Vegetarian diets are increasingly found among the pediatric and adolescent population as a growing number of Americans adopt this eating sty le. Plant-based diets have been show n to significantly lower rates of chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.1 While most adherents are motivated by health concerns, many families and individuals choose to follow a vegetarian diet for philosophic, religious, or environmental reasons. Such diets center around plant-based foods foods of animal origin. if consumed at all, play a minor role. Important distinctions between the different types of vegetarian diets practiced are shown in Table 10-1. Table 10-1. Types of Foods Consumed within Different Vegetarian Diets Table 10-1. Types of Foods Consumed within Different Vegetarian Diets
Complete proteins are those that can supply all of the essential amino acids in amounts sufficient to support normal growth and body maintenance. Examples are eggs, poultry, and fish. The proteins in most vegetables and grains are called incomplete proteins because they do not provide all of the essential amino acids in amounts sufficient to sustain normal growth and body maintenance. Vegetarians need to eat a variety of vegetables and soy protein to avoid amino acid deficiencies.
As with mammals, carnivorous and insectivorous birds come into the world in a more altricial state than their vegetarian brethren, and therefore need more care. In the majority of bird species, both parents cooperate to raise young and, as with some of the most altricial mammalian species, if there is a large brood, parents of some species recruit helpers. In birds, helpers are usually the parents' offspring from a previous brood or season, and are thus siblings or half-siblings of the young they are helping to raise. Species that use this extended family system are referred to as cooperative breeders although some are less cooperative than others.
Evolution of animals in the Eurypoda led to tetrapods such as Stegosaurus. These huge vegetarians up to thirty feet in length had large, diamond-shaped plates that protected their necks and backs from predators. It is believed that these large dinosaurs were cold-blooded and also used the plates to rapidly cool or heat their bodies. Animals in the Euornitho-poda were mostly tetrapods. Iguanosaurus was a large vegetarian with big, hornlike claws on its thumb and toes that ended in hoofs. Hadrosaurus was a large vegetarian with a long, hollow, head crest along the top of its skull that protruded up to 1.5 feet behind the head. Parasaurolophus grew up to thirty feet in length and had a head crest over 5 feet long. These animals could blow air through the head crest to create various trumpeting sounds. Triceratops was another large vegetarian that grew up to nine feet long. It had a sharp, horny beak, a rhinoceros-like horn above and somewhat posterior to its nostrils, two long horns...
Vegetarian Diet Vegetarian diets have often been promoted as healthy and suitable for weight reduction pro grammes. Several studies suggest that vegetarians weigh less and have fewer obesity-associated comorbidities. However, this may not only depend on the diet but could be explained by self-selection. Studies lasting for 1 year indicate that a lacto-veg-etarian diet, hypocaloric diet and a complete diet containing animal products with the same energy content results in the same weight loss (32).
A beetle's mouth consists of three parts, the frontal mandibles, the maxillae or second jaw in four or five sections, which is jointed and has palpi (segmented appendages) on its outer side, and the labium or lower lip, which resembles the maxillae but has only three sections. In vegetarian beetles, the jaws point down, whereas in predatory beetles, they point forward.
Within the Amazon Basin lives one of the world's most interesting rodents, the huge capy-bara. It generally is as large as a big dog, but can reach 4 feet (1.2 meters) in length and can weigh as much as one hundred pounds (forty-five kilograms). Humans have little to fear from the amphibious capybara, however, since it is a vegetarian.
In 1926 it was found that pernicious anaemia, an often fatal disease of the elderly characterized by decreased red blood cell numbers, low haemoglobin levels and progressive neurological deterioration, could be treated by feeding patients large amounts of liver, a cure considered by some patients as worse than the disease. Vitamin B12 is not synthesized by plants or animals, and is only sythesized by a few species of bacteria, and in man the major source of the vitamin is the diet. However, its transport across the intestinal mucosa requires its binding to a glycoprotein intrinsic factor secreted by the stomach. The B12-intrinsic factor complex is taken up by a specific receptor in the intestinal mucosa, and transported across the mucosal cell to the basolateral membrane where it is released into the bloodstream. It is then transported to the tissues by a member of the family of plasma globulins, transcobalamine II. Pernicious anaemia is not due to dietary insufficiency of vitamin...
