Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Milk and Meat Stuff

1. Milk is "natural" only for baby calves. Calves have fours stomachs and double their body weight in 47 days. Human babies have only one stomach and a much slower rate of growth. It takes human babies 180 days or so to double their weight, so they don't need nearly as much protein as calves. Cows' milk is 15% protein (it has 15% of its calories as protein); human breast milk is 5 % protein. Much of the rationale for believing that cows' milk is an ideal food for human babies was based on research done with rats early in this century. The milk of mother rats is 49% protein and baby rats double their weight in just 4 days. This is yet another example of the difficulties we create for ourselves by trying to imitate rats.

2. Continuing to drink milk into adulthood is unnatural to all species. Only man could rationalize such weird behavior and learn to view it as "natural." "Custom," Shaw said, "will reconcile people to any atrocity."

3. Decades of meat and dairy propaganda have made Americans the world's most outrageous protein gluttons. The most frequent question vegetarians hear is, "Where do you get your protein?" The answer is, "Where do horses, cows, gorillas, elephants, and giraffes get their protein?" Corpse-milk-egg protein is secondhand protein, inferior in quality to plant protein. And all plants, even lettuce, have protein. Here again is George Bernard Shaw: "Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into a giant oak! Bury a sheep, and nothing happens but decay!"

4. Although the officially recommended daily requirement for protein is probably more than double what we really need, government and university experts regularly advise that we take in an extra 30% or so just to be safe. More is better. When asked who needs this extra 30%, Dr. David Reuben, who popularized the importance of dietary fiber, replied: The people who sell meat, fish, cheese, eggs, chicken, and all the other high prestige and expensive sources of protein. Raising the amount of protein you eat by 30% raises their income by 30%. It also increases the amount of protein in the sewers and septic tanks of your neighborhood 30% as you merrily urinate away everything that you can't use that very _ day. It also deprives the starving children of the world of the protein that would save their lives. Incidentally, it makes you pay 30% of your already bloated food bill for protein you will never use [and] puts another $36 billion a year into the pockets of the protein producers.

5. Question: Where do people who don't drink milk get their calcium? Answer: Where do cows get their calcium?

6. Question: Who needs the excess calcium that experts recommend? Answer: The people who sell milk, cheese, and other high prestige and expensive sources of calcium. Raising the amount of calcium you eat by X amount raises their income by X amount.

7. Nutrition writer Frieda Kabelac says: We have been thoroughly mis-educated about calcium and proteins, thanks to the dairy and meat interests, which have penetrated the school systems with their propaganda. So ingrained is the idea that we need milk after the weaning period for calcium that people doubt that we can get enough calcium from plant foods.

8. Calcium deficiency usually does not arise from too little calcium but from too much protein. Dr. John Scharffenberg writes: A very high calcium intake is necessary in the United States diet because a high-protein diet increases excretion of calcium. In one study, men 18-20 years of age were given protein ranging from 48-141 gm. daily. The higher levels of protein doubled the urinary excretion of calcium when both calcium and phosphorus intake were held constant.... A diet high in meat with its high protein content will therefore increase urinary excretion of calcium.... Vegetarians have significantly greater bone density than omnivores; thus vegetarians appear to be less prone to osteoporosis.

9. The dairy industry has spent millions funding a variety of "research" schemes aimed at proving that milk is good for us. Meanwhile, what is probably the most extensive epidemiological study ever undertaken in the field of nutrition found, decisively, that the opposite is true. In 1983 a joint British-Chinese-American study known as the "Study of Diet, Nutrition and Disease in the People's Republic of China" was begun for the purpose of studying the relationship between selenium and other nutrients and death rates from all forms of cancer. Because of its scope and the unique opportunity it offered, the study was expanded to examine many other health issues. It took exhaustive data--367 items per person were followed--on the lifestyle nutritional intake, and health status of 6,500 adults, half men, half women, spread throughout mainland China, over a six-year period. I want to emphasize that this was not an American-style survey in which "researchers" phoned a lot of people and asked them what they had for supper last night. It involved urine and blood analyses, extensive questionnaires, measurements of foods consumed, and detailed examination of a broad spectrum of data that would have been impossible before the age of computers. Although it will be years before all the China study information is analyzed and available, the earliest reports have been shocking, although not unexpected by many. Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, who directed the massive study, told Jane Brody in a New York Times interview (May 8, 1990) that the study affirms that "we're basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing our intake of animal foods." On the question of osteoporosis, Dr. Campbell said: "Ironically, osteoporosis tends to occur in countries where calcium intake is highest and most of it comes from protein-rich dairy products. The Chinese data indicate that people need less calcium than we think and can get adequate amounts from vegetables." Specifically, Dr. Campbell told the Times that the Chinese study found an average daily calcium intake of of 544 mg. in China, almost none of this from animal products, and "there was basically no osteoporosis in China." In the U. S., by contrast, where there is an average calcium intake of 1,143 mg per day, mostly from dairy products, "osteoporosis is a major public health problem." The most interesting findings of the China study, however. surface in the area of dietary fat and cholesterol and their relation to disease. U. S. studies have always failed to ask the real questions about animal vs. non-animal diets. Typically, they compare lean meat vs. choice cuts, or skim milk vs. whole milk, so the results fail to address the real impact of animal foods on humans. The China study takes a much broader view and allows comparison of a large base of plant eaters vs. animal eaters. The clear-cut conclusion is that for real-world human beings the greatest single influence on degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart disease seems to be the amount of protein, particularly animal protein in the diet. Here are some eye-opening facts from the China study as explained by Registered Dietician and nutrition writer Bob LeRoy-SiBrava:

-The range of plasma cholesterol values found in U.S. populations is said to be 155-274 mg/dl (though a group of U. S. vegans, if identified, should show lower figures than this). Almost all of the China-group values, 88-165 mg/dl, are lower than the lowest in the U.S. range. Thus all of China equals or improves upon what would be an ideal target cholesterol level for just about any person in the U.S. You might expect that cholesterol is therefore irrelevant in this study, and that every Chinese group would have the same monotonously low rate of heart disease, right? Wrong. [According to Dr. Campbell,] "Coronary heart disease risk in China continues to decline to an almost negligible level when plasma cholesterol levels are low."

-Colon cancer risk correlates in exactly the same way. Likewise, the percentage of animal protein in the total protein consumed ranges from 0 percent to 20 percent among the Chinese groups, compared to an average of 70 percent in the U.S. Even though the Chinese eat only a fraction of the animal protein eaten by Americans, the study found less risk for disease among those Chinese who eat the least amount of animal protein. In other words, there is no "safe" amount of animal protein, and the more you eat the greater the risk.

-Remember, too, that from a nutritional standpoint, as Dr. John McDougall (The McDougall Plan) likes to say, "Milk is just liquid meat."

10. If you plan to "cut down" on the fat overdose by drinking "low fat" milk, consider Bob LeRoySiBrava's advice: "Healthwise, shifting from fattier meats to 'leaner' meats, cutting skin off poultry, reducing the number of times per week you eat egg yolks, and substituting 1% milk products for most whole milk products, is comparable to cutting smoking down to one pack per day." There is no such thing as low fat or fat-free milk. Milk IS fat. It is designed to grow a calf into a 2,000 pound cow. There is no such thing as lean meat. Meat is flesh.

11. If cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis aren't enough, here are a few more health problems that have been associated in medical literature with milk and excessive calcium: kidney stones, gallstones aging and wrinkling of the skin, "frozen shoulder," tendonitis, bursitis, heel spurs, otosclerosis ( which leads to deafness), bloating, cramping, diarrhea (of various types), colic, runny nose, bronchitis, asthma, inflammatory arthritis, eczema, ulcerative colitis, lymphatic leukemia, Hodgkins disease, multiple sclerosis, iron deficiency (due to milk-induced gastrointestinal bleeding), and even crime. [An article in the Journal of Orthomological Psychiatry (8:149, 1979) reported that the juvenile offenders studied drank twice as much milk as the control group.] I'll end this by adding the Gazette's support to three very worthy boycott appeals that are outlined in a recent issue of the Bunny Huggers' Gazette. You can support all three of these boycotts simply by ignoring the dairy section at the supermarket as you would ignore other junk food sections. One is a Greenpeace boycott of milk in cartons because of the presence of dioxin in cartons and the dioxin pollution caused by the manufacturing process. Dioxin in cartons is only one of many environmental concerns connected with dairy farming. Cows, according to John Robbins' Diet for a New America, emit excrement in our country alone at the rate of 250,000 pounds per second, and a full 90% of our harmful waste water pollution is directly attributable to cattle. U.S. Water News reports frequently upon dairy-related water pollution. Two recent articles have described the "brown ice" problem in Vermont, a state that is home for more cows than people. In the winter of 1989, for example, the ice of Lake Champlain,, drinking water source of the Vergennes-Panton water district, turned "a distinct shade of brown" because of runoff from dairies. U. S. Water News explains Vermont's problem: All of the runoff contaminants, manure, commercial fertilizers, milkhouse wastes, pesticides, are defined as non-point-source pollutants because they enter watersheds through natural channels instead of pipes. This natural seepage makes control difficult [and] the prime agricultural land is located in close proximity to Vermont's most valuable rivers and streams. A single farm discussed in the article produces 20,000 pounds of manure each day. That's 7,300,000 every year, and 7,320,000 every Leap Year! There's another milk boycott sponsored by Farm Sanctuary of Watkins Glen, NY because of the widespread use by milk producers of BST, or Bovine Somatotrophin, a growth hormone used on dairy cows to increase milk production. Although there is a record surplus of milk and our tax dollars are being outrageously wasted to buy surplus milk, producers are milking cows for all they are worth by pumping them with health-endangering drugs and hormones. We also pay for pointless and cruel research in quest of genetically altered "super cows" to push surpluses even higher. Few people know that the greatest concentrations of pesticides in the human diet are from meat products, not fruits and vegetables. John Robbins' figures for percentages of pesticides in the U. S. diet are 1% from grains, 4% from fruits, 6% from vegetables, 23% from dairy products, and 55% from animal flesh. It shows you how effective propaganda can be when you consider that most of us think of pesticides as something you try to scrub off of broccoli and apples! A third boycott of milk products is sponsored by the Disabled and Incurably Ill for Alternatives to Animal Research (DIIAAR), Dona Spring of DIIAAR says the boycott is imposed because of "the suffering inflicted on dairy cows and the resulting veal industry. Their plight is worse than 'beef' cows." Some drink milk who do not eat animals, considering milk production less cruel because "they don't have to kill the animal." There was a time when that argument had validity, but today's factory dairy farmers have equaled or surpassed the refined cruelties of factory meat farms. The image of Old Bessie the milk cow grazing in pastoral peace at Sunny Acres Farm, visited now and again by some amorous Ferdinand and surrounded by frolicking offspring, is a cruel fiction. Today's factory-farmed Bessie knows Ferdinand only through artificial insemination, and her many calves are taken from her at birth. Her relatively short life (most dairy cows become fast-food burgers as soon as their production drops) is spent in the confines of a metal and cement stall. Drugged, dehorned, and degraded, she is treated like a machine rather than a sentient creature. Her female calves follow in her footsteps, and their brothers are less fortunate. Except for the few who are designated to be "milked" for semen in their own chamber of horrors, male calves become the raw material of the veal factory. Their lives are, mercifully, short--about 14 weeks. They are kept in painful confinement and fed an antibiotic-rich, iron-deficient " milk replacer" designed to produce the pale, anemic flesh that "sophisticated" eaters crave. Veal is a by-product of the dairy farm. The only effective way to protest the cruelties of veal farming is to wean oneself from the bizarre and unnatural practice of cross-species milk consumption.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fame, Smarts and Hmmmm's

