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Jul 6

Lunar Eclipse 2020: Is it safe to eat during Chandra Grahan? Here are the diet do’s and don’ts – Times of India

This year's second lunar eclipse is said to take place on July 05 and will be a special one, where a special 'full buck moon' will be witnessed alongside a penumbral lunar eclipse from some parts of the world.

While the sighting of the eclipse makes for a celestial event, culturally, eclipses are regarded to be a bad omen and there are customs which forbid people from moving out or eating food during the duration of the eclipse.

Eclipses tend to have a powerful effect on us and the natural body clock. This is something which has roots in traditional systems of medicine and Ayurveda too. Hence, a lot of people follow this customarily and have certain dos and donts while cooking or eating certain food items.

Here is a list of common diet beliefs and myths pertaining to a lunar eclipse:

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Lunar Eclipse 2020: Is it safe to eat during Chandra Grahan? Here are the diet do's and don'ts - Times of India

Jul 6

Konfal: Why you should include it in your monsoon diet – The Indian Express

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2020 8:50:50 pm Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar recommended consuming konfal during the rainy season. (Source: Getty/Instagram)

Seasonal fruits and vegetables in India are a powerhouse of nutrients and come with benefits that can heal several illnesses. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar on her Instagram account recently spoke about the health benefits of konfal, which is a species of yam that is sweeter in taste.

Diwekar recommended consuming konfal during the rainy season. Also known as purple yam, its starchy roots taste like potato. Traditionally, the arrival of monsoon meant eating lesser of green leafy vegetables and more of the creeper vegetables like doodhi and root vegetables and tubers like konfal. Monsoon also signalled the arrival of chaturmas four months, this year it starts from 1st July, a period of many festivals and Upavas or fasts not to be confused with the trend of fasting where the focus is to go long hours without food, in the name of cleansing or weight loss, she wrote in her post.

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Konfal Dont ask me whats its called in English, listen to what i am telling you and eat veggies that have no name in English. Speak about food in your local, regional language. One that connects you with your culture, cuisine, crop cycle and climate. Traditionally, the arrival of monsoon meant eating lesser of green leafy vegetables and more of the creeper vegetables like doodhi and root vegetables (and tubers like konfal). Monsoon also signalled the arrival of chaturmas (4 months, this year it starts from 1st July), a period of many festivals and Upavas or fasts (not to be confused with the trend of fasting where the focus is to go long hours without food, in the name of cleanse or weight loss). These fasts and what to eat during them are a cultural practice that has stood the test of time and is rooted in common sense. They introduced diversity in our diets in the form of tubers, pulses and smaller millets. The tubers were especially important as the fasts asked you to eat a variety of those. Nutrition science now recognises them as good sources of pre-biotic (food for healthy and diverse gut bacteria), isoflavones (that allow for hormonal wellbeing) and a variety of vitamins and minerals that improve blood sugar response. Unfortunately, a lot of our vegetables, tubers especially, are losing out as we now speak of food mostly in English. So, the broccoli, kale, etc., thrive, while the native species die. This monsoon, bring back the tubers that are part of your region and culture. In the pic is konfal kaap shallow fried pieces of konfal. What is your local speciality? #monsoon #foodculture

A post shared by Rujuta Diwekar (@rujuta.diwekar) on Jun 29, 2020 at 11:26pm PDT

Benefits of konfal or purple yam:

Benefits of konfal or purple yam:

* The root vegetable is rich in carbohydrates and vitamin C, making it ideal for the monsoon season.

* It is also rich in antioxidants which can be helpful in protecting the body from free radicals.

* It also has healing properties and can protect our body from cell damages.

* It also falls under low glycaemic index, making it apt for people with high blood sugar levels.

* The deep purple colour of this vegetable is due to anthocyanin pigments and is used as a natural food colouring agent.

These fasts and what to eat during them are a cultural practice that has stood the test of time and is rooted in common sense. They introduced diversity in our diets in the form of tubers, pulses and smaller millets. The tubers were especially important as the fasts asked you to eat a variety of those. Nutrition science now recognises them as good sources of pre-biotic (food for healthy and diverse gut bacteria), isoflavones (that allow for hormonal wellbeing) and a variety of vitamins and minerals that improve blood sugar response. Unfortunately, a lot of our vegetables, tubers especially, are losing out as we now speak of food mostly in English. So, the broccoli, kale, etc., thrive, while the native species die. This monsoon, bring back the tubers that are part of your region and culture. In the pic is konfal kaap shallow fried pieces of konfal, she added.

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Konfal: Why you should include it in your monsoon diet - The Indian Express

Jul 6

Galway PT shares tips for fussy eaters who want to change diet and lose weight – RSVP Live

When it comes to losing weight, we are all aware of what two factors will produce results - exercise and diet.

You may need to improve your fitness levels and be more active in your daily life to shift unwanted pounds.

And while exercise is a crucial part of the process, joining a gym only to eat a diet that is lacking in necessary nutrients will be of no value to you.

Changing up diets isnt a big deal to some people, but if youre a fussy eater, it can be a daunting task.

Introducing new foods you do not like the taste or texture of into your eating plan can be a major turn-off for some people and even make them hesitant to start their weight loss journey.

RSVP Live spoke to personal trainer Dylan McDonnell, who is based in Galway, about how fussy eaters can be more open to trying healthier foods.

Some of the PTs clients are picky when it comes to food, and he has some steady advice on what they can do to change their mindset.

Its not that we need to completely revamp the diet and go from one extreme to the next, he says.

Were not going to take out everything you enjoy and put in all of these things that youre unsure about or wont enjoy.

Its more about looking at your diet with an inclusive mindset rather than an exclusive one.

Dylan notes that its important to add nutritional foods to the diet if youre seriously lacking, but believes there is no need to cut out perhaps less healthier foods as its not practical.

He says: I always say when clients come to me that it is all about approaching it from an inclusive point of view, so there is no client that ever comes to me that we take out all of the things they enjoy because its not something theyre going to sustain.

Keeping something in that you have in your diet everyday that you enjoy, keeps a normality in the diet and allows you to stay on track and adhere to it in the long-term.

We know if we put someone eating chicken, broccoli and rice, all of those clean foods of course theyre going to lose weight.

But people wont stick to it, it's not a sustainable thing, so its finding something they can adhere to and still get the results.

Knowing that not every food has to leave your diet can be comforting news to fussy eaters, but how do you include different things youre unsure of eating?

Dylan recommends exploring different recipes and cooking methods to get the best out of foods picky people may avoid, such as vegetables.

If you had a bad experience eating food prepared one way, try cooking or seasoning it a completely different way.

People relate vegetables and foods like that to maybe the way they were fed it when they were younger - perhaps theyre parents found it easier to just boil them, he explains.

But there are so many different options - roasts, stir-fries, adding seasonings, putting low-calorie sauces on, mixing them in with other foods, smoothies, juices.

Dont avoid a food because you think there is just one option - there are so many different ways to prepare.

For more information and fitness tips, you can follow Dylan on Instagram here - @dylanmcdpt. You can also listen to his Pursuit of Healthiness podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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Galway PT shares tips for fussy eaters who want to change diet and lose weight - RSVP Live

Jul 6

Nutritionist Elaborates On The Many Reasons To Include Amla In Your Diet – NDTV Doctor

Amla or the Indian gooseberry is known to be a powerhouse of Vitamin C and a natural immunity booster. Here are all the reasons to include amla in your daily diet.

Amla can help you have beatiful skin and hair

We always keep looking forward for immunity boosting food items to be added in the list. Amla or the Indian gooseberry is a life savior and contains a lot of Vitamin C which helps in boosting immunity. The other sources of vitamin c are orange (pulp), papaya (ripe), lemon juice, sweet lime, strawberry, guava (pink and white flesh), black currants, mango (green- raw and ripe), bell pepper (red and yellow), green capsicum, knol knol, drumstick, brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables etc. In Ayurveda it is believed that Amla can balance all three doshas of the body (Vatta /Pitta/Kapha) and can prevent underlying cause of many diseases.

