My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘soy’

The Best Mexican Chowder Recipe Ever!

MexicanChowder570x299

 

Oh my gosh!  I made Mexican Chowder from Lindsay Nixon’s Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook.  It is amazing-hot or cold!  So cheesy-like, thick and great.

TIPS: As you know, Happy Herbivore cookbooks are my go-to favorites.  I usually have what I need in my pantry, and if I don’t, I can just substitute.  Like I always say, “Use what you have.”  For example, I doubled this recipe and did not have two green peppers, so I threw in two packages of sliced mushrooms that I was getting antsy about going bad in my fridge.  I also only had brown miso, not the yellow type called for.  This dish turned out fantastic.

Also, I only use organic corn due to all other corn being GMO–same with soy (and NEVER soy protein isolate).  I always portion out the servings into separate bowls and refrigerate the extras for the next day’s meal.  That way, I don’t overeat.

Mexican Chowder
Serves 3

Ingredients: 

• 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
• 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
• 1 cup nondairy milk
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 1 tablespoon yellow miso
• 1 cup yellow corn
• 1 cup canned black beans
• Juice of 1 or more lime wedges
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Corn chips (optional)
• Garnishes: chopped cilantro or sliced green onion

Instructions:

Line a large pot with a thin layer of water and bring to a boil.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add bell peppers and spices and reduce heat to medium, continuing to cook.

Meanwhile, whisk 1⁄4 cup of nutritional yeast with nondairy milk and ketchup, then pour over bell peppers, stirring to combine everything.

Add miso, corn, and black beans and stir in.

Squeeze the juice out of a lime wedge and stir.

Taste, adding more lime as desired plus salt and pepper to taste.

For a stronger cheese flavor, whisk in 1 to 2 more tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Serve with corn chips. You can garnish with sliced green onion or chopped cilantro, if desired.

Chef’s Note: If your liquid is too thin, add tomato sauce, broth, or more nondairy milk.

http://www.forksoverknives.com/mexican-chowder/

www.happyherbivore.com

 

Top Breakfast Cereals That Contain Monsanto’s GMO Corn

The recent French study that related Monsanto’s GMO corn to cancer, liver damage, organ failure, kidney damage and premature death –  is now being taken very seriously by health organizations and even governments all over the world and they are now warning their people and farmers to make healthier and better food choices.

GMO labeling

Although United States of America is the richest nation on earth, it is now regarded as one of the least healthy societies in the world. People in US are becoming more aware of the health risks associated with processed andGMO foods and are more interested than ever before in organic sustainable living.

As usual, California is once again leading the country in proposing regulations that protect the public from health risks and putting focus on public safety. The desire to label GMO foods is growing stronger, not just in California, but  across the entire country and many organizations and communities from East Coast to West Coast of US are seeking support for California Proposition 37 in order to protect pregnant women, infants and children from the health hazards associated to GMOs.

Public organizations are compiling lists with the assistance of research institutes in US to monitor and disclose favorite food brands that may contain ingredients made with Monsanto’s GMO corn or have been genetically modified or engineered.

Since 85% of corn and soy planted in the US are genetically modified, therefore most processed foods are made of ingredients that contain corn or soy based compounds with high levels of GMO. In fact, soy and corn aren’t the only foods that have been genetically modified; there is also rice, canola oil, cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, dairy products, meat products and peas that have been genetically modified.

Last week the editor of Natural News Mike Adams released the name of many well known breakfast cereals that are made from Monsanto’s GMO corn as below:

Monsanto GMO-corn-breakfast-cereals

  1. Barbara’s Bakery Puffins Peanut Butter
  2. General Mills Cocoa Puffs
  3. Kellogg’s Corn Pops
  4. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes
  5. Kashi Heart to Heart
  6. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  7. General Mills Kix
  8. General Mills Corn Chex
  9. Quaker Honey Graham Oh’s
  10. General Mills Honey Nut Chex

Nature’s evolutionary permutations has brought us here to this point in time and space in a remarkable journey of precision. We cannot let Monsanto destroy mankind in a flash through genetically modified DNA – and cause irreparable damage to humans – for profit.

GMO cancer

Humans, who can’t even eradicate common cold, can’t stop unnecessary wars, famine, injustice, inequality, 500 million children dying of malnutrition worldwide, 13 million child sex slaves, etc. etc. shouldn’t be trusted togenetically modify foods (causing pathogens to radically mutate uncontrollably) without enough research and enough time to understand the consequences and the implications and possible long term side-effects.

To illustrate my point, humans (and those particularly in power such as large wealthy corporations, i.e. Monsanto) can’t even agree to respect people’s choice and fully disclose through labeling food.

In fact the “Big 6″ pesticide firms (MonsantoDuPont, Bayer, Dow, BASF and Syngenta) have contributed $19M against CA prop No 37 and they REFUSE to want to label GMOs and respect people’s choice when there is absolutely no LOGICAL and MORAL reason for not labeling GMO foods.

Bottom line is that there are no more myths about GMOs and GMO debate is over. The arguments I have heard from all those Monsanto supporters and those who have stocks in GMO and bio companies, and those proponents of GMO without any safety assessment prior to consumption by the general public is like a broken record player that completely ignores and disrespects people’s right to CHOOSE.

http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/breakfast-cereals-monsanto-gmo-corn/

Are GMOs Making You Fat?

While health experts and non-experts alike continue to take stabs at the solution to our nation’s obesity crisis, the answer still seems rather illusive.

Some say we need more exercise. Others suggest we need less food. Still others contend we need incentives and rewards to get off our duffs and lose the weight. But perhaps the answer is as simple as what’s in our lunch.

New research from the Norwegian School of Veterinary science is pointing the fat finger at genetically modified organisms, a term we now affectionately know as GMOs.

Researchers are suggesting that while GM foods may not be directly making us sick, they might be causing weight gain which can in turn contribute to illnesses.

To conduct the 90-day study, researchers studied how rats and salmon responded to genetically modified food. One group of rats was fed GM corn and scientists watched as they slowly got fatter than the group that was being fed non-GM foods. Researchers also noticed that the GMO rats ate more and grew faster.

A corresponding study examined how salmon reacted to GM foods by feeding one group GM food and another non-GM food. The result? The salmon that consumed GM foods experienced a number of adverse effects including weight gain, higher food consumption, and the inability to properly digest protein. They also developed a different intestinal microstructure and even saw changes in their immune systems.

In other words, the results didn’t come back in favor of GMOs.

The Right to Know – a California-based organization pushing for the labeling of GM foods – has pointed out that independent studies have not only linked GMOs to increased allergies, but also asthma, autism and ADHD. And now that this research suggests they may also be making us fat, the pro-GMO argument just keeps getting dimmer.

While the fish and rats didn’t see any additional health problems as a result of the GM foods, Ashild Krogdahl – one of the lead authors of the study – explained to the ScienceNordic that the evidence is still troubling. ”If the same effect applies to humans, how would it impact people eating this type of corn over a number of years, or even eating meat from animals feeding on this corn? I don’t wish to sound alarmist,” she said, “but it is an interesting phenomenon and worth exploring further.”

Jeffrey Smith of the Institute from Responsible Technology feels strongly that GMOs could potentially be causing weight gain in humans. ”I have heard from people who stop eating GMOs that weight problems is one of the symptoms that improves or goes away,” he said. “One woman told me that with no other change in the diet, she lost 35 pounds, her husband lost 15, and her two kids 5 pounds each, just focusing on eliminating GMOs.”

Leah Segedie, founder of Bookieboo (an online health resource for moms) and leading figure in the fight against GMOs, tells of her own experiences with eliminating GMOs from her diet.

“I’ve lost close to 200 pounds over three pregnancies so far, but most of my life I spent overweight eating genetically modified foods. As someone who has come at it from both sides, I can testify that when I removed processed foods from my diet I lost quicker and was able to maintain my weight loss. About anywhere from 80-95 percent of processed foods have genetically modified ingredients inside of them,” she says. “Just look at the nutritional contents. If you seen corn, soy, cottonseed oil, canola oil, or sugar beets, chances are you are eating something genetically modified. And those ingredients are in about 80-95 percent of all packaged foods. Those ingredients willmanipulate your metabolism, causing you to be hungrier and gain weight. As for me personally, I was only able to maintain my weight loss when I ate foods that were minimally processed or not processed at all. In fact, the minute I switched from shopping at Vons to Trader Joes (where the private label items are Non-GMO) I lost [weight] faster.”

If GM foods are in fact causing adverse effects in humans like these studies suggest, in our opinion, it’s just not worth the risk. Even if they aren’t banned entirely, people should at least have the right to know if the foods they’re consuming contain genetically modified elements. Hopefully California’s Proposition 37 vote, which takes place November 6 to determine whether or not GMO-containing foods will be labeled as such in California, will be just the push we need to make this hope a reality.

Also Read:

Genetically Engineered Salmon May be Coming Soon 

True Food Shopper’s Guide: Your Guide to Non-GMO Foods

Weight of the Nation Seeks Drastic Change for America’s Health

source: fastcoexist

http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/07/are-gmos-making-you-fat/

Vegan Myths Debunked

Paul Jarvis

I’ve been vegan for years, so I’ve grown accustomed to certain myths people believe about what it means to eat a plant-based diet and live a creature-free life. Here are a few things people often get wrong about veganism.

All vegans are skinny, white women

We come in all colors, shapes, sizes and genders. Not all vegans are frail/anemic-looking waifs either – some are ultra-marathoners, UFC fighters, famous talk-show hosts, actors and actresses … most, however, are regular men and women. You can’t look like a vegan; you can just live and eat like one.

There’s also an often unspoken view that veganism isn’t very manly since Real Men eat meat. To that I’d say that real men take care of their bodies and want to decrease their risk of things like prostate cancer, diabetes and heart problems (all of which have been shown to worsen due to the consumption of meat and dairy).

Vegan food is all weird soy-based fake meat and cheeses

There are a lot of faux meats and dairy-free cheeses, but they’re not the only option for eating a plant-based diet. Think of them as “gateway drugs” for eating less meat and dairy. They offer comfort in similarity to a “typical” diet and some taste pretty good too. These products are really good for a transition from SAD (Standard American Diet) to a diet more focused on lots of whole vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains. It is really easy to eat vegan without them though, and focus more on eating a variety of whole, plant-based foods.

Veganism isn’t healthy

Technically, you could call yourself a “vegan” and live on potato chips, Oreo cookies (these are vegan because they don’t contain any actual food) and diet soda. But one of the main benefits of an intelligent, plant-based diet is the sheer diversity of whole foods you can and should eat on a daily basis. Every single day I eat more whole foods than I have fingers and toes. Add up all the fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I’ve consumed by bedtime and it would total far more than 10. Countless studies have shown that eating this way can effectively treat, and even prevent, a slew of chronic diseases. Some real dangers and potential killers related to a non-vegan diet include cancer, diabetes and heart disease – all of which have been linked to dairy and meat consumption by actual medical journals, written by established scientists. So eating a plant-based diet can be really healthy, if you do it correctly.

Vegans can’t get enough protein or calcium

This is definitely the question that vegans hear most often. But when was the last time you heard of anyone being protein deficient in the Western world? It just doesn’t happen – among vegans or omnivores. I get my protein from eating a well-balanced, whole foods diet. There is protein in nuts, seeds, vegetables and many other foods. North Americans are obsessed with protein, and really, we eat far too much of it. If your diet includes various and diverse plant-based foods, you’ll get enough, even if you’re very active. Good sources of protein include foods like almonds, lentils, quinoa, beans, broccoli, tempeh and chickpeas. And none of these proteins have bad fats or cholesterol (bonus!).

Personally, I know that dairy is not a good source of calcium, but I definitely believe the milk industry has an insanely good marketing team. There’s more calcium in small amounts of broccoli, molasses, kale, grains or soy than in a big glass of cow’s milk. There are lots of cultures, past and present, that have never consumed any dairy as part of their diets, and they haven’t shriveled up and died from a lack of calcium.

Veganism is too militant/absolute

Being vegan isn’t a religion or exercise in absolutism. If you are vegan (or heading that way), it doesn’t mean you’ve got to sign up for a militant animal rights group or protest naked outside fur shops. If that’s your thing, all the power to you for making a difference. You can also make a difference in a more subversive way by making omnivore friends a delicious plant-based meal or simply by buying fewer animals and animal products. There are as many types of vegans as there are types of non-vegans – so whatever works for you is the best thing you can do for “The Cause.”

For every study or piece of research published about the benefits of a plant-based diet, there’s a news article that claims the latest healthy eating trend is actually horrible for you. I will offer this key piece of advice: Learn who funded the research you just read, or if it’s an article on a website or in a newspaper, ensure it’s based on a scientific find and not paid for by the meat or dairy industries. There is, unfortunately, a lot of money spent to make people think that meat and dairy are good for you, even if science says otherwise.

Finally, remember that veganism isn’t for everyone. It’s just for folks who want to stay healthy, feel good, live longer and generally be really awesome.

