11 Sneaky “Vegetarian Sounding” Foods That Really Aren’t

More and more people are turning to the vegetarian lifestyle. Unfortunately, as new conversions adopt this healthy, energy-filled, fat-burning way of life, several supplements about certain foods are made. In truth, some “vegetarian sounding” foods even fool veteran plant-based eaters by delivering animal byproducts and other non-vegetarian components. Steer clear of the following 11 sneaky foods that most people think of all that is vegetarian, but really are not.

1. French onion soup – The problem here is the second most prominent ingredient. Obviously, onions dominate French onion soup, but usually beef broth is the base that this soup is made from.

2. Nonfat yogurt – Check to make sure there is no gelatin included in the ingredients list, put their to promote that yogurt-like texture.

3. Orange juice – Not all orange juice has been fortified with Omega 3 fatty acids. But those that are often brag about the fact. However, they get these essential fatty acids from gelatin, fish oil and anchovies.

4. Refried beans – Come on, refried beans are totally vegetarian … are not they? If you are eating away from home and did not make the beans yourself, you are probably chomping down on lard, which is full of gelatin, or beef gelatin.

5. Rice crispy trees – Made with marshmallows, and marshmallows have gobs of gelatin (gelatin is often the deal killer in these foods).

6. Baked beans – These are beans, right? That makes them vegetarian, right? Wrong. Most baked beans, store-bought or homemade, begin with a ham hock. Animal fat, bacon and other non-vegetarian products are also used to season and flavor baked beans in many cases.

7. Ramen and other instant noodles – These inexpensive, quick serve noodle packages often boast they are full of vegetables. And in many cases they are. But the seasoning packet frequently has beef powder and flavoring.

8. Beer and wine – Incredibly, a lot of wine and beer contains isinglass. This is a bladder component taken from tropical fish. It filters yeast out of alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine manufactured in Britain.

9. Boxed cake mixes – You may think a homemade cake intentally created in with vegetarian rule book in hand is safe to eat. However, most cake mixes that come in a box contain beef fat, often listed as lard.

10. Refined white sugar – Have you ever picked up a bag of sugar and read the food label on the back, only to find that the only ingredient listed is … sugar? That is often the case. However, sugar does not naturally occur in the white, bleached state in which you purchase it. What makes brown sugar white is bone char made from the bones of animals. Seriously.

11. Red colored candies – A lot of foods which are not naturally red, meaning they were made red in processing, contains beetles, the female Dactylopius coccus costa to be precise. Red pigments are extracted from this cochineal insect, used to colored candies and other foods, and are listed as carminic acid, cochineal or carmine on the food label. This animal pigment can also be found in vinegar, some colored pastas and even wine.

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10 Verastile Vegan Staple Foods

Living la vida vegan has so many health benefits. You burn fat, you lose weight until you return to your unique and healthy weight. Your skin and hair become stronger and younger looking, and your heart is healthy. Your mind is quicker, your immune system is boosted so you fight infection and disease, and your entire body looks and feels better. Keep the following 10 vegan staples in your plant-based pantry and you ensure all of those health benefits are delivered with every meal.

1 – Avocados – You actually need to get fat in your diet, and the avocado provides high levels of healthy fat. It can be eaten raw or cooked, made into guacamole or other flavorful pastes, and low-cost companies whose delicious taste and versatility.

2 – Nuts, nuts and more nuts – Put simply, vegans are nuts about nuts. Like most of the other foods on this list, nuts are super versatile and super healthy. They add healthy fat and protein to every meal.

3 – Apple cider vinegar – This healthy vinegar can be used as the base of a delicious, nutritious salad dressing. You can also combine it with nondairy milk to create a tasty alternative to buttermilk.

4 – Extra virgin olive oil – A recent report shows that extra virgin olive oil is not always that. Make sure you choose a brand that bears the seal of the California Olive Oil Council, International Olive Oil Council or Australia Olive Association. You can also look for PDO, POD or PGI certification, meaning the destination of origin has been validated. An extremely versatile vegan staple.

5 – Maple syrup – Hey, you've got to get your sweetener somewhere, and it's hard to beat the sweet maple syrup and its many uses in the vegan food pantry.

6 – Sriracha – Yummy, hot, spicy and vegan. That about says it all.

7 – Onions – If you want to make an argument that the event delivers the most attractive combination of low-cost and extreme versatility for vegan cooking, I would probably agree with you.

8 – Garlic – Just like the inexpensive onion, garlic adds a healthy, low-calorie “kick” to literally hundreds of vegan eating possibilities.

9 – Carrots – Great for keeping your eyes healthy, the humble carrot also helps prevent cancer, slows down aging, makes your skin stronger and younger looking, detoxes your body and lowers your risk of stroke.

10 – Kale, spinach, chard and other leafy dark greens – The list of enzymes, healthy minerals, phytonutrients and immunity boosting marvels in these dark green leafy vegetables would fill an entire page. Cooked, ate raw, in a smoothie, juice or salad, or on a sandwich, leafy dark greens are versatile, healthy and tasty.

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Incorporating Vegan Eating Into A Paleo Diet: Secrets You’ll Wish You Knew One Year Ago

The Paleo diet is currently one of the most popular diets within the fitness community and the general population. While the diet promotes the consumption of fresh vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, herbs, spices and some nuts, it has been consistently criticized by scientific experts for its condemnation of grain and dairy products and in some cases fruit.

These experts including dietitians and medical doctors are often critical of the paleo diet for its strict rules and the elimination of core foods such as dairy and grains, which, is not backed by scientific scientific evidence.

Some have also raised concerns regarding the high saturated fat intake the diet promotes in the form of animal fats such as lard, duck fat, and butter in addition to its liberal use of coconut butter and oil.

What is a vegan diet?

A vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet, in which only plant based foods are consumed and all animal products and byproducts (butter, milk) are excluded. This makes a vegan diet distinctly different from other forms of vegetarianism, which allow the consumption on some animal products, most commonly dairy, and eggs.

These days increasing numbers of people are turning to vegan diets than ever before, although their motivation to embrace such a lifestyle can often vary, with common reasons for adopting a vegan diet including concerns about animal rights, religious requirements and the environmental sustainability of meat and dairy production.

When adopting a vegan lifestyle it is important to do your research to ensure that you are obtaining all the essential nutrients your body requires to be healthy. Poorly planned vegan diets can quickly result in nutritional deficiencies that in the short term will result in you feeling fatigued and lethargic and in the long term can have some serious consequences to your health.

There are many foods which are able to be consumed on a vegan diet, these include:

• Breads, cereals and grain foods

• Fruits and vegetables

• Soy products

• Nuts and seeds

• Legumes such as kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils

How does a vegan diet fit into a paleo lifestyle?

