Optimizing theVegetarian Diet
Registered Dietitians &Vegetarians
The Healthy Vegetarian
Presented by Brandy Ogg
What are the proven health benefits?
According to the American Dietetic Association:
Decreased Body Mass Index
Lower Rates of Ischemic Heart Disease
Lower Blood Cholesterol
Lower Blood Pressure
Lower Rates of Hypertension, Type II Diabetes, Prostate,
and Colon Cancer
Low Saturated Fat Intake
Increased Complex CHO Consumption
Increased Fiber Intake
Increased Folate in the Diet
What type of vegetarians exist?
No meat, fish or fowl
Protein Quality and Quantity
Q. Do plant foods provide the indispensable amino acids?
A.Diets that combine protein sources from a variety of plant
foods will provide the indispensable amino acids.
Protein Quality and Quantity
Non-Vegetarian- Average Protein Needs: (10-15% of our diet)
body weight(lbs)/2.2kg x .8gram
Lacto-ovo or Lacto-Vegetarian- Average Protein Needs:
body weight/2.2 x .8-1grams (slight increase)
*Vegan- Average Protein Needs:
body weight/2.2 x 1.3-1.8grams (10% increase)
*Plant proteins are not digested as well as animal proteins.
• Infants > 6 yrs old should increase by 15 to 20%
Bone health is the main concern.
Excessive sodium intake
Use of diuretics: Caffeine
Excessive animal protein
intake (sulfur containing
Soft drinks due to
Other Factors Promote Bone Health
Vitamins and minerals Exercise
Essential Fatty Acids-may
Fat soluble vitamins: A,D
Water Soluble B Vitamins
Must be weight-bearing!
The B-12 Challenge
Doesn’t naturally occur in plant foods
Must seek out fortified products that contain active B-12
Symptoms of B-12 deficiency are masked due to high folate
levels in vegetarians.
If > 50 yrs, B-12 supplementation is recommended
regardless of diet.
*More B-12 is absorbed when taken in frequent, smaller
amounts compared to one large dose. 5ug of crystalline B-
12= 60% absorption vs. one dose of 500ug = ≤ 1%
B-12 Sources for Vegetarians
Nutritional Yeast Other Alternatives
storage and must
be kept away from
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Adequate Intakes (AI’s):
Vegan- lacks DHA/EPA: No fish is consumed:
AI = 2.2 - 4.4grams/day
N-6: Alpha Linoleic Acid: found abundantly in plants
decreased CD risk; lowers LDL cholesterol.
N-3: Alpha Linolenic Acid: found in fish as a preformed source
of DHA/EPA and is more effective in reducing TAG’s than n-6.
Sources of Omega-3’s in Plants
*Not direct sources of DHA/EPA but the body can convert
In Agreement Semi-Vegetarians
Consume “2 servings per
week, preferably of fatty
fish.” Mackerel & Salmon
Low fat fish are much
lower in Omega-3’s:
Tilapia, Catfish, Tuna
2. Ensure Caloric Intake is Adequate
Too many calories:
Fat & Sugar
Dairy vs. Meat
Potato Chips vs. Veg.
Too little calories:
3. Eat whole grains > whole grain product.
Intact Whole Grains
*Listed as the only
Whole Grain Products
* Listed amongst other
4. Choose protein sources wisely
Consume 2-3 servings of beans or meat alternatives daily &
Amy’s Bean Burrito
5. Be on the Lookout for:
Iron FYI: - malt-o-meal has 60% iron
Calcium: Soymilk is fortified=calcium %milk
Omega 3’s - Eat nuts and seeds.
B-12 – Choose the best option for you.
Plant Mineral Sources
6.Choose a variety of different colors.
Cancer Preventing Phytochemicals
The Trend is Your Friend!
The National Restaurant Association Reports:
FYI: 8/10 restaurants with table service offer vegetarian
FYI: 2.8 billion was profited by US Food companies
marketing vegetarian food items.
The Vegetarian Lifestyle is gaining popularity!!!
"Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on
earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Numerous Resources for Vegetarians
Happycow.net- Guide to Vegetarian Restaurants
The Vegetarian Resource Group (vrg.org)- Dietitian
Evidence Analysis Library(EAL)- for ADA Members
Vegetariannutrition.net: Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic