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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400282

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Modeling lacto-vegetarian, pescatarian, and 'pescavegan' USDA Food patterns and assessing nutrient adequacy for healthy, non-pregnant, non-lactating adults

item Hess, Julie
item Comeau, Madeline

Submitted to: Frontiers in Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2023
Publication Date: 2/7/2023
Citation: Hess, J.M., Comeau, M.E. 2023. Modeling lacto-vegetarian, pescatarian, and 'pescavegan' USDA Food patterns and assessing nutrient adequacy for healthy, non-pregnant, non-lactating adults. Frontiers in Nutrition. 10. Article 113792.

Interpretive Summary: This study assessed the quality and nutrient adequacy of lacto-vegeterian, pescatarian, and pescavegan food pattern models developed based on adaptations of the 1800, 2000, 2200, and 2400 kcal vegetarian dietary patterns from the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. We found that our models contained enough servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, dairy, and oils, as well as adequate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, copper, selenium, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and folate. These models however did not provide adequate amounts of certain nutrients of concern for those following vegetarian diets including vitamin D, zinc, and choline. Our models provided insight into the nutritional adequacy of various vegetarian dietary patterns based off the USDA Food Pattern Models, including those that contain fish.

Technical Abstract: The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) includes a Healthy Vegetarian Dietary Pattern (HVDP) with dairy foods and eggs as one of its three recommended dietary patterns for non-pregnant, non-lactating healthy adults. This study evaluates whether pescatarian, lacto-vegetarian, and “pescavegan” adaptations of the HVDP can be nutritionally adequate if modeled with foods recommended by the DGA. The nutrient composition of these three alternative models of the HVDP were assessed at 1800-, 2000-, 2200-, and 2400- kcal/day using similar food pattern modeling procedures as the 2020 DGA. For the pescatarian and pescavegan models, 0.5 ounce-equivalent of refined grains per day was replaced with seafood. For the lacto-vegetarian and pescavegan models, eggs were replaced with equal proportions of the other vegetarian protein foods. In the pescavegan model, dairy foods were replaced by a dairy alternative group comprised of fortified soy milk and soy yogurt. All models at all energy levels were within Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs) for all macronutrients, contained =5% of total kcal from saturated fat, and met recommendations for most micronutrients. Nutrients provided below the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) in these models included iron, sodium, vitamin D, vitamin E, and choline. Only amounts of vitamin D and choline were provided in amounts <50% of the DRI. Adapting the HVDP for lacto-vegetarian, pescatarian, and pescavegan dietary patterns provided adequate amounts of macronutrients and most micronutrients.