Diets rich in enhancers such as meat and or ascorbate have high iron bioavailability (about 3 mg absorbed day) whereas diets with inhibitors such as polyphenols and phytates are poor sources of iron (less than 1 mg day) (Bothwell etal., 1989). The human body is genetically adapted to haem iron absorption, a throwback to the days when man was a hunter. The progressive change in dietary habits that began with the introduction of the cultivation of grain about 10 000 years ago, has led to the replacement of well absorbed haem iron by less well absorbed non-haem iron from a cereal diet. The poor availability of dietary iron, particularly amongst the economically underprivileged, explains in large part the estimated more than 500 million persons throughout the world suffering from anaemia due to dietary iron deficiency (Chapter 9). With the current tendency in Western society to adopt a vegetarian regime, particularly among young women, we can expect a significant increase in anaemia,...
A diet containing both meat and vegetables results in a net production of acids, largely from protein oxidation. To some extent, acid-consuming metabolic reactions balance H+ production. Food also contains basic anions, such as citrate, lactate, and acetate. When these are oxidized to CO2 and water, H+ ions are consumed (or, amounting to the same thing, HCO3 is produced). The balance of acid-forming and acid-consuming metabolic reactions results in a net production of about 1 mEq H+ kg body weight day in an adult person who eats a mixed diet. Persons who are vegetarians generally have less of a dietary acid burden and a more alkaline urine pH than nonvegetarians because most fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of organic anions that are metabolized to HCO3 . The body generally has to dispose of more or less nonvolatile acid, a function performed by the kidneys.
Denmark is illustrative of the problem. VRE are frequently present in food produced in Denmark as well as in food imported into Denmark from other European countries (37). Several studies in Europe provide evidence that humans are frequently fecal carriers of VRE (38,39). This suggests that VRE can be ingested from food in Europe. Other data in Europe provide additional compelling evidence. Data from the Netherlands that indicates that VRE was not detected in strict vegetarians, suggesting that the source of VRE is contaminated meat (39).
While our present dietary heterogeneity (at least in the developed world) makes it unlikely that we will encounter many cases of Mn deficiency, the association of low Mn-dependent SOD activity with cancer susceptibility is a cause for concern (Finley and Davis, 1999). The dangers of Mn toxicity may be greater than we imagine. Vegetarian lifestyles are being adopted by an increasing number of young people, which may simultaneously increase Mn intake, and increase the risk of iron deficiency with concomitant increased dietary Mn absorption.
Because humans are omnivores, able to feed at several levels on the food chain (that is, both plants and other animals), it has been suggested that a higher world population could be supported by humans moving down the food chain and becoming vegetarians. A problem with this argument is that much grazing land worldwide is unfit for cultivation, and therefore the complete cessation of pig or cattle farming does not necessarily free up substantial land to grow crops.
When Darwin arrived in the Galapagos Islands in 1835, he found a remarkable group of finchlike birds that provided a very suggestive case for the development of his theory of evolution. The Galapagos archipelago is a cluster of 29 islands and islets of different sizes lying on the equator about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Finches are generally ground-feeding seed eaters with stout bills for cracking the tough outer coats of the seeds. Figure 21-4 shows the 13 Galapagos finch species. The Galapagos species, though clearly finches, exhibit an immense variation in feeding behavior and in the bill shape that corresponds to their food sources. For example, the vegetarian tree finch uses its heavy bill to eat fruits and leaves, the insectivorous finch has a bill with a biting tip for eating large insects, and, most remarkable of all, the woodpecker finch grasps a twig in its bill and uses it to obtain insect prey by probing holes in trees. This diversity of species arose from an...
In the Clinical Guidelines, published by the National Institutes of Health and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute 1998, an extensive analysis of the efficacy of various treatments for obesity is given (8). In this report, 86 randomized clinical trial publications were evaluated. These diets included ordinary low calorie diets, very low calorie diets (VLCDs), vegetarian, American Heart Association Guidelines and the National Cholesterol Education Program Step 1 Diet, as well as other low fat regimens with varying combinations ofmacronutrients.
The sauropods, which appeared slightly later in the Triassic than the theropods, have come to stand as a symbol of gigantism in land animals. They were all quadrupeds and vegetarians. They had small skulls, long necks and tails, large barrel-shaped bodies, padded feet, and large claws on the innermost toe of the forefoot and the innermost toe of the hind foot. The ancestral stock of the sauropods were the prosauropods, which were much smaller than the sauropods. Like most prosauropods, Plateosaurus had blunt, spatulate teeth, was an herbivore, and was quadrupedal, although it was capable of bipedal posture and gait.
