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Nutrizione 4 - Generale
Esistono esempi documentati che dimostrino che la carne di qualsiasi tipo è essenziale? (Una persona che conosco non aveva toccato carne per molti anni. Recentemente si è gravemente ammalata (non conosco i dettagli). I familiari preoccupati l'hanno portata da un dietologo che le ha prescritto di consumare pesce. Si è rimessa in modo stupefacente.)

da un membro della lista ivu-sci:
E' praticamente impossibile rispondere a questo genere di domande senza avere i dettagli completi della malattia, e senza sapere se, oltre alla raccomandazione di mangiare pesce, la persona in questione non sia stata sottoposta a qualche altro trattamento. Non è nemmeno possibile sapere con certezza se l'introduzione del pesce nella dieta sia stata la causa della guarigione dal momento che esistono casi di remissione spontanea.

Dal momento che tutte le sostanze nutritive presenti nella carne possono essere ottenute da altre fonti, non riesco ad immaginare nessuna situazione in cui sia necessario mangiare carne. Lo stesso ragionamento si può probabilmente applicare al pesce, sebbene sia, come la carne, una fonte concentrata di diverse sostanze nutritive che è meno facile ottenere in una dieta vegana. Un esempio è costituito dagli acidi grassi omega-3 (EPA e DHA) dei quali il pesce e le alghe sono la fonte principale. I vegani devono convertire gli acidi alfa-linolenici (ottenuti da semi di lino, di ravizzone e dagli oli di soia) in questi acidi grassi essenziali; potrebbe essere che la persona in questione non consumasse questi alimenti.

bibliografia:
Sanders TAB.
The nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets.
Proc Nutr Soc 1999; 58: 265-269.

Dove posso trovare una tabella dettagliata che mostri le percentuali delle diverse sostanze nutritive negli alimenti?

da un membro della lista ivu-sci:
Questo genere di informazioni si possono trovare nelle tabelle di composizione degli alimenti come The Composition of Foods di McCance e Widdowson (pubblicato in Gran Bretagna dalla Royal Society of Chemistry). La biblioteca della vostra cittą potrebbe averne una copia. Su Internet la Nutrition Analysis Tool (NAT) dell'Universitą dell'Illinois presenta dati nutrizionali su specifici alimenti e diete. E' possibile continuare una dieta vegetariana se si soffre di diverticolosi o colon irritabile?

da un membro della lista ivu-sci:
"Le diete ricche di fibre insolubili (in particolare crusca di frumento grezza) abbreviano il tempo di passaggio attraverso l'intestino, aumentano la massa delle feci e riducono la stipsi. Vengono inoltre associate ad una diminuzione del rischio di malattie diverticolari e sono d'aiuto nell'alleviare almeno alcuni dei sintomi di chi gią ha problemi di diverticolite [1]."
Di conseguenza, una dieta vegetariana ricca di fibre dovrebbe essere una buona dieta per chi soffre di diverticolite. Ci sono infatti prove che dimostrano come i vegetariani presentino un'incidenza minore di malattie diverticolari [2]. "E' tuttavia preferibile che l'assunzione di fibre sia accresciuta consumando una varietą di cereali e verdure piuttosto che fare affidamento ad un uso estensivo di integratori di crusca [1]."

Bibliografia: [1] Essentials of human nutrition. Jim Mann & A Stewart Truswell (eds). Oxford University Press, 1998.
[2] Symptomless diverticular disease and intake of dietary fibre. Gear JSS et al. Lancet 1979, 511-514.

Is it safe for a diabetic to become vegetarian/vegan?

from a member of ivu-sci
Not only is it perfectly safe, it may even prove beneficial. According to the British Diabetic Association, dietary recommendations for diabetics encourage a high intake of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre and a low intake of fat, particularly saturated fat. Vegetarian diets tend to match these recommendations more closely than non-vegetarian diets.
In their position paper on vegetarian diets, The American Dietetic Association state that "scientific data suggest positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, DIABETES MELLITUS, and some types of cancer" (my emphasis).
They also note that "type 2 diabetes mellitus is much less likely to be a cause of death in vegetarians than nonvegetarians, perhaps because of their higher intake of complex carbohydrates and lower body mass index" (body mass index is a measure of obesity). The text of the ADA position paper can be found on the web at www.eatright.org/adap1197.html from a another member of ivu-sci
In my opinion, there are no special dietary requirements for diabetics that can not be met with a PROPER veg*an diet. Your diet should include plenty of B-vitamin rich foods including whole grain breads and green leafy vegetables. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as spaghetti, white bread, etc. Regardless of your type of diabetes, carefully monitor your blood sugar levels as they may vary widely as you make the switch.

Is there a non animal form of glucose lowering agents for diabetics?

from a member of ivu-sci
Do you mean glucose-lowering meds like Glucophage? Best bet is to check the PDR or other drug resource likely available online.
(further answers wanted)

from a reader in India:
There is a vegetable called bittergourd (Karela in Hindi) which is quite popular in India to lower or prevent diabetes. Also there is a spice called Methi (in Hindi don't know the English equivalent) which is to be soaked overnight and consumed on empty stomach the next morning with a glass of buttermilk. This too helps in lowering diabetes

Does a vegetarian diet meet the full needs of the human body?

from a reader in the USA:
Yes. We weren't always meat eaters. There are entire populations today that are vegetarians - and they have fewer health problems that meat eating populations do.

