"Can you live without animal food? The answer is yes. No problem. There is nothing in foods of animal origin that doesn't exist in plant foods" (Dr. Christian Tal Schaller)
All the nutrients our bodies need, are found in plant foods. And there's nothing surprising about: everything found in meat and dairy products come from plants consumed by animals! Even for fish: polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 sources and omega 6) are derived from algae consumed by fish or their prey...
In fact, there is much less risk to have deficiencies with a balanced, varied and natural vegetarian diet with a conventional omnivorous diet, which, in most cases, does not contain enough vegetables and fruit, including vitamins and nutrients are absolutely essential for our health!!
THE VEGETARIAN FOOD
Regarding the regime ovo-lacto-vegetarian, which by definition excludes the red and white meats, fish and any animal flesh, but allows the consumption of eggs and milk, there are no special to take, and what type of power is virtually require any specific knowledge.
The only recommendation would be to not "offset" the meat and fish by overconsumption of eggs or dairy products, which would be bad for your health (see "The Myth of milk").
It should therefore be consumed in moderation eggs and dairy products, and have a varied diet also includes whole vegetables (salads, vegetables, stews, salads ... vary them!), legume (lentils, soybeans, chick pitch, beans ...), cereals (wheat, rice, pasta, bread ...), vegetable oils (olive, canola, walnuts ...), fruit, which you can add nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts ...), nuts ... (For more information, see "How to become a Vegan")
Not only you will have no deficiency with this diet, but you already enjoy many health benefits (compared to an omnivorous diet), and you will make happy not only yourself but also the animals (see “Veganism is good for the animals“), and the planet (see “Veganism is good for the planet“)!
THE VEGAN FOOD
For those who wish, the decision to become vegetarian can be a first step, subsequently leading to a vegan diet (or strict vegetarian), which excludes all animal flesh and milk and eggs and other products of animal origin (honey etc).
As written by Dr. Jerome Bernard-Pellet: “You should know that contrary to popular belief, and what we read in some medical articles lacking scientific rigor, veganism is quite viable. Although well-conducted, not only veganism isn’t harmful, but the expected benefits for health are even above the simple vegetarianism regarding obesity, cardiovascular disease and hypertension“.
He added that veganism requires owning some simple knowledge to well balanced diet, which you can find below (these tips are also available to vegetarians who consume little egg and milk):
- Calcium: We can find every calcium we need in plants. One of the main sources of calcium for vegans is often soya milk increased by the plant calcium (you should check that the soya milk you buy contains calcium, which is not the case for all brands). Tofu is also an excellent source of calcium, as well as some vegetable like broccoli and cabbage; and the nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts ...) and dried fruit (figs ...). Plant sources of calcium are of much better quality and much better suited to our body than cow's milk, and it is rare to lack calcium on a vegan diet!
- Vitamin D: Just expose 15 minutes a day in the sun (face, hands and forearms) to synthesize the required amount of vitamin D for the body. In low sun exposure (children, elderly), supplements containing vitamin D2 are useful (Sterogyl A bulb by year is enough to cover the needs of an adult!)
- Fatty acids omega-3: omega-3 can be easily found in vegetable oils (rapeseed, linseed or walnut) and oilseeds (especially walnuts). Just for example, take a tablespoon of rapeseed oil day (in salad, for example), or some nuts...
- Vitamin B12: Plants don’t contain (or very little) vitamin B12. Some algae such as Spirulina and others contain only analogues of vitamin B12, which does not have the properties of true vitamin B12 (and it would appear that the vitamin B12 from germinated seeds may be are not either sufficient). It is therefore recommended for vegans to supplement drinking a bulb a week Vitamin B12 Delagrange 1000μg or Vitamin B12 Gerda 1000μg / 4 ml, which is easily found in pharmacies without a prescription. (There are other brands, but some commercial tablets contain milk or gelatin, and therefore not suitable for vegans). Supplement vitamin B12 is the main precaution when you are vegan.
- Pregnant or lactating women: They can also opt for a vegan diet (it's better for their health and for their baby), but with some specific features, including a daily intake of vitamin B12, not weekly, which is important for neurological development of the baby. (Vegetarian women have no special precautions to be taken apart to ensure a balanced diet).
Vary your diet and follow these simple tips is quite enough to have a well-balanced vegan diet, and give yourself the best chances to be in excellent health (For more information, see the fact sheet: “Vegetarianism and your health “ by the Vegetarian Association of France)
NOTE: This page is of a general informative and does not replace the advice of a Dietician for the formulation of specific plans.
THE MYTH OF PROTEIN...
