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Nutritarianism: a diet made for efficient eating

Dr. Fuhrman, physician, nutritional researcher and author of NY Times best seller “Eat To Live”, has developed a new diet and food pyramid based on efficient eating. That is, eating the least amounts of foods for the highest nutritional gain. His method for determining these foods is as simple as his explanation:

"Health = Nutrients / Calories (H = N / C). Low-calorie, nutrient dense foods are at the base of the pyramid, and high-calorie, nutrient poor foods are at the top. As nutrient density decreases, the quantity of room in the diet decreases.” (source)

Dr. Fuhrman is a researcher in preventative health, and believes that many diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can be prevented by a high nutrient-rich diet. He has developed his own food pyramid (pictured above) and challenged the USDA’s food pyramid saying that it, “reflects the American diet as it is” not how it should be.

Many Americans are eating high quantities of low-nutrient and high calorie foods such as snack foods, dairy products, and red meat. He calls these types of foods “toxic foods” and he means this literally. These are the foods that lead to many fatal diseases. He explains that eating these foods “leads to increased cellular toxicity with undesirable levels of free radicals and advanced glycation end products (AGE’s), lipofuscin, lipid A2E and other toxins that contribute to the development of chronic disease.”(source) The after effects are another stage he calls “toxic hunger” that is the desire to eat more low nutrient foods, and lots of them. This is a huge factor in weight gain as well as the reason calorie counting diets are not sustainable.

Fuhrman is not the first person to suggest this type of diet, many whole foodists like Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Robert Lustig, and countless other preventative health researchers suggest that whole foods should replace the standard meat and potatoes for improved health and a longer lifespan. 

To find out more about the Nutritarian Diet visit www.drfuhrman.com

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Health vs. Habit: Nutritionists Trading Facts for Convenience and Cravings
What happens when sound health advice is trumped by flashy titles and the fight for commercial success? Today with so many places to advertise selling media, especially articles, can be a difficult task. The result in the health world is often selling “quick, fast, easy, health”. This often plays a big role in providing well-meaning readers with misleading advice.
I am a big reader of Well+Being from the Washingtonian. I have a friend who writes for the column and I am always drawn by their catchy headlines and the articles seldom disappoint.
That being said, there is one series of articles that is an exception to this rule called, "Healthiest (And Scariest)". These articles analyze menus at fast food chains to show which items are most and least healthy. They also include nutritionists interviews and quotes in the article, giving a sense of legitimacy to the posts. Nothing wrong with that. The problem lies in experts making unhealthy food appear healthy for the sake of their client’s convenience and cravings. A quote from a recent Healthiest (and Scariest) analyzing the Arby’s menu quotes a nutritionist saying "A healthy eater probably could eat here," our expert says. "Just not every day."
So what does that even mean? Every other day? Only on the weekends? And what constitutes a “healthy eater” if they are eating at Arby’s a few times a week?This recent post on Arby’s raised a question: Should nutritionists give bad advice for the sake of their client’s love of unhealthy food and convenience? Or should they try to set an example of what a good diet should be and find delicious healthy alternatives?
I happen to think the latter is a better method.
Articles like these give people who are trying to eat healthier, but don’t really want to give up their comfort food a scapegoat to order a Beef-n-Chedder with "440 calories, 1,290 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of fat."  (This was the article’s "better" alternative) These expert scapegoats let their readers feel like they are making a fairly healthy decision when they actually are not. The 1,290mgs of sodium alone is enough to put this sandwich on the “Do Not Eat” list. But the article further justifies this sodium issue saying, "It has only half a gram of trans fat, so I’m happy with that, but it has a lot of sodium. It’s not great, but it’s not extremely bad as long as the person doesn’t have high blood pressure,"
…How do you think a person GETS high blood pressure?  It’s not by eating carrots.
One of the most important goals of a nutritionist should be preventative health. When nutritionists put their names behind circumstantial half truths, they are doing a disservice to the people they are supposed to be helping. Of course, this nutritionist nor this article is the only one of it’s kind. You can easily see questionable nutrition advice on morning talk shows, blogs, and other media outlets. I have even seen nutritionist on popular shows like Good Morning America encouraging their viewers to eat a diet that resembles anorexia. Avoiding as many calories as possible being their main goal with no apparent consideration for health and nutrients.
I do understand why these nutritionists give these scapegoats. Most people are not willing to give up Arby’s or McDonalds, even I won’t give up my Taco Bell Bean Burrito every once in a while. This leads nutritionist to try to fit a (fatty, artery clogging) square into a circular hole. By giving their clients the scapegoat of “moderation” they give them a guilt-free pass to eat unhealthfully. The fact is, even some of the healthiest eaters will indulge in a Taco Bell Bean Burrito without needing someone to falsely reassure them it’s actually healthy.
We will eat food we know is unhealthy no matter what. We shouldn’t have nutritionists telling us it’s an okay or even good decision, when it isn’t. Processed foods that are packed with preservatives and cooked at super high heats are not good for you. Period.
Be aware when you see the words “doctor recommended” or “expert nutritionists” and read health advice carefully and analytically. Always remember that newspapers, magazines, and TV shows have one primary goal, to make money. Sometimes basic facts get lost for the sake of a catchy headline.

