11 Foods Healthy Vegans Eat
Vegans avoid eating animal foods for environmental, ethical or health reasons.
Unfortunately, following a diet based exclusively on plants may put some people at a higher risk of nutrient deficiencies.
This is especially true when vegan diets are not well planned.
For vegans who want to stay healthy, consuming a nutrient-rich diet with whole and fortified foods is very important.
Here are 11 foods and food groups that should be part of a healthy vegan diet.
In an effort to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, vegans avoid traditional sources of protein and iron such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
Therefore, it’s important to replace these animal products with protein- and iron-rich plant alternatives, such as legumes.
Beans, lentils and peas are great options that contain 10–20 grams of protein per cooked cup.
They’re also excellent sources of fiber, slowly digested carbs, iron, folate, manganese, zinc, antioxidants and other health-promoting plant compounds (1, 2, 3, 4).
However, legumes also contain a good amount of antinutrients, which can reduce the absorption of minerals.
For instance, iron absorption from plants is estimated to be 50% lower than that from animal sources. Similarly, vegetarian diets seem to reduce zinc absorption by about 35% compared to those containing meat (5, 6).
It’s advantageous to sprout, ferment or cook legumes well because these processes can decrease the levels of antinutrients (7).
To increase your absorption of iron and zinc from legumes, you may also want to avoid consuming them at the same time as calcium-rich foods. Calcium can hinder their absorption if you consume it at the same time (8). In contrast, eating legumes in combination with vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables can further increase your absorption of iron (9).
BOTTOM LINE:Beans, lentils and peas are nutrient-rich plant alternatives to animal-derived foods. Sprouting, fermenting and proper cooking can increase nutrient absorption.
Source: Vegan Food List: 11 Foods That Healthy Vegans Eat
Whether athletes can enhance their performance with caffeine may depend on their genes.
According to a new study of the genetics of caffeine metabolism, athletes with a particular variant of one gene show notable improvements in their endurance performance after swallowing caffeine.
But those with a different variant of that gene may perform worse if they first have caffeine, raising questions about who should be using the drug to bump up performance and about the broader interplay of nutrition, genetics and exercise.
For many of us, caffeine, usually in the form of coffee, is as necessary to the morning as sunrise.
But different people respond differently to the effects of caffeine. Some become jittery and later have difficulty sleeping. Others can drink the same amount of coffee and report increased alertness but no jitters or sleep disruptions.
The same range of reactions occurs in athletes. In multiple past studies, most people will work out longer, faster or more strenuously after they swallow a moderate dose of caffeine, but a few perform no better or even worse.
via Can Coffee Rev Up Your Workout? It May Depend on Your Genes – The New York Times
The sugar industry and its various offshoots, like the soda industry, have spent years trying to trick you.
Big Sugar has paid researchers to conduct misleading — if not false — studies about the health effects of added sweeteners. It has come up with a dizzying array of euphemistic names for those sweeteners. And it has managed to get sugars into a remarkable three-quarters of all packaged foods in American supermarkets.
Most of us, as a result, eat a lot of sugar. We are surrounded by it, and it’s delicious. Unfortunately, sugar also encourages overeating and causes health problems. As confusing as the research on diet can often seem, it consistently points to the harms of sugar, including obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Virtually the only way to eat a healthy amount of sugar is to make a conscious effort. You can think of it as a political act: resisting the sugar industry’s attempts to profit off your body. Or you can simply think of it as taking care of yourself.
via Big Sugar Versus Your Body – The New York Times
“Q. It seems that many people who are not elite athletes are now hyper-focused on protein consumption. How much protein does the average adult need to consume daily?
A. The recommended intake for a healthy adult is 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams for men. And while protein malnutrition is a problem for millions of people around the globe, for the average adult in developed countries, we are eating far more protein than we actually need.
Most American adults eat about 100 grams of protein per day, or roughly twice the recommended amount. Even on a vegan diet people can easily get 60 to 80 grams of protein throughout the day from foods like beans, legumes, nuts, broccoli and whole grains.”
Comments are pretty critical, such as:
“A new study is adding to the good news about coffee, finding that drinking two to four cups a day is associated with overall lower risk of death, particularly among middle-age drinkers.The findings, presented at the European Cardiac Society Congress 2017, are the result of a long-term observational study of nearly 20,000 people in Spain. The average age of participants was 37, and they were followed for about ten years. During that time, 337 participants died. The researchers found that participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of death than those who infrequently or never consumed coffee. They also found a 22% lower risk of death for participants who drank two cups a day.
Lower risk was especially strong for older participants, with two cups a day linked to a 30% reduction in mortality.”
Source: Drinking Coffee May Lower Risk Of Early Death, According To New Study
“The minority position in this field — one that Dr. Ludwig holds, as do I after years of reporting — is that obesity is actually a hormonal regulatory disorder, and the hormone that dominates this process is insulin. It directly links what we eat to the accumulation of excess fat and that, in turn, is tied to the foods we crave and the hunger we experience. It’s been known since the 1960s that insulin signals fat cells to accumulate fat, while telling the other cells in our body to burn carbohydrates for fuel. By this thinking these carbohydrates are uniquely fattening.Since insulin levels after meals are determined largely by the carbohydrates we eat — particularly easily digestible grains and starches, known as high glycemic index carbohydrates, as well as sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup — diets based on this approach specifically target these carbohydrates. If we don’t want to stay fat or get fatter, we don’t eat them.This effect of insulin on fat and carbohydrate metabolism offers an explanation for why these same carbohydrates, as Dr. Ludwig says, are typically the foods we crave most; why a little “slip,” as addiction specialists would call it, could so easily lead to a binge.Elevate insulin levels even a little, says Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the body switches over from burning fat for fuel to burning carbohydrates, by necessity.“The more insulin you release, the more you crave carbs,” he said. “Once you’re exposed to a little carbohydrate, and you get an insulin rise from it, that forces energy into fat cells and that deprives your other cells of the energy they would otherwise have utilized — in essence, starvation. So you compensate by getting hungry, particularly for more carbohydrate. High insulin drives carb-craving.” ”
Interesting article. Here are the two most recommended comment:
“. . . But it was the impacts deep within the fat cells that may have been the most consequential, the researchers found. Multiple genes behaved differently, depending on whether someone had eaten or not before walking. Many of these genes produce proteins that can improve blood sugar regulation and insulin levels throughout the body and so are associated with improved metabolic health. These genes were much more active when the men had fasted before exercise than when they had breakfasted.The implication of these results is that to gain the greatest health benefits from exercise, it may be wise to skip eating first, says Dylan Thompson, the director of health research at the University of Bath and senior author of the study.”