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"Death by Veganism" NYT opinion piece - Page 7

post #121 of 275
[QUOTE=Chicharronita;8212308]Hmm, I think that's debatable.

About the calcium absorbable from plant vs. dairy foods....According to research from Dr. Connie Weaver at Purdue University, most greens (Bok choy, Broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Mustard greens, Kale, Turnip greens) have a high calcium absorption rate (40%-61%). Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) have an absorption rate of 32%. Tofu's absorption rate is about the same as dairy. Beans are around 25%. Nuts and sesame seeds have an absorption rate of 21%. Certain kinds of greens which have high oxalate levels, like spinach and chard have lower rates of calcium absorption (5%-8%).

Even though the calcium absorption rate for dairy products may be comparable to some vegan calcium sources, eating dairy products has not been shown to improve bone health. A metastudy in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by R. Weinsier (2000), showed that obtaining calcium from dairy products was not a reliable way to produce strong bones. In fact, many studies showed an increase in osteoporosis when people consumed more dairy. There may be some factor undermining your calcium absorption when you eat dairy.

Consumption of dairy products has also been linked to diabetes, cancer, iron deficiency anemia, constipation, and Crohn's disease. (If you want the studies, I can refer you.) The reason why kids aren't supposed to have cow's milk until they are 1 yr. old, is because it was causing such a problem with anemia.
post #122 of 275
To address a few points brought up over the past few pages, since this has turned into a vegan vs. omni diet debate:

Preformed vit. A is only available in animal foods - plants contain carotenes which theoretically our bodies convert to vit. A, but the conversion is at best 6 units of beta-carotene for 1 unit of vit. A, depending on the plant in question and the person in question, and in many cases would be much less, like more than 20 units of beta-carotene to 1 unit of vit. A. I'm not saying that adult vegans are typically lacking in vit. A if they eat enough carotenes and quality fat, but again, talking about children, they need nutrient density and won't always eat a carefully planned diet.

As for calcium from dairy - studies showing more osteoporosis with high dairy consumption are based on populations consuming pasteurized and processed dairy. I agree lots of pasteurized and processed dairy isn't likely to be healthy for anyone, but raw, grassfed dairy products are a different ball of wax. The enzymes in raw dairy products allow our bodies to better assimilate the minerals and other nutrients, including calcium. Pasteurization destoys those enzymes. Tables showing the "availability" of calcium and other minerals from plant foods vs. dairy foods are also based on pasteurized dairy, and in some cases are even based on animal studies using powdered milk. Same goes for the studies finding that the protein content of dairy blocks calcium absorption or otherwise contributes to bone loss.

The cholesterol/saturated fat theory of heart disease is a farce, IMO and in the opinions of many others who have looked into it in depth. I thought that even when I was veg*n. History shows us that heart disease increased when the consumption of highly-processed polyunsaturated vegetable oils and refined carbs increased, while saturated fat consumption when down
post #123 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Flaxseed and rapeseed oil, and walnuts contain ALA which the body can use to synthesize DHA and EPA.
Under optimal conditions; even so, the conversion can be extremely low—I think I just read .5%, but that was many Google searches ago.

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Folic Acid and B vitamins (except B12) are abundant in many vegan foods.
Liver has the highest amount of folic acid, far more than leafy greens. And meat has higher amounts of B vitamins naturally. Of course cereals are fortified with B vitamins, but I highly doubt that is as good as eating a whole food that contains the vitamins.

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How can you say meat is a superior source of iron when there are so many iron-rich vegan foods?
It doesn't matter how many nutrients is in a given food; what matters is how much your body can absorb. Heme iron, the form of iron found in meat, is far more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron from plant sources.


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Especially when the damaging effects of high meat intake are considered, it would seem that vegan sources of iron are "superior."
I don't think you need that much meat to get all the nutrients, but it sure helps to get the highest-quality meats.


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Zinc: beans, nuts, whole grains.
Like iron, zinc is most abundant in animal sources, especially oysters. And like iron, zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins.