Okay, so sometimes you gotta take a break from the seriousness and the brain food and look at the lighter side of things. So. . .here's a huge list of famous veg*ns! They forgot a few, including Anne Hathaway and Leonardo DiCaprio, but it still is a huge list. I was especially surprised to find that Ozzy Osbourne is a vegetarian, considering I once heard he bit, I believe, a bat's head off on stage once. Maybe it was fake? Anyway, the list:

Famous Veggies A-Z

Not surprisingly, some historical brainiacs are included, such as Einstein. Why is this not a surprise? Check this out:

Children with high IQs are more likely to be vegetarians when they grow up, according to recent research.

A British study of more them 8,000 men and women aged 30 whose IQs had been measured when they were 10, showed that the higher the IQ, the greater the odds of being a vegetarian.

"People who are more intelligent as children, who will obviously keep that intelligence when they are 30, were more likely to say they are vegetarians at that age than those that were less intelligent," said Dr Catherine Gale, an epidemiologist at the University of Southampton in England.

She added the findings were consistent with other studies showing people who are more intelligent tend to eat a healthier diet and exercise more.

"There is quite a lot of evidence linking vegetarianism to a lower risk of heart disease. People who are vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and they do have a lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease," Gale added.

For each 15-point rise in IQ scores in the study, the likelihood of being a vegetarian rose by 38 percent. Even after adjusting to factors such as social class and education, the link was still consistent.

And now for some quotes:

"Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for "Peace on Earth." -Preface from Old MacDonald's Factory Farm, by C. David Coates

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -Mahtma Gandhi

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." -Thomas Edison

"May all that have life be delivered from suffering." -Buddha

"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men." -Leonardo Da Vinci

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feather so badly that, beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the devil in human form." -William Ralph Inge

"I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leve off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes left off eating others when they came into contact with the more civilized." -Henry David Thoreau

"Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." -Thomas Jefferson

"I am in favour of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of the whole human being." -Abraham Lincoln

"People ask me how I look so young, I tell them I look my age. It is other people who look older, what do you expect from people who eat corpses?" -George Bernard Shaw

"The human species is driving itself full speed into an evolutionary dead-end. We are destroying the planet and everything we do kills animals. We have lost our moral compass. We think in terms of profit and power rather than ethics and compassion. We no longer have any reverence for life or any sense of connection with the natural world. We see ourselves as conquerors of nature rather than citizens of a vast biocommunity. We are technologically sophisticated and morally retarded. We have no conception of the importance of non-human life forms in sustaining ecosystems. We fail to realise that what we do to animals, we do to ourselves. And all the while, we live in a fantasy land of entertainment and distractions whereby we focus more on the sex lives and surgical makeovers of movie stars than the greatest challenge our species has ever faced. I believe that animal liberation is the next great liberation movement on this planet, and that by promoting respect for non-human animals, we are advancing human moral evolution." -Steve Best

"'Thou shalt not kill,' for life is given to all by God, and that which God has given, let not man take away. For-I tell you truly, from one Mother proceeds all that lives upon the earth. Therefore, he who kills, kills his brother. And from him will the Earthly Mother turn away, and will pluck from him her quickening breasts. And he will be shunned by her angels, and Satan will have his dwelling in his body. And the flesh of slain beasts in his body will become his own tomb. For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison; in his breath their breath to stink; in his flesh their flesh to boils; in his bones their bones to chalk; in his bowels their bowels to decay; in his eyes their eyes to scales; in his ears their ears to waxy issue. And their death will become his death." -Jesus

"To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to the protection by man from the cruelty of man." -Mahatma Gandhi

