Food: the risks of radicalism

Vegetarian, vegan, vegan, the Foundation of the Academy of Medicine reveals in its white paper the risks of these sometimes radical diets. The diet must be varied.

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the Foundation of the Academy of Medicine released its white paper “Food today”. Aimed at a wide audience of initiated and uninitiated people, this work summarizes debates about food. At a time of overload of information conveyed by social networks whose veracity is not guaranteed, the Foundation offers a true gateway to certified and accessible knowledge

Certain very restrictive diets can cause deficiencies, especially in micronutrients and vitamins.

In this technical document, several paragraphs explain why we should not ban animal proteins from our dishes.

Here are some excerpts.

A varied diet for children

In children and adolescents, a balanced diet is based on 4 pillars: iron, calcium, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients. Thus, a the ideal diet should include two meat products per day (180 g)one fruit or vegetable, three dairy products and one or two portions of fatty fish per week.

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The diet must contain proteins that can be of animal or vegetable origin.

Choosing between one or the other is difficult because alongside purely nutritional problems is the environmental problem. However, in relation to proteins we can remember that:

  • The foods richest in protein are meat, fish and eggs.
  • Animal proteins are more digestible than plant proteins.
  • For an equivalent protein intake, you should consume more plant proteins than animal proteins. So to get as much protein as in a 150g steak you need to eat 1kg of potatoes or 2.5kg of zucchini!!!
  • We also need very diverse plant products to maintain the same supply of essential nutrients.

Furthermore, it is not enough for proteins to be present in food, they must also be assimilated by the body. In general, proteins from animal products are more digestible than those from plant products.

Food: can we reduce the consumption of animal products?

The technical document provides a detailed answer, specifying that, along with proteins, our balanced diet must cover all macro and micronutrient needs. However, they are more important in animal products.

The risk of poor intake and deficiency of Vit B12, Vit D, Vit A, EPA-DHA, iron, zinc, calcium, etc. increases with the importance of eliminating products of animal origin (example of the transition from flexitarians to vegetarians and vegans).

We must be careful when avoiding products of animal origin, as epidemiological studies show that, in these cases, the risks of deficiencies, especially of micronutrients and vitamins, are significant.

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Is livestock a source of environmental disaster?

Here again, the White Paper details this claim which is often repeated by extremists. The Foundation recognizes that animal products have a much greater impact on the environment than plant products. But she puts things into perspective and explains, for example, that global water consumption is much higher in diets rich in fruits and vegetables than in diets rich in animal proteins. For what ? because the cultivation of the latter requires irrigated crops that consume a lot of water…

If intensive agriculture also contributes to the loss of local biodiversity, on the other hand, well-managed ruminant farming can contribute favorably to local biodiversity. For what ? Because the animal eats what we give it and we can thus diversify the cultivated species, which will contribute to increasing agrobiodiversity. And above all, this creation allows the creation of an entire trophic chain because there are pastures and ruminants that enhance it. Did you know ? In France, a cow is associated with 90 m of hedges.

The foundation therefore campaigns for less intensive and more local agriculture.

Switching to radical adherence to diets without any understanding of the risks

With the contribution of doctors, nutritionists, chefs, scientists, users… we wanted to use this white paper to oppose certain dietary recommendations that would lead some of our fellow citizens to switch to a radical adherence to diets without any understanding of the problem. risks that they can take, explains Richard Villet Secretary General of the Academy of Medicine Foundation We would like to remind you of verified, scientific and essential information about food in a context in which fake news floods the networks

The white paper can be downloaded in this link

Our conclusion: eat game… there is no better source of proteins, vitamins and all without impact on the planet. Healthy and natural meat that takes us back to its origins.

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