Health vs. Habit: Nutritionists Trading Facts for Convenience and Cravings

What happens when sound health advice is trumped by flashy titles and the fight for commercial success? Today with so many places to advertise selling media, especially articles, can be a difficult task. The result in the health world is often selling “quick, fast, easy, health”. This often plays a big role in providing well-meaning readers with misleading advice.

I am a big reader of Well+Being from the Washingtonian. I have a friend who writes for the column and I am always drawn by their catchy headlines and the articles seldom disappoint.

That being said, there is one series of articles that is an exception to this rule called, "Healthiest (And Scariest)". These articles analyze menus at fast food chains to show which items are most and least healthy. They also include nutritionists interviews and quotes in the article, giving a sense of legitimacy to the posts. Nothing wrong with that. The problem lies in experts making unhealthy food appear healthy for the sake of their client’s convenience and cravings. A quote from a recent Healthiest (and Scariest) analyzing the Arby’s menu quotes a nutritionist saying "A healthy eater probably could eat here," our expert says. "Just not every day."

So what does that even mean? Every other day? Only on the weekends? And what constitutes a “healthy eater” if they are eating at Arby’s a few times a week?

This recent post on Arby’s raised a question: Should nutritionists give bad advice for the sake of their client’s love of unhealthy food and convenience? Or should they try to set an example of what a good diet should be and find delicious healthy alternatives?

I happen to think the latter is a better method.

Articles like these give people who are trying to eat healthier, but don’t really want to give up their comfort food a scapegoat to order a Beef-n-Chedder with "440 calories, 1,290 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of fat."  (This was the article’s "better" alternative)
These expert scapegoats let their readers feel like they are making a fairly healthy decision when they actually are not. The 1,290mgs of sodium alone is enough to put this sandwich on the “Do Not Eat” list. But the article further justifies this sodium issue saying, "It has only half a gram of trans fat, so I’m happy with that, but it has a lot of sodium. It’s not great, but it’s not extremely bad as long as the person doesn’t have high blood pressure,"

…How do you think a person GETS high blood pressure?  It’s not by eating carrots.

One of the most important goals of a nutritionist should be preventative health. When nutritionists put their names behind circumstantial half truths, they are doing a disservice to the people they are supposed to be helping. Of course, this nutritionist nor this article is the only one of it’s kind. You can easily see questionable nutrition advice on morning talk shows, blogs, and other media outlets. I have even seen nutritionist on popular shows like Good Morning America encouraging their viewers to eat a diet that resembles anorexia. Avoiding as many calories as possible being their main goal with no apparent consideration for health and nutrients.

I do understand why these nutritionists give these scapegoats. Most people are not willing to give up Arby’s or McDonalds, even I won’t give up my Taco Bell Bean Burrito every once in a while. This leads nutritionist to try to fit a (fatty, artery clogging) square into a circular hole. By giving their clients the scapegoat of “moderation” they give them a guilt-free pass to eat unhealthfully. The fact is, even some of the healthiest eaters will indulge in a Taco Bell Bean Burrito without needing someone to falsely reassure them it’s actually healthy.

