Category Archives: Vegan Diet

The Benefits Of Being A Part Time Vegan

Low carb and low fat have dominated the diet scene, especially when it comes to weight loss. There has been a lot of talk about the health benefits of being vegetarian or vegan, but there have been just as many who claim that you can’t possibly get things like protein from anything but meat, because of course we don’t eat tofu, beans, nuts, or other non-meat based protein sources. This said, the more people talk about GMO and other issues, the more people are turning to a more natural diet plan, which could be at least partially vegan, which may not be such a bad thing.

If you’ve ever tried a vegan diet, most of us aren’t disciplined enough to do it all the time. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from it. New York Times columnist Mark Bittman suggests that by being a part time vegan, you could largely eliminate the GMOs and antibiotics in your food, lower your carbon footprint, eat healthier, and substantially cut back on sugar.

Eat fruits and veggies with every meal, and drop the meat in 1-2 of your meals, and you’re doing great.

There are some who are recommending a vegan diet until 6PM for both weight loss and good health. Bittman in particular has become a significant proponent of the diet approach finding, We should all be eating more plants and you don’t have to give up anything to do that. I probably eat 60% less meat than I used to. I almost never cook meat at home, and at dinner I’m usually either vegetarian or I eat fish.


Is A Vegan Diet Safe During Pregnancy

Brandy Norwood was one of the most public celebrities to be a vegan during her pregnancy. Granted, some of the celebs we see are also anti-vaccine, meaning it’s safe to say that there’s more going on. But when it comes to being vegan, there are a lot of people who are healthier. They eat more fruits and vegetables, and they have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and other similar problems.

Still, there are those who will take pregnancy as the perfect excuse to say but that’s not really good for you or the baby. Yes, you do need slightly more calories when you are pregnant, and you also need plenty of vitamins and minerals. When I think about that, a diet full of more fruits and vegetables sounds like the perfect diet for pregnancy.

Australian blogger Loni Jane Anthony ate 10 bananas a day as part of her vegan diet while she was pregnant. There were plenty of people happy to criticize her, but the 25 year old delivered a healthy baby boy, gaining 40 pounds during her pregnancy. She lost 22 pounds just 2 days after giving birth, which tells me a good amount of that was just the water weight and the baby that you could associate with pregnancy. So is a vegan diet during pregnancy really that bad?

According to Mary Rosser, MD, an OBGYN at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, it’s perfectly healthy. Rosser cautions, But a plant based diet should be well planned out to ensure you’re consuming all the important nutrients that meet your needs and your baby’s needs. It’s a true point for any pregnant woman, but they suggest that without meat, you may have to be more aware of nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, and calcium. Obviously, some also have concerns about protein, but there are plenty of vegan protein sources if you are aware.

Vegans can get all of these nutrients from plant sources ranging from beans to nuts, soy, fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and things such as fortified orange juice. Most doctors provide extra vitamins and mineral supplements anyway during pregnancy.

Once the babies are born, they find that vegans tend to lose weight, much like Anthony did, because they are usually very educated about their pregnancy and aware of what they’re eating. With that investment, they may be less likely to gain excess weight than another woman who thinks of herself as ‘eating for two’

At the end of the day, vegan can be a great diet during pregnancy.

Do Vegetarians and Vegans Have Different Periods?

I have been told a lot of things about vegetarians and vegans, including that I had a different smell. I’ve read that it’s more pleasant, but my sister said we smell. Ironically, since I haven’t mentioned I’m vegetarian, she has never noticed the smell. Regardless, when somebody asks if vegetarians and vegans have different periods, I think it perfectly reasonable. When you take out the iron and protein typically found in meat, replaced by vegetable sources, it has to change something. When you take into account the nutritional differences, which could lead to significant weight loss, the simple answer, while surprising with this in mind, is that there is no hard and fast rule. I know, bummer.

There are a number of things that can change your period, not just an animal free diet. Things including stress, travel, weight changes, exercise, thyroid problems, ovarial cysts and pregnancy can change your cycles.

There are studies, don’t get me wrong. But there have been various methodological hiccups.

A 1991 study was published called Menstrual differences due to vegetarian and nonvegetarian diets. They came to the conclusion that The incidence of menstrual irregularity was 4.9% among nonvegetarians and 26.5% among vegetarians. However, there was an issue that came up, suggesting that recruitment bias had played a part. It was all self reported, and they also didn’t take into account oral contraceptive use among participants which, as you can imagine, could play a very big role.

The University of British Columbia study also showed that the study results of a vegetarian diet’s influence on menstrual cycles may not reproduce in the real world. Even if it isolated soybean isoflavones (which have been compared to estrogen cells), the results cannot be applied to the general population as easily as you might think. There are multiple things we eat in the real world that soybeans could easily interact with.

There are some studies that suggest low fat vegetarian or vegan diets may have an effect on menstrual cycles, but this is not all vegetarian/vegan diets. It’s unclear whether animal product in particular has the effect. Regardless, if you see significant changes in your period or you see abnormal things like for example no period for 90 days or bleeding for more than 7 days, let alone bleeding between periods, etc, you should contact your doctor.

Is Carob Healthier Than Chocolate?

For dogs, carob is generally your go to chocolate replacement, and for vegans, carob has become pretty popular too, because it doesn’t have the milk of regular chocolate. However, the question for some is, is carob actually healthier or just an alternative that is ultimately just as bad?

What is carob?
Carob is a chocolate substitute for many that has been found in health food stores or otherwise the healthy section of your grocery store. You can find it in various baking areas including chips to add to cookies and flavoring in candy and hot beverages.

What are the health benefits of carob?
Carob is a chocolate substitute as mentioned before. However, it does not have any of the caffeine or theobromine you might actually find in chocolate. These chemicals both act as stimulants, some have said they make you happier, and of course, there are other benefits that chocolate is supposedly famous for. Without these elements, does carob really do the same thing?

Caffeine and theobromine can be healthy and effective. Caffeine has neuroprotective effects, gets you going, reduces your risk of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Theobromine widens blood vessels and increases your urination, lowering blood pressure. It can also suppress coughs and dilate the bronchial tubes, which makes it easier to breathe. Both of these can improve your mood, but you can also be overstimulated. Caffeine can cause jitteriness, sleeplessness, a racing heart rate, and other side effects depending on your tolerance. However, for dogs, chocolate is not an option as both milk and theobromine are harmful, even toxic to dogs.

There are of course health benefits to chocolate, and carob specifically does not contain stimulants. So you don’t have to worry about overdosing or going overboard on caffeine, sensitive or not. Regardless, there are a lot of health benefits that carob also does not offer. For some, the biggest problem is it doesn’t actually taste like chocolate.

What’s the total story?
Chocolate and carob are not the same thing. Nutritionally speaking, carob tends to be lower in fat, but it tends to have a lot more carbohydrates and sugar. With either one, you aren’t necessarily going to get the healthiest makeup, but it depends on exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Carob has about 3 times as much calcium as chocolate, which seems a bit ironic. However, cocoa has more iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Realistically though, the fact is that we aren’t generally eating chocolate to be healthy, unless of course you’re fooling yourself.

For those sensitive to milk, chocolate, etc, it’s not going to taste the same. It’s not going to give you the saem effects. In some ways though, it can definitely give you an alternative with goods and bads of its own.