German Nutrition Society makes recommendations for vegans
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) has published its positions on vegan lifestyle. As in the past, experts point out that a one-sided diet can lead to a lack of nutrients. But for health reasons, there are many arguments in favor of a meat-free diet.
Positions on vegan nutrition published
According to estimates by the Vegetarian Association (Vebu), more and more Germans do without animal products such as meat, milk and eggs. About 1.1 percent of the German population lives vegan for moral and ethical reasons. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) has now developed a position on vegan nutrition based on the current scientific literature. DGE President Prof. Helmut Heseker announced this last year at the specialist event "Vegetarian and vegan - just a trend?". "We can't jump on every hype, but now the time is right for it," said the DGE President.
There are enough reasons for a meat-free diet
"With a purely plant-based diet, an adequate supply of some nutrients is not possible or is only possible with difficulty," write the experts. “The most critical nutrient is vitamin B12. The potentially critical nutrients in a vegan diet also include protein or indispensable amino acids and long-chain n3 fatty acids as well as other vitamins (riboflavin, vitamin D) and minerals (calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, selenium), ”says the DGE. This is not new. Nutrition and health experts have long been advising to find out which foods contain the most nutrients and how vegans can prevent vitamin B-12 deficiency. And there are enough reasons for a meat-free diet. Various scientific studies have come to the conclusion that this can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. And: Vegetarians are less likely to get colon cancer.
Prevent imminent lack of nutrients
According to the DGE, children, adolescents, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not only eat a plant-based diet. The experts advise people who consciously want to do without all animal foods to do so only with the help of a nutritionist and under constant medical supervision. The nutritional deficiency that is threatened by the abandonment of all animal foods must be prevented with food supplements. The dangers caused by a lack of nutrients are diverse and range from an increased susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases to severe neurological disorders and developmental delays.
Benefits from certain foods
In its position paper, the DGE points out that a vegan diet does not necessarily have to be nutritionally favorable and health-promoting. Especially vegan ready-made and substitute products, such as sausage and cheese imitations, are sometimes highly processed and contain many additives, fat, salt and added sugar. The benefits of a plant-based diet, such as lower body weight and lower risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, only come into play if healthy legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, valuable vegetable oils and whole grains are primarily consumed. (ad)