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Non-starch polysaccharide intake in vegans and the relationship with energy distribution and mineral intakes

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There is little information available about non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) intake in vegans. This study aimed to estimate the intake of NSP in the habitual vegan diet and to assess the relationship between NSP intake and energy distribution, and intakes of selected minerals. Method

NSP intake, energy distribution and intakes of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc were estimated, using a 4-day weighed record, in 26 adult vegans (male n = 11, female n = 15) consuming their habitual diet. Results

Mean BMI values in males (22.0) and females (21.1) were significantly lower than the average for the UK population. Mean daily NSP intakes in males (27 g) and females (23 g) were higher than the dietary reference value (DRV) population average of 18 g day–1, although six subjects had intakes below this and two male subjects had intakes below the DRV individual minimum of 12 g day–1. Cereals were the major contributor to total NSP intakes. Mean contributions to total energy intake in males and females were in-line with the DRV. Mean calcium intakes were below the reference nutrient intake (RNI) while mean intakes of magnesium, iron and zinc were above the RNIs. There were significant positive correlations between NSP intake and calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Conclusion

Occasional low NSP intakes and, conversely, high intakes of NSP combined with marginal calcium intakes in some vegans are of concern. Further work is needed to assess food sources and NSP intakes in the current vegan diet.

Keywords: distribution; energy; minerals; non-starch polysaccharides; vegan diet

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nutrition Research Centre, School of Applied Science, South Bank University, London, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2000


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