Just simply put following a vegan diet is incompatible with being paleo. This is because many of the foods that paleo promotes such as meat, fish, eggs, and animal fats are excluded by those following a vegan lifestyle.

In addition to this many of the foods that vegans require such as whole grain cereals, legumes, fruit, and even soy products are forbidden when following a vegan diet. Following a paleo diet in addition to being vegan would place an individual in a situation where achieving their nutritional requirements would be virtually impossible, resulting in a number of nutritional deficiencies in the short and long term.

Vegan is better

• A vegan diet has been proven by many studies to prevent chronic disease, like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and encourage general health.

• A study conducted at Loma Linda University showed that vegans live longer than meat eaters do.

• Vegan eating explodes energy levels, improves digestion and vegans weigh an average of 30 pounds less than meat eaters do.

Can those following a vegetarian diet meet their nutritional requirements?

With sufficient planning a vegan diet can indeed be healthy and provide all the essential nutrients your body requires. For those considering adopting a vegan lifestyle it can be very beneficial to receive some expert advice from a registered dietitian, as they will take the time to analyze your existing diet and provide advice regarding alternative sources of key nutrients which follows a vegetarian diet typically places you at risk of achieving an insufficient intake of.

These nutrients include calcium, zinc, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12, and D.

Summary

Nutrition experts such as dietitians regard the paleo diet as one of the worst dietary regimes currently in existence.

It is certainly not suitable for vegans, as it would require the avoidance of many foods that are critical for vegans to consume so that they meet their nutritional requirements, these foods include fruit, legumes, grains, soy, and some plant based oils.

It may not be fair to compare Paleo with vegan because there is an inherent difference in that vegan is not only a diet; it is a lifestyle and a philosophy. Vegans believe in earth friendly practices, the protection of all living things and a general motto of “veganism is compassion in action.”

However, when only looking at foods consumed and comparing the diet itself at its core, vegan sees to win when your goal is general health and disease prevention.

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Do You Struggle With Incorporating Vegan Eating Into A Paleo Diet?

When you stop to think of the imbal health conditions in the United States and other parts of the world because of our diet choices, you realize just how much damage we made to ourselves. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women. Preventable heart attacks account for most of these deaths. 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese. 1/3 of all US kids are overweight or obese and obesity is being diagnosed more and more at very young ages.

We eat like there's no tomorrow, and then we pay the price, and not just individually but as a society when health care costs are in the billions due to preventable conditions.

The Plant Alternative

About 16 million Americans currently follow a vegetarian diet, and many of these are vegans, meaning they consume no animal products or byproducts (milk, honey, eggs) whatever.

Celebrities, world leaders, nutritionists, doctors, and kids live healthy and energetic lives as a result of a plant based diet. They enjoy heart health, lower body weight, and lower insulin resistance.

Unbeknownst to many, Bill Clinton, a former Democratic president of the United States, had been suffering from heart disease. He announced back in 2011 that he had miraculously reversed his heart disease, and he had done so with a strict meat-free diet. Recent research has been shown to support Clinton's claim.

The University of Oxford conducted a large study and the results of the study revealed that following a strict vegetarian diet does indeed reduce the risk of hospitalization due to complications from heart disease, and the risk of death from heart disease, both by nearly 1/3 .

The Results Of The Study

45,000 participants took part in the study that was conducted by the health and diet experts at the University of Oxford. About 34% of those study participants were following strict vegetarian diets. (In this particular study, a vegetarian was defined as an individual who avoided from consuming both meat and fish).

Those who participated in the study were tracked for more than 10 years, as the researchers gathered information about their diet choices, exercise habits, alcohol consumption, and other variables that could potentially have an impact on heart disease risk.

The researchers who conducted the study discovered that even after controlling for the other factors, the study participants who followed the strict vegetarian diets were significantly less likely to ever develop or succumb to heart disease.

Francesca Crowe, PhD, of the University of Oxford was the lead author of the study. In a statement, she said, “Most of the difference in risk is most likely caused by effects on both cholesterol as well as blood pressure.” In her statement, she went on to add, “This shows the important role of diet in preventing heart disease.”

The research conducted by the experts at the University of Oxford also revealed that the study participants who followed a strict vegetarian diet tended to have a lower body mass index than those who were not vegetarians, and they were less likely to suffer from diabetes as well.

More Benefits Of Following A Vegetarian Diet

This most recent study was one of the largest studies ever conducted to examine cardiovascular benefits of following a vegetarian diet; However, it is not exactly a newsflash that a meat-free diet is associated with a multitude of health benefits.

For example, another study that was recently conducted tracked about 37,000 adults and found that by consuming at least one vegetarian meal each day, you may reduce your risk of dying from cancer by about 20%.

Other research has signified that compared to those who are meat-eaters, individuals who follow a vegetarian diet:

• Have a reduced risk of food-borne illness

• Experience less severe symptoms of menopause

• Have longer overall life spans

• Have better insulin resistance

• Weight less and are less likely to be obese

Even if you are not yet quite ready to give up your favorite burger, you can still receive health benefits if you incorporate a bit more heart-healthy, meatless meals into your general diet. Choose plant foods more often. Fill your plate with healthy vegetables and whole grains. Eat raw whole food.

A few examples of some yummy foods to consider are:

• Avocado

• Berries

• Nuts

• Seeds

• Lentils

• Leafy greens

• Red, yellow, purple and green vegetables

• Quinoa

• Sweet potatoes

• Steel cut oats

• Soymilk and soybeans

• Many more

Consider making one or two meals a week meatless and remove meat from your plate whenever you can.

Substitute that meat with black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and other beans that have virtually no fat. Choose fruit for dessert instead of baked goods, and raw vegetables for snacks.

Choose a fresh fruit and a protein powder smoothie for three lunches a week instead of a burger, or chicken lunch.

Small changes can go a long way, and maybe at some point you will eliminate meat altogether.

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The 500 Calorie Diet

The 500 Calorie Diet is a great way to lose weight quickly without the need for exercise! Both men and women have received results by participating in this diet. Although this diet is not meant to be done long term, it is a great short term solution for weight loss. The 500 Calorie Diet is just what it says, you limit yourself in consuming only 500 calories daily. While consuming just 500 calories a day, your body goes under a calorie deficit. A calorie deficiency is when you burn more calories than you consume in a day. There are plenty of low calorie foods that you can eat normal portioned meals of the right low calorie foods to achieve this.

