Archive for August, 2013


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by ecofrenfood


Margarine is bad news. We usually keep it in the fridge because it costs less and is easy to spread. Try this super health spread and you will find it costs less than margarine but it contains a perfect balance of essential fatty acids.
1/4 block of butter : make it really soft
200ml sunflower oil: blend the two together and keep in the fridge as a spread. You can add more or less oil, depending on how hard you want the consistency.
OPTIONS: Try mixing in some grapeseed oil – very rich in anti-oxidants. Flaxeed oil is a plant based omega 3 oil.

When you have to cut out salt, it’s the sodium that’s the problem because it causes water retention and it pushes out the potassium that is a natural diuretic. Aromat, Zeal and other seasonings are full of MSG(monosodium glutemate) and are also bad for high blood pressure. So make your own herb salts, to suit your taste. Make a variety of them.
In an electric coffee grinder or use a pestle and mortar:
A few tablespoons of herbs: mixed herbs, basil, mint, rosemary (a good fat busting herb) and others you like.
A tablespoon of spices: coriander, cumin, paprika, ginger. First taste the blend, then add other flavours as you fancy.
A tablespoon of ground pepper, A tablespoon of salt. Two teaspoons of cream of tartar (as a source of potassium)
OPTIONS: Sodium free salt is available: known as potassium chloride. Supermarkets sell: NO SALT or NU-SALT
It tastes like normal salt but beware: if used on popcorn or salty snacks, it can remove the skin from your mouth.

Forget about expensive commercial cereals. Look for MOREVITE at the supermarkets, it sells alongside the mealie meal. It is a pre-cooked sorghum cereal and at a cost of R5 for 1kg, it’s the best way for all blood groups to start the day. It is vitamin enriched and can be served with milk, hot or cold water or even fruit juice. You can top it with youghurt, molasses, honey. For texture, add oats, chopped nuts and dried fruit or granola. For people who need extra snacks when the blood sugar gets low, you can take a small container of your MOREVITE mix. Keep it dry and activate it with milk, juice or water when you feel the blood sugar blues creeping up on you.

Fizzy drinks contain 8 teaspoons of sugar. Talk about a bulge trap! We need alternatives and some fruit juices are just as bad. Too much sugar and no fibre is a no – no. Rather eat the fruit and drink a glass of water!
HERB TEAS: commercial herb teas are a fabulous way to have your eight glasses of water a day. Even soaking the bag in a glass of water overnight for your first drink works well. Then you can add boiling water onto the same bag for the second cup. This is good for expensive teas like echinachea and St John’s wort as different medicinally active chemical compounds are released in hot and cold infusions. You can also use fresh herbs, especially mint for delicious fragrant teas and sweeten with a spoon of honey or high test molasses. NO WHITE SUGAR!
COLD DRINKS; 1 gram of vitamin C, 1 glass of cold water and a teaspoon of high test molasses. Add a pinch of cream of tartar. This is my favourite drink to take to they gym. You can also experiment with cold herb teas, especially rooibos, honeybush, mint and camomile. Some people add a little chilli to their tea to boost immunity.

Time is always the excuse for not making stir fries. 90% of the time is in chopping and cutting, so make yourself a variety of pre- chopped veggies in containers in the fridge. Now when you are in a hurry, simply tip a punnet of veggies into a pan with a spoon or two of olive oil. Add a little stock or water as it begins to heat up and turn onto low with a cover. Add your new herb salt and season to your satisfaction. Serve with flaxeed oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Eat as much as you like, especially the green beans as they are a great slimming food. I like: green pepper, Chinese cabbage, matchstick carrots, slivers of green beans, onions, celery, fennel and a huge bunch of parsley, finely chopped. If you want the mix to be thicker and more slushy, add a few thin slices of sweet potato.

A nice substitute for chips is red sweet potato slices, cut thin and fried in a slick of olive oil. Season with herb salt.
Remove from the pan and toss in your stir fry veggies. Add a few thin slivers of fish or chicken. If you have a little greasy treat witha meal it is very satisfying but just a little, on the side. You can also make curried stirfries, but go easy on the rice if you are on the slimming or detox programme. Also leave out the second poppadum and the extra spoon of dhal. Pig out on extra fresh salad sambals of tomato, onion, green pepper, lettuce, lettuce and lettuce – to fill you up. Eat slowly and that teaspoon of rice will go a long way! Drink mint tea before and after the meal. Never fill up on starch when you are hungry. Rather wait a while or munch carrot and celery sticks in a dip made of youghurt and flaxseed oil with herb seasoning. When you talk and laugh a lot during a meal, you eat less. You don’t need big comforting desserts. Just think of your waistline!

Health effects of vegan diets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by ecofrenfood

Health effects of vegan diets


Winston J Craig


+Author Affiliations

  1. 1From the Department of Nutrition and Wellness, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI.

+Author Notes

  • 2 Presented at the symposium, “Fifth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition,” held in Loma Linda, CA, March 4–6, 2008.

  • 3 Reprints not available. Address correspondence to WJ Craig, Department of Nutrition and Wellness, Andrews University, Marsh Hall, Room 301, Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0210. E-mail:


Recently, vegetarian diets have experienced an increase in popularity. A vegetarian diet is associated with many health benefits because of its higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals and a fat content that is more unsaturated. Compared with other vegetarian diets, vegan diets tend to contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fiber. Vegans tend to be thinner, have lower serum cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease. However, eliminating all animal products from the diet increases the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Micronutrients of special concern for the vegan include vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, and long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids. Unless vegans regularly consume foods that are fortified with these nutrients, appropriate supplements should be consumed. In some cases, iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern because of the limited bioavailability of these minerals.


A nationwide poll conducted in April 2006 by Harris Interactive reported that 1.4% of the American population is vegan, in that they eat no meat, fish, dairy, or eggs (1). Vegan diets are growing in popularity today among teenagers and youth, especially females. For many vegans, nutritional choices center around taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment, ethical issues about animal care, the use of antibiotics and growth stimulants for the production of animals, the threat of animal-borne diseases, and the health advantages of a plant-based diet (26). In addition, the potential of allergies from dairy products and lactose intolerance have fueled the popularity of soy-based dairy substitutes.

What then is the nutritional and health status of those who follow a vegan diet? Compared with other vegetarians (eg, lactoovovegetarians), are there any advantages or disadvantages to following a vegan diet? Does the elimination of dairy and eggs offer any additional benefits or create potential concerns? The purpose of this brief review is to summarize current knowledge on the health effects of vegan diets, to discuss the nutritional concerns or shortfalls of a vegan diet and to provide some practical dietary recommendations for following a healthy vegan diet. Key et al (7) have provided a pertinent overview of the health effects of vegetarian diets, focusing on their European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Oxford (EPIC-Oxford) study and other large population studies.


Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12 (8). In general, vegetarians typically enjoy a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers (3). A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases (9). In a recent report (10), different plant food groups were rated with respect to their metabolic-epidemiologic evidence for influencing chronic disease reduction. According to the evidence criteria of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO), cancer risk reduction associated with a high intake of fruit and vegetables was assessed as probable or possible, risk of CVD reduction as convincing, whereas lower risk of osteoporosis was assessed as probable (10). The evidence for a risk-reducing effect of consuming whole grains was assessed as possible for colorectal cancer and probable for type 2 diabetes and CVD. The evidence for a risk-reducing effect of consuming nuts was assessed as probable for CVD (10).

Cardiovascular disease

In summarizing the published research, Fraser (11) noted that, compared with other vegetarians, vegans are thinner, have lower total and LDL cholesterol, and modestly lower blood pressure. This is true not only for whites; work by Toohey et al (12) showed that blood lipids and body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) were significantly lower in African American vegans than in lactoovovegetarians. Similarly, among Latin Americans, vegetarians had lower plasma lipids than did their omnivore counterparts, with the lowest reported among vegans (13). In that study, plasma total and LDL cholesterol were 32% and 44% lower among vegans than among omnivores. Because obesity is a significant risk factor for CVD, the substantially lower mean BMI observed in vegans may be an important protective factor for lowering blood lipids and reducing the risk of heart disease (8).

Vegans, compared with omnivores, consume substantially greater quantities of fruit and vegetables (1416). A higher consumption of fruit and vegetables, which are rich in fiber, folic acid, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, is associated with lower blood cholesterol concentrations (17), a lower incidence of stroke, and a lower risk of mortality from stroke and ischemic heart disease (1819). Vegans also have a higher consumption of whole grains, soy, and nuts (141520), all of which provide significant cardioprotective effects (2122).


Data from the Adventist Health Study showed that nonvegetarians had a substantially increased risk of both colorectal and prostate cancer than did vegetarians (23). A vegetarian diet provides a variety of cancer-protective dietary factors (24). In addition, obesity is a significant factor, increasing the risk of cancer at a number of sites (25). Because the mean BMI of vegans is considerably lower than that of nonvegetarians (8), it may be an important protective factor for lowering cancer risk.

