I've probably missed threads about it but anyway - I seem to be seeing a lot about juicing as a way of life, and about people going raw vegan and reaping the benefits. I know one person (my brother) who's gone low-fat-vegan-plus-fish to manage MS and that seems to be going well for him, and another person who's gone raw vegan and says she feels that she's brimming with health.
They're not necessarily things I'm thinking about doing, and consequently I don't know much about them, but I imagine the masses of UKC have opinions...
Fructose screws with you in various ways. Direct production of fatty acids and no appetite suppression. Fructose consumed in quantity is the issue, and copious amounts of fruit juice is one way of acheiving that.
Well I imagine they are pretty low in any form of sugar - but if you think drinking that muck is going to make you feel great? What's wrong with a nice portion of vegetables on a plate with you preferred protein source, be it animal or nut roast...
> Well I imagine they are pretty low in any form of sugar - but if you think drinking that muck is going to make you feel great? What's wrong with a nice portion of vegetables on a plate with you preferred protein source, be it animal or nut roast...
I don't think it's about there being something wrong with veg on a plate and a protein source, but more it's about there in theory being something beneficial in some of the juices people drink.
Nutrient wise a lot of vegan food is jam packed with "goodness" i.e vitamins, antioxidants etc. Unless you just eat egg free pasta and mash. That's just boring. I eat a lot of seeds and nuts and have started making my own almond milk and using the left over pulp for all sorts of goodies
I'm not vegan but most of my diet consists of veg nuts, seed and grains. I have thought about going vegan as I see no disadvantage apart from health stores ripping you off when you want the more unusual item.
Have you seen the No Meat Athlete? He shows how a vegan and vege diet can be beneficial to an athlete.
But one that does a lot of raw vegan, although its a bit "spiritual" and "life coachy", they have a banging recipe section and talk all about the benefits of juicing. http://therawfoodsisters.com/recipes-2/
One thing that my mum has been told (she is diabetic) is that she should eat the fruit, not drink the juice. By juicing or blending food you start the processing that the body should be doing, making the sugars much quicker to hit your blood stream.
I'm watching horizon at the moment as it happens, fat vs sugar.
just eat a normal healthy balanced diet!
Forget the fads….
Some junk food from time to time but the rest of the time eat food made from scratch including fresh veg, include fruit in your diet and try to cut the sugary stuff down a bit.
I agree. But I think that some people feel better about their life in general if they're doing something a bit difficult and out of the ordinary in the name of "wellbeing" - whether it's raw vegan food or daily tai chi or whatever. It's sort of a puritan work ethic as applied to health. *shrugs*
> As you'll have noted from the OP, they're not things I'm thinking of doing - I was just curious about them as things that seem to be discussed pretty widely at the moment.
> The bit about diet helping with MS symptoms isn't, from what I understand, quite so easily dismissed as a fad though.
Fair enough then.
As for the MS, quite obviously not a fad. Like you, i also have a sibling with MS. She has tried many MS diets over the years but normally finds that they just end up taking out what little joy there is left in one of our major pleasures
Steer clear of bananas? Are you being serious?
This is just the sort of nonsense faddishness that comes from over-obsessiveness around food.
Bananas are great and also very good for you:
"Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, soluble fiber, and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and in women, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma. "
I eat a fairly typical reasonably healthy diet, except that because I do a lot of exercise I need to sustain a higher proportion of carbs without consuming excessive amounts of sugar. I have been using vegetable juices such as beet root and carrot as an alternative to fruit juices and carbonated drinks. Certainly not a radical change, but I think it has helped me feel generally better.
> One thing that my mum has been told (she is diabetic) is that she should eat the fruit, not drink the juice. By juicing or blending food you start the processing that the body should be doing, making the sugars much quicker to hit your blood stream.
There was something about that in the paper the other day. It's better to have a juice than nothing I suppose but (according to the article) there are a lot of vitamins, minerals and fibre in the waste produced by juicing. Drinking non-sweetened juice is good for you, only it's slightly less good for you than if you just had some fruit and vegetables.
Hardonicus - I don't get the no milk thing, there are certainly environmental and welfare related reasons people might give it up but most people I've heard go on about how you shouldn't drink milk have had bad arguments. I.e. it's for cows, we're not supposed to drink milk etc. We're not supposed to drink sanitised water either but we have science now, so we don't have to rely wholly on copying monkeys to discover how foods affect our bodies. If you google it you'll find plenty of websites with pictures of cows and bold font asking "ARE YOU A COW?...then why are you drinking milk." great argument. I've read that "milk is a deadly poison", I've read that it may increase your risk of cancer by 50%, I've read that it's full of a growth hormone linked to cancer (you have to inject the milk though, as IGF's destroyed by the digestive system, they leave that bit out). The list goes on, there are a lot of anti-milk websites that twist the science, which makes me very suspicious.