We will discuss this more in our Meals section. What if I go over 500 calories, will I still lose weight? You do not have to consume exactly 500 calories. Although we would not suggest consuming less, consuming more calories is fine as long as you are still creating a calorie deficiency. For example, Monday and Tuesday you are not very active and consume 500 calories. Wednesday you consume 800 calories but you went for a mile walk. In this situation you still would be losing weight, and a good amount too!

Steps For Success

1. Consult your doctor.

Low calorie diets are not for everyone. It is important to get your doctor's opinion before starting any new diet.

2. Set a goal weight.

Setting and meeting your goal helps you to not get carried away with your weight loss. The 500 Calorie Diet is perfect for dropping a few pounds a week before a special event such as, vacation or a wedding.

3. Develop a meal plan

Developing a meal plan is quite easy after you know what foods to cut out. Limiting yourself to only eating low calorie forms of meat such as chicken and fish allow you to eat more for your 500 calorie daily ration. Other quick low calorie meals include, meal replacement / protein bars, meal replacement shakes, and Healthy Choice / Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. All of which you can have a whole meal for right about 200 calories.

4. Take a break / Reward yourself

So you have done The 500 Calorie Diet for a whole week and you dropped 10 pounds. Great! Have a cupcake, a cheeseburger, some ice cream. It is important to reward yourself and not be miserable while you are on a diet. Having a cheat day never hurt anyone!

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Why I Used Meat Substitutes In Vegetarian Diets To Achieve My Goals

Using Tofu, Seitan, TVP and Tempeh as Meat Substitutes in Vegetarian Diets One of the big challenges in those people who want to eat a vegetarian diet is getting enough protein. In regular diets, meat provides a great deal of the protein we get as part of the daily diet-something not available in a vegetarian diet. Beans provide some protein as well as things like tofu, seitan, textured vegetable protein, and tempeh. What are these unusual forms of protein and where do they come from?

What are these protein sources?

  • Tofu – This is also called bean curd. It is created by the coagulation of soymilk. Then the coagulated soymilk is pressed into curds that look like blocks of white soft cheese. Tofu can be baked, fried, or grilled.
  • Textured vegetable protein or TVP – This is a protein source made by taking the fat out of soy flour and used to extend or replace meat in various recipes. It contains more protein per pound that most meats.
  • Seitan – This is often referred to as mock duck or wheat meat. It is made from washing all the starch out of wheat flour so that you are left with a substance that is brown in color, resembles and is chewy like meat. It can be baked, grilled, or fried in a pan. It can not be used for anyone with a gluten allergy.
  • Tempeh – This is a soy product, which is made by taking cooked soybeans and fermenting them. Unlike Tofu, it has a firm, yet chewy texture, which is softer and squishier. Its nutty flavor makes it a good choice when stir-fried, baked, grilled, or baked.

These food sources are beneficial as protein sources in the vegetarian diet. All of them are relatively bland to eat until you infuse them through the marinating or cooking process with the flavors of various sauces. One of the reasons these plant proteins work so well in various dishes is that they absorb flavors that are added during the cooking process very well.

Nutritional Facts

They tend to be lower in calories than meat sources of protein and are much lower in saturated fat when compared to meat.

1/2 Cup Tofu

Calories 94

Total Fat 6 g

Saturated fat 0.9 g

Polyunsaturated fat 3.3 g

Monounsaturated fat 1.3 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 9 mg

Potassium 150 mg

Carbohydrates 2.3 g

Dietary fiber 0.4 g

Protein 10 g

1 Cup Tempeh

Calories 320

Total Fat 18 g

Saturated fat 3.7 g

Polyunsaturated fat 6 g

Monounsaturated fat 5 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 15 mg

Potassium 684 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g

Protein 31 g

1/2 Cup TVP

Calories 160

Calories from fat 0

Total Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 4mg

Carbohydrates 14g

Dietary Fiber 8g

Sugars 6g

Protein 24g

1 Ounce Seitan

Calories 104

Calories from fat 5

Total Fat 1g

Sat. Fat 0g

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 8mg

Carbohydrates 4g

Dietary Fiber 0g

Sugars 0g

Protein 21g

How are these products used?

These non-meat food substitutes can be used in a variety of ways. For example, tofu, tempeh, and seitan can be used chopped into cubes and stir-fried with vegetables, along with seasonings that are absorbed and taken on as flavoring for the vegetarian substitute.

Textured vegetable protein is crumbly and can be used as a hamburger substitute or as an extender for meat in casseroles or stir-fried with vegetables.

Tempeh and seitan can be cooked in slabs on the grill, especially when marinated with sauces and spices that infuse flavor. Barbecue-flavored and teriyaki-flavored seitan and tempeh are available to be used on the grill to mimic steaks.

Seitan has the consistency of chicken so it can be cut up and used in any recipe that calls for chopped chicken, such as stir-fry, fajitas, and casseroles.

Health Benefits

  • These products are high in protein but low in fat, making them good foods for diabetics and vegetarians who need low calorie, low fat options to replace meat.
  • They contain soy or wheat alternatives to meat and are high in phytoestrogens and other nutrients found in vegetarian foods.
  • They contain no saturated fat, which makes them low in cholesterol and other fats that can clog your arteries and cause heart attacks or strokes.
  • They can be used to replace meat and contain as much protein as meat and sometimes more. When cooked with vegetables, these products help meals to be well balanced in both carbohydrates and protein.

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8 Facts You Need To Know About The Top Vegetarian Diet Myths

Probably the healthiest eating pattern you can follow is that of a vegetarian or vegan. However, people (especially meat eaters) or individuals who tend to like fast food often classify vegetarians, or those who practice the lifestyle, as being frail in frame or anemic.

However, those are just two of the “myth-concepts” that are perceived by people who are not accredited to eating vegetarian or vegan cuisine. In fact, many of the vegetables and fruits that are featured in vegetarian menu plans are nutrition-rich and low in calories.

Plant diets offer elite nutrition and a great boon in health effects, such as lower risks for heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. The Adventist Health Study 2 showed that vegans weigh an average of 30 pounds less than meat eaters do. Eating from the earth has great benefits, and it is important to know the facts and ignore the rumors.

The following myths and facts should assist you in debunking some of the “myth-concepts” associated with a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Myth 1: Vegetarian Diets Lack Iron, So Vegetarians, And Vegans Are Often Anemic

Fact: The vegetarian or vegan diet features such iron-rich, anemic-unfriendly foods as mushrooms, dried apricots, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, and peas.

Myth 2: Vegetarians Do Not Get Enough Protein

Fact: Many vegan foods, such as beans, and whole grains provide ample protein.

Myth 3: You Can not Follow a Vegetarian Diet When You Are Pregnant

Fact : Pregnant women find a vegetarian diet the best way to provide nutrition for their unborn baby and lose any extra pounds after giving birth. Not only do fruits, legumes, grains, and vegetables provide plenty in the way of iron and calcium, they also supply fiber, which cuts down on the digestive discomfort associated with pregnancy.

Myth 4: You Can not Follow a Vegetarian Diet if You are Involved in Sports

Fact: Many athletes successfully follow a vegetarian diet and obtain quality protein for muscles from foods such as beans, grains, tempeh and soy products, which provide just as much protein as animal products.

Other foods that increase endurance and keep athletes lean and mean include peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, raisins, cheese, eggs, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, black beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Quinoa is an excellent source of nutrition and protein.

Myth 5: It's Hard to Get Kids to Follow a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

Fact: Some of the foods that are featured in vegetarian or vegan fare includes peanut butter, popcorn, and a variety of delicious fruits, such as strawberries, mulberries, kiwi, grapes, apples, oranges, and pears. Tacos, wraps, and smoothies are vegan and vegetarian foods that are tasty and nutritional. Most kids will not turn down these healthy and delicious foods.

Myth 6: Switching to Vegan or Vegetarian Eating is Difficult

Fact: You do not have to make a significant switch to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle as adapting to one can, in time, become quite easy. Make a few changes to begin, and then keep adding until animal products are completely eliminated.

For example, you might try making tacos with black beans instead of meat. You can eliminate meat or chicken from stir-fry. Progressive changes will help you make a switch that is as successful as it is healthy. Mushrooms are hearty and make a great main dish. Veggie burgers, tofu sausage, Tempeh bacon are all tasty vegetarian foods.

Myth 7: Vegetarians Do Not Like To Use Any Animal-based Products

Fact: Vegetarians are simply avoiding meat to eat more healthily. They often do not mind using such animal by-products as wool or leather. Vegans, on the other hand, usually have given up both meat and animal derivatives. Generally, vegans do not support the use or consumption of any animal-derived products, including, honey, and wool, silk and leather. Veganism is more of a philosophy than a diet.

Myth 8: Vegetarians and Vegans Often Need to Include Supplements in their Diet

Fact: The only supplement that is needed to support a vegan diet is B-12, which is found only in red meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Otherwise, vegetarians and vegans get plenty in the way of all the required vitamins (B-grouping, A, E, C) through grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Many vegetarian and vegan foods are also rich in iron and calcium.

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To People Who Want To Start A Vegitarian Diet – But Can’t Get Started

A vegetarian diet is, by definition, a diet which is free of animal flesh, bird and fish. A vegan diet is a vegetarian diet which does not involve eating any form of animal based products. There are other forms of vegetarian diets, such as lacto-ovo, which involves eating eggs and milk, but no animal flesh.

Benefits

The reasons one chooses a vegetarian or vegan diet are varied. Some choose it for a healthier lifestyle, others are concerned with eating living things, and religion is another reason as well as concern of the effects the meat industry has on the environment.

For many, the health reasons are driving forces to eliminate meat and include:

  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Lower levels of saturated fats
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of cancer
  • Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes

Missing Nutrients

A vegetarian diet can be quite healthy; however, the vegetarian needs to be aware that his or her nutritional needs may not be fully met if certain criteria are not followed. By following a meat-free diet, some essential nutrients may be left out.

The vegetarians' diet needs proper meal planning, if the person undertaking this diet is to avoid certain nutritional deficiencies. Elderly people, athletes, and children are particularly at risk of nutritional deficiencies, since one or more of the five food groups are no longer a part of the diet.

The following are the main nutrients the vegetarian needs to take into consideration:

  • Protein – Protein is required for the body to grow and function. When you eliminate meat from your plate, it needs to be replaced with plant sources. Look to soybeans, tofu, tempeh, beans, quinoa, nuts, and flaxseeds, just to name a few. It is a common misconception that protein only comes from meat, as there are many plant sources.
  • Calcium – Calcium is a mineral that is needed to build bones. This is especially important for children, athletes, women (to prevent osteoporosis) and the elderly. The traditional sources of calcium from dairy need to be replaced with vegan sources that include, soybeans, tofu, soymilk, turnip greens, fortified cereals, and beans, just to name a few.
  • Iron – Iron is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body. Lack of this nutrient can cause anemia. As above, animal sources are the best sources of iron. Foods like oysters, clams, liver from different animals are at the top of the list of iron-rich foods. Plant foods contain iron, and include but are not limited to quinoa, beans, potatoes, soybeans, spirulina, and tofu. Phytic acids found in grains and legumes can get in the way of absorption of iron. This can be minimized by soaking the legumes and eating unleavened grains like crackers. Cooking also helps with the removal of the acid.
  • B12 – B12 is a vitamin that is unusable by humans in plant sources. Lack of this vitamin causes nerve problems, depression, tiredness, weakness, to name a few. Best sources include clam, liver and mackerel. Vegans are particularly at risk for lack of this vitamin.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which enhances the absorption of iron, calcium, and zinc. Lack of this vitamin is associated with high blood pressure, osteoporosis, dental cavities, possible erectile dysfunction and problems with blood cholesterol. Sunlight is actually the best source of vitamin D. Vegans can their from fortified non-dairy milks, and cereals.
  • Zinc – This mineral is necessary for creating DNA, building proteins and for a healthy immune system. Deficiencies include impotence, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. The best sources of this vitamin are from animal sources and include oysters, beef, and lamb.

Vegetarian diets become unhealthy when these nutrient deficiency risks are not addressed and proper food replacements for meat sources are not made. Vegetarians can avoid missing out on the aforementioned nutrients by supplementation and incorporating vegetable products that provide them.

Eating Too Much Junk Food

Some believe that eating a plant based diet can somehow make up for other poor food choices. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Vegans and vegetarians cannon eat unlimited amounts of French fries, chips, cookies and cake. They should not overindulge in junk food, ice cream, or soda. Candy, cookies, donuts, Doritos, cupcakes, and muffins are vegan, but loaded with empty calories, fat and sugar that can quickly negate all the health benefits that vegetarian eating has to offer.

Just because it's vegan, does not mean it's healthy. It is still important to read labels, eat whole food, make smart food choices and not overindulge in junk or that vegetarian diet can quickly turn unhealthy.

Not Exercising

Vegetarians and vegans who follow a sound nutritionally balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and nuts are making smart choices, but yes, exercise is still important. A plant diet can not compensate for all the health benefits offered by regular physical activity.

Combining vegetarian diet with regular physical activity will make you into a health powerhouse and soar your energy levels!