Vegans consume considerably more legumes, total fruit and vegetables, tomatoes, allium vegetables, fiber, and vitamin C than do omnivores (141620,23). All those foods and nutrients are protective against cancer (25). Fruit and vegetables are described as protective against cancer of the lung, mouth, esophagus, and stomach and to a lesser degree some other sites, whereas the regular use of legumes provides a measure of protection against stomach and prostate cancer. In addition, fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals in the diet are shown to exhibit protection against various cancers, whereas allium vegetables provide protection against stomach cancer, and garlic against colorectal cancer. Foods rich in lycopene, such as tomatoes, are known to protect against prostate cancer (25).

Fruit and vegetables are known to contain a complex mixture of phytochemicals that possess potent antioxidant and antiproliferative activity and show additive and synergistic effects (2426). The phytochemicals interfere with several cellular processes involved in the progression of cancer. These mechanisms include inhibiting cell proliferation, inhibition of DNA adduct formation, inhibiting phase 1 enzymes, inhibiting signal transduction pathways and oncogene expression, inducing cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis, inducing phase 2 enzymes, blocking the activation of nuclear factor-κB, and inhibiting angiogenesis (24).

With this wide array of useful phytochemicals in the vegetarian diet, it is surprising that population studies have not shown more pronounced differences in cancer incidence or mortality rates between vegetarians and nonvegetarians (7,27). The bioavailability of the phytochemicals, which depends among other things on food preparation methods, may be an important determining factor. However, new evidence suggests that a low vitamin D status, a problem often reported in vegan populations (828), is associated with an increased risk of cancers (2930).

The sources of protein avoided or consumed by vegans also have definite health consequences. Red meat and processed meat consumption are consistently associated with an increase risk of colorectal cancer (25). Those in the highest quintile of red meat intake had elevated risks, ranging from 20% to 60%, of esophageal, liver, colorectal, and lung cancers than did those in the lowest quintile of red meat intake (31). In addition, the use of eggs was recently shown to be associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer (32). Although vegans avoid consuming red meat and eggs altogether, they consume greater amounts of legumes than do omnivores (141620). This protein source was seen in the Adventist Health Study to be negatively associated with risk of colon cancer (23). New data suggest that legume intake is also associated with a moderate reduction in the risk of prostate cancer (33). In Western society, vegans also consume substantially more tofu and other soy products than do omnivores (14,16). Consumption of isoflavone-containing soy products during childhood and adolescence protects women against the risk of breast cancer later in life (34), whereas a high childhood dairy intake has been associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer in adulthood (35). Cancer risk in vegans may be altered because vegans consume soy beverages rather than dairy beverages. Data from the Adventist Health Study showed that consumption of soy milk by vegetarians protected them against prostate cancer (36), whereas in other studies the use of dairy was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (253739).

Further research is needed to explore the relation between consuming plant-based diets and risk of cancer because there are many unanswered questions about how diet and cancer are connected. To date, epidemiologic studies have not provided convincing evidence that a vegan diet provides significant protection against cancer. Although plant foods contain many chemopreventive factors, most of the research data comes from cellular biochemical studies.

Bone health

Cross-sectional and longitudinal population-based studies published within the past 2 decades suggest no differences in bone mineral density (BMD), for both trabecular and cortical bone, between omnivores and lactoovovegetarians (40). More recent studies with postmenopausal Asian women showed spine or hip BMD was significantly lower in long-term vegans (4142). Those Asian women, who were vegetarian for religious reasons, had low intakes of protein and calcium. An inadequate protein and low calcium intake has been shown to be associated with bone loss and fractures at the hip and spine in the elderly (4344). Adequate calcium intake may be a problem for vegans. Although lactoovovegetarians generally consume adequate amounts of calcium, vegans typically fall short of the recommended daily intake for calcium (84546). Results from the EPIC-Oxford study provide good evidence that the risk of bone fractures for vegetarians was similar to that of omnivores (46). The higher risk of bone fracture seen in vegans appears to be a consequence of a lower mean calcium intake. No difference was observed between the fracture rates of the vegans who consumed >525 mg calcium/d and the omnivore fracture rates (46).

Bone health depends on more than just protein and calcium intakes. Research has shown that bone health is also influenced by nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium and by foods such as soy and fruit and vegetables (4750). Vegan diets do well in providing a number of those important substances. The maintenance of acid-base balance is critical for bone health. A drop in extracellular pH stimulates bone resorption (51), because bone calcium is used to buffer the pH drop. An acid-forming diet, therefore, increases urinary calcium excretion (52). However, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables that is typical of a vegan diet has a positive effect on the calcium economy and markers of bone metabolism in men and women (49). The high potassium and magnesium content of fruit and vegetables provides an alkaline ash, which inhibits bone resorption (53). Higher intakes of potassium are associated with greater BMD of the femoral neck and lumbar spine of premenopausal women (54).

