Plant-Based Diet: Benefits and Concerns

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemicals and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 August 2024 | Viewed by 1208

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA
Interests: plant-based diets and chronic diseases; health-promoting properties of phytochemicals; healthy sustainable diets; non-dairy alternatives
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumer interest in plant-based diets has markedly increased over the past few years. Segments of the population desire food products that improve human and planetary health and protect against major chronic diseases. As non-dairy and non-meat alternatives become mainstream, the following questions have emerged concerning the sustainability of these plant-based diets: What impact do they have on food security? Do these plant-based meat and dairy alternatives help lessen environmental degradation? Are these products nutritious and healthy? Do plant-based diets put populations at risk for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies? Do plant-based diets help diminish malnutrition and overnutrition (leading to obesity)? We invite research papers that discuss such issues and provide some answers to these important questions.

Prof. Dr. Winston Craig
Guest Editor

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  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D
  • calcium
  • iron
  • iodine
  • planetary health
  • chronic disease
  • meat alternatives
  • dairy alternatives
  • intestinal microbiota

Published Papers (1 paper)

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20 pages, 704 KiB  
Development of the VEGANScreener, a Tool for a Quick Diet Quality Assessment among Vegans in Europe
by Selma Kronsteiner-Gicevic, Leonie H. Bogl, Maria Wakolbinger, Sandra Müller, Joelina Dietrich, Willem De Keyzer, Vanessa Bullón-Vela, Eliska Selinger, Vanessa Keller, Ainara Martínez Tabar, Tooba Asif, Leone Craig, Janet Kyle, Sabrina Schlesinger, Christian Köder, Anna Ouradova, Marina Henikova, Wendy Van Lippevelde, Monika Cahova, Miguel Angel Martínez González, Walter Willett, Maira Bes-Rastrollo, Jan Gojda, Stefaan De Henauw, Markus Keller, Marek Kuzma and Eva Schernhammeradd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Nutrients 2024, 16(9), 1344; - 29 Apr 2024
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Background: Plant-based diets are not inherently healthy. Similar to omnivorous diets, they may contain excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats, or lack diversity. Moreover, vegans might be at risk of inadequate intake of certain vitamins and minerals commonly found in foods [...] Read more.
Background: Plant-based diets are not inherently healthy. Similar to omnivorous diets, they may contain excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats, or lack diversity. Moreover, vegans might be at risk of inadequate intake of certain vitamins and minerals commonly found in foods that they avoid. We developed the VEGANScreener, a tool designed to assess the diet quality of vegans in Europe. Methods: Our approach combined best practices in developing diet quality metrics with scale development approaches and involved the following: (a) narrative literature synthesis, (b) evidence evaluation by an international panel of experts, and (c) translation of evidence into a diet screener. We employed a modified Delphi technique to gather opinions from an international expert panel. Results: Twenty-five experts in the fields of nutrition, epidemiology, preventive medicine, and diet assessment participated in the first round, and nineteen participated in the subsequent round. Initially, these experts provided feedback on a pool of 38 proposed items from the literature review. Consequently, 35 revised items, with 17 having multiple versions, were suggested for further consideration. In the second round, 29 items were retained, and any residual issues were addressed in the final consensus meeting. The ultimate screener draft encompassed 29 questions, with 17 focusing on foods and nutrients to promote, and 12 addressing foods and nutrients to limit. The screener contained 24 food-based and 5 nutrient-based questions. Conclusions: We elucidated the development process of the VEGANScreener, a novel diet quality screener for vegans. Future endeavors involve contrasting the VEGANScreener against benchmark diet assessment methodologies and nutritional biomarkers and testing its acceptance. Once validated, this instrument holds potential for deployment as a self-assessment application for vegans and as a preliminary dietary screening and counseling tool in healthcare settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Based Diet: Benefits and Concerns)
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