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Optimizing the plant-based diet.

Mann, J.I., 2000.  Optimizing the plant-based diet. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr. 9(suppl):S60-4.

Any attempt to optimize a plant-based diet necessitates an identification of the features of the diet which confer benefit as well as any which may be associated with detrimental effects. The former task is more difficult than might be assumed as there is no doubt that some of the apparent health benefits observed amongst vegetarians are a consequence of environmental determinants of health which characterize groups of people who choose vegetarian diets, rather than dietary practices. This review will consider the major health benefits of plant-based diets, the specific foods or nutrients which confer the benefits as far as can be ascertained from present knowledge, potential nutrient deficiencies associated with a plant-based diet and nutritional strategies that can be employed to prevent any such deficiencies.

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