A new study out of Australia is extolling the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Although this is not the first study of its kind and likely won’t be the last on the benefits of vegetarianism, it is somewhat revolutionary in that it makes clear a vegetarian diet can be healthful for both pregnant women and children.
The study also shatters many widely held myths about animal products, including that meat is one of the best sources of iron and protein. In a nutshell, it isn’t.
Published in the Medical Journal of Australia Open, the study hits a number of key points, including that a plant-based diet is beneficial for all stages of life, similar to the position of the American Dietetic Association.
ABC News reports that nutritionist Dr. Rosemary Stanton states, “I’ve been aware that you can have an adequate vegetarian diet for many years, but I think this new research really puts everything together so that people can understand why [...] As long as you’ve had a variety of plant-based foods over the course of a day or so, your body will take the amino acids as it needs them. And so we don’t need to fuss about having seeds and nuts together, or particular foods together, the way we used to.”
Dr. Stanton also noted that plant-based iron sources are more easily absorbed during pregnancy than meat-based sources and that grains generally contain double the amount of protein as meat – a little known, but important, fact.
Stanton continued, “The evidence is quite good that people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have less heart disease, less colorectal cancer, less type-2 diabetes and they’re less likely to be obese.”