are required to ensure that HCPs receive adequate nutritional training and that nutritional support is available for people following these diets across the world. Further studies are required to define more precisely optimal sustainable healthy diets taking into account the 4 pillars underlying these diets for different populations and to ensure that diets are accessible to people in LMICs as well as in HICs.
This article was based on discussions held during a workshop dedicated to healthy and sustainable diets, during which PVV, OG, JH, and SD presented background information and all authors discussed key concepts and identified the need to compare the different types of plant-based diets in terms of health and nutrition, affordability and accessibility, cultural acceptability, and the environment.
Tables were provided by RM and SD. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript, and read and approved the final manuscript. Author disclosures: OG is a member of the board of Danone Institute International, a nonprofit organization.
She has also received an honorarium from Danone Institute International for presenting at an international meeting and support for attending meetings from Health Canada, Danone Institute International, and the Canadian Nutrition Society.
He also reports payments or small honoraria for public presentations, manuscript writing, or educational events from Danone Institute International. Perspective articles allow authors to take a position on a topic of current major importance or controversy in the field of nutrition. As such, these articles could include statements based on author opinions or point of view. Opinions expressed in Perspective articles are those of the author and are not attributable to the funder s or the sponsor s or the publisher, Editor, or Editorial Board of Advances in Nutrition.
Individuals with different positions on the topic of a Perspective are invited to submit their comments in the form of a Perspectives article or in a Letter to the Editor. Adv Nutr. Published online Nov Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. Address correspondence to LAM e-mail: se. For commercial re-use, please contact moc.
This article has been corrected. See Adv Nutr. ABSTRACT The global adoption of predominantly plant-based, sustainable, healthy diets will help reduce the risk of obesity- and malnutrition-related noncommunicable diseases while protecting the future health of our planet.
Keywords: sustainable healthy diets, flexitarian, territorial diversified diet, plant-based diets, vegan, vegetarian, environment. Introduction What we eat has a major impact on our health and the health of our planet. Diet Definition Benefits Limitations Suitable for? Western-style diet Omnivorous diet 2 that typically includes high intakes of animal-sourced foods, highly processed foods and lower-than-recommended intakes of plant-sourced foods 2 Affordable and easily accessible in HICs; increasingly accessible in LMICs.
May be more acceptable and easier to maintain for people switching from Western diets to sustainable healthy diets in HICs. Might not be appropriate for certain populations due to religious, cultural, or ethical beliefs or for people with food e. Environmental impact may be reduced compared with some flexitarian diets due to the inclusion of large quantities of seasonal, locally sourced foods.
People wishing to transition from a Western diet to a sustainable healthy diet, who might struggle to maintain a vegan diet or have religious, cultural, or ethical beliefs that exclude flexitarian diets.
Open in a separate window. Limitations of plant-based diets Human health depends on the consumption of a wide range of macronutrients and micronutrients, some of which may be difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities from plant sources alone 54 , Because the recommended nutrient intakes differ by age and sex, population-level average values were calculated using the age and sex structure based on data from the Global Burden of Disease project and forward projections by the UN Population Division.
Estimates of recommended energy intake account for the age- and sex-specific energy needs for a moderately active population with US height as an upper bound and include the energy costs of pregnancy and lactation. Infants The WHO advises that infants should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 mo of life and alongside complementary food ideally until 2 y of age Children and adolescents Infants, children, and especially adolescents who experience rapid growth at puberty require more energy and nutrients per kilogram of body weight than adults to ensure normal growth rate and development of neural, endocrine, and immunological systems , Pregnancy Compared with Western diets, plant-based diets in HICs are associated with a reduced risk of excess maternal weight gain during pregnancy and lower rates of pre-eclampsia — and gestational diabetes 92—94 , Older adults Compared with Western diets, plant-based diets have been associated with improved physical fitness and cognition among elderly populations, and increased longevity — Food production The global consumption of red meat is projected to increase from approximately million metric tons MMT in to more than MMT by Food losses and waste Food losses food lost during production and food waste food produced but not used have a major impact on the environment , Affordability and accessibility Accessibility and affordability of nutritious diets vary between countries.
Acceptability The acceptability of different foods depends on nutritional and environmental factors as well as functionality convenience, availability, packaging, durability , socialization family, friends, habits , sensory attributes taste and texture , culture traditions, religions , and context place, time, and company References 1.
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Towards a low carbon, healthy and affordable diet [Internet]. Derbyshire EJ. Flexitarian diets and health: a review of the evidence-based literature. Front Nutr. Health and nutritional aspects of sustainable diet strategies and their association with environmental impacts: a global modelling analysis with country-level detail. Lancet Planet Health. Territorial and sustainable healthy diets. Food Nutr Bull. Sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets: the transformation agenda.
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Proc Nutr Soc. Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. Vegetarian diets and incidence of diabetes in the Adventist Health Study Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. Type of vegetarian diet, obesity and diabetes in adult Indian population. Nutr J. Vegetarian dietary patterns are associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome: the adventist health study 2.
Mediterranean-type diets and inflammatory markers in patients with coronary heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Res. Blood pressure of omnivorous and semi-vegetarian postmenopausal women and their relationship with dietary and hair concentrations of essential and toxic metals.
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Clin Nutr. Vegetarian dietary patterns and the risk of breast cancer in a low-risk population. Br J Nutr. Are strict vegetarians protected against prostate cancer? Am J Clin Nutr. Diet and colorectal cancer incidence—reply. A plant-based diet for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment. J Geriatr Cardiol. Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: a randomized controlled trial of five different diets.
Vegetarian diets and weight reduction: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Gen Intern Med. Weight gain over 5 years in 21, meat-eating, fish-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men and women in EPIC-Oxford. Int J Obes. Risk of overweight and obesity among semivegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women. How does the health and well-being of young Australian vegetarian and semi-vegetarian women compare with non-vegetarians?
