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An updated food guide for vegetarians adapted to MyPlate: an evidence based approach

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In 2002, a scientifically derived food guide pyramid for vegetarians, the Modified Food Guide for Lacto-ovo-vegetarians and Vegans was published and well received. Now that 10 years have passed, new

In 2002, a scientifically derived food guide pyramid for vegetarians, the Modified Food Guide for Lacto-ovo-vegetarians and Vegans was published and well received. Now that 10 years have passed, new scientific literature regarding the bioavailability of the nutrients of key concern in vegetarian diets has been published, and the graphical format of the nation's food guide has evolved from a pyramid shape into a circular plate. The objective of this research was to examine the post-2002 literature regarding the bioavailability of key nutrients in vegetarian diets; to use this information to update the recommendations made in the 2002 Modified Food Guide Pyramid for Lacto-ovo-vegetarians and Vegans; and to adapt this revised food plan to the new USDA MyPlate format. This process involved reviewing the scientific literature to determine if the DRIs for the nutrients of key concern in vegetarian diets are adequate for the vegetarian population and using this information to develop new recommendations for vegetarians if necessary, analyzing the nutrient content of representative foods in different food groups, reconfiguring the food groups so that foods with like nutrient components were grouped together, determining the number of servings of each food group required to meet vegetarians' nutrient requirements at three caloric levels, and developing sample menus. A circular plate graphic, the Vegetarian Plate, was designed to illustrate the recommendations of this updated food guide. This updated, scientifically derived food guide provides a sound base for diet planning for lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans. Further research is needed to assess the Vegetarian Plate's adequacy for children, pregnant and lactating women, athletes, and individuals with medical conditions or chronic diseases.

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  • 2013

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Effect of a coconut oil supplement (2g/d) on total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio in healthy adults

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There are limited studies exploring the direct relationship between coconut oil and cholesterol concentrations. Research in animals and a few intervention trials suggest that coconut oil increases the good cholesterol

There are limited studies exploring the direct relationship between coconut oil and cholesterol concentrations. Research in animals and a few intervention trials suggest that coconut oil increases the good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, HDL) and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Preliminary research at Arizona State University (ASU) has found similar results using coconut oil as a placebo, positive changes in HDL cholesterol concentrations were observed.

The goal of this randomized, double blind, parallel two arm study, was to further examine the beneficial effects of a 2g supplement of coconut oil taken each day for 8 weeks on cholesterol concentrations, specifically the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio, compared to placebo.

Forty-two healthy adults between 18-40 years of age, exercising less than 150 minutes each week, non smoking, BMI between 22-35 and not taking any medications that could effect blood lipids were recruited from the ListServs at ASU. Participants were randomized to receive either a placebo capsule of flour or a coconut oil capsule (Puritan’s Pride brand, coconut oil softgels, 2g each) and instructed to take the capsules for 8 weeks.

Results indicated no significant change in total cholesterol to HDL ratio between baseline and 8 weeks in the coconut oil and placebo groups (p=0.369), no significant change in HDL (p=0.648), no change in LDL (p=0.247), no change in total cholesterol (p=0.216), and no change in triglycerides (p=0.369).

Blood lipid concentrations were not significantly altered by a 2g/day dosage of coconut oil over the course of 8 weeks in healthy adults, and specifically the total cholesterol to HDL ratio did not change or improve.

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Date Created
  • 2017