In case it weren’t enough for the ADA to bash veganism within an inch of its life in its position paper on vegetarianism, even their position papers that have nothing to do with veganism take gratuitous swipes at the compassionate diet. To be even bigger assholes about it, the ADA bolded all instances of non-vegan food recommendations, really hammering it home: “We do not consider a vegan diet to be nutritionally adequate for any stage of life.” Okay, jeez, we get it!

Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome

If a woman has iron-deficiency anemia when she becomes pregnant, repleting her iron stores during pregnancy may be difficult. Therefore,women of childbearing age are advised to eat foods high in heme iron [only in animal products]

Pregnant women should consume a variety of foods

Women who avoid dairy products and rely instead on calcium-fortified orange juice or other fortified foods may have lower intakes of vitamin D and magnesium than milk consumers.

Nutrition Guidance For Children Aged 2 - 11 Years

Failure to meet calcium requirements in combination with a sedentary lifestyle in childhood can impede the achievement of maximal skeletal growth and bone mineralization, thereby increasing the diet-related risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.

Consumption of sweetened dairy products was positively associated with calcium intakes for children.

Children 2 to 8 years should consume 2 cups per day fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Children 9 years of age and older should consume 3 cups per day fat-free or lowfat milk or equivalent milk products.

Keep total fat intake between 30% to 35% of calories for children 2 to 3 years of age and between 25% to 35% of calories for children 4 to 18 years of age, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, poultry, lean meats, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Dietary Fatty Acids

ADA and DC recommend a food-based approach for achieving these fatty acid recommendations; that is, a dietary pattern high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean protein (ie, lean meats, poultry, and low-fat dairy products), fish (especially fatty fish high in n-3 fatty acids), and use of nonhydrogenated margarines and oils.

Fish and seafood, particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, and trout, as well as oysters, are the richest dietary sources of the n-3 longer carbon chain PUFA, EPA, and DHA.

For primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, AHA, the National Heart Foundation of Australia, and the United Kingdom Scientific Advisory Committee all recommend two servings of fish per week, preferably fatty fish, providing about 450 to 500 mg EPA and DHA per day.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (2006) Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand recommend 610 mg/day [of fish] for men and 430 mg/day [of fish] for women for chronic disease risk reduction. The National Academies recently recommended that adolescent males, adult males, and females who will not become pregnant, as well as adult males and females who are at risk of CVD consume two 3-oz servings of fish per week. The report acknowledged that females who are or may become pregnant or who are breastfeeding, and children up to age 12 may benefit from consuming two 3-oz servings of seafood, especially those with higher concentrations of EPA and DHA.


ADA and DC consider that n-3 PUFA from fish are an important part of a healthful diet, and recommend two servings per week, preferably fatty fish. Approximately 8 oz of cooked fish per week provides about 500 mg/day EPA and DHA. For vegans who do not consume any preformed sources of EPA and DHA, additional research is needed before recommendations can be made for these fatty acids, including supplements.

Up to 12 oz per week of low-mercury fish are recommended, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.

Other recent meta-analyses reported that five or more servings of fish per week was associated with a lower CHD mortality and a lower incidence of stroke when compared with no fish or fish less than once per month. A recent systematic review of the literature of primary and secondary prevention studies with 1 year duration with fish or fish oils also reported reduced rates of all-cause mortality, cardiac and sudden death, and possibly stroke. Epidemiologic studies have reported that high fish intakes are associated with a reduced risk of breast and colorectal cancer, which is consistent with evidence that EPA and DHA may reduce markers of colorectal cancer and reduce expression of genes involved in colorectal cancer cell growth.

In the Zutphen Elderly Study, individuals who consumed fish had considerably less 5-year cognitive decline than nonconsumers.

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children reported that the verbal intelligence quotients were higher among children 6 months to 8 years of age of mothers who consumed more than 349 g seafood per week during pregnancy than among children of mothers who reported no seafood consumption.

Weight Management

In order to meet current nutritional recommendations, incorporate 3-4 servings of low-fat dairy foods a day as part of the diet component of a comprehensive weight management program. Research suggests that calcium intake lower than the recommended level is associated with increased body weight.

Total Diet Approach

Soybeans have n-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and phytoestrogens with health-promoting properties (?!?!), but soy also contains phytates that diminish absorption of zinc and iron and the health benefits of adding soy to the diet have not been consistently supported by research. For example, animal studies in which soy intake was higher than that found in Asian diets found an increase in tumor growth.

The increased risks for cardiovascular disease associated with ingestion of trans fat produced during processing of foods might lead to the classification of all trans fat as bad. However, a type of trans fat that occurs naturally from ruminant animal sources (dairy and meat), conjugated linoleic acid, has far different effects on metabolic function, genetic regulation, and physiological outcomes. In contrast to the atherogenic nature of most synthetic forms of trans fat, conjugated linoleic acid has been shown to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune response, energy distribution, and growth.

Health Implications of Dietary Fiber

Case histories have reported diarrhea when excessive amounts of dietary fiber are consumed.

Potential negative effects of excessive dietary fiber include reduced absorption of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and energy.

Fiber is just one low-digestible carbohydrate. Sugar alcohols and resistant starch are also poorly digested and absorbed. Thus, all of these poorly digested carbohydrates may cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

Fermentation of dietary fiber or other nondigested carbohydrates by anaerobic bacteria in the large intestine produces gas, including hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, which may be related to complaints of distention or flatulence.

Nutrient Supplementation

Among the groups most vulnerable to inadequacy of one or more nutrients are older adults; pregnant women; people who are food insecure (ie, they are, “at times, uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for all household members because they had insufficient money and other resources for food”); alcohol-dependent individuals; strict vegetarians and vegans; and those with increased needs due to a health condition or the chronic use of a medication that decreases nutrient absorption or increases metabolism or excretion.

Functional Foods

For intestinal health maintenance, fermented dairy products (probiotics) may improve irritable bowel syndrome;