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How To Build Muscle on a Vegan Diet

Muscle builders and weight training enthusiasts typically assume that it is difficult to build muscle on a vegan diet, given its lack of animal-based protein. However, what they do not realize is that vegan diets feature plenty in the way of plant-based proteins. Moreover, plant proteins contain very little fat as compared to meat that can elevate cholesterol levels and increase the risk of a heart attack.

It is protein that builds muscle NOT meat.

Protein contains essential amino acids that are the building blocks of muscle. The body does not distinguish where the protein comes from, and meat is certainly not the only source.

For example, a 4-ounce piece of beef liver, beef ribs, or ground beef contains approximately 30 grams of protein. You can obtain about this same amount of protein from soy products, rarely edamame and tempeh, both of which provide 29 grams and 16 grams respectively for 4 ounces.

There are in fact many serious bodybuilders that are vegan, meaning they eat absolutely no animal products of any kind. Typically, animal protein is filled with unhealthy fat, and since fat intake is of a special concern for those building muscle, a vegan or vegetarian diet offers lower fat plant based proteins.

How Much Protein?

Athletes should consume 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of lean muscle to build muscle and increase its size.

A Goal That Is Realizable

Therefore, the idea of ​​building muscle on a vegan diet is realizable if you know the nutrient information for various kinds of vegan foods. Therefore, the idea that vegetarians and vegans exhibit scrawny, weakly physices could not be further from the truth, especially when those physiques have been sculpted through weight-training activities.

Just a year ago, a vegan strongman proved that vegans could be exceptionally strong as he hated an impressive, record-breaking 1,212.54 pounds over an area of ​​almost three yards (32.8 feet to be exact).

Because protein is the key ingredient needed for gaining and maintaining muscular strength, bodybuilders and weight trainers require regular intake of protein to feed muscle the nutrition it needs to grow strong and get bigger. Therefore, you can follow a vegan diet and meal plan that features protein-rich foods as a part of your weight training and bodybuilding regimen.

Break Up Meals

It is best to break up meal times into several small meals during the day. Include macronutrients, such as fats and carbs, to maintain the energy needed for intestinal workouts and activities.

In order to achieve bodybuilding goals, experts recommend that weight-training enthusiasts consume a ratio of 30/30/40 of protein / fat / carbohydrates.

Vegan Protein Rich Foods

Some of the vegan, protein-rich foods that bodybuilders can use to build muscle or weight trainers can eat to build strength include these healthy choices.

Nuts and Nut Butters

When it comes to building muscle, you can not go wrong with nuts as–cup supplies as much as 15 grams of protein and healthy fats for heart health and energy during grueling workouts.

All nuts are protein rich, and the lower fat varieties include peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. You can select from so many kinds of nuts to eat that they become an unavoidable food source for building muscle.

Of course, some weight trainers are allergic to nuts. However, for anyone who is immune from the allergens, nuts are an ideal accompaniment to a muscle builder's diet.

Add nuts to salad, grab a useful as snack. Use but butters on whole grain toast, and fruits. There is even vegan nut cheese.

Beans

Beans such as pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, and black-eyed peas along with lentils are high quality protein sources that are much lower in fat than animal proteins.

1 cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat.

They support muscle strength and growth and provide various other essential nutrients the body needs, such as calcium, iron and fiber.

Other great beans include winged beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and hummus, and garbanzo beans.

Tempeh and Tofu

1 cup of tempeh contains almost 31 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat. 1 cup of tofu contains 20 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat.

These plant-based soy proteins contain the same essential amino acids as beef. They can be used to make a wide variety of tasty dishes and to replace meat in traditional recipes.

Quinoa

While quinoa does not contain the same amount of protein as tempeh, this whole grain superfood does contain the nine essential amino acids needed for body building purposes and a whooping 24 grams of protein per cup.

Moreover, the selection of quinoa is seemingly endless as there are 120 featured varieties. Quinoa also provides vegan bodybuilders with plenty of carbs for those long, intestinal workouts.

Greek Yogurt

6 ounces of nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt contains 16 grams of protein along with lots of calcium, an ideal protein source for those vegetarians who eat dairy.

Vegetables

Soybean sprouts, lentil sprouts, soybeans, and leafy greens are also high quality sources of plant proteins and provide various essential nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Include, green peas, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, cowpeas, and lima beans, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus in your diet regularly to get the benefit of these protein rich plant foods.

As you can see, many great plant proteins will support your muscle training efforts, so feel free to eliminate meat and animal products from your diet and go strength train!

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How To Lose Weight With A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

Many people embark on vegetarian and vegan diets motivated by a view that it will help them control their weight. It is true that a recent study found that vegans weigh on average 30 pounds less than meat eaters do.

While technically a plant diet should be lower in calories because fruits and vegetables are naturally lower in calories than meat and dairy, it is important to realize that it can quickly turn unhealthy and very unsupportive to weight loss. For example, vegans who eat junk food, like chips, cakes, and cookies all day, all of which are vegan, but severely conductive to healthy weight management or weight loss.

Sometimes, those who seek to lose weight by going vegetarian may remain unaware of the key principals of successful weight loss and continue to struggle with their weight regardless of their significant dietary changes. Today we will discuss scientifically proven steps to weight loss that are safe for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans.

Achieving a caloric deficiency is crucial to lose weight

It has been scientifically proven that to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume for a prolonged period. Your daily caloric needs are a combination of your basal metabolic rate plus any physical activity you engage in. Your basal metabolic rate is heavily determined by the amount of muscle mass your body has, with those who have more muscle having a higher metabolic rate.

For many people wanting to lose weight is can be helpful to understand how many calories their body requires each day, thankfully there are many reasonably accurate calculators available online which can do this for you.

Once you know how many calories, your body needs each day, aim to create a daily deficit of around 500 calories from a combination of reduced dietary intake and increased physical activity.

Simple strategies to reduce your calorie intake include decreasing meal and snack portion sizes, choosing healthier less calorie lean foods such as fruits and vegetables and limiting the consumption of sugary beverages such as fruit juice and soft drinks.

Now here is where following a vegetarian diet can play a special role, because plant foods are lower in calories, and very low in fat (which increases calories in food) you can eat more while sticking with the deficit discussed above.

Let us compare two meals, one vegan, and one non-vegan:

Vegan Meal:

A salad with …

2 cups of lettuce (16 calories)

1 logo (16 calories)

C cup of cucumber (8 calories)

1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar (41 calories)

1 cup of cooked black beans (227 calories)

Total calories: 308

OR

The same salad but with …

1 chicken breast (boneless and skinless) – (284 calories)

Total calories: 365

A difference of 57 calories!

The black beans also give you 15 grams of fiber that keep you full longer, a key element of a quality food in weight loss.

Moreover, the fat count is lower in the vegan meal as well, with the chicken breast adding an extra 5 grams of fat over the black beans that only has 1 gram of fat per cup.