1. Builds Immunity: In today's time we are looking forward to any hint of increasing our immunity, amla is a real booster and helps in building up body's capacity to fight against diseases.

2. Helps fightcommon cold: Vitamin C in amla prevents common cold and is absorbed more easily than the supplements available in the market.

3. A boon for eyes: It helps in improving eyesight and helps in enhancing the vision.

4. Helps in managing diabetes and lowering blood glucose levels: It helps in stimulating Insulin production and hence balancing the Glucose levels in body, also helps in reducing cholesterol levels in body.

Amla can help in managing diabetes and blood sugar levelsPhoto Credit: iStock

5. Has Anti-inflammatory properties: It helps in arthritis related aches as it has anti- inflammatory properties.

6. Can heal mouth ulcers: Gargling with diluted amla Juice gives an instant relief in mouth ulcers.

7. Good hair, prevents hair fall: It strengthens hair follicles and hence prevents hair fall, helpful in dandruff prevention, delays graying of hairs, makes hair shiny, soft and acts as natural hair mask.

8. Beautiful skin: It helps to make skin glow, blemish free and has anti - aging effects.


(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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Nutritionist Elaborates On The Many Reasons To Include Amla In Your Diet - NDTV Doctor

Jul 6

Fats won’t make you fat: Put them back in your diet –

Over the last 40 plus years, fat became, and has remained a controversial food. Back in the 1980s we were told by the government that saturated fat caused heart disease and to avoid it at all costs.

People listened. Most of the world listened. What followed was a steady increase in weight gain, together with a steady decline in overall health. And as a result, North Americans are now fatter and sicker than ever before in history.

In fact, the BBC online published stats showing globally how obesity rates climbed from 875 million in 1980, to 2.1 billion in 2014 with Americans owning the largest share.

How could this happen? If fat is bad, if it makes you fat and fat causes disease, then eliminating it should have resulted in a healthier society. Which, clearly it did not.

There really are only two answers; a) People ignored the governments advice and guidelines and continued eating fats

or b) They did listen and it was bad advice based on bad science. Given the number of fat free, low fat and no fat products that exploded in the 1980s and continued for decades, it's clear now that the advice was wrong.

In addition, governments recommended increasing carbohydrate consumption to the tune of about eight servings per day of breads, cereals, pastas and grains all foods we know cause cause blood sugar to spike and the body to store fat. Not to mention a whole host of digestive issues.

This advice was not only wrong, but damaging to the health of entire populations. And yet our own Canada Food guide is still recommending this level of carbohydrate intake as healthy. Food for thought, no?

Now we all know that fat tastes good and removing it from food also removes the taste. To restore taste, food companies began adding, you guessed it, sugar. Yet another processed carbohydrate thrown into the mix adding fuel to what has become an explosive health crisis.

The good news about all of this is that whatever we have erroneously added over the years, can be removed and replaced with foods that will nourish, support, balance and restore health to our bodies.

Balance. So important in all areas of our lives, especially health. And when we take out nutrients essential to our bodys and brains health and function, like healthy fats, we suffer for it.

As many people have found recently, simply removing bread and sugar go a long way to solving a variety of health issues.

Extend that to all grains and watch even more benefits begin to surface.

Increase fruit and veggie (unprocessed carbs) consumption to replace those depleted vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient stores and feel how a strong immune system feels.

And add in some quality, grass fed proteins and some healthy fats like coconut, olive, or avocado oils, unsalted nuts, all natural nut butters, grass fed butter, eggs, avocado and feel satisfied, energized and watch the weight begin to fall off.

From the moment we were born, the nourishment mother nature provided us is made up of protein, healthy carbs, and yes, fats.

I challenge you today, if your health and weight is not where you'd like it or need it to be, try these suggestions above for one week. I promise youll never go back.

Tania Gustafson is a nutritionist and fitness coach. On the web: Email: Facebook: 8 Weeks is All it Takes.

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Fats won't make you fat: Put them back in your diet -

Jul 6

The Importance Of A Colourful Diet – University Magazine

Although leafy green vegetables have unique nutritional benefits, there are other brightly coloured foods that are equally important to our health.

According to Samara Felesky-Hunt, a Calgary-based registered dietitian, phytochemicals (the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their dynamic colour) help us maintain good health and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.

And since Canadas Food Guide recommends fruit and vegetables to account for half of your plate, heres a closer look at what each colour can do for your health.

White vegetables, like mushrooms, boost our immune system while garlic and onions contain high levels of allicin an antioxidant that fights bacteria and infections, and reduces the risk of certain cancers. You can also get a wealth of fibre, vitamin C, and folate from cauliflower and parsnips.

Dark green vegetableslike kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and collard greensare abundant in the eye-protecting antioxidant lutein. Its a very important phytochemical that can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, says Felesky-Hunt. Greens also offer generous amounts of vital vitamins and minerals; however, spinach, broccoli, and kale contain plenty of calcium, iron, and B vitamins.

Folate, one of the most important B vitamins for women of childbearing age, can help lower the risk of babies born with spine defects. Also found in avocado and asparagus, folate can ward off heart disease and depression.

To up your intake of vitamin C and A, pile orange and yellow fruits and vegetables on your plate. Yellow bell peppers, papaya, and citrus fruit like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit come jam-packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C.

Sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin are brimming with the antioxidant beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, says Felesky-Hunt. Our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A; it helps keep our skin healthy, bolsters immune function, and reduces the risk of eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are filled with antioxidantsespecially anthocyanin. Its most abundant in berries, says Felesky-Hunt. Fill up on plums, blueberries, blackberries, and juice from acai berries to reap their tumour-busting benefits.

Anthocyanin also helps protect the skin from sun damage, reduce the risk of stroke, improve memory, and guard the cardiovascular system against plaque and LDL cholesterol damage.Keep in mind, purple grapes are the best source of resveratrol, a natural plant compound that battles the age-related disease.

Red foods have a very protective antioxidant effect. Their phytochemicals can ward off or inhibit tumours in our bodies, says Felesky-Hunt. Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guavas are bursting with the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene. However, cooked tomatoes offer the most potent levels of lycopene.

Red apples are also an excellent source of quercetin, an antioxidant that crushes cell-damaging free radicals that can cause premature ageing, heart disease, and cancer. Radishes, cherries, red cabbage, strawberries, cranberries, and red grapes contain anthocyanin, another cancer-fighting antioxidant that can also help improve circulation, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system

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The Importance Of A Colourful Diet - University Magazine

Jul 6

Letter to the Editor: Dietary committee report should be postponed – The Times


I am writing to urge you to call on the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services (USDA-HHS) to postpone publication of the report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, so that the federal agencies in charge can have time to address serious allegations by one or more members of this committee about the process that produces the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

These allegations, which recently come to light in a letter submitted by The Nutrition Coalition, detail serious flaws in the process and imply that the very reliability of our federal nutrition recommendations is in question.

With 60 percent of Americans diagnosed with one or more chronic illnesses, conditions that increase the risk for severe outcomes and death from COVID-19, the U.S. now more than ever needs evidence-based advice on how to maintain and restore our metabolic health. The guidelines to date have self-evidently been unable to flatten the curve on the rates of these diet-related diseases.

Please urge USDA-HHS to delay the release of the committee's expert report to provide time to thoroughly investigate these allegations.

Art Davidson, Pittsburgh

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Letter to the Editor: Dietary committee report should be postponed - The Times

Jul 2

The Tom Brady diet: Benefits, risks, and meal plan – Medical News Today

The Tom Brady diet, or TB12 Method, is a holistic diet that combines anti-inflammatory, alkaline, and Mediterranean foods.

The TB12 Method originates from the diet and lifestyle of American football quarterback, Thomas Brady Jr.

In this article, we look at what the diet is, explore the benefits and risks, and provide a simple meal plan.

The TB12 Method is primarily a plant-based diet that consists of anti-inflammatory and alkaline foods.

Though anecdotal evidence suggests that it is effective for weight loss and sports performance, the diet is complex and may be unsustainable in the long term.

The Tom Brady diet is a blend of other dietary regimens, such as anti-inflammatory, alkaline, and Mediterranean. It consists of 20% lean meat or wild-caught fish, while the remaining 80% comprises mainly fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grains and legumes.

These foods should be:

The Tom Brady diet is strict, with an exhaustive list of foods to avoid. In general, people consider these foods, which include sugary products and processed meats, to be acidic or inflammatory.

While the TB12 Method instructs people to avoid certain foods, it also provides additional guidance, such as:

A person should avoid eating within 3 hours of going to bed. Research suggests that eating later at night may increase body fat.

Other studies have also shown that eating meals or snacks before bedtime may increase weight gain.

The diet instructs people not to pair foods high in carbohydrates with foods high in protein. Additionally, a person should eat fruit on its own as a snack.

As with any diet, water intake is important, so the TB12 Method encourages a person to drink lots of water throughout the day. However, they should not drink it with or around meals.

There is a lack of research that focuses explicitly on the Tom Brady diet. However, studies that examine the other diets that comprise this regimen can provide some insight into its potential benefits.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Tom Brady diet may help with weight loss and sports performance. This is likely because of the strict rules around certain types of foods.

On this diet, a person will likely consume fewer calories than they use, so weight loss is likely.

The diet is rich in fiber from fruit, vegetables, and legumes. Research highlights that a high fiber diet can help a person feel fuller for longer. As a result, a person may be less likely to snack when following this dietary regimen.

The Tom Brady diet recommends a low consumption of meat and processed food but a high intake of produce and whole grains. This ratio is similar to that of the Mediterranean diet, which research shows can improve cardiovascular health.

There are no studies that examine the risks of this specific diet. However, some general limitations may be:

As the diet is restrictive, it may mean that someone puts on weight again if they cease to follow it. When a person restricts calories too severely, it can lead to changes in hormones, metabolism, and cognitive functions. This, in turn, makes it difficult to establish the behaviors necessary to maintain a moderate weight.

As this diet recommends the intake of organic foods, it may be more expensive than other diet plans.

Although research is limited, organic produce may have some minor health benefits in comparison with nonorganic foods.

As with any changes in diet and lifestyle, a person should discuss these with a doctor or dietitian.

The Tom Brady diet encourages a 20% intake of meat or fish, with the remaining 80% consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

Under this diet, a person should eat lean meat, such as chicken, turkey, and steak. Ideally, meat should be grass-fed and organic, with no added hormones.

A person may eat fish as a replacement, or as an alternative, to meat. Fish should be fresh and wild-caught.

These play a key part in the Tom Brady diet and should be organic and GMO-free. They should also be local, which means that a person should only eat in-season fruits and vegetables. However, under this diet, a person should avoid nightshade fruits and vegetables, such as white potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants.

Fruits and vegetables should mainly be alkaline. These include:

The TB12 Method recommends gluten-free whole grains, such as buckwheat, maize, rice, and quinoa.

These serve as a healthful snack for someone on this diet. One 2017 study found that a person can have a diet higher in nutrients with fewer empty calories if they consume nuts instead of high calorie snacks.

Legumes are a type of seed or plant, and they include lentils, chickpeas, and peas.

The Tom Brady diet recommends that people consume nutritional supplements, such as whey protein powder, protein bars, multivitamins, and probiotics.

The TB12 Method encourages adding electrolytes to water.

The Tom Brady diet suggests that people avoid the following foods:

The main components of this diet are organic, natural foods. As such, people on this diet should avoid processed foods.

Nightshades refer to a family of fruit and vegetables from the Solanaceae plant, and they include eggplants, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.

This diet recommends that people avoid them due to the belief that they have potential inflammatory properties. However, as of yet, no scientific research supports this. Some studies suggest that certain nightshade foods, such as tomatoes, may in fact have anti-inflammatory properties.