Paul Jarvis is the author of “Eat Awesome: A regular person’s guide to plant-based, whole foods.” He believes veganism is love – and that deliciousness always trumps dogma. He lives with his amazing wife Lisa, in Tofino, British Columbia.

http://crazysexylife.com/2012/vegan-myths-debunked/

Dirty Little Secret in Natural Soyfoods Industry – Toxic Chemical Use – Organics Offers Alternative

I read all ingredient lists and never buy anything that has soy protein isolate or tvp in it.  Laura

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan as Taught to Nurses

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan

From NursingDegree.net

Vegans are frequently misunderstood as fringe eaters with an unnatural passion for animal rights. While many vegans do feel passionately about animals, its time for others to see that a vegan diet and lifestyle go way beyond animal rights. Following a healthy, balanced vegan diet ensures a host of health benefits as well as prevention of some of the major diseases striking people in North America. Read these blogs to find out about the health benefits or going vegan or just provide better information to your patients.

Nutrition

All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products.

  1. Reduced saturated fats. Dairy products and meats contain a large amount ofsaturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.
  2. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue.
  3. Fiber. A diet high in fiber (as vegan eating usually is) leads to healthier bowel movements. High fiber diets help fight against colon cancer.
  4. Magnesium. Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.
  5. Potassium. Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  6. Folate. This B vitamin is an important part of a healthy diet. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells, and metabolizing amino acids.
  7. Antioxidants. For protection against cell damage, antioxidants are one of the best ways to help your body. Many researchers also believe that antioxidants helpprotect your body against forming some types of cancer.
  8. Vitamin C. Besides boosting your immune system, Vitamin C also helps keep your gums healthy and helps your bruises heal faster. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.
  9. Vitamin E. This powerful vitamin has benefits for your heart, skin, eyes, brain, and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. A diet high in grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens is full of Vitamin E.
  10. Phytochemicals. Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.
  11. Protein. That protein is good for your body is no surprise. It may be a surprise to learn that most Americans eat too much protein and in forms such as red meat that are not healthy ways of getting protein. Beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products are all great ways to get the right amount of protein in a vegan diet.

Disease Prevention

Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.

  1. Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.
  2. Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.
  3. Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
  4. Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also “easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.” Read more about it here.
  5. Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.
  6. Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.
  7. Breast cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products.
  8. Macular degeneration. Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
  9. Cataracts. Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegan diet, cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
  10. Arthritis. Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  11. Osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.

Physical Benefits

In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits. Find out how a vegan diet makes your body stronger, more attractive, and more energetic.

  1. Body Mass Index. Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower BMIs–usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.
  2. Weight loss. A healthy weight loss is a typical result of a smart vegan diet. Eating vegan eliminates most of the unhealthy foods that tend to cause weight issues. Read more about weight loss and a vegan diet here.
  3. Energy. When following a healthy vegan diet, you will find your energy is much higher. This blog post in Happy Healthy Long Life describes how NFL tight-endTony Gonzalez started eating vegan and gained energy–while playing football.
  4. Healthy skin. The nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so vegans will usually have good skin health. Many people who switch to a vegan diet will notice a remarkable reduction in blemishes as well.
  5. Longer life. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.
  6. Body odor. Eliminating dairy and red meat from the diet significantly reduces body odor. Going vegan means smelling better.
  7. Bad breath. Vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath. Imagine waking up in the morning and not having morning breath.
  8. Hair. Many who follow vegan diets report that their hair becomes stronger, has more body, and looks healthier.
  9. Nails. Healthy vegan diets are also responsible for much stronger, healthier nails. Nail health is said to be an indicator of overall health.
  10. PMS. When switching to a vegan diet, many women tell how PMS symptoms become much less intense or disappear altogether. The elimination of dairy is thought to help with those suffering with PMS.
  11. Migraines. Migraine suffers who go on vegan diets frequently discover relief from their migraines. Read more about the food-migraine connection in this article.
  12. Allergies. Reduction in dairy, meat, and eggs is often tied to alleviation of allergy symptoms. Many vegans report much fewer runny noses and congestion problems.

Too Much in the American Diet

The typical American diet not only consists of too much food, it also relies on too much of unnecessary food products or toxins. The following list explains how a vegan diet can eliminate these problems.

  1. Animal proteins. The average American eats twice as much protein as necessary for a healthy diet and much of that is from red meat. Getting protein from beans and grains is much healthier and reduces the risk for osteoporosis (see above).
  2. Cow’s milk dairy. The human body is not designed to digest cow milk and cow milk dairy products, yet the idea of milk being healthy is pushed through advertising. As many as 75% of people in the world may be lactose intolerant and many people suffer from undiagnosed milk allergies or sensitivities. By eliminating cow’s milk from your diet, you are improving your overall health.
  3. Eggs. Many nutritionists believe that the number of eggs in the American diet is too high. While sometimes disputed, it has been shown that eggs can raise cholesterol levels.
  4. Mercury. Most of the fish and shellfish consumed has mercury in it. While some fish have less than others, it is almost impossible not to be putting mercury in your body when you eat fish.
  5. Sugar. Most people have heard that Americans consume way too much sugar. Relying on other sweeteners that are not synthetic, processed, or derived from animal products is a healthier way to eat. Many vegans do not eat processed sugar due to the fact that most of the cane sugar is refined through activated charcoal, most of which comes from animal bones.