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Many vegan foods are rich in Vit K.
K1 is not the same as K2. The only vegetarian source of K2 is natto, but it's not the equivalent of that found in animals eating grass (to explain the difference between K1 and K2 requires an extremely technical explanation about menaquinones).
post #124 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicharronita View Post
K1 is not the same as K2. The only vegetarian source of K2 is natto, but it's not the equivalent of that found in animals eating grass (to explain the difference between K1 and K2 requires an extremely technical explanation about menaquinones).
Isn't there some K2 in other fermented plants, like sauerkraut? It's a much smaller percentage than in natto, though, IIRC. And I think that K2 in natto is actually not of plant origin, because it's a result of the bacterial fermentation, produced by the bacteria, not inherent in the plant.
post #125 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Was that the article that had the tagline something like, "What is the healthiest diet? Mostly plants, and not much" ? I remember reading that, and I believe the author mentioned calorie restriction and the carcinogenic nature of meat.
That was it! I'm looking for it, and can't find it!
post #126 of 275
I was talking to a dairy nutritionist about their use of amino acid chelate minerals in the dairy cow supplements and asked what he thought of them for humans. (They are more bioavailable but also more expensive.) He had been talking about how the stress on dairy cows -- always having babies, producing milk, living out in the elements -- required these supplemental nutrients.

He said "we don't need supplements. You can go months without zinc in your diet and still be OK."

I said "Why did I have low zinc when I was pregnant?"

"Well, that's one of those times of life stress. That's an exception."

Basically he was saying that humans don't need supplementation except possibly during exceptional circumstances. Pregnancy and lactation are an example.

And all of that is to say, I agree with Michael Pollan's argument too about lots of plants and a little bit of animal. But I am not sure that it is the best pregnancy diet. I don't eat a lot of meat right now but while recovering from the depression in pregnancy and postpartum, I ate a lot and it seemed to help me. I am pretty well recovered and I just don't eat as much as I did. If I were to get pregnant again, I would probably have more animal foods than I am having right now. They just have more of the nutrients that I tend to be low in.

Amanda
post #127 of 275
I wrote an article about this, detailing how you can raise a vegan baby. Perhaps I should follow up with pieces about vegan children and toddlers and vegan pregnancies. I'm not vegan...but I consume very few animal products. I cook with milk now and again and pour it on my cereal; that's it. I do eat meat about five times a week, because my husband won't give it up and I don't want to cook it for just him. I also eat cheese and yogurt now and then. Fruits, vegetables, and grains make up most of my diet, and I'm extremely healthy. So is my toddler, who eats meat even less often than I do.
post #128 of 275
I would definatley need to eat meat more than a few times a year to be healthy (I can't do milk or eggs though). I will probably be eating more in my childbearing years than when I am post-menopausal though. I now believe that humans are omnivores and have seen my family's health improve after adding animal products back into our diet. My child gained much needed weight and started sleeping better. (I was feeding him a higher protein and fat vegan diet and he was still too skinny until we added whole goat milk and meats).

As for the parents who are going to jail. I don't think veganism killed their baby...they had other issues to say the least.

About the fish oil. I think cod liver oil is awesome, but I know that one could have robust health without it. There are many landlocked people who have healthy babies!
post #129 of 275
Can't resist responding to this thread (although I'm almost positive I'll regret it later) so here goes...
I wouldn't call myself a vegan, since on occasion I have fish, eggs, or chicken. Maybe once every couple of months. Minimal dairy- no milk, once or twice a year cheese, no yogurt. I eat a plant-based, nutrient dense diet. Tons of leafy greens, beans and lentils, variety of veggies, raw nuts, fruits, some soy products but not much. Stay away from processed foods and imitation/fake veggie meat type food. Also try to stay away from sugar and refined flours. I take a multivitamin w/ B12 and a vegan DHA supplement and vitamin D. I just gave birth 4 weeks ago to a healthy 8lb 2oz girl and have a completely healthy and thriving 3 year old that eats the same as me, although usually he eats more. And he's never had cow's milk. He nursed until I was 3 months pregnant. (and just an aside, at one point during my pregnancy my midwife was astonished at what incredible iron levels I had- must be all those leafy greens since didn't take a supplement.)
On any given day my toddler eats more variety than the average SAD eater. Just to compare, today his friend had watermelon and a turkey sandwich (on whitish bread with mayo and cheese- no lettuce or tomato) for lunch. Ds had soup with lentils, kale, carrots, and celery, date-nut balls with ground flax seed, a pear, some avocado, some tomatoes, and a banana. I don't think a valid argument can be made that my son is getting fewer nutrients than his friend.
I'll stop now and go get some sleep- but I'll end by posting this:
http://drfuhrman.com/members/Newslet...WebVersion.pdf
Those of you who are into the whole raw milk, WestonPrice thing might be interested in reading this. Or not. There's a reason they say ignorance is bliss.
post #130 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
The only two nutrients absent in vegan foods were b12 and vit D. Granted, both are very important, but you make it sound like it's a lot more than that.
Its not that nutrients aren't AVAILABLE in plant foods, its that they aren't as BIOAVAILABLE in plant foods. Big difference.
post #131 of 275
You don't need to consume Vitamin D if you get minimal sun exposure.
post #132 of 275
here is another link to some more data, something i have yet to see on this thread, well except what i posted earlier. anyone can talk till their blue in the face about what you believe to be true about plant nutrition but lets see some scientific back up.

