Vegan diet?

ruckusluvr

New member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Kentucky
I would like to learn more about a vegan diet. Is there a really good website that you know of?
I have many questions!

Is is safe? What studies show that it is, or is not?
What vitamins do you take on a vegan diet?
and what do you do if you are going to eat at a restaurant!? (red lobster!)
Do vegans eat any fish?
or do vegans eat only "raw" foods?

thanks everyone!
 

kind2creatures

...elusive dreamer
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
USA
Vegan Pros and Cons

Here's just one of many articles found online, might give you some info.

Vegan Diets: The Pros and Cons

Increasingly, people are concerned today about the health of the environment. Some are very concerned about the inappropriate treatment of farm animals. For many others, the concern is about their health and what changes they can make to promote a better quality of life. Because of these concerns, many are making the switch to a plant-based diet.



About two to three million adult Americans have chosen to go totally vegetarian and eliminate all animal products from their diet. If one eats only plant foods, are there really any additional health benefits? What about risks? The research studies point to a better quality of health for the total vegetarian, or vegan.

Although research studies on vegans are few in number, there are some things that have been clearly shown. It is observed that vegans are significantly thinner, their blood pressure levels are lower, and they have lower blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels than other vegetarians and much lower levels than those who eat meat (omnivores). These factors all translate into a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The lower body weight would also be associated with a lower risk of cancer and diabetes.

These health advantages can be partly explained by the fact that vegan diets are richer in dietary fiber, higher in potassium and magnesium, folic acid, the antioxidant vitamins C and E, and the health-promoting phytochemicals. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts have all shown protective characteristics against the major chronic diseases.

Those who consume high levels of these plant foods show lower levels of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers, compared with those who consume low levels of the plant foods. In addition, the use of spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and onions to flavor food protects the consumer against cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Eliminating meat from the diet may not lower your saturated fat and cholesterol intake if a considerable use is made of milk, eggs and cheese. However, if one uses non-fat dairy products and egg whites (without the yolk), then the saturated fat and cholesterol intake will be considerably reduced. The dairy products can carry a slight risk of Listeriosis and Salmonella poisoning as well as allergies from milk protein and antibiotic residues in the milk. On the other hand, eggs carry a risk of salmonellosis and must be thoroughly cooked before consumption. The elderly, pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to improperly cooked eggs due to their partially compromised immune system.
Is There a Downside to Eating a Vegan Diet?

There are always questions about calcium and vitamin D intakes and the impact these have upon risk of bone fractures in vegans. Eliminating dairy from the diet does remove a good source of calcium from the diet. Vegans can get their daily needs of calcium from dark green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy), calcium-fortified soy and rice beverages, and cereals, and calcium-fortified orange and apple juices. Tofu, oranges, tahini, figs, and sweet potatoes also provide useful amounts of calcium.

A large study in the United Kingdom showed that common bone fractures were no more common in vegans provided they consumed over 525 mg calcium a day. In addition to calcium, other components of a plant-based diet that are believed to protect the integrity of bone structure are potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, soy, and certain culinary herbs, such as thyme, sage, and rosemary.

The potassium- and magnesium-rich fruits and vegetables provide an alkaline residue which protects against bone loss. This alkaline residue is especially important to the aging kidney which has a problem with handling excess acid. Vitamin K-rich leafy vegetables facilitate the formation of the essential bone protein osteocalcin. Women with a higher vitamin K intake (a green leafy vegetable at least once a day) had a 45 percent reduced risk of hip fractures compared to those women with a low intake (eating a leafy vegetable less than once a week).

Soy is particularly useful in protecting against loss of bone mineral density especially in post-menopausal women. The isoflavones in soy are also reported to significantly promote bone formation and inhibit bone loss. Two servings of soy per day provides the optimal effect.

Vitamin D that is required for calcium metabolism can be obtained from vitamin D-fortified cereals, margarines, and soy beverages. During the winter months, vitamin D –rich foods are essential since very little, if any, vitamin D is synthesized by the body during the winter months for those living north of Denver and Washington DC.

Iron deficiency is a worldwide concern for everyone, especially women of child-bearing age. Eliminating dairy from the diet has no impact on iron status since milk is a very poor source of iron. Furthermore, the iron in egg is not readily bioavailable. Hence, the vegan is not considered to be at any greater risk of iron deficiency compared with other vegetarians.

