Study Title:

Plant-based diets: a review of the definitions and nutritional role in the adult diet.

Study Abstract

Plant-based (PB) diets are associated with good health and are also recommended for environmental sustainability. The present review aimed to summarise the definitions of PB diets globally and to investigate the nutritional role of PB diets in adults. This review found that there is a wide range of PB definitions ranging from the traditional vegetarian diets (including vegan) to semi-vegetarian/flexitarian diets. Furthermore, other diets which were originally developed due to their associations with positive health outcomes, such as the portfolio, Mediterranean-style, DASH, healthy US-style, planetary health and Nordic-style diets, have been encompassed in PB definitions due to their emphasis on certain PB components. This review has highlighted that those consuming a PB diet are more likely to meet recommended intakes for carbohydrate, dietary fibre and vitamin E and are less likely to meet recommendations for protein, vitamin B12 and iodine compared to omnivores. Regardless of consumer type, neither PB consumers nor omnivores met recommendations for intakes of vitamin D, calcium and sodium. While intakes of protein, n-3, iron and zinc were generally sufficient from the PB diet, it is important to acknowledge the lower bioavailability of these nutrients from PB foods compared to animal-derived products. As dietary patterns shift towards a more PB diet, there is a need for further studies to investigate the role of PB diets for nutritional adequacy and status in populations currently accustomed to consuming a primarily omnivorous diet.

Study Information

Proc Nutr Soc. 2022 Mar;81(1):62-74. doi: 10.1017/S0029665121003839. Epub 2021 Dec 20. PMID: 35760588.

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