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007other/nytimes.html

and here is a short synopsis of what you'll find when you read the whole thing. by john mcdougall...

Nina Planck's article condemning vegan diet contains serious errors concerning the adequacy of plant foods. Plants do contain all the essential amino acids in adequate quantities to meet human needs, and even those of children (Millward). Vitamin D is not found in milk or meat, unless it is added during manufacturing. Sunlight is the proper source of this vitamin. Plants manufacture beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. The original source of all minerals (including calcium and zinc) is the ground. Plants are abundant in minerals; and they act as the conduit of minerals to animals. The scientific truth is protein, essential amino acid, mineral, and vitamin (except for B12 which is synthesized by bacteria, not animals) deficiencies are never caused by a diet based on whole plant foods when calorie needs are met. Ms. Planck’s distortion of nutritional science is a serious matter that needs to be fixed.

Reference: Millward DJ. The nutritional value of plant-based diets in relation to human amino acid and protein requirements. Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 May;58(2):249-60.
post #133 of 275
How does giving birth to a nice chubby babe on a diet that has occassional fish, eggs and dairy an argument for a strict vegan diet in an infant?

I do not know what other people are talking about, but I am talking about strict vegan diets for infants and toddlers. It's absolutely possibel to do well. It's just a bit more challenging. And no babe, vegan or omni, should not have access to adequate amounts of breastmilk or adequate amounts of a good formula.

These posts showing children can do well on vegetarian diets...well, yeah. That's not any surprised.
post #134 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJP View Post
Isn't there some K2 in other fermented plants, like sauerkraut?
Yes, you're right. It's the only other non-meat food source.

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It's a much smaller percentage than in natto, though, IIRC.
Yes. 4.8 MCG/100G

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And I think that K2 in natto is actually not of plant origin, because it's a result of the bacterial fermentation, produced by the bacteria, not inherent in the plant.
Yes, you're right again. Veggie sources of vitamin K2 only have them through bacteria fermentation.
post #135 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force View Post
Basically he was saying that humans don't need supplementation except possibly during exceptional circumstances. Pregnancy and lactation are an example.

Quote:
And all of that is to say, I agree with Michael Pollan's argument too about lots of plants and a little bit of animal. But I am not sure that it is the best pregnancy diet. I don't eat a lot of meat right now but while recovering from the depression in pregnancy and postpartum, I ate a lot and it seemed to help me. I am pretty well recovered and I just don't eat as much as I did. If I were to get pregnant again, I would probably have more animal foods than I am having right now. They just have more of the nutrients that I tend to be low in.
What you wrote makes a lot of sense. I've only just stopped nursing myself, after 4 1/2 years. However, I am under a lot of stress, and don't handle it well. I ate badly for about 10 years prior to conceiving my daughter, so who knows how long it will take me to get back to "normal."
post #136 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
I do not know what other people are talking about, but I am talking about strict vegan diets for infants and toddlers. It's absolutely possibel to do well. It's just a bit more challenging. And no babe, vegan or omni, should not have access to adequate amounts of breastmilk or adequate amounts of a good formula.

These posts showing children can do well on vegetarian diets...well, yeah. That's not any surprised.
Not sure I was clear- I agree with what you're saying 100%! My babes are 99% plant-based and are thriving. That's all I was trying to say. I just can't claim to be vegan because two or three times a year (changing my original estimate because I thought about it longer) I eat what is served without making a fuss. (in-laws come to mind) And if any of you have read Disease Proof Your Child, you'll find all of the research needed to back the claim that the less animal products a child/toddler/infant consumes the healthier they will be in the long run. Sorry I wasn't clearer.
post #137 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicharronita View Post
What you wrote makes a lot of sense. I've only just stopped nursing myself, after 4 1/2 years. However, I am under a lot of stress, and don't handle it well. I ate badly for about 10 years prior to conceiving my daughter, so who knows how long it will take me to get back to "normal."
Exactly. It takes so much out of us and can take a while. After this period in our lives, it makes sense that we will need less of everything.
post #138 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Mama View Post
Can't resist responding to this thread (although I'm almost positive I'll regret it later) so here goes...
Come on in, the water's fine!

