Eating well doesn’t require consuming animal proteins

Most of your readers will read only the newspaper version of the article, and never know all that was said in the study [“Eating well can help to ward off cancer”, November 29–December 6]. Fortunately, I read the article online, and was able to access the link to the study on which it was based. This contained the following crucial information:

“In humans, most epidemiologic studies examining high protein diets and cancer progression have been confounded by not taking into account protein source, fat content, and red meat consumption. This is important because high fat increases cancer risk (56) and plant protein seems to decrease whereas animal protein increases cancer mortality (57). Interestingly, colonic cancer-inducing damage caused by red meats may be avoided with high amylose, low CHO diets (58). These studies suggest that macronutrient sources and combinations are very important and that testing them through highly controlled studies, such as those achieved with mice, represents a powerful approach to this question.”

Why was the fact that plant protein seems to decrease cancer mortality—whereas animal protein increases it—not mentioned in the article? As it stands, this article will lead many people to adopt a diet dangerously high in animal protein.

As a counterbalance to this article, please urge your readers to see the 2011 film Forks Over Knives, where the subject is discussed convincingly.

> Layne Powell / Vancouver


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Dec 6, 2012 at 10:41pm

Its extremely unhealthy to not each meat. Granted its important to eat healthy high quality meats without chemicals pumped into it, but cutting it out completely by being a vegetarian is very unhealthy. One obvious reason is that you can not get enough iron. No amount of plant substitutes can make up for it, nor can supplements be absorbed properly. Vegetarians will argue this until blue in their face, but not realizing that that pale blue comes from low iron ;)

Stay healthy. Eat healthy meat.

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Dec 7, 2012 at 11:58am

Dark greens are great sources of iron. Kale, collards, spirulina, chlorella, etc.

It's unhealthy to be an ignorant person.

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jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly

Dec 7, 2012 at 2:22pm

Like anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder, veganism is yet another bourgeois emotional disorder highlighting Western man's pathological violence towards the natural himself.

Aboriginals lived sustainably for eons eating animal and sea life. But what would they know, eh. They didn't have recycling and bicycle lanes.

It's unhealthy not to be aware of your own racism.

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Dec 7, 2012 at 5:13pm

Lets do some math. Math is fun right? :)
Fact: Kale has 1.7 mg of iron per 100 grams
Fact: Adult Female needs 18mg of Iron per day.

OK lets add that up. That means you would need to each 1058 grams (or 2.2 pounds!!! lol) of Kale per day. Do you have any idea how big of a portion of kale 2.2 pounds is? Probably about 1 FULL shopping bag.


Its unhealthy to be stupid.

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Dec 7, 2012 at 8:49pm

Hey drone...

We are waiting for your response especially since you made the smart as comment that its unhealthy to be ignorant.

Meanwhile let me pick on the second idiotic suggestion in your list "Collard". for those of you that dont know what Collard is its a cabbage/broccoli type of leaf.

Collard contains .18mg of iron per 100 grams. That means a vegetarian would have to eat 22 POUNDS PER DAY!!!. Does anyone here know what 22 pounds of leaf llooks like? I sure as hello dont. Id guess it would be 2 garbage bags full. Imagine eating THAT every day!?!?!


let me catch my breath.... are like every vegetarian. Some pale face hippie read in "higher ground" that something called "collard" (which im sure you have never even eaten) has iron (traces) so now if its a side on your plate of carbs you think "oh i read it had iron so im good" yet you are so stupid that you don't even do yourself justice to find out what you need and how much is in there. Its laughable..yet sad (more laughable thou).

Its unhealthy not to care about your own health to do one ounce of research...let alone 22 pounds of it.

Id post again about spirulina...but give me a break....are you going to down a few pounds of that in a single day every day?

Please reply...i beg you.

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Denise Swanson

Dec 8, 2012 at 11:31am

Basic knowledge of nutrition (rare) and variety are key in my opinion. This site may be useful, and here is a relevant excerpt, "Some might expect that since the vegan diet contains a form of iron that is not that well absorbed, vegans might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. However, surveys of vegans (2,3) have found that iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population although vegans tend to have lower iron stores 3.
The reason for the satisfactory iron status of many vegans may be that commonly eaten foods are high in iron, as Table 1 shows. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal-derived foods. This concept is illustrated in Table 2. For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach.
Another reason for the satisfactory iron status of vegans is that vegan diets are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C acts to markedly increase absorption of non-heme iron. Adding a vitamin C source to a meal increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron 4.
Fortunately, many vegetables, such as broccoli and bok choy, which are high in iron, are also high in vitamin C so that the iron in these foods is very well absorbed. Commonly eaten combinations, such as beans and tomato sauce or stir-fried tofu and broccoli, also result in generous levels of iron absorption.
It is easy to obtain iron on a vegan diet. Table 3 shows several menus whose iron content is markedly higher than the RDA for iron.

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jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly

Dec 8, 2012 at 5:35pm

You're going to have to spin harder than cut and paste, Denise, from a vegan website no less.

"iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population although vegans tend to have lower iron stores"

- are you kidding me? the general population is a control. What is the "general population"? It's so vague, it's meaningless. If by "general population" you mean the fast-food, agribusiness fed public driving around out there, then one my socks probably has more iron in it than they.

" For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach."

-So what does that prove. The real metric is grams not calories, How much spinach would you have to eat to get 100 much land would be destroyed for you to grow that 100 calories. You would be eating constantly, like a herbivore, which you aren't. I can get 1700 calories from how many grams of muscle, and how many grams of spinach? Why don't you compare beef liver or sardines to spinach? The Inuit fed muscle meat to the dogs, while carefully preserving the organ meat.

"Another reason for the satisfactory iron status of vegans is that vegan diets are high in vitamin C."

Does this imply that non-vegans diets are low in vitamin C? So if a non-vegan eats some vit C with their meal, wouldn't their iron absorption increase too?

Remember Denise, experts said smoking was fine and GM food is healthy.

How about the 20,000 year experiment the Inuit have been involved in. They seem to have done quite well without spinach. You trust the experts in the corporate labs, fine by me.

I'll trust the 20,000 year experiment.

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Dec 9, 2012 at 8:33am

Denise...Can you at least acknowledge the biased a site like that has? Its vegan website!! Of course they are going to post propaganda to support their unhealthy think they would write the opposite?

You cant get enough iron from a vegetarian diet (numbers don't lie), so vegetarians say that they dont need iron?!

Give me a break. 9 times out of 10 I can tell who is a vegetarian just by looking at them. Its obvious.

Here is what i don't get. You never see articles like the one above saying you should eat meat, but you often see these self righteous articles from vegetarians. You guys are like Jahovas witnesses. You believe in something science has proven wrong, and what's worse is you go around trying to tell everyone they should be like you.

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Layne Powell

Dec 10, 2012 at 11:22am

To Jeff,

What is the "corporate" implication about? Please explain.

Experts also said that dairy was necessary for strong bones. The opposite has been shown to be true.

If a vegan takes an iron supplement with their meal, wouldn't their iron stores increase?

3 cups of spinach would equal 100 calories.

How many carnivores eat beef liver or sardines on a regular basis?

What has been the average life span of the Inuit? Bone strength?


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