Vegetarian diets are not deficient in important nutrients

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Results from a recent study eliminates the common misconception that vegetarian diets are deficient in important nutrients that most people get from animal foods, according to an article in the July issue of Food Nutrition & Science.

The study conducted by Eastern Michigan University and published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, shows that vegetarian diets are nutrient dense, consistent with dietary guidelines, and high in fiber, protein, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, and iron – nutrients that most people get from animal foods.

Researchers looked at a cross-sectional analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2004) dietary and anthropometric data focusing on participants aged 19 and older. All vegetarians were compared to all non-vegetarians. Researchers found that mean intakes of fiber, vitamins A, C and E, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron were all higher for vegetarians than for all non-vegetarians.

"I think this is fascinating," says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and "These results combined with the plant-based diet guidelines provide food retailers with an opportunity to help their customers better understand how to shop and eat a healthy lifestyle. With only six percent of the population meeting the daily goal for vegetables even those who don't want to be a vegetarian could use this model to improve their health."

Also in the July edition of Food Nutrition & Science, how supermarkets are reducing emissions. According to reports, supermarkets with typical refrigeration systems leak, on average, 25 percent of their refrigerant every year. Pound for pound, the effect of these leaks is up to 3,900 times worse than that of carbon dioxide on the environment. When calculated for their effect on climate change, an average supermarket's refrigerant leaks have a higher impact on our planet than all the electricity used by an average store in one year. The article details how retailers are working with GreenChill, an Environmental Protection Agency program that helps food retailer's transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant used, eliminate leaks, and adopt green refrigeration technologies, strategies and practices.

In addition, this month's Food Nutrition & Science shows how Albertson's, LLC, which has stores in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas, is removing self-checkouts in their stores to improve customer service.

"All retailers can learn how to make improvements to their stores by just talking and listening to the needs of their customers," says Lempert.  "I applaud any effort for interaction."

Other articles include news about a news Birds Eye campaign to help make vegetables accessible and enjoyable to everyone and an interview with Jason Rodgers, a South Carolina peach farmer.


  1. Eugene Eugene Canada says:

    Majority vegetarians called themselves "vegeterians" not because they eat vegetables, but because of not eating animal based protein. I called them "flour worms". They are mostly consuming grains and legumes. Only very few of them leaning heavily on veggies, providing themselves with nutrients. However I am skeptical about adequate intake of protein. I firmly believe 70gr of protein is minumum for average person, and you need helluva work to do to cover this with plant source. Covering this just by beans would make you to consume very high amount of carbohydrates which leads to bunch of problem.  

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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