In guidelines specifically developed for vegetarians. The author

In the
article entitled “Development of a Vegetarian Food Guide”, Haddad investigates
vegetarian eating patterns and needs in order to develop a food guidance system
designed for vegetarians. Recognizing the increasing number of people who avoid
some or all animal products, Haddad devotedly states the absolute necessity of providing
dietary guidelines specifically developed for vegetarians. The author argues
that even though the advantages of a vegetarian diet are recognized, not all
vegetarian diets are healthy due to inappropriate portion sizes, lack of
variety, high fat content etc.

The model the
Haddad follows is Cronin’s () food guide pyramid. A good deal of consideration
was given to select food items, frequently consumed by vegetarians and to identify
their nutrient content, price, availability, acceptability. Second, the author formed
food groups, based on composition and nutritional values. In addition, Haddad
estimated an energy requirement range (three levels of energy intake) and the recommended
number of servings. Several dietary patterns were developed (for lacto-ovo-vegetarians,
lacto-vegetarians, vegetarians, vegans). Finally, the nutrient contribution of each
suggested pattern were calculated and compared with the recommended dietary
allowances

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Haddad’s
findings support that even a total vegetarian diet can satisfy one’s vitamin
and mineral requirements, provided that they consume sufficient amounts of fruits,
vegetables whole grains, legumes. However, low energy level strict vegetarian
patterns are low in calcium, lack vitamin D and B-12. Furthermore, the author
provides dietary suggestions for vegetarian children of different ages.

Overall, the
article highlights that consuming a variety of nourishing foods, even if
avoiding animal products, can be nutritionally adequate. Nevertheless, one
should consider supplementary sources of vitamin D (especially in case of low
sunlight exposure), calcium (particularly during the growing years) and vitamin
B-12 (under any circumstances).

Haddad provides
a solid theoretical basis and reports data in a clear, understandable way. Another
strength of the research is that it takes into consideration several eating
patterns, motivated by various philosophical, religious, and nutritional beliefs.
The study presents a new approach to vegetarian diet, avoiding excessive protein
complementation theories and minimizing supplements. Nevertheless, it
highlights the potential dangers of vitamin or mineral deficiencies,
recognizing the cases when supplements are necessary. Perhaps, designing a food
pyramid instead of presenting data in tables would have been more effective and
demonstrative.