A major concern for those who subsist solely on plant foods has been vitamin B12. While meat, milk and eggs have ample vitamin B12 , plants contain none. Vitamin B12 deficiency can have serious consequences such as early dementia, lack of coordination, forgetfulness, nerve dysfunction, memory loss, disorientation, difficulty with concentration, and difficulty with one’s balance when walking.

It is important for vegans to daily consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 such as fortified soy and rice beverages, some cereals and meat analogs. Reading labels is important to ensure one has an adequate intake. In fact, all persons who are fifty years of age and above should consume foods that are fortified with vitamin B12 since they may have decreased stomach acid to digest the vitamin B12 in animal foods.

Long chain omega-3 fatty acids are important for cardiovascular health as well as brain and eye function. The fatty acids can be obtained from fish. The vegetarian can now obtain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA from microalgae supplements. In addition, the body can convert alpha-linolenic acid to the long chain fatty omega-3 fatty acid DHA, although this is a fairly inefficient process. Alpha-linolenic acid can be obtained from a variety of vegetable sources, including flax seed, canola oil, walnuts, tofu, soy beverages, and soy products.

Conclusion

By appropriate food selections a vegetarian can chose to eliminate all animal products from their diet and still have a nutritionally adequate diet. An unwise selection of foods can leave one short of certain nutrients and may induce deficiency symptoms and adverse health outcomes. Following a plant-based diet lowers the risk of age-related problems such as overweight, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Author: Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD.

Page printed from:
http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/updates/vegan-diets-pros-cons.php
 

saved1986

In seaerch of spicy food
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Be careful with soy (tofu etc) if you become vegan. Many soy products are made from genetically modified soy. A fallacy that exists in US society: Protein! You do not need a ton of it, with 20-25g a day being sufficent. If you do go vegan, make sure you take 1000 mcg of B-12 once a month.
 

D Bergy

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
I think the fact that we are designed with eyes on the front of our heads, as predators do, and teeth suitable for eating both meat and plants indicate what our diet should consist of. I am sure you probably could do well on a vegan diet, I guess I question the logic of having a more difficult and contrary diet.

Just my opinion.

Dan
 

GlassOfLife

New member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
I've been vegan for 4 years now.

Just search Google for vegan forums, you'll find plenty of info. I'm using vegweb the most, because there are many great recipes there.

It's a life style change, so you should learn everything to remain healthy. You should eat lots of veggies, beans, nuts, whole grains, tofu... Eat lots of green veggies for iron and take B12 supplement.

BTW, there are different kinds of vegans, some eat only raw foods, but none of them eat anything that comes from animals - no meat, no fish, no milk (I drink soy milk), no cheese, eggs...
 

jfh

perpetual student
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Location
Texas, USA
BTW, there are different kinds of vegans, some eat only raw foods, but none of them eat anything that comes from animals - no meat, no fish, no milk (I drink soy milk), no cheese, eggs...
Then beware of B12. Comes from animals.
 

Harry Hirsute

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Location
Propecia, CA
I'd keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels as well. Vegan diets can be rather high glycemic. The best way to combat that tendency is to emphasize foods that are rich in fat, fiber and protein - from plant based sources, of course.
 

GlassOfLife

New member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
I'd keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels as well. Vegan diets can be rather high glycemic. The best way to combat that tendency is to emphasize foods that are rich in fat, fiber and protein - from plant based sources, of course.
Thanks!

Yes, I eat lots of veggies, beans, tofu, whole grains and nuts, but don't eat too much fruits, as I don't like them very much :). I drink smoothies once or twice a week. I also normally don't eat processed foods, white bread or sweets - maybe once or twice a month.

My dad has diabetes, and before I switched my diet, I had high blood sugar too. Now, I check my blood regularly and it has been normal since.
 

BlancheYHU

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Location
Clermont Florida
There are quite a few websites. If you do a search for raw food diet, you will find everything from green smoothies to all fruit. A macrobiotic diet can be a vegan diet.

Vegan diets for the most part are cooked food diets. They can miss the boat, because there is a lot of junk products produced that are vegan. On this diet you can have quite a bit of sugar and still be vegan.

I have tried most of the diets from macrobiotics, raw, green smoothies, and paleo which is high protein. It is sort of a atkins diet with whole foods, such as grass-fed beef and dairy. Grass-fed meat and dairy supply's more omega-3, and vitamins than commercial beef and dairy.

Just calling something a vegan diet doesn't mean it is healthy. What I have found is you have to find what makes you feel good. It is trial and error sometimes. I would do research and search for whole foods. A whole food diet can be vegan, paleo, and microbiotics.

