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Is it safe to raise your kid vegan or vegetarian?

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Over 200 users commented on the video, many in support of a vegan diet, others not so much.

“Child services please,” one user wrote. “If that baby ever develops any health issues because of that, you’re guilty of child abuse — you’re incriminating yourself,” another said. Yet another: “Bro They can die if they don’t eat meat.” The video was since been removed.

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“I know that it’s something I would have wanted as a child,” Rose said in an interview. “I would love to have never eaten an animal, as I love them so much, and that is something I wanted to give my daughter the opportunity to do.”

Trend includes younger people

As more adults adopt vegetarian diets (which cut out meat) and vegan diets (which include no animal products) experts say the trend includes more children and young people. But, as TikTok commenters proved, many are unsure if this is a healthy choice.

Jen Trachtenberg, a pediatrician at Carnegie Hill Pediatrics and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, confirmed that a number of her young patients are skipping animal products, especially when their parents cut out these foods. “More and more families are interested and asking about the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets,” she said.

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Plant-focused diets have been found to reduce incidence of heart disease as well as some cancers. Plus, in 2009, the American Dietetic Association concluded that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet was safe for people at every stage of life — including for pregnant and nursing moms, children and babies — with the caveat that fortified foods or supplements can “ provide useful amounts of important nutrients.”

The 2021 study, which looked at 187 healthy children ages 5 to 10, found that those on vegan diets had lower levels of body fat and the unhealthy form of cholesterol, as well as less nutritional deficiencies. But those children were also, on average, about 1.2 inches shorter than non-vegans of the same age, had some vitamin deficiencies, and measured at about 5 percent lower bone mineral content.

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The researchers wrote: “Our data suggest that restriction of animal-based foods could prevent children from achieving optimal height or bone mineral status and could lead to selected nutritional deficiencies.”

Reed Mangels, a nutrition adviser for the Vegetarian Resource Group, which promotes and educates on vegetarian eating, said she isn’t concerned about growth rates, especially when it comes to Americans.

“A concern with research conducted in other countries is that conditions may not be reflective of those in the US — less information available, limited fortified foods, limited alternatives to meat and dairy products,” Mangels said. “Studies in the UK, Taiwan, Germany all find that vegetarian, including vegan, children grow at rates not significantly different from nonvegetarian children.”

Children have different food needs

Still, experts say it’s important for parents to recognize that children do have different food needs than adults. “Toddlers need, per kilogram of body weight, more micronutrients compared to adults,” said Liisa Korkalo, lecturer in the Department of Food and Nutrition at the University of Helsinki, whose research has looked at the diets of children. “They need a nutrient-dense diet.” With small stomachs and limited intake capacity, the food small children eat really needs to count.

Mangels said that vegetarian and vegan children sometimes have lower levels of vitamin B-12 (which keeps a person’s blood and nerve cells healthy), calcium (which builds and maintains strong bones), vitamin D (which helps the body absorb calcium), iron (which makes hemoglobin and myoglobin), and zinc (which supports the immune system and is needed for the body to make proteins and DNA).

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None of these nutrients are unique to meat or even animal products, however. Vitamin B-12 can be found in eggs, dairy products and B-12 fortified products such as soymilk or nutritional yeast. Calcium and iron can be found in beans. Vitamin D can be found in eggs and vitamin-D fortified food (including cereals, orange juice and soymilk). Plus, zinc can be found in tofu, legumes and nuts.

Trachtenberg said she suggests a “plant-based” diet to her patients, which limits the amount of meat and animal products without completely cutting any of these foods out. Still, she said that true vegetarian and vegan diets can meet all of a child’s needs, with one stipulation: “It needs to be well-thought out and monitored with either a pediatrician or registered dietitian.”

A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle can be difficult for children and teens to maintain, said Lauren Crosby, a pediatrician at La Peer Pediatrics in Beverly Hills, Calif., who estimates that at least 5 percent of her young patients, especially teens and tweens, are vegetarian or vegan.

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“Some kids think they want to be vegan or vegetarian until they learn what that actually means and what they need to eat regularly to support their growth,” she said. “Plant-based is a good way to see if they will, or can, actually make gradual changes that are not as extreme as these other diets can be.”

Crosby also said she tries to get her vegetarian and vegan-interested patients to stick with a “middle ground” of plant-based eating until the child is done growing. (Which is usually about age 16 for boys and 15 for girls.)

Similarly, Korkalo said she suggests a “flexitarian” approach for children, where a parent organizes a child’s diet without firm restrictions. She used the example of a vegetarian child who wants to try a beloved family recipe that includes meat.

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“From a food culture point of view, it can be important that, as a child, you get to taste your grandmother’s famous recipes,” she said. “You can have a really healthy diet, with lots of vegetables, lots of legumes, whole grains and fruit. You can still be flexible and let them eat a little bit of everything every once in a while.”

Still, some parents aren’t interested in plant-based or “felixitarian” philosophies.

Joanna Draus, a mother of three in Catalonia, Spain, and author of “Your Vegan Kid,” was living in Warsaw when she turned to a meatless diet. She said her interest in a meat-free lifestyle started in the 1990s. And as the years passed, she raised her daughter vegetarian as well. By 2004, Draus went full vegan and decided to raise her twin boys, born in 2007, the same way.

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“I’ve realized that veganism is not only a more ethical choice but also a much healthier one,” Draus said.

