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Diet Myths Debunked

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The Vegan Diet

The Myth: It's low in the saturated fat found in meat, so it's better for you.

The Truth: Many women go vegan to reduce their risk of heart disease or other chronic conditions, or because they're morally opposed to eating animals. That's fine, as long as their diet contains a healthy mix of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. The problem is, many vegans come up short -- meaning that they're missing out on vitamin B12, found in animal foods, and healthy fats such as DHA and EPA, the two types of omega-3s found primarily in fish like wild salmon, says Giancoli. That's a major concern if you're one of the 20 million Americans who suffers from dry-eye syndrome, in which insufficient tear production causes painful, burning irritation. Women whose diets had the highest levels of omega-3s were 17 percent less likely to have dry eyes than those who ate the least, according to a Brigham and Women's Hospital study.

Omega-3s are also vital for stabilizing mood, and may even help ward off depression. The risk of mood disorders is compounded if you don't get enough B12, which helps your brain produce feel-good neurotransmitters. A lack of this vitamin can lead to memory loss and disorientation, research shows.

The Fix: Get your omega-3s by eating ground flaxseed (sprinkle it on yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal), walnuts, and tofu, and by using canola, walnut, flaxseed, and soybean oils, which contain the fat alpha-linolenic acid. Include some of these foods every day to meet your omega-3 requirement of 1.1 grams. To load up on B12 (your goal: 2.4 micrograms a day), take a multivitamin or have several servings of fortified foods, such as soy milk, cereal, or tuna.

Next:  The Low-Carb Diet

 

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irbim315 wrote:

I just finished "Wheat Belly" by R. Davis. I find his argument for wheat-free much more cogent that yours.

8/17/2013 04:28:33 PM Report Abuse
chrisdietric wrote:

You don't need an expert to look at the nutrition labels of dairy milk and almond milk. Which has cholesterol, saturated fat and LESS calcium? Yes dairy milk.

1/1/2013 09:17:16 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

What a lame article! I hate it when so called "experts" try to scare people into believing they need to eat meat & dairy to be healthy. One paragraph talks about lack of iron in a meat/dairy free diet and then goes on to a long list of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to "fix" the problem. I have to wonder about the author's connection to the meat/dairy industry.

8/9/2012 09:24:55 AM Report Abuse
ivanzbecker wrote:

Right - eat healthy. Period. You don't need gluten to survive. And I have experienced a huge reduction in inflammation since I removed it from my diet.

4/11/2012 02:32:12 PM Report Abuse
ctovar0726 wrote:

Eliminating dairy from your diet does not mean that you won't consume enough calcium. Silk (soymilk), for example, has more calcium per serving than cow's milk. On top of that, Silk, or other non-dairy milk, has no antibiotics. I don't see how not consuming dairy can be bad for you.

12/13/2011 05:34:22 PM Report Abuse

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