A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that wholesome vegetarian diets offer
distinct advantages compared to diets containing meat and other foods of animal origin. The
benefits arise from lower intakes of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein as well as
higher intakes of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and E,
carotenoids and other phytochemicals.
Since vegetarians consume widely divergent diets, a differentiation between various
types of vegetarian diets is necessary. Indeed, many contradictions and misunderstandings
concerning vegetarianism are due to scientific data from studies without this differentiation.
In the past, vegetarian diets have been described as being deficient in several nutrients
including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12 and A, n-3 fatty acids and iodine. Numerous
studies have demonstrated that the observed deficiencies are usually due to poor meal planning.
Well-balanced vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including
children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and competitive athletes. In
most cases, vegetarian diets are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases,
such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, renal disease and
dementia, as well as diverticular disease, gallstones and rheumatoid arthritis.
The reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet often go beyond health and well-being and
include among others economical, ecological and social concerns. The influences of these
aspects of vegetarian diets are the subject of the new field of nutritional ecology that is concerned
with sustainable life styles and human development.
Copyright / Drug Dosage
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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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