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Article

Theoretical Food and Nutrient Composition of Whole-Food Plant-Based and Vegan Diets Compared to Current Dietary Recommendations

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Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University,150 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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Nutritional Epidemiology Program at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, 711 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111, USA
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Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, 145 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030625
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan Nutrition)
Public interest in popular diets is increasing, in particular whole-food plant-based (WFPB) and vegan diets. Whether these diets, as theoretically implemented, meet current food-based and nutrient-based recommendations has not been evaluated in detail. Self-identified WFPB and vegan diet followers in the Adhering to Dietary Approaches for Personal Taste (ADAPT) Feasibility Survey reported their most frequently used sources of information on nutrition and cooking. Thirty representative days of meal plans were created for each diet. Weighted mean food group and nutrient levels were calculated using the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) and data were compared to DRIs and/or USDA Dietary Guidelines/MyPlate meal plan recommendations. The calculated HEI-2015 scores were 88 out of 100 for both WFPB and vegan meal plans. Because of similar nutrient composition, only WFPB results are presented. In comparison to MyPlate, WFPB meal plans provide more total vegetables (180%), green leafy vegetables (238%), legumes (460%), whole fruit (100%), whole grains (132%), and less refined grains (−74%). Fiber level exceeds the adequate intakes (AI) across all age groups. WFPB meal plans failed to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)s for vitamin B12 and D without supplementation, as well as the RDA for calcium for women aged 51–70. Individuals who adhere to WFBP meal plans would have higher overall dietary quality as defined by the HEI-2015 score as compared to typical US intakes with the exceptions of calcium for older women and vitamins B12 and D without supplementation. Future research should compare actual self-reported dietary intakes to theoretical targets. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegan; whole food plant-based; nutrient composition; Healthy Eating Index; HEI-2015; MyPlate vegan; whole food plant-based; nutrient composition; Healthy Eating Index; HEI-2015; MyPlate
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MDPI and ACS Style

Karlsen, M.C.; Rogers, G.; Miki, A.; Lichtenstein, A.H.; Folta, S.C.; Economos, C.D.; Jacques, P.F.; Livingston, K.A.; McKeown, N.M. Theoretical Food and Nutrient Composition of Whole-Food Plant-Based and Vegan Diets Compared to Current Dietary Recommendations. Nutrients 2019, 11, 625. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030625

AMA Style

Karlsen MC, Rogers G, Miki A, Lichtenstein AH, Folta SC, Economos CD, Jacques PF, Livingston KA, McKeown NM. Theoretical Food and Nutrient Composition of Whole-Food Plant-Based and Vegan Diets Compared to Current Dietary Recommendations. Nutrients. 2019; 11(3):625. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030625

Chicago/Turabian Style

Karlsen, Micaela C., Gail Rogers, Akari Miki, Alice H. Lichtenstein, Sara C. Folta, Christina D. Economos, Paul F. Jacques, Kara A. Livingston, and Nicola M. McKeown 2019. "Theoretical Food and Nutrient Composition of Whole-Food Plant-Based and Vegan Diets Compared to Current Dietary Recommendations" Nutrients 11, no. 3: 625. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030625

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