Based on a review of the most recent available scientific evidence, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 (USDA DG) provide information and advice for choosing a healthy diet. To compare the environmental impacts of, respectively, omnivorous (OMN), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV) and vegan (VEG) dietary patterns as suggested in the USDA DG, we analyzed the three patterns by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology.
The presence of animal food in the diet was the main determinant of environmental impact. The major impact always stemmed from land and water use. The second largest impact came from energy use. Emission of toxic inorganic compounds into the atmosphere was the third cause of impact. Climate change and acidification/eutrophication represented other substantial impacts.
Choline is an essential vitamin-like (vitamin B4) nutrient, synthesized in human body, but not sufficiently.
The recommended adequate intake (AI) of choline is set at 425 milligrams (mg)/day for women and 550 mg/day for men.
Choline deficiency causes muscle damage and abnormal deposition of fat in the liver, which results in a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Genetic predispositions and gender can influence individual variation in choline requirements.
Example Plant Fruitarian Sources of Choline
Seeds (including legumes and nuts), high in choline, milligrams per 100 g portion:
- Soybeans - 124 mg
- Lima beans - 97 mg
- Lentils - 96 mg
- Peas (mature) - 96 mg
- Flaxseeds - 79 mg
- Pistachio nuts - 71 mg
- Quinoa - 70 mg
- Pumpkin and squash seed kernels (pepitas) - 63 mg
- Cashew nuts - 61 mg
- Pine nuts - 56 mg
- Sunflower seed kernels - 55 mg
- Buckwheat - 54 mg
- Almonds - 52 mg
Fruits, high in choline, milligrams per 100 g portion:
- Tomatoes, sun-dried - 105 mg
- Apples - 18 mg
- Figs - 16 mg
- Avocados - 14 mg