Other Benefits

In addition to the health benefits above, following a vegan lifestyle and diet also provides these benefits as well. From helping the environment to avoiding serious bacterial infections, learn other benefits to eating the vegan way below.

  1. Animals. Many people begin a vegan diet out of concern for animals. Whether opposed to the conditions of animals intended for food or eating animals in general, going vegan will help your conscience rest easily.
  2. Environment. Growing plants takes much fewer resources than growing animals. By eating vegan, you can help reduce the toll on the environment.
  3. E. coliE. coli comes from eating contaminated red meat and is the leading cause of bloody diarrhea. Young children, those with compromised immune systems, and elderly people can become extremely ill or die from E. coli. Eating vegan means completely avoiding the risk of E. coli infection.
  4. Salmonella. Another gastrointestinal illness from animal products, salmonella food poisoning is closely related to E. coli. The most frequent way people contract salmonella food poisoning is through contact with raw eggs or raw chicken meat from chickens infected with salmonella. Again, going vegan means eliminating this risk altogether.
  5. Mad cow disease. It’s safe to say that most people would want to avoid contracting a fatal, non-treatable disease. One way to ensure you don’t get Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is by not eating animals infected with mad cow disease. While the incidence of mad cow disease is not reportedly so high in North America, it does exist.
  6. Global food supply. Feeding grain to animals meant as food sources reduces the amount of food that is available to underdeveloped nations. Many people will go hungry while that same food they could be eating is given to animals raised for slaughter. Eating vegan ensures that you have removed yourself from the participation of this imbalance.
  7. Hormone consumption. Eating animals that have been given hormones to speed growth (a common practice in the meat industry) means those hormones go into your body. Not only can this disrupt the natural balance of your hormones, but some of the hormones given to animals have shown to cause tumor growth in humans.
  8. Antibiotics. Antibiotics are frequently given to feed animals, which can lead to bacterial resistance. Many of the antibiotics used to treat human infections are also used in feed animals.

Read the rest at:  http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/19/57-health-benefits-of-going-vegan/

