Do Siberian yoga practitioners risk health if they follow lacto vegetarian diet?

Background: Practicing yoga has become widely popular in Siberia and vegetarian diet constitutes one of its most important assumptions with a great impact on the human body. However, vegetarians are not the tradition in Siberia. Aim of the study: To evaluate the diet and assess whether Siberian yoga practitioners risk health reducing some nutrients’ intake. Material and methods: 47 Siberian women practicing yoga (program “Art of Living”), aged 31.9±7.4 years and the residents of Krasnoyarsk city were examined. Their height and weight were recorded. Then, the values of height and weight were used to calculate their BMI. After that, their current food consumption was assessed using a 24-hour nutritional recall. The recall was the basis to assess the quantitative content, composition and nutritional value of their average daily nutrition ration. The mean energy values and the levels of basic food components were calculated with the use of the computer program. The studies were conducted in the winter-spring period. Results: The data shows that, within the group of women examined in the study, over- or under-nutrition in accordance to the classification of BMI 20.88±2.51 kg/m2 have not been found. Their daily diet includes milk and dairy products, grains, legumes, nuts, cereals, vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, berries, leafy greens, seeds and herbs. Lacto vegetarian sportswomen have 4–5 meals a day with the use of up to 2 liters of water. The diet contains a variety of products and takes energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The diet provides quantitative protein content, but it should be designed to avoid the use of proteins as the energy source. The ratio of proteins vs. fats vs. carbohydrates was 1 : 1 : 3.96, which can be considered as the norm for proteins and fats, but not for carbohydrates (recommendations for sportsmen 1 : 1 : 5). In our opinion, the energy goals were not met due to low intake of carbohydrates in women group practicing yoga in Siberia. The daily average consumption of vitamins in the group corresponds to the consumption of vitamins in the whole Russian population. Unfortunately, there is the imbalance between calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg) in the dietary habits which is not positive for the musculoskeletal system. We have also identified a high consumption of sodium (Na) and low of potassium (K), which can lead to some kidney and heart disorders. Conclusions: The research has helped us to answer the question whether Siberian yoga practitioners risk health if they are lacto vegetarians. Here are the findings: 1. Among lacto vegetarian yoga practitioners from Siberia over - or under-nutrition in accordance to the classification of BMI have not been found. 2. Lacto vegetarian yoga practitioners have appropriate nutritional habits: 4–5 meals a day with the use of up to 2 litres of water. 3. Food set has plastic, energy and biologically stimulating regulatory value. 4. Siberian female yoga practitioners have low (2%) probable risk of osteoporosis caused by inadequate intake of Ca in their daily diet and medium-risk (16%) of anemia caused by iron (Fe) deficiency and, therefore, they should supplement their diet using mineral supplements from the pharmacy. Certainly, vegetarians are not the tradition from the point of view of Siberia where it is difficult to find fresh vegetables, but lacto vegetarian diet can be successfully used.
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