Primarily vegetarians, grass carp have earned their name by eating aquatic plants and submerged grasses, adding the occasional insect or invertebrate. With the help of teeth on the pharynx, they tear off vegetation with jerking motions. Unlike common carp (see Carp, Common), grass carp do not muddy the water with their browsing, but their aggressive feeding habits cause other problems. Grass carp tend to break off the upper portions of grasses, leaving the roots to grow, so they are not as useful in eradicating vegetation as they are supposed to be. Also, grass carp cannot digest all the plant matter they take in, so instead of eliminating a vegetation problem, they make it worse by excreting plant material and distributing it to new areas. In addition, they contribute to increased water turbidity and to eutrophication. Finally, heavy browsing may stimulate faster than normal growth in certain kinds of plants.
The presence of V. mimicus in foods such as oysters, clams, shrimp, prawns, crab, mussels, fish, and turtle eggs suggests that the pathogen may be present in other seafoods. Consumption of raw or undercooked seafood such as crawfish, raw oysters, shrimp, crabs, turtle eggs, and raw fish has led to gastrointestinal illness caused by V. mimicus (20,22,24,26,107). Foods such as oysters, shrimps, fish, and vegetarian meals have been implicated in sporadic and outbreak cases associated with V. fluvialis (26,29,31-34,95). Information obtained from one of the three outbreaks originally described and from the case of a 1-month-old infant suggest that seafood and water consumed by the patients may have been contaminated by V. furnissii (12,27). A common food vehicle, however, could not be determined for the 14 people in Peru who had V. furnissii in their feces (38). Foods such as raw oysters, raw clams, cockles, and catfish have been implicated in cases of gastroenteritis associated with V....
From the historical record it seems that humans, like their closest primate relatives, have been essentially eclectic omnivores, eating leafy matter, roots, fruits and nuts, and a variety of animals, including insects. With regard to the common primates of Southern Africa - the chacma baboon, the vervet monkey and the blue monkey - they are omnivorous, but feed primarily on fruit and leaves. The chacma baboons feed mostly on above-ground items, as the gathering of roots and bulbs can be time-consuming, and may, occasionally, collectively hunt small mammals -but the latter represent only about 1 per cent of their diet. Insects, however, are important, forming a more complete and concentrated form of protein than plant material, and wherever baboons have been feeding one usually finds almost every stone turned over as they hunt for insects and other arthropods. Vervet monkeys are also primarily vegetarians, but they too eat insects, grasshoppers and termites having been recognized from...
Lemurs (order Primates, infraorder Lemur-iformes) are Madagascar's trademark animals. These curious prosimians occupy a singular place in primate evolution. Lacking some of the characteristics of the higher primates, such as monkeys and apes, they are nevertheless intelligent and display social organization. Lemurs have excellent night vision, an acute sense of smell, distinctive bright eyes, pointed snouts, long tails, and are about the size of a cat. Most are arboreal and have the ability to jump great distances from tree to tree. They are primarily vegetarians, although some species also eat insects. There are thirty-three living species in five families. Of the true lemurs (family Lemuridae), the ringtail lemur is best known, the most sociable, and the only species that spends most of its time on the ground. Others species include the bamboo, mongoose, brown, black, and ruffed lemurs. The indri (family Indriidae) is the largest lemur, growing up to three feet tall and weighing up...
The lignans enterodiol and enterolactone (see page 135) are also regarded as phyto-oestrogens. These compounds are produced by the action of intestinal microflora on lignans such as secoisolariciresinol or matairesinol ingested in the diet. A particularly important precursor is secoisolariciresinol diglucoside from flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum Linaceae), and flaxseed may be incorporated into foodstuffs along with soya products. Enterolactone and enterodiol were first detected in human urine, and their origins were traced back to dietary fibre-rich foods. Levels in the urine were much higher in vegetarians, and have been related to a lower incidence of breast cancer in vegetarians.
Interestingly it has been noted that Indian vegetarians have a low incidence of Parkinson's disease in comparison with the Indian meat eaters, the Parsees. The reason for this difference has been suggested as the inhibition of iron absorption by the polyphenols that are present in high amounts in Indian spices. Further long-term studies of people with low iron status throughout their life time may give an indication as to whether decreasing iron intake may be beneficial in preventing the deposition of iron in the brain during the life time of an individual.
Rodents also show remarkable diversity in their diets. These range from the vegetarian Beavers, the largest Northern Hemisphere rodents, may weigh over fifty pounds. They live in dammed streams and in ponds, in lodges made of logs, rocks, and mud. Prized for their fur, beavers are vegetarians that eat tree bark and the roots, stems, and twigs of aquatic plants.
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