Blood concentrations of undercarboxylated osteocalcin, a sensitive marker of vitamin K status, is considered an indicator of hip fracture (55) and a predictor of BMD (56). Results from 2 large, prospective cohort studies support an association between vitamin K intake and relative risk of hip fracture. In the Nurses’ Health Study, middle-aged women consuming the most vitamin K had the lowest risk of hip fracture. Risk of hip fracture was decreased 45% for ≥1 servings/d of green leafy vegetables (the main vitamin K source) compared with ≤1 serving/wk (57). In the Framingham Heart Study, elderly men and women in the highest quartile of vitamin K intake had a 65% decreased risk of hip fracture than did those in the lowest quartile (58).

In addition to a high intake of fruit and vegetables, vegans also tend to have a high intake of tofu and other soy products (1416). Soy isoflavones are suggested to have a beneficial effect on bone health in postmenopausal women (50). In a meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials, soy isoflavones showed a significant benefit to spine BMD of menopausal women (59). In another meta-analysis, soy isoflavones significantly inhibited bone resorption and stimulated bone formation compared with placebo (60). In a randomized clinical trial lasting 24 mo involving osteopenic postmenopausal women, increases in BMD of both lumbar spine and femoral neck were substantially greater with the soy isoflavone, genistein, than with placebo (61).

As long as the calcium and vitamin D intake of vegans is adequate, their bone health is probably not an issue because their diet contains an ample supply of other protective factors for bone health. However, more studies are needed to provide more definitive data on the bone health of vegans.


To obtain a nutritionally adequate diet, the consumer must first have an appropriate knowledge of what constitutes a nutritionally adequate diet. Second, accessibility is important, ie, the availability of certain foodstuffs and foods fortified with key nutrients that are otherwise lacking in the diet. This accessibility will vary greatly, depending on the geographic region of the world, because different countries have different fortification laws. The following section deals with nutrients of concern in the vegan diet. The problem of insufficient calcium has already been discussed in the section on bone health.

n–3 Polyunsaturated fat

Diets that do not include fish, eggs, or sea vegetables (seaweeds) generally lack the long-chain n–3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n−3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n−3), which are important for cardiovascular health as well as eye and brain functions. The plant-based n–3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3n−3) can be converted into EPA and DHA, albeit with a fairly low efficiency (6263). Compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarians, and especially vegans, tend to have lower blood concentrations of EPA and DHA (64). However, vegans can obtain DHA from microalgae supplements containing DHA, as well as from foods fortified with DHA. However, EPA can be obtained from the retroconversion of DHA in the body. The oil from brown algae (kelp) has also been identified as a good source of EPA.

The new Dietary Reference Intakes recommend intakes of 1.6 and 1.1 g ALA/d for men and women, respectively, which accounts for <1% of the daily calories. Presently, the intake of EPA plus DHA in the United States is only 0.1–0.2 g/d, with the DHA intake being ≈2–3 times the intake of EPA (65). Vegans should be able to easily reach the n–3 fatty acid requirements by including regular supplies of ALA-rich foods in their diet and also DHA-fortified foods and supplements. However, DHA supplements should be taken with caution. Although they can lower plasma triacylglycerol, they can raise total and LDL cholesterol (6667), cause excessively prolonged bleeding times, and impair immune responses (65).

Vitamin D

In the EPIC-Oxford study, vegans had the lowest mean intake of vitamin D (0.88μg/d), a value one-fourth the mean intake of omnivores (8). For a vegan, vitamin D status depends on both sun exposure and the intake of vitamin D-fortified foods. Those living in areas of the world without fortified foods would need to consume a vitamin D supplement. Living at high latitudes can also affect one’s vitamin D status, because sun exposure in that region is inadequate for several months of the year (68). Those who are dark skinned, elderly, who extensively cover their body with clothing for cultural reasons, and who commonly use sunscreen are at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency (45). Another matter of concern for vegans is that vitamin D2, the form of vitamin D acceptable to vegans, is substantially less bioavailable than the animal-derived vitamin D3 (69).

In Finland, the dietary intake of vitamin D in vegans was insufficient to maintain serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone concentrations within normal ranges in the winter, which appeared to have a negative effect on long-term BMD (28). Throughout the year serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were lower and parathyroid hormone higher in vegan women than in omnivores and other vegetarians. BMD in the lumbar region of the spine was 12% lower in vegans than in omnivores.