Contrary to what we still hear sometimes (even in the speech of some uninformed physicians, although this becomes still more rare ...), our protein needs are largely met by plant proteins found in multiple sources, such as cereals (rice, wheat, pasta, millet, bulgur, semolina, etc ...), legumes (soy, lentils, beans, chickpeas ...), soy and its derivatives (tofu, seitan, soy protein, soy milk ...), nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts ...), grains (quinoa, sprouted seeds), etc.
A natural and varied balanced diet, even vegan, including vegetables, grains and legumes ... is an optimal combination to bring all the proteins and amino acids necessary for human health!
In fact, it would be very difficult to find protein deficiency in a vegetarian or vegan diet!!
Research has shown that our bodies don’t need as much protein as we thought (the recommended amount ranges between 40g and 55g of protein per day for adults, and least for children ...). And it is interesting to know that excess protein found almost always in people eating meat regularly, can cause diseases and health problems!
In industrialized countries, people absorb too much animal protein (70% against 7% in the diet of Asians who don’t have the problems of cancer, osteoporosis, or Westerners’ cardiovascular diseases...)
While vegetarian and vegan diets cover, or even exceed the needs for protein, they are typically less than the total intake protein of the omnivorous diets. This lower protein intake is beneficial to health because a high protein intake was particularly associated with osteoporosis and worsening of kidney function deficient or defective.
It is therefore recommended to not exceed the protein intake of R.N.I. (Reference Nutrient Intake), according to the table below:
Paradoxically, if the proteins can be a problem in the context of a strictly vegetable diet ... it's their excess! (Which will always be serious less than excess protein in feeds containing animal proteins).
The American Dietetic Association, an institution independent of any association of vegetarian or animal protection organizations, and whose opinions throughout the medical field regarding nutrition; and the Association of Dietitians of Canada, confirmed:
"Vegetables proteins alone can meet the nutritional needs if a varied vegetarian diet is consumed and energy needs are met. Research indicates that a variety of plant foods eaten during a day can make all essential amino and ensure proper absorption and nitrogen utilization in adult healthy acids and therefore there is no need to use additional protein in the same meal "(Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada - Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 2003, Vol 103, No. 6, 748-765)..
In conclusion, not only plants alone can provide enough protein, but vegetable protein provide considerable benefits in terms of health with regard to animal protein (see "Vegetarianism and veganism are good for health".)
AND IRON? ...
This is another one of the many myths about vegetarianism society ... Indeed, studies of vegetarians and vegans don’t show iron deficiency with this diet! And the American Dietetic Association confirms that vegetarians and vegans don’t have more iron deficiency than meat eaters.
The iron found in plants is well absorbed by the body, so a varied and balanced vegetarian or vegan diet does not produce iron deficiency.
If there is deficiency, it is for other reasons: women, for example, can sometimes be prone to deficiency due to loss during menstruation iron; moreover, iron absorption can be inhibited by polyphenols (as tannin we notably find in tea) and calcium.
If you're worried about your iron levels, increase your iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables (broccoli ...), legumes (beans, lentils ...), millet, quinoa consumption , whole and enriched grains, tofu, nuts, seeds (especially sunflower seeds), dried fruits (raisins, apricots, figs, plums ...), seaweed... Cooking in casserole dish can increase the iron content of foods, and eating foods rich in vitamin C with iron-rich foods enhances the absorption of iron. Don’t eat at the same time substances that inhibit iron absorption, such as tea or calcium (for about an hour before and after consumption of foods rich in iron).
Moreover, we often forget that iron’s excess is harmful! The iron in effect, acts also as an oxidizer in the body, which produces free radicals. It has been shown that ferritin (iron storage protein) in the blood is too high, and too much iron intake through diet, may increase the risk of certain diseases.
With the application of some simple knowledge described above, a balanced and varied vegetarian or vegan diet produces any deficiency! Quite the contrary ... As shown more and more studies on the subject, vegetarianism and veganism even more, allow to live better, healthier and longer than the rest of the population!
Myths has preconceptions and misconceptions about vegetarianism and veganism are many in our society ... Yet many personalities show and witness the benefits of this type of food, and even demonstrate by their life, that we can live a full, healthy, and with all its physical and intellectual faculties when you're a vegetarian or vegan:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Dalai Lama
- Professor Theodore Monod
- Dr. Schweitzer
- Paul McCartney and all the Beatles...
- The Simple Minds
- Sophie Marceau
- Francis Huster
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Alec Baldwin
- Kim Basinger
- Woody Harrelson
- Candice Bergen
- Richard Gere
- Terence Stamp
- Daniel Day Lewis
- David Duchovny
- Marguerite Yourcenar
- Montserrat Caballé
- Marie-Claude Pietragalla
- Edwin Moses
- Carl Lewis
- Martina Navratilova
- And many more......
Scientists and ... genius designers, leaders who marked the world, philosophers, writers, artists charismatic or Olympic champions ... they are all vegetarians or vegans, for their health, their shape, the environment and animals!
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