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Lycopene, polyphenols and antioxidant activities of three characteristic tomato cultivars subjected to two drying methods. Food Chem. Fardet A. Characterization of the degree of food processing in relation with its health potential and effects. Adv Food Nutr Res. Effect of traditional household processes on iron, zinc and copper bioaccessibility in black bean Phaseolus vulgaris L.
Barriers impairing mineral bioaccessibility and bioavailability in plant-based foods and the perspectives for food processing. Fallon N, Dillon SA. Low intakes of iodine and selenium amongst vegan and vegetarian women highlight a potential nutritional vulnerability.
Global provisioning of red meat for flexitarian diets. Leser S. The FAO report on dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition: recommendations and implications. Nutr Bull. Vegetarianism and veganism: not only benefits but also gaps. Prog Nutr. Potential impact of the digestible indispensable amino acid score as a measure of protein quality on dietary regulations and health. Fat quantity and quality, as part of a low-fat, vegan diet, are associated with changes in body composition, insulin resistance, and insulin secretion: a week randomized controlled trial.
Very low n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status in Austrian vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab. EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 meat-eaters and 31 non meat-eaters in the UK. Micronutrient status and intake in omnivores, vegetarians and vegans in Switzerland. Eur J Nutr. National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D factsheet for health professionals [Internet].
Pawlak R, Bell K. Iron status of vegetarian children: a review of literature. Iron status of vegetarian adults: a review of literature. Am J Lifestyle Med. Effect of tea and other dietary factors on iron absorption. Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc.
The impact of a vegan diet on pregnancy outcomes. J Perinatol. Vegan-vegetarian diets in pregnancy: danger or panacea? A systematic narrative review. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. Maternal plant-based diet during gestation and pregnancy outcomes. Arch Gynecol Obstet. Clinical presentation and metabolic consequences in 40 breastfed infants with nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency—what have we learned?
Eur J Paediatr Neurol. Nutritional optic neuropathies: state of the art and emerging evidences. Risks of ischaemic heart disease and stroke in meat eaters, fish eaters, and vegetarians over 18 years of follow-up: results from the prospective EPIC-Oxford study. Vegetarianism and veganism compared with mental health and cognitive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Meat and mental health: a systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety, and related phenomena. Vegan diet and bone health-results from the cross-sectional RBVD study. Veganism, vegetarianism, bone mineral density, and fracture risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Vegetarian and vegan diets and risks of total and site-specific fractures: results from the prospective EPIC-Oxford study. BMC Med. For vibrant living, the Seventh-day Adventist church urges everyone to follow a lifestyle that avoids tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and the misuse of drugs.
The study employed descriptive research design using structured survey instrument for data gathering. A sample population of was drawn from the church. The result showed that The principal reason that prevents church members from taking drug is their commitment to God. The other reasons were concerns for health and living a responsible life.
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Search for terms. Save this study. Warning You have reached the maximum number of saved studies Plant-based Diets and Risk of Cancer in the Adventist Health Study-2 AHS-2 The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Last Update Posted : November 14, View this study on Beta. Study Description.
The Adventist Health Study-2 is a long-term study, exploring the links between lifestyle, diet, and disease outcomes among Seventh-day Adventists. More than 96, church members from the U. Detailed Description:. The study is searching for associations between diet and risk of common and medium frequency cancers breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, uterus, pancreas, melanoma of skin. This cohort is unusual in that about half are vegetarian, many eat soy at Asian levels, and many have very low or absent dairy intake while others eat normal amounts of dairy.
Thus observations on these people, many of whom have contrasting dietary habits, may provide insights about diet and cancer, so supporting dietary changes that could be readily adopted by many.
Outcome Measures. Primary Outcome Measures : Incident cases of breast cancer among subjects with documented dietary habits.
Eligibility Criteria. Information from the National Library of Medicine Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. The sample includes Seventh-day Adventist church members living in the USA and Canada who are 30 years and older, and who are sufficiently fluent in English to complete the lengthy lifestyle questionnaire.
Incarcerated or institutionalized people Non-English speakers. Contacts and Locations. Information from the National Library of Medicine To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials. More Information. Int J Epidemiol. Epub Aug No abstract available. Tomato consumption and intake of lycopene as predictors of the incidence of prostate cancer: the Adventist Health Study The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed.
Not taking B12 supplements or regularly eating B12 fortified foods may explain the higher stroke risk found among vegetarians. High doses of lycopene—the red pigment in tomatoes—were put to the test to see if it could prevent precancerous prostate lesions from turning into full-blown cancer. Do the health benefits of rice consumption outweigh any potential risk from the arsenic contamination?
It took more than 7, studies and the deaths of countless smokers before the first Surgeon General report against smoking was finally released. Another mountain of evidence for healthier eating exists today, but much of society has yet to catch up to the science. How might we prevent and reverse hypertension, the number-one risk factor for death in the world? Greger explains what we can do about the 1 cause of death and disability: our diet.
White rice is missing more than fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Phytonutrients such as gamma oryzanol in brown rice may help explain the clinical benefits, and naturally pigmented rice varieties may be even healthier. Explore NutritionFacts. About NutritionFacts. Lycopene Supplements vs.
WebAug 6, · The Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) is a large national cohort of 96, Seventh-day Adventists in the U.S. and Canada. The study is searching for associations . WebAdventist Religion and Health Study: Present 11, U.S. and Canadian Adventists ages 30+ A sub-study of Adventist Health Study-2 examining which aspects of religion . WebAdventist Health Studies (AHS) is a series of long-term medical research projects of Loma Linda University with the intent to measure the link between lifestyle, diet, disease and .