Heme iron absorption is substantially higher than non-heme iron from plant foods. However, hemoglobin concentrations and the risk of iron deficiency anemia are similar for vegans compared with omnivores and other vegetarians (70). Vegans often consume large amounts of vitamin C–rich foods that markedly improve the absorption of the nonheme iron. Serum ferritin concentrations are lower in some vegans, whereas the mean values tend to be similar to the mean values of other vegetarians but lower than the mean value for omnivores (71). The physiologic significance of low serum ferritin concentrations is uncertain at this time.

Vitamin B-12

Compared with lactoovovegetarians and omnivores, vegans typically have lower plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations, higher prevalence of vitamin B-12 deficiency, and higher concentrations of plasma homocysteine (72). Elevated homocysteine has been considered a risk factor for CVD (73) and osteoporotic bone fractures (74). Vitamin B-12 deficiency can produce abnormal neurologic and psychiatric symptoms that include ataxia, psychoses, paresthesia, disorientation, dementia, mood and motor disturbances, and difficulty with concentration (75). In addition, children may experience apathy and failure to thrive, and macrocytic anemia is a common feature at all ages.


Vegetarians are often considered to be at risk for zinc deficiency. Phytates, a common component of grains, seeds, and legumes, binds zinc and thereby decreases its bioavailability. However, a sensitive marker to measure zinc status in humans has not been well established, and the effects of marginal zinc intakes are poorly understood (76). Although vegans have lower zinc intake than omnivores, they do not differ from the nonvegetarians in functional immunocompetence as assessed by natural killer cell cytotoxic activity (14). It appears that there may be facilitators of zinc absorption and compensatory mechanisms to help vegetarians adapt to a lower intake of zinc (77).


  • 1) To avoid B-12 deficiency, vegans should regularly consume vitamin B-12–fortified foods, such as fortified soy and rice beverages, certain breakfast cereals and meat analogs, and B-12–fortified nutritional yeast, or take a daily vitamin B-12 supplement. Fermented soy products, leafy vegetables, and seaweed cannot be considered a reliable source of active vitamin B-12. No unfortified plant food contains any significant amount of active vitamin B-12.

  • 2) To ensure adequate calcium in the diet, calcium-fortified plant foods should be regularly consumed in addition to consuming the traditional calcium sources for a vegan (green leafy vegetables, tofu, tahini). The calcium-fortified foods include ready-to-eat cereals, calcium-fortified soy and rice beverages, calcium-fortified orange and apple juices, and other beverages. The bioavailability of the calcium carbonate in the soy beverages and the calcium citrate malate in apple or orange juice is similar to that of the calcium in milk (78,79). Tricalcium phosphate–fortified soy milk was shown to have a slightly lower calcium bioavailability than the calcium in cow milk (78).

  • 3) To ensure an adequate vitamin D status, especially during the winter, vegans must regularly consume vitamin D–fortified foods such as soy milk, rice milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals, and margarines that are fortified with vitamin D. Where fortified foods are unavailable, a daily supplement of 5–10 μg vitamin D would be necessary. The supplement would be highly desirable for elderly vegans.

  • 4) A vegan should regularly consume plant foods naturally rich in the n–3 fatty acid ALA, such as ground flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, soy products, and hemp seed–based beverages. In addition, it is recommended that vegans consume foods that are fortified with the long-chain n–3 fatty acid DHA, such as some soy milks and cereal bars. Those with increased requirements of long-chain n–3 fatty acids, such as pregnant and lactating women, would benefit from using DHA-rich microalgae supplements.

  • 5) Because of the high phytate content of a typical vegan diet, it is important that a vegan consume foods that are rich in zinc, such as whole grains, legumes, and soy products, to provide a sufficient zinc intake. Benefit could also be obtained by vegans consuming fortified ready-to-eat cereals and other zinc-fortified foods.

A more comprehensive list of eating guidelines for vegans is available elsewhere (80).


