I know that the vegetarian and vegan are is the only really healthy diets.


This is not a question but a comment. I have just read what you have to say on a vegetarian diet and frankly, I’m disappointed by your advice. No, I’m not a dietitian, but even I know that the vegetarian diet and better still vegan diet, is the only really healthy diet. The idea that we have to combine foods to get complete amino acids was laid to rest and the ADA position paper states this fact. Am I correct?

Are you aware of the latest findings concerning iron? That too much iron is a cardiac risk factor? Yet you are advising people to eat meat to get enough iron.

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to update this topic. You are correct. I have just returned from the American Dietetic Association annual meeting where there were numerous presentations on various aspects of vegetarian diets. There is a rising swell of interest in vegetarian and vegan diets, especially soy-based foods and beverages.

Current research suggests that if you eat a variety of grains, legumes, dried beans or peas, fruits, and vegetables within a 24-hour period that you will probably meet your protein and essential amino acid requirements. So the balance between plant proteins over the day is more important in achieving your amino acid requirements. Furthermore, the higher protein requirement formerly recommended in vegetarian diets is not necessary because protein requirements can be met exclusively from plant sources.

Dr. Peter Pellett at the University of Massachusetts presented research at ADA that showed diets based on high intakes of grains are lacking in the amino acid lysine. Lysine is the most variable essential amino acid from all food sources and is the limiting amino acid in grain-based diets.

Interestingly enough, there was also a presentation at ADA on too much iron in the American diet. The problem is more with iron fortification of foods than how much meat people eat. Check out some food labels of iron-fortified foods. Do you eat more than one serving of a food per day that provides 100% of your iron requirement? Studies of heart disease point to many risk factors, not just meat consumption.

I think it is time for those vegetarians to quit throwing rocks at omnivores (meat eaters) as everyone has the right to make their own food choices. Besides, vegetarianism would probably attract a lot more advocates if the health benefits of a vegetarian diet were better publicized. There are many healthy diets that a person can eat and there is no perfect food though eggs and milk come close to perfect based on their nutrient content.