Nutritional gap

Nutritional gap

The nutritional gap is the difference between the levels of nutrients obtained by the average person eating a reasonable Western diet and those identified by research as being required for optimal health in the population.

How can I correct the Nutritional gap in vegetarian diet?

A well-planned vegetarian diet is a nutritious way to meet your nutritional requirements. Learn everything you need to know about a plant-based diet. Vegetarian diets are becoming increasingly popular. The reasons for eating a vegetarian diet vary, but they all have health benefits, such as lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

However, some vegetarians eat too many processed foods that are high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. Furthermore, they may not consume enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods, depriving themselves of the nutrients they provide.

A vegetarian diet, on the other hand, can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women, with a little planning. The key is to be aware of your nutritional requirements and plan a diet to meet them.

Making a healthy vegetarian diet plan

Choose a variety of healthy plant-based foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains, to get the most out of your vegetarian diet. Simultaneously, limit less healthy options such as sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, and refined grains. If you need assistance, a registered dietitian can help you design a vegetarian diet that is right for you.

  • Vegetables:  2 1/2 cups a day
  • Fruits: 2 cups a day
  • Grains: (mostly whole): 6 1/2 ounces a day
  • Dairy: 3 cups a day
  • Perotin foods: 3 1/2 ounces a day
  • Oils: 27 grams a day

How can I correct the Nutritional gap in a non-vegetarian diet?

Meat and seafood consumption helps to meet nutrient requirements that are missing or lacking in plant-based products (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, vitamins D and B12), as well as nutrients like iron and zinc. Furthermore, iron and zinc bioavailability is low when derived from plant-based products. However, excessive consumption of red and processed meats is discouraged in order to maintain good health, as they have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Similarly, seafood, particularly fish, is a major vector of contaminants such as methylmercury, arsenic, and persistent organic pollutants. 

As a result, while seafood consumption should be ensured to ensure adequate omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, selenium, and iodine intake, it should also be limited to minimize potential negative health effects. Plant-based foods are high in fiber, vitamins C and B, magnesium, carotenoids, polyphenols, and antioxidants, all of which help to prevent chronic diseases. In France, as in most Western countries, animal protein consumption is roughly twice as high as plant protein consumption.

In a recent study based on a representative French national dietary survey conducted in 2014-2015, simulations of replacing animal-protein foods in the French diet with plant-protein foods revealed nutritional benefits, but only when the plant-protein foods were highly diverse. There is clear evidence that shifting to more plant-based diets will aid in the reduction of diet-related greenhouse gas emissions. However, eliminating meat entirely is not required to ensure nutritional adequacy while reducing the environmental impact of diets.

What is the major role of vitamin B2 in the body in the nutritional gap?

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is one of the eight B vitamins that are required for human health. It’s present in grains, plants, and dairy products. It is required for the breakdown of food components, the absorption of other nutrients, and the maintenance of tissues.

Because vitamin B2 is water-soluble, it dissolves in water. Every vitamin is either water or fat soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are carried through the bloodstream, and any excess is excreted in the urine. People must consume vitamin B2 on a daily basis because the body can only store a limited amount and supplies deplete quickly.

Vitamin B2 aids in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is essential for maintaining the body’s energy supply. Riboflavin aids in the conversion of carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate. The human body generates ATP from food, and ATP generates energy as needed. ATP is essential for storing energy in muscles.

Vitamin B, like vitamin A, is required for:

  • Maintaining the digestive system’s mucous membranes.
  • Keeping your liver healthy.
  • Using tryptophan to create niacin, an amino acid.
  • Maintaining the health of the eyes, nerves, muscles, and skin by absorbing and activating iron, folic acid, and vitamins B1, B3, and B6.
  • The adrenal glands produce hormones.
  • Preventing the formation of cataracts.
  • Fetal development, particularly in areas where vitamin deficiency is prevalent.
  • Some research suggests that vitamin B2 may aid in the prevention of cataracts and migraine headaches, but more research is needed to confirm this.

What is Vitamin B12 deficiency? 

Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation and maintenance of nerve and red blood cells, it supports the nervous system, and it aids in the formation of DNA, the foundation of all cells.

Anemia can develop if vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated. It may also cause nerve and brain damage. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)Trusted Source, the long-term damage may be irreversible.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: 

  • Include not growing or developing at the expected rate.
  • Movement problems.
  • Megaloblastic anemia.
  • Anemia and neurological issues can cause additional symptoms and complications.


Vitamin B12 is required for cell reproduction. A person’s body cannot produce enough red blood cells if they do not consume enough vitamin B12. This can lead to anemia.

Megaloblastic anemia is the most common symptom of B12 deficiency, in which red blood cells are immature and larger than usual. This has an impact on their ability to effectively deliver oxygen to the body.

Anemia is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • fatigue.
  • feeling of shortness of breath faint \headaches.
  • Pale or yellowish skin palpitations in the heart.
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears) (ringing in the ears).
  • weight loss and reduced appetite.

Neurological signs and symptoms

A lack of vitamin B12 can also cause neurological symptoms such as:

  • tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • issues with cognition and memory
  • confusion.
  • issues with balance
  • Gait and other movement changes.

Long-term B12 deficiency may increase the risk of developing a variety of health problems. One possible explanation is that the body requires vitamin B12 to process homocysteine.

Experts have discovered links between high levels of homocysteine and certain health conditions, including dementia and cardiovascular disease.

Dementia and reasoning

Low vitamin B12 levels may have long-term effects on brain health and increase the risk of cognitive decline.

Depending on the individual’s age, it may result in Trusted Source:

  • children’s school performance suffers
  • Irritability. 
  • Memory loss. 
  • Depression. 
  • Dementia.

According to some studies, people with Alzheimer’s and dementia have higher levels of homocysteine. 

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