As you can see the 57 calories per meal is a big difference, and that is just one meal. There are many more examples that can save tons of calories, so you can choose to save calories, but you can also eat more with plant foods and that makes losing weight easier.

Increased physical activity will increase your energy expenditure

Getting some exercise is a healthy way to increase the amount of calories you burn each day and will assist with weight loss when combined with a sensible calorie controlled diet. Best of all for those who do not like running or going to the gym, it really does not matter what physical activity you do.

Simply choose something you enjoy and stick with it for the long run, whether it is going for a walk with a friend, attending a dance class or even having sex, it really does not matter.

Increased fruit and vegetable consumption will displace less healthy food choices

People who have significant fruit and vegetable intakes tend to have less difficulty managing their weight. This is primarily because fruit and vegetables contain fiber, which will keep you full for longer preventing snacking on less healthy food choices.

Aim to consume at least five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day. Determining the size of a serving of fruit is easy, with one medium piece considered a serving.

Reduced intake of discretionary high sugar / fat foods and beverages

When trying to lose weight it is important to limit the quantity of high fat and sugar discretionary food choices such as chips, cake, muffins, biscuits, and sweets. This applies universally to all eaters, including vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters.

These foods provide little nutritional benefit and contribute significant amounts of sugar, fat, and there before empty calories. To lose weight, try swapping these foods with healthy snack choices such as fruit, yogurt, raw vegetables, nuts, and even cheese on whole-wheat biscuits.

Limit alcohol consumption to one or two drinks

Alcohol shares a whopping 7 calories per gram; therefore, it is unsurprising because many drinkers have difficulty achieving significant weight loss. When drinking it is highly recommended that you limit your consumption to one or two alcoholic drinks spaced with water. This will help you limit your calorie consumption and provide a significant benefit to your health and waistline.

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How To Assess If A Vegetarian Diet Is For You

The best way to assess if a vegetarian diet is for you is to get a full understanding of what it entails. Making a significant diet transition is never easy, and choosing to eat meat free is definitely a major change, that especially depends on the reasons you choose to do so. For example, the choice of going vegan for ethical reasons such as being against the slaughter of animals for food may be more stimulating and easier to stick with than eliminating meat to lower cholesterol, while still loving the thought of that grilled steak.

Below is a breakdown of all vegetarian diet entails. Use this information to determine if this type of lifestyle is right for you.

Detox

Keep in mind that there will be a detox period where you will crave meat. Most everyone goes through it, and some have slips. This is common and par for the course.

What Is A Vegetarian Diet?

A vegetarian diet is simply a plant-based diet. There are different types of vegetarians and diets will therefore vary. However, for the most part, vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, poultry, or dairy. Some vegetarians do eat eggs and dairy. Vegans consume absolutely no meat products or by products, like dairy, butter and eggs.

What Can You Eat On Vegetarian Diet?

Even the strictest of vegetarians can enjoy an array of delicious foods. For instance, you can still eat nuts, eggs, whole grain cuts, peanut butter, vegetables, rice, pasta, tofu and so much more. Therefore, as you can see, your diet does not have to be boring.

When it comes to a vegetarian diet many people believe, they can eat all they want since they are not eating meat. This is completely false. No matter what type of diet you are on, calories always count.

With a vegetarian diet, your portion sizes will usually be larger since most of the foods are lower in calories. However, that does not mean you should overdo it. You still need to watch what you eat if you want to maintain a healthy weight. For example, chips and Snickers bars are vegan, but they are high in calories and not healthy.

Are Vegetarian Diets Balanced?

Most people believe vegetarian diets are not balanced since they lack an important food group. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can indeed be balanced. It's all about planning ahead of time. You have to make sure you are meeting all of your nutritional needs through plant foods, and there are many great choices.

If you are not getting all the nutrients you need it can lead to illness. Because of this, some vegetarians use dietary supplements to ensure they are getting all the nutrients their body needs. Supplements are very important as they can help you replace the nutrients you would otherwise get from animal foods.

As stated before, it takes planning to be a vegetarian. You need to plan and learn about the specific nutrients provided by plant foods to get enough protein, calcium and other nutrients that you would otherwise get from meat and dairy.

Protein

There are many vegetarian protein sources that replace meat, including, soy products, eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts and nut butters, beans and legumes, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and some fruits.

Vitamin B12

Dairy and meat foods are the only dietary sources of B12. A lack of B12 can lead to anemia; there are many B12 fortified foods, including non-dairy milks, meat substitutes, breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast. Supplements are also available.

Iron And Zinc

As a vegetarian, your risk for iron deficiency is greatly increased. This is especially true for women who are menstruating. Dried fruit, broccoli, soybeans, and legumes are all great sources of iron . Zinc, like iron is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products.

Cheese is a good source if you choose to include that in your vegetarian plan, along with whole grains, beans, mushrooms, nuts, soy products, and wheat germ. You can also get iron and zinc from supplements, check with your doctor.

You want to make sure the supplement you are taking is safe. Iron deficiency affects women more so than men. If you are a woman, take extra care to ensure you are getting the right amount of iron in your diet.

Calcium

Dairy products such as milk and cheese contain plenty of calcium. Vegan sources include fortified orange juice, almonds, broccoli, edamame, artichoke, tofu, blackberries, soymilk, beans, and kale. Calcium supplements are also available.

Vitamin D helps the body process calcium and plays an important role in bone health. Vitamin D enriched foods are available, including soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Spending 10 minutes or so in the sun daily helps the body produce vitamin D naturally.

What can you eat on a vegetarian diet?

There are plenty of food choices for vegetarians to enjoy that include, tofu, tempeh, beans, seeds, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, rice, pasta, cereal, fruits, and dairy products.

There are also many vegetarian soy products, like hot dogs, veggie burgers, and chicken nuggets. The many great choices of meat substitutes can still allow you to enjoy your favorite dishes.

Before You Start A Vegetarian Diet

If after reading this information you decide a vegetarian diet is right for you, please take the time to speak with your primary health care provider before you get started.

If you can, speak with a registered dietician as well. They will be able to help you come up with a well-balanced eating plan. A well-balanced eating plan will ensure you do not deprive yourself of some of the most important nutrients your body needs to survive. As long as you are getting the nutrients you need, a vegetarian diet can prove to be a very smart health move.

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Herbs And Spices For Health And To Spice Up Vegetarian Cooking

One reason some people do not stick with a vegetarian lifestyle is that they feel it gets monotonous, no one likes having the same kind of foods repeatedly, and we do not blame you. The problem is often people do not know quite how to add variety to their dishes instead they just make what they know.

