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

Comments (19) Add New Comment
prenup
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.
2
9
Rating: -7
Drone
Dark greens are great sources of iron. Kale, collards, spirulina, chlorella, etc.

It's unhealthy to be an ignorant person.
5
3
Rating: +2
jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
Like anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder, veganism is yet another bourgeois emotional disorder highlighting Western man's pathological violence towards the natural world...so 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.
1
8
Rating: -7
Denise Swanson
2
3
Rating: -1
prenup
Drone,
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.

hahaha!

Its unhealthy to be stupid.
3
7
Rating: -4
prenup
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!?!?!

LOL

let me catch my breath....

Drone...you 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.
3
5
Rating: -2
Denise Swanson
Basic knowledge of nutrition (rare) and variety are key in my opinion. This site may be useful, http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.php 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.
5
2
Rating: +3
jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
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 calories...how 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.
3
4
Rating: -1
prenup
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 agenda...you 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.

2
7
Rating: -5
Layne Powell
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?

Respectfully,
Layne
4
3
Rating: +1
jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
Layne,

Corporate refers to the unfortunate situation that Experts and Science are for sale and can be used to propagate any point. Citing studies and references, as Denise did in her cut-and-paste, is an appeal to authority fallacy. I also wanted to contrast the Experts with the Inuit to try and reference my first post...which I note you've ignored.

I don't about vegans and iron supplements. I'm not qualified. I was mocking the tone of Denise's utterly biased link.

I don't know where you get your calcs, but I've goggled three different sites and get 100 grams/ 23 cals for spinach. Each site has a different measure for a cup, anywhere from 30-200 grams. How much top soil is exposed to grow those 100 calories of spinach, Layne? Every time you expose the topsoil you contribute to soil erosion: annuals vs. perennials.

Do you mean animal carnivores or human carnivores, I'm not sure. I know wild animal carnivores go straight for the organ meat. I don't know any human carnivores, but I suspect you mean human non-vegans and I agree with you that "general public's" diet is poor, which I think is what you're getting at.

Inuit lifespan before contact or after? "Average lifespan" is another meaningless Western abstraction that I referred to in my first comment; you might want to read some Vine Deloria. The Seniors warehoused across the street from my apartment walking around with the IV trolleys do mathematically increase avg lifespan...if you consider that life.

The Inuit have lasted 20k years in the arctic, Layne. You want to know about their bone density in mg/L ? Are you so alienated from your senses. I couldn't last 3 days in the arctic in the Canadian Tire parking lot...I'd have to say they had pretty impressive bone strength to mange that long.

Cheers
1
0
Rating: +1
Denise
Prenup is absolutely right in suggesting to do your math and beware of bias. I tend to do my nutrient research on the Health Canada site, which I would hope is unbiased.
1
3
Rating: -2
jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
Denise,

You would hope incorrectly.

http://shivchopra.com/?page_id=100
0
0
Rating: 0
layne powell
From Dr.. Joel Fuhrman:
Do primitive peoples really live longer?
No. For example, Innuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer that the overall Canadian population. 1 Similar statistics are available for the high meat-consuming Maasai in Kenya. They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats and have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. Life expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years for men. African researchers report that historically Maasai rarely lived beyond age 60. Adult mortality figures on the Kenyan Maasai show that they have a 50% chance of dying before the age of 59.2
We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to the broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.
References:
1. Iburg KM, Brennum-Hansen H, Bjerregaard P. Health expectancy in Greenland. Scan J Public Health 2001;29(1):5-12
2. http://www.kenya.za.net/maasai-cycles-of-life.html, http://www.who.int/countries/ken/en/
1
1
Rating: 0
Layne Powell
Legitimate Concerns for Vegans
There are some plausible reasons why a person might think that people should include some animal products in their diets. Even if they did not kill and eat animals, small insect metter and bacteria were always present on wild food. Modern washed and sanitized food even makes a natural, whole-foods vegan diet incomplete. There are three weaknesses of a vegan diet:
Plant foods contain no vitamin B12 (which all vegan should take).
Some vegans have a need for more taurine (or other amino acids) and may not get optimal amounts with a vegan diet. A blood test can be checked to assure adequacy.
Some vegans may not produce ideal levels of DHA fat from the conversion of short-chain omega-3 fats found in such foods as flax and walnuts. I advocate that people who do not eat fish should supplement with DHA or get a blood test to assure adequacy.These are three areas of potential deficiency on a vegan diet are easily remedied by taking supplements. Obviously, there are loads of advantages of a vegetarian diet that also should be considered, but that is not the topic for this article. A poorly designed vegetarian diet or one that is not supplemented properly with vitamin B12 and vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) can be dangerous. However, these considerations cannot be used as an argument to justify dietary recommendations
that include lots of high-saturated fat animal products.
I advocate a diet rich in micronutrients, especially antioxidants and phytochemicals, and the largest percentage of everyone's diet must be from unrefined plant foods-no matter what your genetic "type."
In order to do this, you must understand the nutrient density of all foods and eat more foods higher on the nutrient density scale. (Animal products are very low in nutrient density.) This nutrient per calorie density principle is what my book Eat to Live is about.
Joel Fuhrman MD is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Author of Eat To Live. The above article comes from Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times Newsletter, which is available at www.drfuhrman.com.
1
1
Rating: 0
jeff rubin's favorite alt. weekly
As I said, you look hard enough, Layne, you'll find someone telling you want you want to hear. It's a shame you've resorted to cut-and-paste instead of opening your mind a little.

Happy shopping:http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/default.aspx
2
1
Rating: +1
Wayne
PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals
1
2
Rating: -1
Joe
Hmm. No one mentioning The China Study.
1
0
Rating: +1
HateMeNow
Dont be dumb with your "how much land would have to be destroyed to grow vegetables?" comment. Do you realize how much land is destroyed, how much waste goes into our water, how many lives are taken, how many illnesses are caused and how many diseases are spread, etc. to feed the greedy fast food nation? Smarten up! Arguing is a waste of time between vegetarians and meat eaters... both are bias at almost all times. There is NO proof which side of the argument will live longer/healthier. Make your own choices and live consciously rather than ignorantly. While a vegetarian diet MAY be unhealthy in some ways, there's no doubt it leaves a much more positive impact on earth. And while eating meat MAY be healthier for our bodies, we do NOT need to consume as much as we do and processed meats are no doubt disgusting and unhealthy(proven by science)and a widely consumed by meat eaters which in turn will lead to health problems and more than likely an earlier death. Peace!
0
2
Rating: -2
Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.