We will eat food we know is unhealthy no matter what. We shouldn’t have nutritionists telling us it’s an okay or even good decision, when it isn’t. Processed foods that are packed with preservatives and cooked at super high heats are not good for you. Period.

Be aware when you see the words “doctor recommended” or “expert nutritionists” and read health advice carefully and analytically. Always remember that newspapers, magazines, and TV shows have one primary goal, to make money.
Sometimes basic facts get lost for the sake of a catchy headline.

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Hiding Beans: How to get protein from a food you don’t like (yet)
Since my last post was about protein, I’ll go on with a little post about beans. Throughout the years after explaining how I get enough protein with a vegan diet, many have replied by saying it wouldn’t work for them because they “don’t like” the high protein plant products, specifically beans. Now I don’t really understand this sentiment because I love every type of bean I’ve ever tried. But even I have had days where I don’t want a plate of full beans but I know I need the protein. So here are some tips on how to hide your beans.
My most useful tip is bean mashing. Mashed beans are thick and have a creamy consistency. If you throw them in the blender with water, you can create a creamy base for broth. All you have to do after you have successfully liquified your beans is add seasoning. Try a bouillon cube, garlic, salt and pepper, onion, mushroom, whatever you would usually use for gravy. This gives you a creamy texture that you may not always get in vegan cooking and still provides you with some protein. This is an especially good base for mushroom sauces or sauces that include pieces of soy-sub ground meat.
Sneak your beans in to the party. The best way to learn to like a food is starting by eating it when you can’t tell it’s there. This is similar to the mashed bean method, but they don’t necessarily need to be mashed. Put just a teaspoon of white beans in to a veggie packed salad, casserole, or tomato sauce. You can even bake your beans into foods like biscuits. Start slow and eventually you might find yourself adding more and more.
When all else fails, reach for the Cholula. Hot sauce has been used for generations to mask the taste of foods we don’t like, and damn me if I don’t love my bean burritos covered in the stuff.
Extra tip for all of you bean haters out there. Baking your beans gives them a totally different flavor. I don’t mean necessarily “Baked Beans”, like the kind cowboys and  picnic goers eat. I mean any bean you got, baked in the oven. Take your beans straight from the can and throw them in the oven for 5  - 10 minutes or until you see the top is getting dried out. To get a great flavor out of your beans, try adding garlic, tomato, celery, onion, a little bit of thyme and/or oregano, and bay leaf.

Hiding Beans: How to get protein from a food you don’t like (yet)

Since my last post was about protein, I’ll go on with a little post about beans. Throughout the years after explaining how I get enough protein with a vegan diet, many have replied by saying it wouldn’t work for them because they “don’t like” the high protein plant products, specifically beans. Now I don’t really understand this sentiment because I love every type of bean I’ve ever tried. But even I have had days where I don’t want a plate of full beans but I know I need the protein. So here are some tips on how to hide your beans.

My most useful tip is bean mashing. Mashed beans are thick and have a creamy consistency. If you throw them in the blender with water, you can create a creamy base for broth. All you have to do after you have successfully liquified your beans is add seasoning. Try a bouillon cube, garlic, salt and pepper, onion, mushroom, whatever you would usually use for gravy. This gives you a creamy texture that you may not always get in vegan cooking and still provides you with some protein. This is an especially good base for mushroom sauces or sauces that include pieces of soy-sub ground meat.

Sneak your beans in to the party. The best way to learn to like a food is starting by eating it when you can’t tell it’s there. This is similar to the mashed bean method, but they don’t necessarily need to be mashed. Put just a teaspoon of white beans in to a veggie packed salad, casserole, or tomato sauce. You can even bake your beans into foods like biscuits. Start slow and eventually you might find yourself adding more and more.

When all else fails, reach for the Cholula. Hot sauce has been used for generations to mask the taste of foods we don’t like, and damn me if I don’t love my bean burritos covered in the stuff.

