21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Fact or Fiction?
Created on: 01/08/13 10:48 AM Views: 1065 Replies: 4
Fact or Fiction?
Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Hi all. As I start this Vegan journey, I'm living with a sceptical husband and equally meat-loving 9 year old daughter. We could all do with losing some weight and my little girl has been great about trying to do healthier eating. I suspect we have not helped her because we have cooked with so much oil in the past. What I'm finding difficult is sorting out what to believe....e.g. Patrick Holford - probably the UKs leading nutritionist said years ago (he was in dispute with the author of a low-fat diet) that we need some fats or we can run into serious health problems. Yet I keep coming across vegans who say no to all fat because we will find some in vegetables anyway. Is it enough though? Juice is another...I've always read that it's good to have juice with a meal because it helps the body absorb iron. But again, I am reading 'cut out the juice, you just need water'. I really want to help my daughter grow up healthily and make the right choices. Who's got it sorted?

RE: Fact or Fiction?
Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM

claremus wrote:

Hi all. As I start this Vegan journey, I'm living with a sceptical husband and equally meat-loving 9 year old daughter. We could all do with losing some weight and my little girl has been great about trying to do healthier eating. I suspect we have not helped her because we have cooked with so much oil in the past. What I'm finding difficult is sorting out what to believe....e.g. Patrick Holford - probably the UKs leading nutritionist said years ago (he was in dispute with the author of a low-fat diet) that we need some fats or we can run into serious health problems. Yet I keep coming across vegans who say no to all fat because we will find some in vegetables anyway. Is it enough though? Juice is another...I've always read that it's good to have juice with a meal because it helps the body absorb iron. But again, I am reading 'cut out the juice, you just need water'. I really want to help my daughter grow up healthily and make the right choices. Who's got it sorted?

Juice is a lot of sugar with no fiber but it is a way to add some nutrients (if you've got someone with texture issues about whole fruit). Better would be to puree fruit and add it to other things (like using applesauce to replace butter in baking). Liquids with a meal help you feel full faster so you don't eat as much - but water will do that just fine. You don't need "juice" so much as you do need acids (like tomato or lemon) combined with things like spinach to help absorb iron - but that need not be juice, it can be tomato sauce and spinach over pasta, or a squirt of lemon juice on a spinach salad.

It's virtually impossible to avoid fat - anything that lives has at least a little fat. BUT it is possible to avoid ADDING extra fats that have little to no nutritional value left in them - they're just extra calories. The kickstart is not no-fat, it's keeping fat to 10% of calories - and for a growing child, maybe a wee bit more (like nut butter sandwiches) since they generally are not looking to lose weight and are burning TONS of calories in growth and motion.

--DebR

RE: Fact or Fiction?
Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Oh, and sometimes it's not "fact OR fiction" but is partly fact and partly fiction all around. For instance, soy. Some people go ga-ga over how "perfect" it is. Others consider it pure "evil". The reality is in between - as with anything, balance is key. For some people, tofu once or twice a week is fine. Soy milk on their cereal is no problem. For other people, soy can be problematic (especially people who already have endocrine/hormonal anomalies like me) and is better avoided. And, too, most soy in the US is heavily GMO so that's something that many people take into account as well.

--DebR

RE: Fact or Fiction?
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Nutrition experts take various positions on this issue and you can find proponents of "no need to supplement" as well as ones who say it's a good idea.

What they do agree on is no added oils as those are processed foods with little nutrient value. As you know walnuts and flax have the highest Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio so including small amounts of those might be a good idea.

Personally I also include a vegan DHA/EPA supplement based on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's recommendations, but equally reputable experts do not agree that it is necessary so I would go with your own gut on this one.

Also kids usually need more fat than adults to fuel growth so I would include more nuts, seeds, and avocados in their diets.

Edited 01/09/13 10:17 AM
RE: Fact or Fiction?
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM

claremus wrote:

Hi all. As I start this Vegan journey, I'm living with a sceptical husband and equally meat-loving 9 year old daughter. We could all do with losing some weight and my little girl has been great about trying to do healthier eating. I suspect we have not helped her because we have cooked with so much oil in the past. What I'm finding difficult is sorting out what to believe....e.g. Patrick Holford - probably the UKs leading nutritionist said years ago (he was in dispute with the author of a low-fat diet) that we need some fats or we can run into serious health problems. Yet I keep coming across vegans who say no to all fat because we will find some in vegetables anyway. Is it enough though? Juice is another...I've always read that it's good to have juice with a meal because it helps the body absorb iron. But again, I am reading 'cut out the juice, you just need water'. I really want to help my daughter grow up healthily and make the right choices. Who's got it sorted?

Hey Claremus,

To add to the already fine replies, I want to undescore that yes, you are right - dietary fats are essential!

What we don't often realize is that there is enough dietary fat naturally occurring in whole, natural plant-based foods. We don't need additional fats in the form of expelled oils, which are a highly refined, nutrient deficient, calorie concentrated food.

It takes patience and being armed with some simple facts for educating against the tide of standard practices and media hype (such as 'eat your olive oil!) out there. With so many resources right here at PCRM, having a few facts at hand about meat, dairy, and fats can be very helpful.

Lani

Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www


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