Read on to learn our best tips for creating new and exciting dishes and for adding pizazz using herbs and spices to the old favorites your love.
Health Benefits Of Herbs

All herbs and spices are vegan as they originate from plants, including flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves, roots, and barks.

First, let's talk a little bit about the quality of herbs and spices. Besides being low calorie flavor powerhouses, fresh herbs provide distinct health benefits and some even have healing powers.

Many herbs and spices contain antibacterial and antiviral properties. Many are also high in trace minerals and B-vitamins. They contain antioxidants that help prevent disease and improve wellness; here are just a few examples.

Basil

Basil is a very flavorful and diverse herb (typically used in Italian dishes) that can be added to many dishes and recipes. Basil has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and is believed to help prevent osteoarthritis. Fresh basil can be used in salads, soups, stews, sauces sprinkled over eggs, and steamed vegetables.

Dill Weed And Seed

Dill has a fresh and unique flavor, and potent antibacterial properties. It is helps to settle upset stomach and queasiness. Fresh, uncooked dill is best for health and flavor. A salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion slices, fresh dill, and an oil and vinegar drizzle is an old Russian favorite and tastes really great.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is used medically to increase circulation, and as a cream for joint pain, such as related to arthritis conditions. Cayenne also revs metabolism, not a lot, but every little bit helps.

Cayenne adds a nutty, smoky flavor to food and of course heat (spiciness). It can be used to add a kick to boring vegetables, in sauces, soups, tofu stir-fries, and stews.

Mint

Mint is a pungent herb that helps ease nausea and alleviate digestive problems. It is often used in dessert recipes, but also tastes great when used fresh in sauces, salads and in tea.

Turmeric

Turmeric is most commonly used in Indian dishes, and sadly very overlooked as a spice in American kitchens. It contains a compound called Curcumin, which is a cancer-fighting agent.

In the US, it is widely used as a medicine for those with inflammation and joint problems. Turmeric can be added to vegan curry, soups, stews, sprinkled over vegetables, in sauces and muffins.

Garlic

Fresh garlic is flavorful, diverse, supports heart health, and has anti-cancer properties. Use garlic fresh and raw from the clove no longer than 15 minutes after preparation to prevent the loss of disease fighting anthocyanins that it contains. Garlic can be used in sauces, over salads, grated over steamed vegetables, and in hundreds of recipes to provide great flavor.

Herbs And Vegetarian Diets

Fresh herbs are a great addition to many dishes, both raw and cooked. Herbs and spices can add a completely new dimension to an old dish. For instance, you can make a dish Italian, or add an Asian flair with the right combination of spices, let's look at some of the regionally based spices that will give your dull dish a tasty makeover.

If you're looking for something reminiscent of your favorite Italian dish, get an Italian flavored seasoning. Oregano is loaded with antioxidants; it has cancer-fighting agents. It is also a natural antiviral and antibiotic.

The oil and leaves of Oregano are used medicinally to treat body aches, fever, and cold symptoms. You can also make your own blend with staples of Italian cooking that include basil, marjoram, garlic, oregano, rosemary and thyme to create a powerful anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and cancer fighting blend. This blend and Oragano by itself can be used in sauces, stews, over vegetables, in pasta dishes and in salads.

Asian flavors can really change the dynamic of your vegetarian dish. Soy sauce is a fundamental in Asian cooking and is used in all sorts of dishes. Rice Vinegar is another staple that can really change how you feel about boring salad vinaigrette; rice vinegar is a mild sweet tang and is the fundamental for many dipping sauces you find in Chinese foods.

Asian style cuisines often use things like coconut milk to add flavor and smooth creamy texture to soups.

Fresh ginger has a potent, sweet flavor, is often used to make soups, in salads and in marinades. It can be a fantastic addition to a vegetarian dish or even eat on its own when marinated. Ginger is great for cleaning the palate.

Never underestimate the power of a properly coupled dish. Some things just go together. Here are some of those great combinations.

  • Asparagus: Lemon, Garlic and Tarragon
  • Cauliflower: Chives, Coriander, Sage and even Turmeric
  • Mushrooms: Garlic, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Sage, Thyme
  • Zucchini: Basil and Oregano
  • Sweet Potatoes: Allspice Cloves, and Nutmeg
  • Potatoes: Rosemary, thyme parsley

These are just a few examples of great pairs you can create with just vegetables alone. Even adding these spices to a standard steamed veggie dish can give a lot more depth and interest to the vegetables themselves.

Another thing to keep in mind is proper seasoning; the use of salt and pepper is designed to bring out the flavors in a dish. Vegetarian dishes are no exception.

Make sure to add the right amount of salt (not too much) and pepper to your dish to bring out the bright and brilliant flavors the vegetables have to offer.

A Word About Dried Herbs

Dried herbs are more powerful than fresh so be careful to not overdo, an overpowered dish is worse than a bland one. Add dried herbs slowly and make sure to taste, taste, and taste again.

Spices on the other hand, like nutmeg, and bark are almost exclusively used in the injured and often ground forms, they are also potent and should be used in moderation or according to recipe directions.

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Can Vegetarian Diets Reduce Risks Of Cancer?

It is a well-known fact that plant foods are the most nutritious for the human body. Nature did its job by providing us with fortifying natural foods that when ate in their entirety and natural states provide us with energy, good health and the ability to prevent chronic disease. Now if we can just stay away from the drive-through and put down the Twinkies we may all live to a a hundred years old.

Vegetarians follow a plant-based diet that eliminates meat, poultry, fish and sometimes dairy. Vegans follow a stricter plan that only allows for the intake of plant foods and absolutely no animal products or foods that are made from animals, such as butter. Many studies have been done into the connection between these types of diets and cancer prevention.

Is it possible to lessen your risk of cancer through diet alone and do vegetarians do just that?

More and more research has shown in recent decades that eliminating meat products, especially, can reduce your risk of getting many kinds of cancers.

Vegetarian diets tend to be high in fiber, which is an independent factor in preventing cancer, particularly cancers of the digestive tract. Research done in the early 1970's found that in those parts of the world where fiber intake is the highest, the incidence of colon cancer was the lowest (and vice versa). Areas like the US, where meat intake and therefore fiber intake is the lowest have the greatest number of people affected by colon cancer.

Why Fiber Works

No one can say for sure how fiber can be protective against colon cancer but doctors have some ideas. Fiber can not be digested by the GI tract and it helps food move more quickly through the small and large intestines, carrying dangerous carcinogens from the diet past the GI tract and out of your body. Water is drawn into the colon by the fiber so that the dilution of carcinogen is greater.