The term vegetarian is often used to describe a whole range of diets practiced with varying degrees of restriction, making it a challenge to meaningfully compare and contrast the health benefits of various vegetarian diets. Although preliminary data are valuable, more scientific studies on vegans are needed to get a clearer picture of their health status (711). Current data show that vegans have a lower risk of heart disease than do omnivores and other vegetarians, but there are too few studies on other risk factors for definitive conclusions. One small pilot trial has shown that a vegan diet improves glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes (81), but more studies are needed that look at the effects of a vegan diet on the risk of diabetes, as well as cancer. On the basis of our present knowledge, vegans do not appear likely to have any significant advantages over other vegetarians about chronic disease patterns (11). The vegan studies that do exist often involve only a small number of subjects. More studies are also needed with long-term vegans because the health advantages appear more clearly defined when a person has been following a plant-based diet for >5 y (82). Research is also needed to investigate whether the age at which a vegan diet is adopted has any influence on health outcomes.


Vegans are thinner, have lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure, and enjoy a lower risk of CVD. BMD and the risk of bone fracture may be a concern when there is an inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. Where available, calcium- and vitamin D–fortified foods should be regularly consumed. There is a need for more studies on the relation between vegan diets and risk of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a potential problem for vegans, so that the use of vitamin B-12–fortified foods or supplements are essential. To optimize the n–3 fatty acid status of vegans, foods rich in ALA, DHA-fortified foods, or DHA supplements should be regularly consumed. Vegans generally have an adequate iron intake and do not experience anemia more frequently than others. Typically, vegans can avoid nutritional problems if appropriate food choices are made. Their health status appears to be at least as good as other vegetarians, such as lactoovovegetarians. (Other articles in this supplement to the Journal include references 83109.)


The author had no financial disclosures to report.


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Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by ecofrenfood


No diet fits for any one person, yet we do find that the closer one adheres to the principles of a genetically-based traditional diet (Paleolithic), the healthier they get.  One of the modifications in this Paleolithic way of eating is the removal of foods that create gut sensitivities and allergic responses throughout the entire body. 

So many people ask about the differences between allergies and sensitivities to food, and are surprised when traditional testing methods do not reveal evidence of allergies.   It is possible and very common to have severe responses and sensitivities to foods without evidence on a blood, stool, or saliva test.  When a food item is ingested there is a local response in the tissue of the gut which can trigger GALT (Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue) activation with the subsequent nitric oxide signaling and an up-regulation of inflammation.  This GALT activation often happens in reaction to antibiotics and hormones found in factory farmed meat and dairy products, and chemical exposure from processed foods.  This up-regulation of inflammation can cause a range of symptoms from upset stomach to chronic joint pain and can also lead to chronic problems in the gut such as leaky gut syndrome or abnormal intestinal permeability (see Digestive Disorders) which often leads to chronic disease.

Since the digestive system is a major immune system organ with an estimated 40-70% of defense activity taking place in the Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue, it is vitally important to restore gut health by removing any foods that might be an irritant to the tissue and repairing any gut dysfunction that may be present.   We find in order to accurately test for these food sensitivities we must combine biofeedback screening with actual food samples.



“I had chronic digestive problems for years and had been tested by many doctors with no answers to my situation.  It was getting so that I was constantly bloated and gassy and never felt like I could digest my food.  My digestion was so bad I always had something coming out one end or the other.  I began to gain weight and noticed that I was getting colds or sinus infections almost every other month.  Something was seriously wrong.  I was recommended to see Sabrina and on my first visit she tested me for food sensitivities and had me remove a list of foods and recommended new food choices.  She also tested me for supplements and asked me to come back in five weeks.  I began the food removal for the first week and waited to take the supplements.  Just by removing those foods I began to digest my food, no longer had bloating or had to run to the restroom on an hourly basis.  I am really amazed at how food sensitivities and even bad food choices have such a big impact on health.  After doing some nutritional testing and supplementation, I am no longer having sinus infections or colds and I am able to get through the day without a nap.  I am now a believer that food choices are our health choices.”

                                                                            -Barb A., Littleton, CO-

Reasons Why Food Sucks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by ecofrenfood

December 10, 2012

Reasons Why Food Sucks

1. You eat, then a few hours later you’re hungry again.
2. It messes up your face.
3. It gets stuck in your teeth at the worst possible time.
4. It makes your breath stink.
5. It makes you fart.
6. It makes you poo.
7. It can get you really sick and make you barf.
8. It makes you thirsty, then you have to drink water, and that opens a whole other can of worms.  (Please see “Reasons Why Water Sucks” volumes 1,2, and 3).
9. It makes you fat.
10. It makes you feel like a lazy lion.
11. It gets your teeth all dirty.
12. You HAVE to eat, so you’re a slave to food for your entire life.  Food is your master!  Ahhhhhh!
13. It makes you have to wash your hands and use napkins.
14. It can taste really bad.
15. It can smell up the whole place.
16. When other people are eating food, then you might get hungry too.
17. Did I mention it makes you POO?
18. You get grumpy and start making all these dorky noises when you don’t have food.
19. It can burn and start fires.
20. It makes you indecisive cuz there are so many different types of food.  Then you waste all this time trying to decide while your stomach growls away.  Then you don’t get to eat cuz you spent so much time deciding what you want to eat that you’re now late for your chiropractor appointment.  Then your chriopractor gets pissed and cracks your back in half.

That’s why I say: SCREW FOOD!

Annual Dog Meat Festival Continues to Divide Chinese Public

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by ecofrenfood

Annual Dog Meat Festival Continues to Divide Chinese Public

by on Monday, July 1, 2013

by on Monday, July 1, 2013 Dogs are being killed in Guangxi Yulin.

From Global Times:

UK’s The Guardian: Guangxi Yulin Dog-Meat Festival Causes Controversy

Some volunteers are rescuing dogs from a dog-meat restaurant.

Source image: Volunteers rescuing dogs from a dog-meat restaurant.

UK’s The Guardian article on June 18th, original title: Chinese City Criticized over Dog-Meat Festival. In a small city of Southern China, city residents were preparing to hold an annual dog-meat festival, however, animal rights organizations have been strongly condemning this unsafe and inhumane activity.

[Note: The Chinese article itself is a Chinese translation and paraphrasing of the original English article published by The Guardian. Translating it back to English shows how things can change when translated multiple times.]

For the city residents of Guangxi Yulin, it’s a kind of tradition to eat dog meat on summer solstice. Many people cherish Yulin’s dog-meat culture which increases the sales on dog-meat hotpot and strong grain alcohols.

Animal rights organizations have pointed out that, every year, 10,000 dogs are slaughtered during dog-meat festival and that many of them are even electrocuted, burned, or skinned to death. According to pictures posted online, many dogs were skinned, hanging from hooks, and many dog’s corpses were piled up on the side of the road. In China, dog-meat is considered a nutritious food in winter. For the treatment of illnesses on such as the circulation of blood, doctors would even prescribe dog-meat consumption as prescriptions.

In order to stop the dog-meat-eating activity, animal rights activists have taken many measures such as releasing open letters and having protests. An open letter released by a NGO in Hong Kong pointed out that many of the dogs that were slaughtered during the dog-meat festival were stolen. They were transported to Yulin in filthy, overcrowded trucks, which greatly increased the risk of them carrying rabies and other infectious diseases. But according to Yulin officials, all the dogs used at the dog-meat festival were bred by local farmers.

Workers are unload dogs from a truck at Binjiang Road in Yulin.

Workers unloading dogs from a truck at Binjiang Road in Yulin. The dogs will be butchered before being sent to restaurants.

Local residents are gathering at a riverside road in Yulin to eat dog meat on June 21.

Local residents gathering at a riverside road in Yulin to eat dog meat on June 21.

An animal rights advocate is putting up a poster that calls for people not to eat dogs and cats.

An animal rights advocate putting up a poster that calls for people not to eat dogs and cats.

From People’s Daily:

Are the Sources of the Dogs Eaten during Dog-Meat Festival Legitimate?

Recently, Guangxi Yulin’s “Lychee Dog-Meat Festival” kicked off. The controversial traditional festival, under the protests of animal protection activists, has come to the attention of public opinion again. Indeed, people in Guangxi Yulin have the habit of “eating dog meat, drinking lychee wine” on the day of summer solstice. In their views, this helps to improve the body’s ability to resist diseases.

According to a Xinhua News report, “every year on this day, people in this city would eat thousands of dogs”. Meanwhile, the sources where most of these dogs come from are not clear and complicated. In the face of animal protection activists’ censure and resistance, the Yulin municipal government responded that “the Dog-Meat Festival is neither sponsored by the government nor advocated by the government”. It seems that it is a folk custom, and the local government has no responsibilities at all.

Facing the conflict between animal protection and local customs of eating dog meat, the local governments may not have to intervene. However, it does not mean they can completely ignore it. Regarding the “Dog-Meat Festival”, the local government departments should at least investigate if the thousands of dogs that suddenly appear all come from legal sources.

At present, when it comes to quarantining and standards of animal sanitation, the relevant laws are relatively perfect. At least, there are already the “Animal Quarantine Law” and “Animals Quarantine and Administration Measures”. Two months ago, the notice “Regarding the Further Strengthening of the Quarantine and Supervision of Dogs and Cats’ Origin” that the Ministry of Agriculture issued also demanded that local animal health supervision institutions strictly follow the two laws and regulations, to establish standards for the scope, procedures and determination of quarantine, and to earnestly carry out their work of quarantine inspection of where dogs and cats are sourced. Especially with regards to the transport of dogs and cats, quarantine authorities must carry out quarantine inspection on each source one by one according to the rules and issue a quarantine certificate to each one.