Vegan Sources for Calcium

3 Steps to Controlling Cholesterol Naturally by Dr. Neil D. Bernard MD.

By Neal D. Barnard, MD Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC Author of the 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart If you have a high cholesterol level, you are no doubt looking for a safe and effective way to bring it down. Medications are one way, but foods have more power than you might have imagined. Carefully chosen, foods can rival the power of prescription drugs. Needless to say, be sure to speak with your doctor before staring any new treatment plan. Cholesterol problems can be dangerous, so you will want to be sure your doctor monitors how you are doing and advises you along the way. Here are three steps for using foods to tackle cholesterol: Step 1: Favor Foods From Plants When I was growing up in North Dakota, my mother cooked up bacon for her children’s breakfasts, lifting the sizzling strips out of the grease with a fork and setting them on a paper towel to drain. Then, she carefully poured the hot grease into a jar to save it. She did not put the jar in the refrigerator; it went straight into the kitchen cupboard. She knew that as bacon grease cools, it turns solid and does not require refrigeration. The next day, she spooned the bacon grease back into the fry pan and fried eggs in it. The fact that bacon grease is solid – as opposed to a liquid oil – is a sign that it is high in saturated fat (sometimes called “bad” fat), because it causes your body to make cholesterol. The big contributors of saturated fat in your diet are meats, dairy products, and eggs. The more you replace these products with plant-based foods, they better off you’ll be. Fish are a bit of a mixed bag. Fish fat contains some omega-3 fats, also called “good fats,” which are healthier in some ways that other animal fats. However, 70 to 85 percent of fish fat is not omega-3. It is a mixture of plain old saturated fat and various other fats that offer no health benefits. Cholesterol Is Not the Same as Fat Fat is the yellow layer under a chicken skin or the white stripes in marbled beef. But cholesterol is not the same as fat. Cholesterol is invisible, hiding mainly in the lean portion of meats, in the membranes that surround each cell in an animal’s body. So a bite of chicken, for example, has fat under the skin and in between the muscle cells, as well as cholesterol lurking in the cell membranes that surround each cell. But if you were to check the cholesterol content of vegetables, fruits, and other foods from plants, their labels would indicate a big zero. So when you set aside animal products, you get a double benefit. You are getting no animal fat and essentially no cholesterol. The result can be a big improvement on your blood cholesterol test. Step 2: Skip Trans Fats If you look at the food label on a pack of potato chips or a snack pastry, you might see the words “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.” Also called trans fats, these oils raise cholesterol, just like animal fats. Avoiding them is easy as searching for “partially hydrogenated oil” on the food label. Instead of a snack pastry, how about an apple or an orange? They never have a drop of trans fat. Step 3: Use Special Cholesterol-Lowering Foods For most people, following a plant-based diet and avoiding trans fats lowers cholesterol impressively. But there is one more step you can take. You can choose foods with a special cholesterol-lowering effect. Red Yeast Rice Around 800 AD in China, it was found that red yeast cultivated on rice produces compounds that are good for health. But it was not for another 1200 years that it was discovered that the compound produced in red yeast rice is actually lovastatin – the same compound that is marketed as the cholesterol-lowering prescription drug Mevacor. It reduces cholesterol production in the liver. Although red yeast rice is widely available without a prescription and appears to have fewer side effects compared to statin drugs, it is important to remember that it is, in effect, a natural pharmaceutical that should be used under a physician’s direction. A typical regimen would be 1200 milligrams twice per day.   Oyster Mushrooms Oyster mushrooms contain lovastatin, just as red yeast rice does. But they also contain beta-glucans, which help the body eliminate cholesterol. A typical serving would be about one-half cup. Click here for a Linguine With Seared Oyster Mushrooms recipe. The Power Combo: A Portfolio of Cholesterol-Lowering Foods At the University of Toronto, Dr. David Jenkins discovered that by combining specific foods, you can achieve a cholesterol-lowering effect that compares very favorably with that of medications. In his research, Dr. Jenkins asked a group of patients to avoid animal products and to choose from a “portfolio” of special foods. The result was quick and dramatic. Their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol fell nearly 30 percent in four weeks –essentially the same drop as is seen with cholesterol-lowering drugs.1 Here is the combination that did the trick: Foods Rich in Soluble Fiber Oats, beans, okra, and barley are rich in soluble fiber, which helps your body eliminate cholesterol. How about starting your day with a bowl of old-fashioned oats? If you chose cold oat cereals, top them with soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk. For lunch, have baked beans, black beans, hummus (made from chickpeas), split pea soup, lentil soup, or other varieties. If beans give you a bit of gas, have smaller servings and be sure they are cooked until very soft. Barley is a great addition to soups. Or add it to rice for added flavor. Okra is a southern staple, but it is a healthy addition to any diet in soups, stews, or curries.

Soy Soy products replace cholesterol-laden meats and dairy products, and they have a cholesterol-cutting effect of their own, reducing your liver’s tendency to produce cholesterol. Enjoy a glass of soymilk, an edamame appetizer, or tofu or tempeh in a stir-fry instead of chicken. Almonds and Walnuts These nuts contain natural sterols that reduce cholesterol. You might have about one ounce per day (one small handful). To avoid overdoing it with nuts, use them as a topping for a salad, rather than a snack. Cholesterol-lowering Spreads Instead of butter or margarine, why not choose a spread that blocks the absorption of cholesterol? Benecol light, for example, is made with natural plant stanols that come from pine trees, and it has a significant cholesterol-lowering effect. The idea is to add each of these foods to your routine, to get a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. You will very likely find that you have more power over your health than you ever imagined. At the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, we have a free 21-Day Kickstart program that will help you try out a healthy plant-based diet. You’ll see it at PCRM.org. Reference 1. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al. Direct comparison of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods with a statin in hypercholesterolemic participants. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81:380–7. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/3-steps-controlling-cholesterol-naturally#cmpid_TW_Link

How to Meet Your Protein Needs without Meat

How to Meet Your Protein Needs without Meat

A Guide to Vegetarian Protein Sources

— By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian and Nicole Nichols, Health Educator
SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more

Eating a vegetarian diet can be very healthful and rewarding. However, most vegetarians—including soon-to-be vegetarians and their meat-eating loved ones—are concerned about getting adequate protein. Most people are accustomed to getting protein from meat, but what else contains protein? Aren’t plant-based proteins “incomplete” or lower quality?Fortunately, with a bit of extra attention, you won’t have any trouble meeting your protein needs just because you give up meat. There are so many protein-packed vegetarian options! Did you know that most foods, including vegetables, have some of the essential muscle-building nutrient? Without looking closely, it is easy to miss some great sources. (Who knew a cup of broccoli had 3 grams!)Nuts, seeds, soy products, cereal, eggs and dairy are all good meatless protein choices. These groups of food each contain different amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and different levels of protein quality. There is no need to consume certain foods in special combinations as nutritionists once thought! When your diet includes a variety of each of these types of foods, you can rest assured that you’re consuming all the amino acids you need for muscle growth and cell repair.