You can be almost all vegan, and get what you need from the paleo diet. I learned that organic produce is good when you can get it. Grass-fed meat, and dairy are good for some people. Produce in the form of vegetables and fruit supply you with nutrients, and are anti-inflammatory agents.

Everyone is different, and the guru's telling you about a diet give good information. However, this is what works for them. I have seen their advice taken to the extreme. The best way I know of changing your diet is to go slow and add some good sources of vegan foods.
 

Druidess

New member
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Blanche, I agree with you about the variety of diets out there and experimenting to find what works best for you as an individual. Nothing is a blanket answer for everyone. I would love to go vegetarian, but find myself unable to get some important nutrients if I do so since I'm also allergic to soy. This means I actually have to read the labels of vegan foods as well, or enquire the preparer about them. So I follow a pollopescatarian diet to accommodate my sensitivities and get enough nutrients, as well as to properly manage my hypothyroidism naturally, and make sure all of my food is organic.
 

BlancheYHU

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Location
Clermont Florida
I like the idea of going vegan. I was macrobiotic for many years, the diet does allow fish. For the most part it is a vegan diet. The problem was that it is left up to the person how they want to do it. Unless they see a trained advisor, they are on their own. Now, many people liked the bread, seitan, and tofu. That doesn't mean it was the best for them.

There were a lot of baking that went on. That means sweetners, even if it wasn't sugar. For some people rice dream ice cream was what they consumned in large portions. The diet is high in greens and vegetables, and condiments. If you are a healthy eater you can do well. However, if you like carbs, and sweets you may not do as well.

I tried the raw fruit diet, and did an almost 30 day fast. This was with Doug Graham of the 80/10/10 diet. This is really not for everyone. I am sure this can be a problem for anyone who stays on fruit for too long.

There is nothing that beats common sense, and a whole food diet. Yes, I tried the paleo diet, that is really alright if you get lots of greens. What all this taught me is that you are the best judge of what you should eat. Knowledge helps you make the right choices. The best way to experiment is by making small changes, and build on them.
 

Ted_Hutchinson

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2009
Eades Review of the Lierre Keith book The Vegetarian Myth
I do urge everyone particularly vegetarians and vegans to read this book.

But whatever your current dietary choice this book will make you rethink your ideas about a lot of things that you thought were facts and wonder seriously about the way current farming is going.

The problem is far more serious than you may currently think and everyone, or even more people going vegetarian or vegan will only make matters worse.

Annual crops like Grains are not a sustainable way of managing the soil.
We are wasting our topsoil growing crops that our DNA did not evolve to thrive on.
Lierre Keith sets the record straight. It's extremely well written book but be warned she challenges your current beliefs and makes you wonder how best you should change your ways to improve the long term sustainability of your current way of life.
 

BlancheYHU

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Location
Clermont Florida
I like the idea of a vegan diet, but that is about all. Most cutures around the world use protein. To be healthy it is a must. I see that most vegan's use some sort of protein. The majority don't follow a really healthy diet, they think no animal products means health.

A vegan diet can be good for a short time, for the long haul it isn't the best for most people. I have seen people get well on macrobiotics and a raw food diet. That may have been good for them, remember for them to get where they were they had a poor diet. The reason people may do well is they do a low carb diet, and cut out the processed food.

Raising crops the way we do is not green. Grass-fed roaming animals is good for the planet.
 

Naturally Unbridled

New member
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Location
USA
I became vegan (90+%) a year ago and have experienced tremendous benefits including better sleep, more energy, stronger nails, healthier skin and more! As long as you're a whole-foods vegan; eating a wide variety of plants (greens, legumes, cruciferous veggies, etc.) and not a potato chip, jelly bean vegan! Just because it's not an animal doesn't mean it's good for you!
 

jfh

perpetual student
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Location
Texas, USA
The liver can only store about 5 years of vitamin B12. Fewer years, if your body really needs it; or you did not get much as a non-vegan.
 

mindmt

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Location
Harpenden UK/Wiesbaden D
Here here :thumbsup:

Everyone should read this book, vegan, veggie, feather 'n scale, omnivore, whatever... boycott all grains and grain-fed animal sources, and don't eat any soya products (except maybe natto??) :banghead:


Eades Review of the Lierre Keith book The Vegetarian Myth
I do urge everyone particularly vegetarians and vegans to read this book.

But whatever your current dietary choice this book will make you rethink your ideas about a lot of things that you thought were facts and wonder seriously about the way current farming is going.