Extra tip for all of you bean haters out there. Baking your beans gives them a totally different flavor. I don’t mean necessarily “Baked Beans”, like the kind cowboys and picnic goers eat. I mean any bean you got, baked in the oven. Take your beans straight from the can and throw them in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes or until you see the top is getting dried out. To get a great flavor out of your beans, try adding garlic, tomato, celery, onion, a little bit of thyme and/or oregano, and bay leaf.

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“If I go vegan, how will I get enough protein?”
This is one of the most commonly asked questions new vegans have, and understandably so since we were little we have been told that meat gives you the protein you need to grow up with strong muscles. Because of this many are lead to believe these are the only real sources for protein but it’s simply not true.
Many Americans are lead to believe that every meal should have animal protein front and center, but this is also being proven untrue. In fact, most Americans eat over 50% more protein daily then is recommended. So the most important thing to realize is that as an omnivorous American you probably are eating more protein than you need already, so it may not be as difficult to get “enough” from plant sources as you perceived.
Not only can you get your protein from beans, legumes, nuts, and even certain breads, vegetables, or fruits, but many nutritionists would say that this is a better source of protein for your overall health. I can’t help but agree. With the protein in meat there are also fats, hormones, and cholesterol. Animal protein has even been proven to lead to heart problems, osteoporosis, promote cancer cell growth and more.
Ok so I’m sure now you’re going to go vegan right away, but hold on there, First thing is first: Determine How much Protein you need.Everyone’s dietary needs vary according to gender, activity level, age, etc. But here is a quick way to figure it out.1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg 2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8* gram/kg = protein gram1 gram of protein = 4 calories, so let this be a guide on how much you eat.
[**Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.]
(It’s also good to remember that when exercising our bodies use more protein than if we’re not active, so keep this in mind when determining what to eat for lunch.)
Next, check out the chart above and see which protein sources you like best (for full chart of all the amazing food that contains protein check here). As a vegan, I have learned to like pretty much every whole food that exists. There isn’t as much room to be picky when you are already cutting out a lot of the food western culture considers standard. But start with foods you’re comfortable with, you’ll find that there are a lot of cool things you can do with simple wholesome ingredients. The more true you stay to eating whole foods and steering clear from processed foods and supplements, the cheaper your grocery bill will be.Extra hint: To help you out with dinner tonight, check out VegWeb.com to find recipes and read my article about Vegweb here.

If I go vegan, how will I get enough protein?”

This is one of the most commonly asked questions new vegans have, and understandably so since we were little we have been told that meat gives you the protein you need to grow up with strong muscles. Because of this many are lead to believe these are the only real sources for protein but it’s simply not true.

Many Americans are lead to believe that every meal should have animal protein front and center, but this is also being proven untrue. In fact, most Americans eat over 50% more protein daily then is recommended. So the most important thing to realize is that as an omnivorous American you probably are eating more protein than you need already, so it may not be as difficult to get “enough” from plant sources as you perceived.

Not only can you get your protein from beans, legumes, nuts, and even certain breads, vegetables, or fruits, but many nutritionists would say that this is a better source of protein for your overall health. I can’t help but agree. With the protein in meat there are also fats, hormones, and cholesterol. Animal protein has even been proven to lead to heart problems, osteoporosis, promote cancer cell growth and more.

Ok so I’m sure now you’re going to go vegan right away, but hold on there, First thing is first: Determine How much Protein you need.
Everyone’s dietary needs vary according to gender, activity level, age, etc. But here is a quick way to figure it out.
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8* gram/kg = protein gram
1 gram of protein = 4 calories, so let this be a guide on how much you eat.

[**Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.]

(It’s also good to remember that when exercising our bodies use more protein than if we’re not active, so keep this in mind when determining what to eat for lunch.)

Next, check out the chart above and see which protein sources you like best (for full chart of all the amazing food that contains protein check here). As a vegan, I have learned to like pretty much every whole food that exists. There isn’t as much room to be picky when you are already cutting out a lot of the food western culture considers standard. But start with foods you’re comfortable with, you’ll find that there are a lot of cool things you can do with simple wholesome ingredients. The more true you stay to eating whole foods and steering clear from processed foods and supplements, the cheaper your grocery bill will be.

Extra hint: To help you out with dinner tonight, check out VegWeb.com to find recipes and read my article about Vegweb here.