Fiber is also believed to bind to bile acids from the gall bladder. Bile acids are changed into carcinogens by bacteria in the gut and if they are bound by fiber, they can not become dangerous. Fiber is also fermented in the colon. This makes the GI tract more acidic, rendering bile acids less dangerous. Even breast cancer and stomach cancer are believed to be preceded by fiber, partly because of its effect on reducing carcinogens. In addition, fiber lessens the amount of estrogens circulating in the body. Unopposed estrogen is a known risk factor in getting breast cancer.

The best way to get fiber is to eat a vegetarian diet that contains whole fruits, vegetables, peas, lentils, beans and whole grains. Try to take in at least 30-40 grams of fiber each day.

Vegetarian Diets and Fat

High fat consumption has been associated with colon cancer and breast cancer. The best way to lower your diet intake of fat is to eat a vegetarian diet, which is naturally low in fat. Research has found that those countries with the lowest fat intake have lower rates of both breast and colon cancer. Cutting down on dietary fat can help you survive breast cancer, even after you have been diagnosed with the disease.
While vegetables can yield fats in things like vegetable oils, the fat derived from animals is considered more dangerous. A vegetarian diet eliminates those animal fats, lowering your risk of cancer. Fat in the body from animal fat promotes the increase in hormone content, such as estrogens. As mentioned before, estrogen promotes breast cancer. Fat increases the amount of bile acids secreted by the gall bladder and this can cause colon cancer. To be safe, keep your diet fat content to less than 15% fat.

Following a Vegetarian Diet Can Help In Other Ways

  • Vegetables contain many cancer-fighting molecules such as beta-carotene, found in yellow and dark green vegetables. Beta-carotene can prevent many types of cancer, including lung cancer, bladder cancer, oral and laryngeal cancer.
  • Other chemicals in vegetables include flavones and indoles, which are also found to be cancer fighting.
  • Antioxidants of all types are found in fruits and vegetables and have a significant impact on the formation of cancer.
  • Vegetarians have been found to have better immune systems than non-vegetarians do. Natural killer cell activity is important in scavenging for cancerous and precancerous cells. This activity is found to a greater degree in vegetarians.

Overall, the cancer-fighting capacity is better in vegetarians for a number of reasons and it is a good option for people wanting to stay away from cancerous conditions.

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Akaline Vs Acidic Debacle

Alkaline diets have no science to support it at all. There is absolutely nothing to support any of the claims.

In fact, the only research done on blood pH is to help people avoid being too alkaline or acidic.

You see, the blood must remain in a very narrow range: 7.45 to 7.6. Individuals have their set pH and no food on the planet will change it.

Here's how ridiculous some of the alkaline people are.

1: Eat alkaline foods – then they name the top couple: apple cider vinegar, cabbage, apples.

ACV: pH 4.0 – very acidic

Cabbage: pH 6.2 – mildly acidic

Apples: pH 3.5 – very acidic

The foods they suggest are acidic, not alkaline

Processed foods are alkaline, coming in around 7.5 to 9.0 on average.

2: Foods digest better that are alkaline

Reality: All foods pass through the stomach and changed to pH 2.0 – extremely acidic

They move into the intestine at pH8.0 – mildly basic

Bile, used to digest fat, pH 5.0 – mildly acidic

Then into the large intestine at pH 5.0 – mildly acidic

Raising the pH of the stomach to 3.0 allows whole chunks of food to pass into the intestine and this leads to IBS, bile and gallbladder problems, and diverticulitis.

3: The nutrients in the food help make the blood more acidic or alkaline

Reality: Mildly true. The buffeting ability of the blood is determined by the nutrients we eat. Processed foods do not deliver nutrients. Whole foods deliver lots of nutrients. Over 1,000 systems determine whether we stay in a normal range, not whether you ate wheat or quinoa.

4: Cancer lives in acidic conditions, so eat lots of cabbage, apples, and vinegar.

Research does show people who have cancer tend towards blood pH on the lower side of the normal pH spectrum. But, before alkalizers celebrate, those same people also have normal carb intake of over 300g per day and survive mostly on processed foods. The medication these people are on also decrease blood pH slightly. Blood oxygen is decreed and digestive function are depressed, which lowers the pH of blood.

We actually find when your digestive system becomes alkalized, the chances of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases goes up exponentially.

Really, the only thing the alkaline diet has going for it is that it supports a diet that is whole foods based.

The reasoning why you should alkalize is just garbage.

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Getting Started With an Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP)

In view of the recent surge in lifestyle diseases, many of us have begun to understand the role of a healthy diet. It has been proven time and again through several research papers that a healthy diet is of primary importance when restoring your health back to normal while dealing with a chronic illness. Here I specifically talk about one such diet, the autoimmune paleo diet (AIP). There could be several reasons why this particular diet was prescribed to you, or maybe even even by you without any recommendation. Either way, if you feel the transition to this diet from your years and years of unhealthy diet is a challenge, some basic tips can unduly be helpful.

Keep the list handy

Whether you are working with a healthcare professional, or relying on the internet search, you definitely would encounter the list of food items to avoid in an AIP diet. Take a print out of that elaborate list (the more elaborate the better), and pin it up somewhere in your kitchen, brightly visible. This way, when you are just beginning with your diet, you can quickly refer to the list before you prepare a meal or go grocery shopping.

Fix a routine

Although the choice of food items is quite limited in an AIP diet, it may be overwhelming to cook with such fewer items. For example, you might have had a dish made with butter forever, and you can not even imagine what you would do if you had to make it with coconut oil, and you might think of giving up. To avoid this, it is important at the very beginning to fix up recipes and dishes for all the meals of your day. It may seem repetitive at first, but it would help you ease into the diet before you think of experimenting further with the competent of ingredients.

Create your own recipes

It is not difficult to find a wealth of information on AIP-based dishes, whether online or offline. Now that this type of diet is gaining popularity, the food world is getting richer in its collection of AIP recipes. However, it is important to listen to your conveniences, mainly, your local grocery store. For example, do not just jump into plantain pasta if you had loved pasta in the past, and came across a recipe in an AIP book. Think about the ingredients – are they available locally? Think about the convenience – will you be able to spend the time and the effort required behind the dish? And lastly, think about your own taste buds – just because someone else likes a plantain pasta doesnt mean you would as well. It is a good idea to understand what ingredients you have in hand, how they taste for you, and how you can modify your existing recipes to fit the new recipes without compromising too much on time, effort, and taste.

Leap into the wagon, not jump

Unless you have a specific condition where you have been advised to immediately abandon every item that is non-AIP, it might be wise to start with one dish at a time, and then a meal at a time, to the entire day's meals, to make a smoother transition to the AIP-friendly palate.

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