If your body produces the lactase enzyme then you can digest milk without any health problems (which if you're of western descent you probably do). There are studies that refute some of the popularly believed benefits of milk and if you're already unhealthy then extra fat wont do you any good. A lot of milk alternatives are heavily processed though, personally I don't have a problem consuming them but if you're hell bent on finding something dangerous about milk you will probably find something dangerous about the alternatives too, if you look hard enough. (e.g. carrageenan and synthetic vitamins in Almond milk)
If you choose to avoid milk then that's fine but I think it's common for non-milk drinkers to go over board on the hype of how it's so deadly for you. It's true that we don't need dairy, it's true that dairy isn't "natural", it's true that it's not the super healthy bone strengthening wonder that the dairy industry has marketed it as and it's true that consuming dairy has negative effects for some people (24% in this country according to my Doctor). But if you're not one of those people then you'd be hard pressed to find a GP who recommended all their patients stopped consuming milk. If you have concerns about antibiotics, pesticides and steroids in milk then buy organic. There are worse things for an otherwise healthy person to do than drink full fat organic milk.
I don't think milk is outrightly unhealthy but it does spike insulin massively (over and above what might be expected from the lactose content only) with the same detrimental effects such as appetite stimulation and kicking off the fat storage mechanisms you get with eating refined carbs.
Michael Pollan in his recent book 'Cooked' pretty much demolishes the raw food diet as faddist and not good for you. 50% of women on a raw food diet stop menstruating for instance.
Most definately worth a read.
In reply to Tall Clare: Surely a good diet is exactly that, eating good food?
My view on all this stuff is that the search for some kind of 'enhanced health' where you spring out of bed every morning feeling amazing, full of beans, motivated to make the most out of every minute of the day, is futile. You can be healthy, eat well, exercise and sleep well, or you can be a slob. There is no area off the healthy end of this scale where you do something weird like surviving off algae and avoiding any minerals beginning with the latter 's' and it makes you 'better' in some way than just being healthy.
If you're allergic to something (and that is, genuinely allergic not fashionably intolerant) don't eat it. Don't be a slob. Do some exercise, get a good night's sleep. Once you've done all of that, you can't do any more and any ill-health you suffer is plain bad luck.
Of course, I am ignoring the fact that eating some weird goji-berry-and-raw-quinoa concoction might have a placebo effect of making you feel like a superhero on ecstasy. In which case, go ahead, it's not going to do you any harm.
Oh, and one thing specific to raw diets: we evolved into clever humans with massive brains when we started to cook food, because it's so much more efficient to digest. So we had to spend much less time feeding and could paint stuff on the walls of caves and sit around chatting. (This isn't exactly fact, but the talk I heard on this theory was compelling, think it's on TED maybe?) So, cooking your food is in essence a good thing - going raw could be compared to walking on all fours!
I went on a yoga holiday last year where the guy that ran the centre (near Malaga), was a big advocate of vegetarianism and raw food. We did have one meal a day with cooked elements but there was a lot of rawness. Tasty to start with but the novelty soon palled and all of us there (11 of us) had digestive problems of one sort or another from the change in diet.
> The thing I can't get my head round with raw diets is the thought of never having hot food.
Exactly. Almost tolerable in summer, but completely absurd in winter. IMO, good food in winter is a big stew full of meat (including bacon), beer, butter, root vegetables, served with mash full of butter and cream. If I'm doing loads of exercise, all that delicious food, including the lovely tasty fat, is good for me. The idea of some miserable cold salad and some savoury vegetable puke to wash it down instead makes me feel sad.
> Oh, and one thing specific to raw diets: we evolved into clever humans with massive brains when we started to cook food, because it's so much more efficient to digest.
This - I recall a paper on the subject, comparing the energy in food intake and food waste. If I recall correctly twice as much energy is extracted by the upper GI tract from cooked food than from raw. This was shown by monitoring food intake by people without a lower GI tract, and also monitoring the content of their colonoscopy bags. This had to be done because the bacteria in the lower GI tract manage to extract significant energy from undigested food, converting it to waste products but little to no benefit for the person, meaning you can't look at the final poo output. If anything this makes me think that raw food veganism is going to lead to a bloom in unhelpful gut bacteria... ?
It also suggests those people eating raw food are requiring significantly more food, and therefore have a much larger environmental footprint.