The problem is far more serious than you may currently think and everyone, or even more people going vegetarian or vegan will only make matters worse.

Annual crops like Grains are not a sustainable way of managing the soil.
We are wasting our topsoil growing crops that our DNA did not evolve to thrive on.
Lierre Keith sets the record straight. It's extremely well written book but be warned she challenges your current beliefs and makes you wonder how best you should change your ways to improve the long term sustainability of your current way of life.
 

Ted_Hutchinson

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2009
and don't eat any soya products (except maybe natto??)
Harder to do this than you think.
I was looking at prescription forms of Calcium and Vitamin D available in the UK and nearly all of them contain hydrogenated soy oil.
While I accept that most older people do need to correct vitamin D status and many will not be getting sufficient calcium in their diet/water there are much safer ways of correcting vitamin D3 insufficiency by using a separate effective strength MCT, OLIVE OR FISH oil based capsule It's easy to avoid the soy oil if you check the ingredients and there is certainly no need for it to be hydrogenated and turned to transfat. We all know what transfat does and force feeding it to elderly people in prescription medicines is simply irresponsible.

What is the form of calcium best handled by humans and you can be sure that's NOT the form in UK prescription medicines but calcium carbonate is.

Calcium citrate malate blend
 

medicalbrain

New member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
well, I basically want on a totally vegetarian diet for 3-4 months and it worked absolute wonders for my mind and body. I also didnt have any dairy products or milk.

I felt increased focus and clarity in my head, more energy, motivation and productivity

the thing is, when you go back to eating meat and dairy products, you realise how unproductive you really are - you only appreciate just how messed up dairy and meat can do to you when you take the plunge and remove them

at the moment im semi-vegetarian but dont eat any dairy products or milk. I occasionally have fish and meat - due to temptation lol - but I think thats a sign of a healthy personality to get variety every now and again

it might be tough for the first few weeks but stick in there cos its worth it :)

good luck!
 

Night_Owl

New member
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
There are quite a few websites. If you do a search for raw food diet, you will find everything from green smoothies to all fruit. A macrobiotic diet can be a vegan diet.

Vegan diets for the most part are cooked food diets. They can miss the boat, because there is a lot of junk products produced that are vegan. On this diet you can have quite a bit of sugar and still be vegan.

I have tried most of the diets from macrobiotics, raw, green smoothies, and paleo which is high protein. It is sort of a atkins diet with whole foods, such as grass-fed beef and dairy. Grass-fed meat and dairy supply's more omega-3, and vitamins than commercial beef and dairy.

Just calling something a vegan diet doesn't mean it is healthy. What I have found is you have to find what makes you feel good. It is trial and error sometimes. I would do research and search for whole foods. A whole food diet can be vegan, paleo, and microbiotics.

You can be almost all vegan, and get what you need from the paleo diet. I learned that organic produce is good when you can get it. Grass-fed meat, and dairy are good for some people. Produce in the form of vegetables and fruit supply you with nutrients, and are anti-inflammatory agents.

Everyone is different, and the guru's telling you about a diet give good information. However, this is what works for them. I have seen their advice taken to the extreme. The best way I know of changing your diet is to go slow and add some good sources of vegan foods.
You have personally tried different diets. Do you prefer the vegan diet or a Paleo type diet higher in protein and lower in starchy carbs for yourself?
 

Thrasymachus

New member
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Location
Dover, NJ
A healthy vegan diet is the best in terms of ethics, health and impact on the environment.

Humans were not meant to be carnivores. Can a human hunt and kill animals without tools? Can you name a single carnivore that needs tools to hunt, besides us? Have you meat a single proud meat-eater that actually consumes raw meat like a real carnivore? Can they make a kill and come days later and still eat the raw flesh from the carcass like a real carnivore without falling deafly ill? These are just some questions that will make you see past the carnivore mythologies in our society.

Also about the b12 issue, it is said that soil used to naturally have a bacteria that produced b12 in the plants you would eat. But now the soil is so depleted that vegans should supplement b12 to ensure they are getting it.

After being vegan for a while I can say safely:
Those who say they love eat meat, really don't. They always add mayo, relish, ketchup, pickles, salt, onions, pepper, sauerkraut, vinegar, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, basil, olive oil, etc. to the meat to make it palatable. No human who pretends to like meat, actually enjoys consuming raw unprepared meat like any wild cat would. The mere thought of raw meat is enough to make humans sick.
 


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