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      A Comparison of Dietary Protein Digestibility, Based on DIAAS Scoring, in Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Athletes

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          Abstract

          Vegetarian diets provide an abundance of nutrients when carefully planned. However, vegetarian diets may have lower protein quality compared to omnivorous diets, a reflection of less favorable amino acid profiles and bioavailability. Hence, the current recommended dietary allowance for protein may not be adequate for some vegetarian populations. The purpose of this study was to determine dietary protein quality using the DIAAS (Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score) method in vegetarian and omnivore endurance athletes. DIAAS scores reflect the true ileal digestibility of the indispensable amino acids that are present in food items, and these scores can be used to compute the available protein in diet plans. Thirty-eight omnivores and 22 vegetarians submitted seven-day food records that were analyzed for nutrient content, and DIAAS scores were computed by diet group. Average available protein (g) was compared along with participants’ lean body mass and strength (quantified using the peak torque of leg extension). DIAAS scores and available protein were higher for omnivorous versus vegetarian athletes (+11% and +43%, respectively, p < 0.05). Omnivorous participants had significantly higher lean body mass than vegetarian participants (+14%), and significant correlations existed between available protein and strength (r = 0.314) and available protein and lean body mass (r = 0.541). Based upon available protein, as determined through the DIAAS, vegetarian athletes in this study would need to consume, on average, an additional 10 g protein daily to reach the recommended intake for protein (1.2 g/kg/d). An additional 22 g protein daily would be needed to achieve an intake of 1.4 g/kg/d, the upper end of the recommended intake range.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Dietary reference intakes: vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc.

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            Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets.

            It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence- based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs.
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              Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance.

              It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy), Dietitians of Canada (DC), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) that the performance of, and recovery from, sporting activities are enhanced by well-chosen nutrition strategies. These organizations provide guidelines for the appropriate type, amount, and timing of intake of food, fluids, and supplements to promote optimal health and performance across different scenarios of training and competitive sport. This position paper was prepared for members of the Academy, DC, and ACSM, other professional associations, government agencies, industry, and the public. It outlines the Academy's, DC's, and ACSM's stance on nutrition factors that have been determined to influence athletic performance and emerging trends in the field of sports nutrition. Athletes should be referred to a registered dietitian nutritionist for a personalized nutrition plan. In the United States and in Canada, the Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a credentialed sports nutrition expert.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nutrients
                Nutrients
                nutrients
                Nutrients
                MDPI
                2072-6643
                10 December 2019
                December 2019
                : 11
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ]College of Health Solutions, Nutrition Program, Arizona State University, 550 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA; cczuelke@ 123456gmail.com
                [2 ]Kinesiology Department, 3900 Lomaland Dr., Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA 92106, USA; hlynch@ 123456pointloma.edu
                [3 ]College of Health Solutions, Voluntary Radical Simplicity Lab, Arizona State University, 550 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA; christopher.wharton@ 123456asu.edu
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: carol.johnston@ 123456asu.edu ; Tel.: +1-602-496-2439
                Article
                nutrients-11-03016
                10.3390/nu11123016
                6950041
                31835510
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Article

                Nutrition & Dietetics

                strength, endurance, athlete, lean mass, protein, vegetarian

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