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I take a multivitamin w/ B12 and a vegan DHA supplement and vitamin D.
I hope it is D3, cholecalciferol, and not D2, ergocalciferol. The latter is practically useless as a supplement.


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I just gave birth 4 weeks ago to a healthy 8lb 2oz girl.
Congratulations!

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(and just an aside, at one point during my pregnancy my midwife was astonished at what incredible iron levels I had- must be all those leafy greens since didn't take a supplement.)
That's great that you're able to absorb a lot of iron with your greens. Maybe your body is more efficient at it, and/or you eat enough fat.

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On any given day my toddler eats more variety than the average SAD eater. Just to compare, today his friend had watermelon and a turkey sandwich (on whitish bread with mayo and cheese- no lettuce or tomato) for lunch. Ds had soup with lentils, kale, carrots, and celery, date-nut balls with ground flax seed, a pear, some avocado, some tomatoes, and a banana. I don't think a valid argument can be made that my son is getting fewer nutrients than his friend.
Is it really fair to compare the diet of your child, whose mother is knowledgeable about nutrition, to his friend's? I'd sure like to read more comparisons/studies besides the ones comparing a vegetarian diet and SAD.

Quote:
I'll stop now and go get some sleep- but I'll end by posting this:
http://drfuhrman.com/members/Newslet...WebVersion.pdf
Yeah, I've read that. There are numerous inaccuracies about WAP and the Foundation in there (just for a start, the WAPF advocates breastmilk for infants, and home-made formula as a last resort).

Fuhrman, and others like him (Robbins, Campbell, etc.) have their own biased view of optimal nutrition. When you read their writings, a lot of it makes sense at face value, especially Fuhrman's nutrient-density scoring system, but it has flaws like the fact that he doesn't account for bioavailability; many of the nutrients he measures are much less bioavailable than from animal foods, but he doesn't make those adjustments.

There are other crucial things to keep in mind:

Yes there is protein in non-meat foods, but it's questionable how much gets absorbed since it's bound up with fiber. However, he's probably right that some people only need 10%. Personally, I'd rather eat an egg and be done with it, knowing it will be well-absorbed by my body because it has fats and vitamins all in one easy-to-eat package.

Another thing to keep in mind about fiber: 80-90% of the carotenes in vegetables are excreted because they are bound up in the fiber. And I won't go into another long-winded discussion about oxalates and phytates because I haven't had breakfast yet.

There is calcium in veggies, but you have to eat 4 cups of kale to get the equivalent of what's in one cup of milk, with the caveat that the calcium in milk is more available since it has fat and vitamins all in one package like eggs and meat. (I also think most people get enough calcium, and probably need to work on getting more magnesium in their diet). It seems like on his diet you would spend your whole day munching food like a cow, but I have better things to do with my time.

Even Fuhrman admits that his diet has the potential to be lacking for vegans in vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine and DHA, although he should add to the list vitamin A, zinc, and some of the other B vitamins. He also gets a brownie point for not whole-heartedly recommending soy.

And neither of his links about life expectancy for the Maasai work.

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Those of you who are into the whole raw milk, WestonPrice thing might be interested in reading this. Or not. There's a reason they say ignorance is bliss.
That goes double for Fuhrman, who I seriously doubt has read Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The information Price discovered about fat, meat, and diet flies in the face of what he thinks is an optimal diet.
post #139 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by whateverdidiwants View Post
You don't need to consume Vitamin D if you get minimal sun exposure.
True, but that's a big IF. For those that live outside of 34 degrees latitude there's a "Vitamin D Winter," where people can't get enough or any D from the sun during winter; in some places, it can be up to six months.

In addition, variations in the ozone layer's density can cause the length of the "Vitamin D Winter" to increase or decrease by up to two months. Aerosols and buildings block UV-B radiation; clouds can eliminate up to 99 percent of UV-B radiation.

Those are just things I can think of off the top of my head on an empty stomach.
post #140 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
That was it! I'm looking for it, and can't find it!
You have to google "unhappy meals" (with the quotes) and the author's name.
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