Rooted Santa Barbara - a closeknit group of people on a beach at sunsetA growing consensus of today’s leading health and nutrition organizations are in agreement – we need to eat more whole, unprocessed plants!

In 2016, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a position paper on vegetarian and vegan diets. They concluded that “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”

The Academy went on to report that vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. They credit this to “low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control.”

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics represents more than 112,000 credentialed practitioners – registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered, and other food and nutrition professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics, and students – and is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of nutrition and dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

For more information on vegetarian diets and specific micronutrient considerations, life stages, and conditions, find the full white paper here.

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