Nuts
Nuts provide a good dose of protein along with some heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants (vitamins A and E). They are also packed full of fiber. Take your pick! Many nuts have a significant source of protein ready to work for your body. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts are among the highest in protein, while chestnuts and hazelnuts, although they do still have some protein, are the lowest. Think out of the box when you’re adding nuts to your diet. They can be grated, toasted, ground or eaten raw and are great when combined with salads, wraps, soups and stews and baked goods. But pay special attention to portion size! Nuts are a great source of many nutrients, but do come with a hefty dose of calories, thanks to the healthy fats they contain. A single serving is just 1 oz! Many nuts are best when stored in a refrigerator, which helps keep their fats from going rancid (for up to 6 months).

Nuts, 1/4 cup Protein Calories Fat
Peanuts, raw 9 g 207 18 g
Almonds, dry roasted 8 g 206 18 g
Pistachios 6 g 171 14 g
Hazelnuts 5 g 212 21 g
Pine nuts 5 g 229 23 g
Cashews, raw 5 g 197 16 g
Walnuts 4 g 164 16 g

Seeds
Seeds are another great way to grab a few grams of protein and many other nutrients. Healthful unsaturated fats, as well as phytochemicals, make seeds a powerhouse for heart disease and cancer prevention. Just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) has 8.5 grams of protein. Add this amount to a salad or eat them plain for a quick snack. Sunflower seeds are easy to add to pasta or salads, or sandwich wraps, while sesame seeds are easily ground and sprinkled onto steamed veggies for a protein dusting.

Seeds (1/4 cup) Protein Calories Fat
Hemp seeds 15 g 232 18 g
Pumpkin seeds, roasted 9 g 187 16 g
Flaxseed 8 g 191 13 g
Sunflower seeds, roasted 8 g 205 18 g
Sesame seeds, roasted 6 g 206 18 g

Legumes
Dried peas, beans and lentils belong to a group of food known as “pulses” or “legumes.” Aside from soybeans, these plants have a very similar nutrient content, which includes a good dose of protein. On average, they have about 15 grams of protein per cup, and tagging along with the essentials protein are fiber and iron. Adding beans, lentils and dried peas to your meals is a great way to replace meat (a beef burrito can easily become a black bean burrito, for example) while still getting your much needed protein. Add pulses to soups, salads, omelets, burritos, casseroles, pasta dishes, and more! Make bean dips (such as hummus, which is made from garbanzo beans, or black bean dip) to spread on sandwiches and use as protein-packed dips for veggies or snack foods.

Legumes, 1 cup cooked Protein Calories Fiber
Soybeans 29 g 298 10 g
Lentils 18 g 230 16 g
Split peas 16 g 231 16 g
Navy beans 16 g 258 12 g
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) 15 g 269 12 g
Black beans 15 g 227 15 g
Kidney beans 15 g 225 11 g
Lima beans 15 g 216 13 g
Pinto beans 14 g 234 15 g

Soy
Soybeans are a complete protein that is comparable in quality with animal proteins. Eating soybeans (and foods made from soybeans) has been growing trend in America for only five decades, but this protein-rich bean has been a staple in Asia for nearly 4,000 years! This plant powerhouse is used to create a variety of soy-based foods that are rich in protein: tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein (TVP, a convincing replacement for ground meat in recipes), soymilk and “meat analogs,” such as vegetarian “chicken” or faux “ribs” are all becoming more popular as more Americans practice vegetarianism. To learn more about using tofu, read Tofu 101. To learn how soy may impact your health, click here.

