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Vegetarianism

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Sep. 4th, 2006 | 01:59 am

Floating around on news.google.com today there was some discussion of the world wide obesity epidemic. Apparently all the bad things happening to americans are happening to developing nations as they develop. Some of the interesting theories I saw included farming subsidies need to be changed to we eat more because of micro-nutrient deficiencies in highly processed food.

There is some evidence that a vegetarian diet increases longevity, that a gluten free low-fat vegan diet can help with rheumatoid arthritis and vegetarians certainly fare well on coronary heart disease. (There's also evidence that the low-fat vegan diet helps with symptoms of type 2 diabetes, but I'm to lazy to go look up a good reference).

One interesting aside is this myth that early humans were predominately hunters this review article suggest that there is little evidence for the proportion of meat versus vegetables. (There is some evidence that modern hunter/gatherers who do incorporate a high percentage of meat do score well on diabetes risk indicators. However they were eating extremely lean meats.

Another article I stumbled across suggested the mediterranean diet is also shows effectiveness against certain diet related disease, but that diet includes <10% of calories from animals and >60% from plant sources. (And so isn't strictly vegetarian).

As far as I can tell the evidence is pretty overwhelming that "optimal" nutrition for humans seems to be based primarily on plant food sources. (Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Legumes, Whole Grains).

I've been going out to eat a lot more and eating cheese and more processed food, and wouldn't you know. I've been gaining all that weight I lost back. I really need to go back to eating "near-vegan". The problem is that's likely to make eating with my girlfriend much more challenging. (which is one of the reasons I've been getting lazy with my diet).

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Comments {10}

no, YOUR mom

(no subject)

from: theinfamousmom
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
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The more I read, the more convinced I am that every time we monkey around with our food sources we do serious damage to ourselves. In an ideal world, the FDA would decree a three-year phase-out of all chemically and structurally modified foods. No more "high fructose corn syrup," for starters. It seems as though just about everything that is based on corn is a nutritional nightmare (including the animals who get stuffed full of it).

Of course, given the big bucks being made in the modified-food industry, that'll never happen. I wish some courageous independent researcher would find a way to prove that the national obesity rate is a direct result of the consumption of those kinds of never-found-in-nature foods, and if we all went back to eating plants and animals as Mother Nature created them, we'd be much better off.

This is not to say that I, myself, am any paragon of whole foods. But I'm trying to be better about it. And "high fructose corn syrup" is something I make an effort to avoid as much as possible.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
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I wish some courageous independent researcher would find a way to prove that the national obesity rate is a direct result of the consumption of those kinds of never-found-in-nature foods

Well the World Health Organization wants caps on all added sugars. this story gives a bit more of a definitation of "added" sugar.

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markcronan

My belt feels your pain

from: markcronan
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
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I hear yah. And like you, being a vegetarian doesn't mean I acutally keep a good weight, due to all the processed food (and large quantities of food which I feel unconsciously obligated to eat due to my upbringing).

Exercise to me remains a key elusive componant :) Maybe I need to buy a bike. You like your fold-up bike still, right?

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Diane Trout

Re: My belt feels your pain

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
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vegetarian doesn't mean I actually keep a good weight

Currently it seems like the medical studies that have people going vegan show fairly rapid weight loss. Though that could just as easily be due to the lack of vegan conveniece foods as anything else.

I do think that when most of the foods I was eating required some preparation it was easier to keep my weight under control.

Even having to slice a tomato helped.

Exercise to me remains a key elusive component

Yeah, its one reason I really like living near work, I can use environmental reasons to force myself to get the minuscule amount of exercise needed to get to work.

If I was commuting by car, there's little chance I'd get any exercise.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

(no subject)

from: artemii
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
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well, the biggest problems in societies as they move from relatively poor ones to ones where more people have more money is that fat in your diet tends to be the best thing at making you feel satiated when you eat - so when people can buy more fat-laden foods, they typically do. and in many upwardly mobile societies, fatty meat is the cheapest source of fat widely available.

is your girlfriend omnivorous?

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
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fatty meat is the cheapest source of fat widely available.

Very true, which is probably one of the reasons why some of the scientists were recommending changes in agricultural subsidies.

is your girlfriend omnivorous?

Yes, the difference between a full vegan and omnivore was really hard to deal with.

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Susan

(no subject)

from: aylara
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
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I try, but I'm not always the best about diet stuff. People think I'm so awesome for avoiding gluten, but it's not the only thing I should be avoiding. It's just the one I'm most scrupulous about.

But! I have cut way back on dairy and I am getting better again. Slowly. Of course, having the M&Ms around are not helping, but I didn't have quite enough willpower to tell Jeffrey not to buy them for Clark. :) Usually, I try to buy him reward candy that I can't eat, so that it's not around. I can't really handle very much sugar, and I know it. I think it's a real addiction.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 4th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
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I've found its so much easier to exercise will power when at the store than when its at home. Once some junk food has shown up I'm fairly likely to eat it until gone.

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pouched fox

(no subject)

from: pouchedfox
date: Sep. 5th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
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it can be healthy, they don't mention b12 and omega-3 complex issues though.
I've sometimes considered going back to being omniverousness just for the socialization and flexibility issues

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Sep. 5th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
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Heh, I am cheating a bit and being a vegetarian evangelist, it is true that there are some elements that are harder to come by in a vegetarian diet. Though it looks like those meat eaters skipping all there vegetables are missing out on a lot of chemicals that help protect against cancer and diabetes.

I totally understand about the social difficulties. Its one reason I slacked off from vegan. Finding foods in restaurants that are without animal products is really hard.

Especially if you (unlike me) actually know all the subtle items.

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