These refer to artificial fats. Research around trans fats shows that they can increase cholesterol, which may lead to cardiovascular problems. Frozen pizza, cakes, cookies, and fried foods are products that may include trans fats.

Products that typically contain gluten include bread, pasta, cereal, and soy sauce. Evidence suggests that a gluten-free diet may be useful if someone is allergic or intolerant. However, research states that there is little benefit in cutting gluten out of a persons diet otherwise.

Although this diet recommends the intake of whey protein that derives from dairy, overall, it discourages the consumption of dairy products.

The Tom Brady diet is caffeine-free, so it does not endorse coffee or energy drinks. It also recommends no alcohol, as this can lead to inflammation, particularly in the gut.

The Tom Brady diet encourages the intake of organic, local foods alongside plenty of water. Although there is no research that focuses specifically on this diet, some parts of the regimen may lead to weight loss and improved cardiovascular health.

There are no obvious risks to this diet. However, as it is quite restrictive, someone may find it difficult to commit to the TB12 Method over the long term. They could also put weight back on if they discontinue the diet.

A person who wishes to follow the Tom Brady diet should aim for a 20% intake of meat and fish and an 80% intake of mostly fruit and vegetables. They also should avoid processed foods, nightshade fruits and vegetables, trans fats, alcohol, and caffeine.

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The Tom Brady diet: Benefits, risks, and meal plan - Medical News Today

Jul 2

Debating Diets: What is the vegan diet? – Baylor College of Medicine News

Thinking about starting a new diet? While the amount of information available can be overwhelming, its possible to find a diet that is safe, suitable and effective for your lifestyle.

Dr. Yana Finkelshteyn, assistant professor with Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, discusses what you need to know about the MIND diet.

A: The vegan diet is a diet that excludes food that comes from animal sources including meat, dairy, seafood and eggs. Veganism is often a lifestyle choice based on ethical and political principles of animal rights and environmental preservation. Others come toveganism due to the health benefits of the diet.

A: Strictvegans will avoid all foods containing meat, dairy or egg derivatives. There are raw vegans that eatprimarily raw unprocessed vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. Many vegans prefer organic to conventionally raised vegetables and fruits, and some vegans do not consume honey.

A: Whole grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, greens, fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, plant oils, nut butters,tofu, tempeh and many other plant-derived foods are included in the vegan diet.

A: There is a benefit for weight management for those following a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet. There are many processed foods that are vegan, but these are calorie-dense and high in added sugar or fat. If these are kept to a minimum, the vegan diet isbeneficial for weight loss. A vegan diet reduces the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and some cancers as compared to an omnivore diet.

A: One is that foods must becombined in a very specific way to get a complete protein. The truth is that most people eating a variety of natural plant foods will get more than the adequate amount of protein. A second misconception is that it is automatically a healthy diet. As mentioned, processed vegan, while possibly less harmful than processed meats, are not necessarily healthy. There are also vegan foods high in added salt and sugar. When it comes to any diet, natural may be best.

A: Anyone can follow a vegan diet with some caveats. Most strict vegans do need to supplement vitamin B12 which isfoundprimarily in animal derived foods and soil bacteria.

The vegan diet does contain iron-rich foods such as whole grains,beans, greens andavocados. Pairing these with foods naturally high in vitamin C aids iron absorption, and cast-iron cookware can add elemental iron. A junk food vegan diet may result in deficiencies in iron and even protein.

The vegan diet is also relatively low in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. To increase these levels, vegans can includeseaweed and algae, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, edamame and other plant-derived foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet.

A: There are many vegan athletes and even vegan bodybuilders. Because the vegan diet is naturally high in low-calorie density foods, it may be harder to gain weight on a vegan diet for those that need to gain weight, such as those with a severe illness or who recently had surgery. Pregnant women can continue a vegan diet throughout pregnancy while supplementing with prenatal vitamins and possibly iron as long asthey include a wide variety of natural foods in their diet.

A: Many that are switching to a vegan diet report weight loss and increased energy. Blood pressure and cholesterol can decrease considerably. High fiber intake can ease gastrointestinal issues such as constipation. However, some report increased gas and bloating, particularly if increasing intake of legumes and certain vegetables.

To be done in a healthy way, the vegan diet must include a variety of plant-derived foods. For many, there is a learning curve in terms of food preparation and even shopping. It can take extra time and research to prepare vegan recipes and this can be a barrier to some in adhering to the diet.

The vegan diet can be economical. Rice, beans, lentils and greens are inexpensive staples in a vegan diet. Because there is little vegan fast food, it does often require more cooking at home.

Debating Diets: What is the MIND diet?

See more from the Debating Diets series.

-By Nicole Blanton

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Debating Diets: What is the vegan diet? - Baylor College of Medicine News

Jul 2

‘I Did Keto For A Year Then Switched To A Higher-Carb DietAnd I Lost 135 Pounds In Less Than 2 Years’ – Women’s Health

My name is Katie Hopkins, and I am 24 years old. I am from Tallahassee, Florida, and I am an operations consultant for the state. I did keto for a year and then switched to a more standard way of eating and lost 135 pounds in less than two years.

I grew up being a super active person. I played sports all year round and never really had to worry about what I ate or how I was going to get my exercise for the day. But once I got to college and no longer had the daily exercise from sports, I started to put on weight.

I kept the same eating habits even though I was not doing anything to burn those calories anymore. And before I started my weight loss journey, my biggest issues were with portion control and not being able to truly commit to losing weight.

From 2013 to 2018, I gained about 100 pounds. At my heaviest weight was 333 pounds, and I was 22 at the time.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

I moved to be closer to family, but I also moved because I felt like I was stuck in a rut where I was. I felt like the change of scenery would really give me the push I needed to start my weight loss journey. I knew I needed to take control of my health, and this was the perfect way to do so.

I was tired of feeling tired all the time, wishing I looked different, and always feeling defeated. Once I made the move to Tallahassee, I had a complete mindset reset and said to myself, This is the time you actually do this. No quitting, no excuses. The only one keeping you from your goals is you.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I chose to follow the keto diet. I chose it because I had seen so many success stories and people losing huge amounts of weight. I felt like it was the best choice for me at the time because it gave me a way to really focus on what I was putting into my body, and most of the foods that are keto-friendly, I already really liked.

I turned to YouTube for most of my keto info. I followed keto YouTubers for food ideas, reviews, and just support in general. I lost my first 100 pounds on keto.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

I felt like I got as much as I could out of keto and I was ready for a new challenge and way of eating. I now eat a higher-carb diet, as opposed to keto, which is high-fat and low-carb. I enjoy eating this way now because I dont feel quite as limited, especially going out to eat, as I did on keto. I have so many more healthy foods I can eat now.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

While eating had always been a bit of a struggle for me, exercise was not. Now, I exercise a lot more. Now that I have control over my eating, exercise has become a bigger focus for me. I love it because it relieves stress, and I love pushing myself to get stronger and faster.

A typical week of exercise for me consists of two to three days of strength training and one to two days of running or another type of cardio. I also really enjoy lifting weights at the gym and improving my strength.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

Running used to be something I hated, but I have really come to love it. It makes me push myself hard. There is no better feeling for me than beating my fastest time or longest distance.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

These three changes helped me see the most noticeable results in my weight loss.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

I know the feeling of thinking it will never happen for you. I always thought I would always be bigger and that losing weight would never happen for me. But that kind of mindset is what kept me from even starting. Once I decided that no matter what, I was going to change my life, everything changed. It was like something finally clicked in my head.

Courtesy of Katie Hopkins

Losing weight has changed my life so much. I have learned to love myself again. Before, I felt like my weight defined me. I truly feel like losing weight has allowed me to become my true self. I am more confident than ever before, and I now have complete control over my health and happiness.

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'I Did Keto For A Year Then Switched To A Higher-Carb DietAnd I Lost 135 Pounds In Less Than 2 Years' - Women's Health

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