Soy Foods Protein Calories Fat
Soybeans, 1 cup cooked 29 g 298 10 g
Tempeh, 4 oz cooked 21 g 223 13 g
Edamame, 1 cup shelled 20 g 240 10 g
TVP, 1/4 cup dry 12 g 80 0 g
Soy nuts, 1/4 cup roasted 11 g 200 1 g
Tofu, 4 oz raw 9 g 86 5 g
Soy nut butter, 2 tablespoons 7 g 170 11 g
Soymilk, 1 cup sweetened 7 g 100 0.5 g
Soymilk, 1 cup unsweetened 7 g 80 0.5 g

Grains
In a culture that focuses largely on wheat, it’s easy to overlook the many types of other grains available to us. Some of these grains are very high in protein and can be included in your diet for both whole-grain carbohydrates and muscle-building protein. Quinoa is unusually close to animal products in protein quality, making it an excellent grain to replace white rice or couscous. It can also be cooked and mixed with honey, berries and almonds in the morning for a protein-packed breakfast. Other grains high in protein include spelt, amaranth, oats and buckwheat. Choose whole-grain varieties of cereals, pastas, breads and rice for a more nutritious meal.

Grains Protein Calories Fiber
Amaranth, 1 cup cooked 9 g 238 9 g
Quinoa, 1 cup cooked 9 g 254 4 g
Whole wheat pasta, 1 cup cooked 8 g 174 6 g
Barley, 1 cup cooked 7 g 270 14 g
Spelt, 4 oz cooked 6 g 144 4 g
Oats, 1 cup cooked 6 g 147 4 g
Bulgur, 1 cup cooked 6 g 151 8 g
Buckwheat, 1 cup cooked 6 g 155 5 g
Brown rice, 1 cup cooked 5 g 216 4 g
Whole wheat bread, 1 slice 4 g 128 3 g
Sprouted grain bread, 1 slice 4 g 80 3 g

Dairy
If you consume milk products, dairy is a great way to add some extra grams of protein to your day. Low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt are easily accessible, quick to pack and fun to incorporate into many meals and snacks. Whether you’re drinking a cup of skim milk with your dinner or grabbing some string cheese before you run errands, you can pack about 8 grams of protein into most servings of dairy. You’re also getting some bone-building calcium while you’re at it! Keep in mind that low-fat varieties of milk products are lower in calories and fat, but equal in calcium to the full-fat versions; low-fat varieties may also be higher in protein.

Dairy Protein Calories Fat
Fat-free cottage cheese, 1 cup 31 g 160 1 g
2% cottage cheese, 1 cup 30 g 203 4 g
1% cottage cheese, 1 cup 28 g 163 2 g
Fat-free plain yogurt, 1 cup 14 g 137 0 g
Low-fat plain yogurt, 1 cup 13 g 155 4 g
Parmesan cheese, 1 oz grated 12 g 129 9 g
Whole milk yogurt, 1 cup 9 g 150 8 g
Goat’s milk, 1 cup 9 g 168 10 g
1% milk, 1 cup 8 g 102 2 g
Swiss cheese, 1 oz 8 g 106 8 g
2% milk, 1 cup 8 g 121 7 g
3.25% (whole) milk, 1 cup 8 g 146 8 g
Low-fat cheddar/Colby cheese, 1 oz 7 g 49 2 g
Part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 oz 7 g 72 5 g
Provolone cheese, 1 oz 7 g 100 8 g
Cheddar cheese, 1 oz 7 g 114 9 g
Blue cheese, 1 oz 6 g 100 8 g
American cheese, 1 oz 6 g 106 9 g
Goat cheese, 1 oz 5 g 76 6 g
Feta cheese, 1 oz 4 g 75 6 g
Part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 oz 3 g 39 2 g

Eggs
Eggs contain the highest biologic value protein available. What this means is that an egg has a near perfect combination of amino acids within its shell; when assessing protein quality of all other foods (including meat), nutrition experts compare them to the egg. This doesn’t mean that all other sources of protein are less healthful or less important but does mean that an egg is an awesome way to get a few grams of protein. At 6 grams for one large egg, there are endless ways to add it to your diet. Salads, sandwiches, breakfasts or snack—an egg can fit in anytime!

Eggs Protein Calories Fat
Egg, 1 boiled 6 g 68 5 g
Egg white, 1 cooked 5 g 17 0 g
Liquid egg substitute, 1.5 fl oz 5 g 23 0 g

As you can see, protein is EVERYWHERE in our diet, and even without meat you can get enough every day; you just have to look in the right places! For more ideas for using these various plant-based proteins, check out our dailySpark series, Meat-Free Fridays for recipe and cooking ideas!

Selected Sources
Information Sheet: Protein from The Vegetarian Society (VegSoc.org)

Various nutrient profiles from The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHFoods.com)


Related Content

About The Author

Sarah HaanSarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah’s articles.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: