Tag Archives: Diets

08Dec/14
healthy-food-3

Vegan Or Vegetarian, Which Is Better?

Have you ever wondered about the benefits of a vegetarian diet versus those of a vegan diet? After all, a lot of people decide to become vegetarians for health reasons but there are an overwhelming number of individuals that make the decision to become vegan each and every year. However, it can sometimes be difficult to decide if one is really better than the other or if it comes down to personal preferences.

Vegetarians are not really strict vegetarians. Most vegetarians refrain from eating meat such as beef, pork or poultry but they do eat fish and other types of seafood. They may also avoid dairy products such as cheese and milk, but not always. Vegetarians eat all of the fruits, nuts and vegetables that they like. Many people eat this type of diet for one of two reasons. They want to live a healthier lifestyle or they have issues with eating meat because of the procedures involved in making that meat available for the general public. In other words, they usually don’t like the way the animals are treated that are harvested for their meat and therefore, they decide not to consume it.

Vegans, on the other hand, do not eat any type of meat or consume dairy products in any capacity. The only things that they eat are vegetables, fruits and berries. In some cases, they eat nuts. If it is not something that can be grown and cultivated from the earth, they do not consume it whether it is food or drink. Their reasons may be similar to those of vegetarians. Sometimes it is because they are expressing concern over the environment or they have issues about potentially unethical practices with animals. Sometimes it is strictly for health reasons.

There are some potential health benefits to both the vegetarian and the vegan diets. For example, people that have health issues associated with obesity or that have high cholesterol might be able to benefit from eliminating high fat meat and dairy products from their diet. Many people swear that it makes them feel better and even increases their mobility because of the reduced inflammation in their bodies which can sometimes be exacerbated by eating meat. However, there are also some concerns that some individuals may not be getting the necessary levels of protein that they need in order to be healthy. This is especially true of people who follow a vegan diet because they do not even get the protein from eating fish and seafood.

As a result, vegetarians have a slightly healthier diet than vegans do. They have more opportunity to get the necessary levels of protein that they need. Essentially, their diet encompasses the healthiest aspects of eating without excluding entire groups of necessary foods. This allows their bodies to get the nutrients that are required to live a long and healthy life.

06Dec/14
rawfood

Raw Food For Real Health

While many scientific calculations have shown human’s cooking of food to date back over 200,000 years, some “raw-foodists” today are advocating a diet more rich in raw, uncooked vegetables. Specifically, steaming and stewing vegetables can be a way to partially cook a vegetable without going over the crucial threshold of 105 degrees fahrenheit. Other raw-food diet advocates will report a threshold as high as 118 degrees before vegetables begin to lose healthful properties from the process of cooking itself.

Cooking vegetables, as opposed to eating them raw will cause enzymes in the food to be destroyed. While it has been said that much of that same destruction can occur just when putting the raw food into your stomach and having it come into contact with the stomach acids that your body naturally produces. Aside from enzymes, it has also been discovered that cooking raw vegetables can destroy essential vitamins and minerals. Specifically, the counts of essential B vitamins such as B12 can be reduced by up to 96% just by heating the food above a certain temperature.

“You get the best of both worlds” by eating both raw and cooked foods. This was the advice of Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic and associate professor of nutrition at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn. Some nutritionists and dietitians have argued against eating an entirely raw food diet and have made the case for various diets with different amounts of raw food and cooked food, as well.

A quick and easy raw food option is spreading some healthy nut butter onto a leafy vegetable and rolling it up for a crunchy and savory snack. Try almond, sunflower and walnut butter as alternatives to peanut and also give a variety of greens a chance for your wrap material. Try collard greens, kale, bok choy and endives for healthy and fresh varieties, each with their own unique flavor and texture.

Even eating food such as raw seaweed such as Wakame, Kombu and Arame all can help provide essential and missing nutrients and minerals. Cooking any vegetable will affect it’s level of nutrients and is best avoided whenever possible.

“Two Moms in the Raw” and “Brad’s” are two excellent, non-GMO raw food companies to check out for healthy snacking options. If you are already eating a full-time vegetarian diet, please take the raw food transition carefully as your body may be lacking new nutrients and may benefit from a supplement containing at least B12 but ideally many others.