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Press Release

Thinking About Going Vegetarian? Registered Dietitians Are Your Best Source for Sound, Tailored Advice

2011-11-02

Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802 media@eatright.org

CHICAGO – As vegetarian diets become increasingly common, the American Dietetic Association's Evidence Analysis Library has published an evidence-based practice guideline for registered dietitians who work with individuals who follow or are interested in following a vegetarian dietary lifestyle.

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that "Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." And vegetarian adaptations of the USDA food patterns are included in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, with sample vegetarian food patterns that allow for additional flexibility in food group choices.

More information on following a vegetarian lifestyle is available on ADA's website.

ADA's practice guideline contains recommendations, based on scientific evidence, designed to assist practitioners on the appropriate nutrition care for vegetarians. The guideline includes recommendations for children, adolescents, adults and pregnancy, providing more than 30 nutrition recommendations related to vegetarian nutrition, including:

  • Macronutrients, including protein
  • Micronutrients, including vitamin B12
  • Knowledge, beliefs and motivations
  • Diet diversity
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Treating hyperlipidemia, obesity, Type 2 diabetes
  • Adherence to a vegetarian diet

ADA's guidelines support the use of evidence-based practice by RDs to improve the quality of care they provide to clients and patients. Guidelines are developed by expert work groups that include experienced practitioners and researchers and are reviewed by multidisciplinary teams consisting of health professionals such as RDs, physicians, pharmacists and registered nurses.

Since 2005, ADA has published guidelines on chronic kidney disease; HIV; adult weight management; celiac disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; critical illness; diabetes (types 1 and 2); gestational diabetes mellitus; heart failure; hypertension; oncology; pediatric weight management; spinal cord injury; and unintended weight loss for older adults.

Recommendations in ADA's guidelines, as well as grades assigned to the strength of the scientific evidence used in supporting the recommendations, should not be interpreted as endorsements by the American Dietetic Association of any brand-name product or service. Consumers who want to know more about nutrition and health are encouraged to consult with a registered dietitian in their area. Details on republishing information contained in ADA's guidelines are available on the vidence Analysis Library website.