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." -Pythagoras

-"People think of animals as if they were vegetable, and that is not right. We have to change the way people think about animals. I encourage the Tibetan people and all people to move to a vegetarian diet that doesn't cause suffering." -Dalai Lama

"Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another! In the midst of such wealth as earth, the best mothers, provides, nothing forsooth you but to behave like the Cyclopes, inflicting sorry wounds with cruel teeth! You cannot appease the hungry cravings of your wicked, gluttonous stomachs except by destroying some other life. . ." -Pythagoras

"Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals." -Theodor Adorno

"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?" -George Bernard Shaw

"Of all the creatures ever made, he (man) is the most detestable. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain." -Mark Twain

"To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to Nirvana." -Buddha

"Man cannot pretend to be higher in ethics, spirituality, advancement, or civilization than other creatures, and at the same time live by lower standards than the vulture or hyena." -Jay Dinshah, founder American Vegan Society

"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is - whether its victim is human or animal - we cannot expect things to be much better in this world... We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity." -Rachel Carson

-"To shut your mind, heart, imagination to the sufferings of others is to begin slowly but inexorably to die. It is to cease by inches from being human, to become in the end capable of nothing, generous or unselfish - or sometimes capable of anything, however terrible." -John Austin Baker, Bishop of Salisbury

"If an animal does something we call it instinct; if we do the same thing for the same reason, we call it intelligence." -Will Cuppy

"In their capacity to feel pain and fear, a pig is a dog is a bear is a boy." -Philip Wollen

"But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy." -Plutarch

"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of "real food for real people," you'd better live real close to a real good hospital." -Dr. Neal Barnard

"All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals." -Peter Singer

"Kill not, neither eat the flesh of your innocent prey, lest you become the slaves of Satan. For that is the path of sufferings, and it leads unto death. But do the will of God, that his angels may serve you on the way of life. Obey, therefore, the words of God: 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is breath of life, I give every green herb for meat." -Jesus

"Peace is not something you wish for; it's something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away." -Robert Fulghum

"The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man." -Charles Darwin

"As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindess, love and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help to stop this madness." -Richard Gere

"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." -Hippocrates

"All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?" -Buddha

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Big Fat Protein Myth

Consider this: 100 calories of steak has 5.4 grams of protein. 100 calories of broccoli has 11.2, almost twice as much.
I’ll go to Answers on Yahoo or any number of forums where people are asking questions about vegetarians and vegans. Then someone will pop in who obviously hasn’t read up on nutritional content or anything about the veg*n lifestyle and say things like “The only place you can get protein is meat.” Or the people asking questions will pretty much always bring up the whole protein issue. And I can’t say this enough:

It is a MYTH.

Amino acids, aka protein, are deemed the "building blocks of life." Everything has some protein in it. The United State's obsession of protein is based on an outdated experiment done on rats in the early 1900s. If you look at nutrient dense foods - which foods are going to give you the most nutrients per calorie (this is how people lose weight and stay thin, too) -meaning more nutrient bang for the caloric buck - fruits and veggies outdo anything. Consider this: 100 calories of cow has around 5 grams of protein while 100 calories of broccoli has around 11. Vegans - the most strict form of vegetarian - actually get twice the amount of protein the body truly needs. The makeup of plants - fat content and everything - is perfectly in sync with what our bodies need. Vegetables are around 23% protein on average, beans 28%, grains 13%, and even fruit has 5.5%. For comparison, human breast milk is only 5% (designed for the time in our lives when our protein needs are as high as they'll ever be). The US Recommended Daily Allowance is 8%, and the World Health Organization recommends 4.5%.

It's odd that people think we need to eat animals for protein, but the animals that we eat consume nothing but plants! Where do pigs, cows, and sheep get their protein? From plants. Does anybody ever worry that cows or sheep aren't getting enough protein? The cows and sheep certainly don't.

Consider something else. Many people eat animals because they think that there are some magical nutrients in meat. But realize that meat is simply flesh. And humans are simply flesh. Look at your own arm -- you're nothing but walking meat. Anything that you might expect to get from eating flesh you already have, because you're made of flesh.

The average American diet contains meat and dairy products. As a result, it is often too high in protein. This can lead to a number of serious health problems:

Kidney Disease: When people eat too much protein, they take in more nitrogen than they need. This places a strain on the kidneys, which must expel the extra nitrogen through urine. People with kidney disease are encouraged to eat low-protein diets. Such a diet reduces the excess levels of nitrogen and can also help prevent kidney disease.

Cancer: Although fat is the dietary substance most often singled out for increasing cancer risk, protein also plays a role. Populations who eat meat regularly are at increased risk for colon cancer, and researchers believe that the fat, protein, natural carcinogens, and absence of fiber in meat all play roles. The 1997 report of the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer, noted that meaty, high-protein diets were linked with some types of cancer.

Osteoporosis and Kidney Stones: Diets that are rich in animal protein cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their kidneys and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Countries with lower-protein diets have lower rates of osteoporosis and hip fractures. Increased calcium excretion increases risk for kidney stones. Researchers in England found that when people added about 5 ounces of fish (about 34 grams of protein) to a normal diet, the risk of forming urinary tract stones increased by as much as 250 percent.

For a long time it was thought that athletes needed much more protein than other people. The truth is that athletes, even those who strength-train, need only slightly more protein, which is easily obtained in the larger servings athletes require for their higher caloric intake. Vegetarian diets are great for athletes. To consume a diet that contains enough, but not too much, protein, simply replace animal products with grains, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and fruits. As long as one is eating a variety of plant foods in sufficient quantity to maintain one’s weight, the body gets plenty of protein.

Since Nature designed her plant foods complete, with abundant amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, “Where you get a specific nutrient?” is almost never a relevant question, as long as there is enough to eat. So, why have scientists, dietitians, medical doctors, diet-book authors, and the lay public become fixated on a non-existent problem? Protein is synonymous with eating meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs—the foods traditionally consumed by the wealthier people in a society—thus, protein-eating means higher social status. High-protein foods are also high-profit foods. Therefore, propagating the protein myth is motivated by egos and money—and the usual consequences of pain and suffering follow closely behind these two human frailties.


Highly Suggested Reading:

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Veg*n Diet For Weight Loss

Here is an easy to read fact list of some of the endless reasons as to why a veg*n diet is helpful where healthy weight loss in concerned:

-Complex carbohydrates, found only in plant-based foods, cannot add directly to your fat stores. There is no such thing as “carbohydrate storage areas” on our bodies. If the body is to try and store the energy of carbohydrates in fat, it has to chemically convert the carbohydrate molecules into fat. This process consumes a fair number of calories and so calories from carbohydrates are not likely to increase body fat as the same number of calories from fats.

-Carbohydrates actually boost your metabolism. Plant-based meals tend to increase the metabolic rate slightly. What happens is they break down to various natural sugars in the body which cause insulin to be released. That, in turn, leads to the production of two natural hormones, norepinephrine and thyroid hormone (T3). These hormones both increase the metabolic rate, which results in more effective calorie burning.

-Fiber, also not found in animal products and only in plant foods, is also a critical factor in good health and weight loss. Fiber makes people feel full faster and longer. This alone slashes calorie intake. Fiber itself has no calories. You could eat a ton of high fiber plant-based food and swear up and down you had the same amount of calories as you used to, but it not be near as much. Fiber helps to keep your intestines clean, including your liver, which is the most important organ where your metabolism is concerned. It helps to block the absorption of toxins as well as some carbs, sugars and fats. In total, up to 120 calories a day can be flushed away just through increased fiber intake. Fiber makes you regular and being regular is crucial for weight loss and weight control. Word of caution, though - if you don’t currently load up on fiber, add it up slowly. But the benefits of fiber are endless.

-You don’t have to calculate your fiber intake because when your diet is centered on high complex carbohydrate foods (fruits, grains, vegetables, beans and legumes), the fiber content of your diet increases naturally.

-A plant-based diet is rich in carbohydrate and fiber. Animal products are completely devoid of them. Meaning a plant-based diet promotes slimness, while animal products promote overweight.

-On a low fat vegan lifestyle, there’s no such thing as skimpy portions or calorie counting. That means that, unlike diets and diet fads (that do not work), your metabolism doesn’t go down. Meaning the weight stays off instead of piling back on at warp speeds and making you heavier.

-Animal fat was designed by nature to act as a calorie storage area for animals, just like a person’s fat is all their stored calories. So when you eat animal fat, you are eating all those stored calories. Also, animal fat is not only on the outside of a cut of meat. It is marbled through even the so-called “lean” parts, almost like a sponge holding water. Simply put, meat is fat. There isn’t “lean” meat. So, when you eat it, you are eating someone else’s fat and someone else’s concentrated stored calories. It will put fat on you.

-60% of calories in ground beef come from fat. 54% of calories in “extra lean” ground beef come from fat. 83% of the calories in bologna and hotdogs are from fat. Chuck roast is 50%, rib eye steak is 63%, short loin porterhouse is 64%, roasted chicken is 51%, chicken frank is 68%, Chinook salmon is 52%, etc. Most beans, grains and vegetables (except for avocadoes and olives) are less than 10%. So you can eat much more and still be cutting out calories and losing weight.

-Food products that are packaged claiming to be low in fat or fat free are based on percentages by weight rather than percentages by calories. It’s a trick. So whole milk, for example, is 3.3% fat by weight because it is loaded with water. But half it’s calories actually come from fat. Milk that is 2% fat by weight is actually 35% fat as a percentage of calories. It is actually not a low-fat product at all. A good way to put this into perspective is that milk is designed for an animal’s biggest growth spurt of its life. Cow’s milk, made for a cow, is designed to make a calf grow into a 2,000 pound cow. Milk is fat.

-A big problem with meats, including poultry and fish, is that they are muscles, and muscles are made up of protein and fat. The protein in meat is also second-hand, the protein the animal first consumed from plant sources in order to make its own. Meats are protein and fat yet contain no fiber at all and virtually no carbohydrate.

-Fat always has more calories than carbohydrate.

Other things to consider:
-It’s an unfortunate fact that everything these days revolves around money. It’s an unfortunate fact that something so small as money - something that we won’t even carry with us when we die - is so powerful that it causes families to break up, people to take the lives of other people, and even wars. So that is really all companies and corporations care about is profit. Not if you’re getting ill because that makes them rich, too. Government, media, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, food industries, etc., are all connected whether it be through investing in each other through stocks, manipulations by PR firms, etc. Now consider this - companies aren’t required to list all ingredients used in a product on a food label. Due to the chemicals in the packaging and the chemicals in the food and preservatives, many snack foods lining the shelves of stores actually have a shelf life of 22 years. It makes one wonder if people are also preserving their fat cells. . .

-Meat and dairy are the most contaminated stuff people put in their bodies. Milk has perchlorate, which is the scientific word for rocket fuel. Other than that, meat and dairy are full of antibiotics, pesticides, steroids, chemicals, industrial pollutants and hormones. Many animals are even given arsenic-laced drugs. Arsenic! And meat and dairy doesn’t even have fiber to bind these toxins and fats and help usher them out of the body. This absolutely has huge effects on the way your body is working. It absolutely has an effect on your organs, including your liver. So, without even having to say it, it absolutely has an effect on the metabolism. They alter it.

-The FDA lists approximately 1,700 drugs approved for use in animal feed. Of these approved drugs, at least 300 include “weight gain” in their description. However, in their book Animal Factories, Jim Mason and Peter Singer disclose an estimate of 20,000 to 30,000 drugs actually being used.

-"Diets" don't work. They screw the body's chemistry and metabolism up and they are not sustainable for long periods of time, therefore, do not lead to permanent weight loss. Once someone stops their "diet," they often go back to being heavier than they were before.

-Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than their meat eating counterparts. Vegans tend to be slimmer than both. However, though it's rare, there are such thing as fat vegans. These are the ones whose kitchens are stocked with margarine and oils and flours. They are the ones who fill up on cookies and shop mostly in the processed cookie and snack isles rather than the produce section. They overdo it on the ice creams and cakes. And, yes, vegan have ice creams, cakes and cookies. And, yes, they are delicious. But, if you are looking into the vegan diet for weight loss reasons,

-Don’t cook with oil or margarine. They are 100% fat. Fat calories get converted swiftly into fat on the body. Plus, they add loads of calories and fat with absolutely no nutrition to go along with it. They are empty calories and do nothing but add a ton of fat. It tastes absolutely no different if you sautee something for a recipe in water or vinaigrette or juice than if you were to sautee it in oil or margarine.

-Always do whole grain bread if you feel you can’t go without bread. I personally can’t have bread because it will land me in the hospital, but, for weight purposes, it’s kind of a blessing. Yes you can eat bread and stay thin. But flours, because they are grinded up, do tend to release more calories in the digestive system. Try, if you can, to have rice instead of bread.

-Whole Foods Market has an awesome bulk section at reasonable prices to stock up and have on hand such things as brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, etc. The list is literally endless.

-Walk some. A little exercise doesn’t hurt. Try 30 minutes a day or an hour four times a week. Then work your way up if you want.

I highly, highly suggest the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. for those interested in weight loss. Some other excellent books are Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight by Neal Barnard, M.D., and, for a entertainingly funny read as well as an informative one, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Vegans: Far From Deficient

Best Vegan Protein Sources:
It’s important to note that everything has some protein (amino acids). Veg*n diets actually provide more than enough protein for the body. For further scientific study on this as well as the devastating effects of animal protein, I highly suggest reading The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. However, here are some of the best vegan protein sources:

Complete proteins include:
-Soy foods such as tofu, tempeh, miso and soy milk
-Sprouted seeds
-Grains, especially amaranth and quinoa
-Beans and legumes
-Spirulina and chorella (blue-green algae)

Common sources of specific amino acids are:
Histidine: Apple, pomogranates, alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, dandelion, endive, garlic, radish, spinach, turnip greens.
Arginine: Alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green vegetables, leeks, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, parsnips, nutritional yeast.
Valine: Apples, almonds, pomegranates, beets, carrots, celery, dandelion greens, lettuce, okra, parsley, parsnips, squash, tomatoes, turnips, nutritional yeast.
Tryptophan: Alfalfa, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, chives, dandelion greens, endive, fennel, snap beans, spinach, turnips, nutritional yeast.
Threnoine: Papayas, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, green leafy vegetables such as celery, collards, kale, and lettuce (especially iceberg), lima beans, laver (Nori -- a sea vegetable).
Phenylalanine: Apples, pineapples, beets, carrots, parsley, spinach, tomatoes, nutritional yeast.
Methionine: Apples, pineapples, Brazil nuts, filberts, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, dock (sorrel), garlic, horseradish, kale, watercress.
Lysine: Apples, apricots, grapes, papayas, pears, alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, dandelion greens, parsley, spinach, turnip greens.
Leucine: Avocados, papayas, olives, coconut, sunflower seeds.
Isoleucine: Avocados, papayas, olives, coconut, sunflower seeds.

And some in general examples of plant foods containing high sources of protein:
PROTEIN IN LEGUMES: Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Navy beans, Soybeans, Split peas
PROTEIN IN GRAINS: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice
VEGETABLE PROTEIN: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini
PROTEIN IN FRUITS: Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon
PROTEIN IN NUTS AND SEEDS: Almonds, Cashews, Filberts, Hemp Seeds, Peanuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts (black)

Also, one excellent ingredient to look for is hemp seed protein. Hemp protein is the most easily digested protein there is. Hemp seed is an nutritious dietary source of easily digestible gluten-free protein. It provides a well-balanced array of all the amino acids, including 34.6 grams of protein for each 100 grams. The fatty acid profile of the hemp seed is extremely beneficial, containing omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a virtually ideal ratio. Other beneficial aspects of hemp seed include a strongly favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio; a high content of antioxidants; and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.

Best Vegan Calcium Sources:
It’s very easy to get calcium in a vegan diet. I’d say easier. The U.S. RDA for calcium is between 800 and 1,200 milligrams, depending on your protein intake, but many feel that that number is too high. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends between 400 and 500 milligrams calcium daily—half of the U.S. RDA. Plant-based sources of calcium are generally more absorbable than animal sources because we can digest the plant-based foods easier and break them down and utilize the nutrients better.
Proteins also have a negative effect on calcium stores because amino acids contain sulfur, which in turn affects the body’s pH balance. Plant-based proteins tend to have lower concentrations of sulfur-based amino acids and are more alkaline in nature. Meat, on the other hand, is very acidic, and the body reacts to re-balance itself by leeching alkaline calcium out of the bones to neutralize the acid. For every 1 gram protein in your diet, you can expect 1 milligram calcium to be lost or eliminated in your urine. Animal protein especially actually leeches calcium from the bones. Through his research, Dr. T. Colin Campbell of the famous China Project (Chapter 3) has determined that even though most Chinese consume no dairy products in their daily diets, osteoporosis is uncommon in China even though they consume only half the amount of calcium as compared to Americans. Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning disease that can rob you of 30 to 40 percent of your bone tissue. Calcium passes from the bones, filters through the kidneys, and is then eliminated in the urine. Factors like excess salt, animal protein, and high-protein dairy products in your diet cause rapid calcium losses and increase your chances of developing osteoporosis. Women in the United States take note, as osteoporosis affects 1 in 4 women in North America. Ironically, osteoporosis is highest in those countries that consume the highest amount of calcium from animal-based sources. Because the high concentration of acidic protein in animal-based sources causes the body to lose more calcium than it consumes, a vegan diet will actually reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis.
Here are some great plant sources of calcium:

Molasses-Collard Greens-Quinoa-Hijiki-Carob Flour-Soymilk-Tofu-Grapefruit-Orange Juice-Calcium Fortified Rice Milk-Soy yogurt-Turnips-Turnip Greens-Tempeh-Kale-Soybeans-Okra-Bok Choy-Broccoli-Mustard Greens-Tahini-Almonds-Almond Butter-Hummus-Figs-Dates-Oatmeal-Spinach-Garlic-Dandelion Greens-Carrots-Beet Greens-Leafy Greens-Parsley-Agar-Kelp-Dried Fruits-Sesame Seeds-Wakame-Papaya-Rhubarb-Cauliflower-Cassava-Chives-Azuki Beans-Amaranth-Canned Vegetarian Baked Beans-Refried Beans-Black Beans-Black Turtle Beans-Burdock Root-Butter Beans-Cabbage-Chickpeas-Chickory Greens-Blackeyed Peas-Cranberry Beans-French Beans-Swiss Chard-Great Northern Beans-Kidney Beans-Lambsquarters (yes, it’s a plant)-Lima Beans-Lupins-Mungo Beans-Mung Beans-Navy Beans-Pigeon Beans-Pink Beans-Pinto Bens-Natto-Acorn Squash-Butternut Squash-White Beans-Winged Beans-Yellow Beans-Brown Rice

Vitamin D:
The presence of vitamin D also affects calcium’s absorption capabilities. The body easily absorbs vitamin D with just 15 minutes of exposure to sunshine per day. Vitamin D is produced within the body when the sun hits your skin. The sun triggers ergosterol, which is transformed into vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium from the foods we consume directly into our bloodstream. Vitamin D is stored in the liver, and many believe that what you’re exposed to in an average summer can be stored within your body and used throughout the winter. The liver is capable of storing up to a 3-year supply of vitamin D at one time.
Aside from that, vegan dietary sources of Vitamin D are fortified soymilks and cereals, margarine (not a good idea for weight loss however), fortified rice and almond milks, and vitamins. The biggest source is sunlight. Exposing skin to the sun for ten to fifteen minutes ensures daily intake of vitamin D. Even three times a week is enough.

This is actually the biggest one to look out for. B12 is a vitamin formed by bacteria. It used to be found naturally in top soil but with modern farming methods with pesticides and such and topsoil erosion, it is no longer present in soil. B12 can actually be stored in the body for years, which is why it takes so long for a deficiency to occur. Furthermore, very little is needed. We’re talking micrograms. A vegan diet may not be a reliable source of B12, but a flesh-eating diet isn’t necessarily, either. Meat has not been found to be a reliable source of B-12, at least according to extensive studies done by the USDA. The B-12 is too tightly bound within the protein to be adequately absorbed by our intestinal tracts. Even if meat were a good source, it is no longer a natural source of B-12. Unfortunately because of modern feeding practices of cattle, they no longer receive adequate B-12 in their diet and so they have to receive B-12 supplements (in other words, you are getting a supplement of B-12 second hand by eating meat). Dairy contains B12, but, unfortunately, dairy is the single most polluted food in our diets. It often has levels of dioxin and other petrochemicals that are far in excess of limits set by the EPA. It is also a food that promotes anemia by not only have low levels of iron, but also has elements which prevent proper absorption of iron. It is a very low nutrient dense food, and is very high in preformed Vitamin A which is not a healthful nutrient according to studies. On top of that, high consumption of dairy leads to excessive levels of Insulin-like Growth Hormone 1 in humans, and high levels of this hormone have been linked with various cancers, including but not limited to breast, prostate and colon cancers. I could go on, but I guess you get the idea here. Again, too, the B-12 from the cow's is not native to their diets any more, so they are getting it supplemented in. Yet, despite the high levels of consumption of foods high in B-12 in this country, it has been estimated by Harvard School of Public Health that B-12 is the most common nutrient deficiency in the US. So, it really comes down to the fact that we are not getting sufficient B-12 from any of our diets, and even if we could, the food sources that would give us sufficient B-12 our too polluted and unhealthful to eat in the required quantities to be considered ideal. In other words, in today's industrialized world where we wash fruits and veggies excessively (we used to get B-12 from the soil remnants on our produce), we are really best off taking a supplement for B-12. B-12 has found to be non-toxic in extremely high doses, so there is really no downside here (it is also relatively cheap). Seaweed and nutritional yeast both have some B12. Fermented items have some. Some cereals are fortified with it along with some vegan soymilks. For a direct source of vitamin B12 along with other B vitamins and a slew of other nutrients, I highly suggest Kombucha.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Study: Vegan Diets Healthier For Planet, People Than Meat Diets

Science Daily — The food that people eat is just as important as what kind of cars they drive when it comes to creating the greenhouse-gas emissions that many scientists have linked to global warming, according to a report accepted for publication in the journal Earth Interactions.

Both the burning of fossil fuels during food production and non-carbon dioxide emissions associated with livestock and animal waste contribute to the problem, the University of Chicago's Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin wrote in the report.

The average American diet requires the production of an extra ton and a half of carbon dioxide-equivalent, in the form of actual carbon dioxide as well as methane and other greenhouse gases compared to a strictly vegetarian diet, according to Eshel and Martin. And with Earth Day approaching on April 22, cutting down on just a few eggs or hamburgers each week is an easy way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, they said. "We neither make a value judgment nor do we make a categorical statement," said Eshel, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences.

"We say that however close you can be to a vegan diet and further from the mean American diet, the better you are for the planet. It doesn't have to be all the way to the extreme end of vegan. If you simply cut down from two burgers a week to one, you've already made a substantial difference."

The average American drives 8,322 miles by car annually, emitting 1.9 to 4.7 tons of carbon dioxide, depending on the vehicle model and fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, Americans also consume an average of 3,774 calories of food each day.

In 2002, energy used for food production accounted for 17 percent of all fossil fuel use in the United States. And the burning of these fossil fuels emitted three-quarters of a ton of carbon dioxide per person. That alone amounts to approximately one-third the average greenhouse-gas emissions of personal transportation. But livestock production and associated animal waste also emit greenhouse gases not associated with fossil-fuel combustion, primarily methane and nitrous oxide.

"An example would be manure lagoons that are associated with large-scale pork production," Eshel said. "Those emit a lot of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere."

While methane and nitrous oxide are relatively rare compared with carbon dioxide, they are--molecule for molecule--far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. A single pound of methane, for example, has the same greenhouse effect as approximately 50 pounds of carbon dioxide.

In their study, Eshel and Martin compared the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions that underlie five diets: average American, red meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian (including eggs and dairy), all equaling 3,774 calories per day.

The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy-efficient, followed by poultry and the average American diet. Fish and red meat virtually tied as the least efficient.

The impact of producing fish came as the study's biggest surprise to Martin, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences. "Fish can be from one extreme to the other," Martin said. Sardines and anchovies flourish near coastal areas and can be harvested with minimal energy expenditure. But swordfish and other large predatory species required energy-intensive long-distance voyages.

Martin and Eshel's research indicated that plant-based diets are healthier for people as well as for the planet.

"The adverse effects of dietary animal fat intake on cardiovascular diseases is by now well established. Similar effects are also seen when meat, rather than fat, intake is considered," Martin and Eshel wrote. "To our knowledge, there is currently no credible evidence that plant-based diets actually undermine health; the balance of available evidence suggests that plant-based diets are at the very least just as safe as mixed ones, and most likely safer."

In their next phase of research, Eshel and Martin will examine the energy expenditures associated with small organic farms, to see if they offer a healthier planetary alternative to large agribusiness companies. Such farms typically provide the vegetables sufficient to support 200 to 300 families on plots of five to 10 acres.

"We're starting to investigate whether you can downscale food production and be efficient that way," Martin said.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of Chicago.