SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 5% of U-S adults consider themselves to be vegetarian.
That’s less prevalent among older adults, where about 2%of those 55 and older say they follow a vegetarian diet.
Eight percent of 18 to 34-year-olds and 7% of 35 to 54-year-olds say they are vegetarian.
That’s just vegetarian. You have probably also heard of vegan and plant-based. Jenifer Abreu talked to Amanda Allen, dietitian at Hy-Vee and Shae Casey, an MSU dietetic intern, about the different types of diets, its benefits, and some limitations.
Casey says a plant-based diet is defined by the National Institutes of Health as a “low frequency of animal food consumption and emphasizes ‘to add’ plant-based foods to create the foundation of your diet. A vegan diet is similar to where it eliminates all animal products from someone’s diet, but the reasons may be more towards the ethical side, like animal rights or even the environment.
Casey says plant-based diets have been associated with lowering death by a heart attack, weight management, reduction in medication needs, decreased incidence and severity of hypertension, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia.
One drawback of a vegan diet, for example, might be low protein and vitamin B12 intake, which Allen says can be met with beans, tofu, and other protein-rich foods. For someone who is strictly on a vegan diet, taking vitamin B12 supplements may be helpful.
For more details, watch the conversation in the video above.