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Plant-based diet good for adults, children: Australian research

(Xinhua)

09:42, June 06, 2012

SYDNEY, June 4 (Xinhua) -- A well-balanced, plant-based diet can meet the nutritional needs of all adults and children, a new study published on Monday in the Medical Journal of Australia Open (MJA Open) found.

A team of three Australian dietitians from Sanitarium, a private Sydney practice and the University of Newcastle conducted the research, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports.

The team worked with local and international academics.

Australian nutritionist Rosemary Stanton supports the findings, saying the new research puts everything together to help people better understand about nutrition in foods.

"As long as you've had a variety of plant-based foods over the course of a day or so, your body will take the amino acids as it needs them. And so we don't need to fuss about having seeds and nuts together, or particular foods together, the way we used to," she told ABC Radio.

"If you take meat off the plate, you need to put something else there, in the way of some legumes or grains or seeds or nuts."

Stanton said the positive aspects of a diet featuring more plant foods could be more important than any adverse effects of meat.

"Concern about adequate intakes of iron and zinc are important, but need to be balanced with the risks of a high meat intake, and specifically with too much haem iron," she said in an article published in the MJA Open on Monday.

"Not everyone needs to or wants to become vegetarian, but reducing our dependence on meat is a good recipe for our own health and also that of our planet," Stanton said.

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