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Thanks, ADA! I’ve Known It All Along!

Free Vegetarian Starter Kit

I already knew that a vegan diet is healthful and nutritionally adequate and can help prevent and treat certain diseases, but it’s a big coup when the American Dietetic Association (ADA) says so too!

Now, the ADA has long said that vegetarian and vegan diets are appropriate for every stage of the life-cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence—and for athletes—but just recently, the ADA updated its position paper in support of vegetarianism. Among other things, the paper explains that healthy, plant-based diets can prevent—and even reverse—many life-threatening diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

The ADA also points out that well-planned (not just pop tarts, and French fries, obviously) vegetarian diets can meet the recommendations for protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B12, as well as other essential nutrients. (If you want some basic healthy-eating tips, check out my blog, A Vegan’s Guide to Good Nutrition.)

Best yet, the ADA predicts that the number of vegetarians in the U.S. will increase over the next decade. Yay! If you’re one of the people who haven’t gone vegetarian yet, what are you waiting for? Seriously—you don’t have any excuses! Our “Vegetarian Starter Kit” will help get you started in the right direction.

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  • Athais says:

    Prior to becoming a vegetarian about eight years ago, I packed 300 pounds on the a 5 foot 2 inch frame. My triglycerides and cholesterol were in the 200s and 300s respectively. My LDLs were greater than my HDLs. Having been raised on a farm, I was raised as a meat eater and my lab results proved that it was not a healthy diet. I was destined to be a diabetic because of being obese. My hips and leg joints were killing me and I was offered a handicap parking plate by my physician. I was determined not to have to have a handicap parking plate and decided right then and there to start following a vegetarian diet.

    Following a vegetarian diet, I lost 75 pounds easily and without even trying. Unfortunately, I had to start eating some meat because I had not learned how to get enough protein in my diet. My hemoglobin and hematocrit labs, as well as my protein and albumin labs, were low and I was beginning to tire out easily even with everyday work.

    I went back to eating meat in order to get protein and the first thing that I noticed was that my irritable bowel syndrome no longer liked meat. I kept having attack after attack, each one worse than the previous attack. I thought that maybe I had eaten meat tainted with E Coli. I was tested and that came up negative. That was a load off my shoulders but I still was having attacks of IBS.

    In May of this year, I went back to a vegetarian diet. I am supplementing with lots of tofu and soy protein powder shakes as well as B12. My IBS is less bothersome and my triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDLs/HDLs are going back to healthier levels. I have lost 30 pounds since May without even trying.

    I am a firm believer that following a vegetarian lifestyle is really the only way to be healthy. It is nice that the ADA notices that to be true. It is easier and relieves my conscience because I always have worried about the welfare of animals.

  • Samantha W. says:

    I think it’s funny when people say that vegetarianism is just a trend thats going around and it isn’t good for you. Well…being a vegetarian is a way of life. And, yes it can be a trend. But, i bet that 75% of people who TRY being a vegetarian, stick to it. Because its easy and much better for you, animals, and the enviroment. I’m glad that the ADA approves now. (:

  • Helen Dunham says:

    I am now post-surgery (cervical spine) four days. I was very concerned about diet in the hospital (Kettering, Ohio) since I have been vegan for nearly 20 years. I’m happy to say that this was no problem. (Kettering Hospital is run by Seventh Day Adventists.) In the 36 hours that I was hospitalized I enjoyed such things as Silk, tofu, rice cakes, as well as lots of vegetables, fruit, and cereal. I’m 66 years old. I think veganism is a primary reason that I am recovering from this needed surgery so quickly and well. My mother (deceased in 1991) was diabetic. Unfortunately, the ADA didn’t wise up to veganism in time for her.