For this Dog-Meat Festival in Yulin, have the local authorities strictly carried out their duties in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations? Have they done routine check-ups on those shop-owners who are selling dog-meat? For example, it is reported that shop-owners who are selling dog-meat can’t provide a certificate to show that every dog they sell comes from a legitimate source, and accords with the relevant state health regulations. If the local [authorities] enforce the law strictly, the Dog-Meat Festival may be so big, and the numbers of dogs slaughtered each year will be sharply reduced.

As a folk culinary custom formed over many years, it should be treated with seriousness and caution, and this can be understood. But since we can’t put an end to the “festival” in the short term, the local government should at least promote a law-based administration to inspect if the sources of the dogs are illegal and penalize the illegal merchants.

[Written by] Da Bai (Media Person)

Dogs are being killed in Guangxi Yulin.

Malaysia Keropok Lekor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2013 by ecofrenfood


Fried Crackers, or,Keropok Lekor


1 kg fish (ikan parang or ikan kembong)

500g sago flour

Salt to taste

125ml water

Some ice-cubes

1 or 2 pandan leaves

How to cook:

  1. Clean the fish thoroughly, remove its intestines and chop off its head and tail, leaving the body intact.
  2. Make slits along both sides of the fish, then scrape off the meat; discard the bones.
  3. Pound, chop or mince the meat finely, adding salt to taste.
  4. Add some ice cubes and continue mincing the fish meat.
  5. Add sago flour and water.
  6. Stir the mixture until it becomes a soft dough.
  7. Dip your hand in the sago flour and roll the dough into a cylindrical shape.
  8. Boil a potful of water.
  9. Add in one or two knotted pandan leaves.
  10. Drop the keropok lekor into the boiling water.Wait for it to float and remove with a slotted spoon.
  11. Set aside to cool.
  12. Cut the pieces diagonally into thin slices.
  13. Dry in the sun thoroughly, then deep-fry in hot oil.


To serve:

Serve with chilly source (normally serve)


Drinking Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2013 by ecofrenfood
Drinking Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

The UN suggests that each person needs 20-50 litres of water a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
Source: World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

In 2010, 89 % of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources, exceeding the MDG target (88 %); 92 % are expected to have access in 2015. By 2015, 67 % will have access to improved sanitation facilities (the MDG target is 75 %).
Source: WHO

Between 1990 and 2010, two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources and 1.8 billion people gained access to improved sanitation facilities.
Source: WHO

11% of the global population, or 783 million people, are still without access improved sources of drinking water.
Source: JMP 2012

Globally, diarrhoea is the leading cause of illness and death, and 88 per cent of diarrhoeal deaths are due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities, together with inadequate availability of water for hygiene and unsafe drinking water.
Source: JMP

The provision of improved sanitation and safe drinking water could reduce diarrhoeal diseases by nearly 90 per cent.
Source: JMP

Today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.
Source: WWDR, 2012

In Sub-Saharan Africa, treating diarrhoea consumes 12 percent of the health budget. On a typical day, more than half the hospital beds in are occupied by patients suffering from faecal-related disease.
Source: WSSCC

Washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhoeal diseases by up to 47 per cent.
Source: WHO

The first ever global handwashing day was celebrated on 15 October during the International Year of Sanitation.
While the percent of population with access to improved facilities increased since 1990 in all regions, the number of people living without access has increased due to slow progress and population growth. In 2008, 2.6 billion people had still no access to improved sanitation facilities.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target is to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015.
Source: World Bank

Resourcing of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector is relatively low priority compared to other sectors. In many countries, policies and programmes underemphasise adequate financing and human resource development to sustain the existing infrastructure and to expand access to sanitation, drinking-water and hygiene services.
Source: UN-Water: GLAAS, 2012

Overall, the number of cholera cases for the decade 2000–2010 increased by 130 %.
Source: WHO, 2010

With increasing populations living in peri-urban slums and refugee camps, as well as increasing numbers of people exposed to the impacts of humanitarian crises, the risk from cholera will likely increase worldwide.
Source: WWDR, 2012

63 % of the global population use toilets and other improved sanitation facilities.
2.5 billion people lack improved sanitation.
1.1 billion people (15 % of the global population) practice open defecation.
949 million open defecators live in rural areas.
Source: WHO 2012