Vegetarian and vegan diet: all the advice from Evelina Flachi

Lat vegetarian and vegan diets they are no longer just a fad, but they represent one awareness choice to promote the health and well-being of all. And keep the cardiovascular risk of those who consume a lot of red meat and saturated fats at bay, as various studies in the scientific literature now confirm. A predominantly vegan and better vegetarian, more varied diet, if properly planned and personalized with theessential supervision of the nutritionistmay promote good health in adults.

Vegetarian diet on the rise

Since 2014, the month of January has become synonymous with vegan, the annual initiative conceived by the British non-profit organization of the same name which, during the first month of the year, invites people to follow a vegan lifestyle. But the trend of the vegetarian diet also affects all the other months, more and more.

According to the data collected by the delivery platform Uber eats“The growth of this phenomenon it is also detected by Uber eats that, compared to the same period of the previous year, recorded a 160% increase in plant-based food orders. Restaurants are also increasingly answering this huge question as veganism is on the rise: in the food delivery application, in fact, they are restaurants offering vegan options increased by 28%“. (Source: Uber Eats internal data from January 2018 to January 2022)

Rome, Milan and Bologna the most vegetarian

the podium of the ‘most vegan cities’ in Italy, it is populated by Rome, Milan and Bologna, followed by Naples and Reggio Emilia. And in the ranking of most ordered dishes and the most liked, the first place is confirmed vegetable burgerfollowed by miso ramen and veggie dumplings.
Even in terms of desserts, the choice is towards a cuisine less rich in saturated fats and more oriented towards a vegetarian diet. More specifically, the last two years are orders for various types of confectionery increased: wholemeal croissants, aloe vera and jam, banana and chocolate brownie, raw cakes, tiramisu and orange plumcake.

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Vegetarian diet and protein: the right combinations

DIY is strongly discouraged for following a vegetarian or vegan meal plan. The risk is not to be underestimated, because not knowing how to combine protein nutrients and fats with vegetables means following an unbalanced diet that can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and metabolic disorders. “It is very important in the vegan choice maintain a good nutritional balance, particularly with regard to protein intake that can be found in the choice of the right combinations, explains the doctor Evelina FlachiNutritionist and food science specialist, expert in functional nutrition and food education.

Essential pulses and cereals: here’s why

“THE fresh and dried legumes they are widely used for this, but it is important to point out that they generally provide medium biological value amino acids because they are deficient in sulfur amino acids such as methionine and cysteine.

For this, we can choose recipes that supplement with other vegetable proteins such as cerealsrich in these 2 amino acids, but low in lysine and tryptophan present in legumes giving the meal a good protein value similar to that of meat, but obviously with a different caloric value,” says Dr. Flachi.

Vegan and vegetarian diet without errors: advice from the nutritionist
Vegan and vegetarian diet without errors: advice from the nutritionist

Raw vegetables, oilseeds and dried fruits at each meal

“I also recommend consuming ads all meals, in addition to ready meals, also raw vegetables because they are richer in antioxidants and assimilable vitamins as well as in oilseeds and dried fruits at the dose of at least 30g per day useful for maintaining a good individual energy intake throughout the day. To vary, I advise to consume vegetables also in the form of extracts prepared with at least 2/3 seasonal vegetables and a fruit enriched at will spices such as ginger and turmeric”, continues the expert.

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Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D

“To avoid nutritional deficiencies, those following a vegetarian or even more vegan diet should remember the intake of vitamin B12 and D. In any case, if as adults we want to make a definite vegan choice it is good to ask your doctor for advice who will be able to recommend adequate blood tests to verify over time,” recommends Flachi.