What foods does vegan nutrition include and exclude?

from a reader in the USA:
A vegan diet exludes all animal products. No flesh, dairy, eggs, or their derivatives.

Further information

You can also ask questions about nutrition on the Science Forum

FAQ index

How can I 'bulk up' and develop muscles on a vegetarian/vegan diet, instead of eating meat and taking creatine?

from Vesanto Melina, MS, RD:
Regarding creatine question for athletes: The following information came from a sports nutrition presentation at American Dietetics Association convention, October 1998, which I attended. Then I have added practical information related to my books.
A presentation by PhD Dr. Robert Murray explained that creatine is hydrophilic and retains water in the body, thus the bulking up effect is due to water, and generally occurs with creatine. You may not get that water effect without creatine.
Creatine has not been shown to improve athletic performance; sports specialist Dr. Murray said that reliable research had not shown creatine to be effective in improving athletic performance. Research reports that showed anything like this were done in a misleading way.
Furthermore, the effects of creatine over the long term are not known. Long term use could, for example, suppress one's ability to make creatine or have damaging side effects.
This water effect is not actual increase in muscle. I find that sometimes vegan athletes aren't familiar with tasty and easy ways to prepare tofu (such as the tofu fingers in our "Becoming Vegetarian" and "Cooking Vegetarian" books) and don't know easy ways to include high protein foods such as lentils and other legumes in the diet. They also may not know vegan ways to get enough calories. (Or to accommodate such challenges as cooking for one, having limited cooking facilities, eating at restaurants a lot.)
For further information, and details of Vesanto's speaking tours see: www.nutrispeak.com

from John Toomey, Australia:
This is one of my favorite topics. Having worked for several years in Professional Football in Australia and having close links with many Sports Science professionals in the NFL, I can assure you that Creatine is a waste of time.
Vesanto hit the nail on the head. It causes a major flow of water into the muscle cell. You can pick footballers who start using it without authorisation because they get a puffy appearance. Long term use may well be harmful.
Having been a Vegan for 20 years, I have introduced many professional footballers to a vegan diet style, with many wonderful results. When it comes down to it, I have never believed in hyper protein consumption. I have never seen it do anyone a lot of good. Very lean athletes have really only one path to take to gain weight. That is, once you are getting enough protein (which requires no special effort) and enough carbohydrate (about 8 grams per kilogram of body weight) and try to make that unrefined carbohydrate, the aim should be calories, calories, calories after that.
The best, most healthful source of additional calories are monounstaurates. So, I suggest adding at least one Avocado and a half cup of Olive Oil to your daily diet. I used this with many footballers and just watched them grow, without getting fat.
Remember, weight gain requires calories. If you are doing the resistance training, you will stimulate muscle growth. All you have to do is provide the calories, healthfully. Good luck.
Further information from John at: www.lifewise.com.au

Do any health problems occur from being a vegetarian, i.e deficiencies of certain nutrients?

None at all! A vegan diet may be missing vitamin B12, but this is added to some foods or can be taken as a supplement. See Nutrition - Vitamin B12

How can a vegan diet help control high cholesterol?

from a reader in the USA:
A vegan diet is free of all animal products, hence free of cholesterol. By not ingesting any cholesterol, you can help control your blood levels of it. Our bodies make all the cholesterol we need.

What health benefits are there to being a Vegetarian compared to being a Carnivore?

from a reader in the USA:
Lower cholelsterol; blood pressure; risks of cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease...need I go on?

Is it possible to be vegetarian without losing weight, possibly even gain weight?

see: Increase Food Intake (VSUK)

more questions - answers needed!

What is the proper nutrition of a footballer aged about 25 years? If veg or non-veg,which diet chart will be more energetic to the same aged footballers?

I used to have low blood pressure until I was about 19 (I'm 22 now). The symptoms have stopped since then for no apparent reason ... I've become a vegetarian just recently (about a month) and the past week the dizziness has come back. I've read a lot about being a vegetarian and saw that generally, veggies have lower blood pressure, which is normally fine, but... What to do?

How much of the enzymes and nutrients are destroyed by cooking? In other words, do you have to eat raw fruits and veggies to get any nutrition?

Is there any kind of vegeterian fat diet?

Is there a book that covers all the vitamin and minerals for vegan and vegetarian (nutrition) of all foods. So it would help me in choosing and knowing what foods to put together, for better health?

Is the use of virgin olive oil recommended in vegetarian diet? What about its nutrients?

If a vegetarian did not eat a balanced diet, what would be the most common symptoms?

I am a 13 year old and I would like to become Vegetarian. What are some things you would recommend I do before I become vegetarian and what are some things I need to get for protien and calcium?

Is it nutritous to become a vegetarian?

For a correct vegetarian nutrition, is it sufficient to have only legumes, grains (starchy foods), vegetables, fresh fruit and dried fruit end sometimes some sweets?

Is onion / garlic good for a veggie since many veggie do not consume it? What is the side effect of consume and not consuming garlic in a health point of view ?

Is it true that mushrooms can't be eaten raw because the contain a small amount of poison?


Traduzione Italiana di Alessandro Cattelan