Raising vegan kids isn’t easy, one mom says

Unfortunately, this mom said that raising vegan kids wasn’t easy, citing societal pressure and limited food options at school. Plus, she complained that her doctors in Poland didn’t always encourage her choice in the 1990s. Still, she says things got better as the years passed.

“What happened in the 2010s is that more and more people started to understand the meaning of the word ‘vegan,’ ” Draus said. “I was lucky to find a very good and experienced pediatrician in Barcelona. She had no idea about veganism, but was supportive and open-minded. When she met my sons, the first vegan patient she ever had, she only asked me if I knew what I was doing and how to provide them with adequate amounts of calcium and protein — those two were, and still are, perceived as hard to get on a vegan diet.”

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Draus says things have gotten even easier in recent years. “There are many resources and the public perception has shifted, from thinking that vegans are weirdos to looking at us with respect,” she said.

After all these years, she’s glad she stuck with it. “I believe raising your children vegan benefits them in many ways. I can see it in my twin sons who have been vegan all their life,” she said. “These days, my children are influencing their friends.”

Since Rose uploaded her video with Oak last month, she has posted a number of TikTok videos in response to her many online questions and critiques.

One video featured Rose responding to a question about whether babies need calcium from milk products. In the post, she dances under the text: “There’s just as much if not more calcium … in most plant based milks.” In response to the comment, “Bro They can die if they don’t eat meat,” she danced under the simple caption “This is … not true.” She even posted a video referencing the recent study from Poland and another recommending plant-based protein sources.

But it seems Rose isn’t opposed to her daughter straying from the vegan lifestyle one day. In yet another video, she responds to a comment from a TikTok user: “would you support her if one day she asked for meat?” Much like her original post, Rose holds her daughter as she dances and smiles under her message: “As soon as she is old enough to understand where it comes from … She can decide for herself.”

When asked, Rose says she still feels just as strongly about raising her daughter vegan. “I don’t let people’s opinions sway me on things like this,” she said. “It’s something that’s really important to me and getting hate doesn’t change anything about that.”

Whole Grains Health

Protein Variety and Heart Health Are Linked, Study Finds

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We’ve all found ourselves in the habit of eating the same three things over and over (…and over) again. When life gets busy, falling back on simple dishes that satisfy your tastebuds is the natural thing to do. But if you’re cooking up the same couple proteins on the regular, a new study published in the the journal Hypertension suggests that it may be time to introduce a few new varieties into your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

The study pulled existing data from over 12,000 participants who took part in a minimum of two rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Researchers sought to explore the relationship between hypertension—or high blood pressure—and the variety and quantity of proteins from eight major dietary sources consumed by participants. (Study participants were an average age of 41 years old.)

Researchers measured protein intake by looking at three consecutive days of eating, scoring each round based on the number of protein varieties consumed (including legumes, fish, eggs, whole grains, refined grains, processed and unprocessed red meat, and poultry).

The results? “Among ‘just the right amount’ consumers of protein, those eating the greatest variety of protein had a the lowest blood pressure,” explains John Higgins, MD, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the UT Health Science Center at Houston. Notably, those who ate the least and the most amount of protein were at the greatest risk for developing high blood pressure, while those who ate the greatest variety of protein were 66 percent less likely to end up developing hypertension between the rounds of the survey .

“The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.” — Xianhui Qin, MD, study author

Although the survey results sound complicated—and, hey, they were—the takeaway is simple: “The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure,” Xianhui Qin, MD, the study author, said in a press release. In other words: Mix it up! Spin the protein wheel of fortune and try something new.

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If you’re not quite sure where to start with upping your protein game, Dr. Higgins recommends looking at your consumption on a daily basis. “The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than about 5.5 ounces of protein daily, about one to two servings, from healthy sources such as plants, seafood, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and some lean meats and poultry,” he says. “The best proteins are lean proteins including beans, soy or tofu, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid proteins that say ‘hydrogenated’ on label or contain high levels of trans fats or saturated fats. “

Of course, there’s always room in your eating plan for less nutritional proteins, too—just try to incorporate these lean sources when you can, and ask your doctor if you have questions about what dietary habits are right for your particular health status and family history .

A delicious way to eat more varied proteins? This delicious quiche recipe:

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The 10 Best Diet Books in 2022

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Staff, Courtesy of Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky

The word “diet” has earned itself an undeniably negative reputation, often leading people to think of unsustainable restriction and unhealthy fads. However, if you’re looking to adjust your way of eating, whether you want to feel better, lose weight, or hit a new personal record, there are tons of great diet books out there that can help educate you on ways to improve your nutrition and get you feeling better than ever.

While the diets of the past have focused on restriction, newer ways of eating encouragement consuming more good-for-you foods to crowd out less healthy choices, leaving you feeling satisfied, not deprived. These diet books are also super educational, teaching you why you should eat certain foods, what they can do for your health, and the best ways to make them delicious. To help you on your nutrition journey, we’ve gathered the best diet books and healthy cookbooks available today.

Best Diet Books

    How to Choose a Diet Book

    If you’re looking to switch up your diet, the first thing you should ask yourself is why. What exactly do you want out of a diet?

    Second, consider your lifestyle. Do you need meals that are quick and easy? Do you like to take an hour or two to cook for yourself every night? How often can you grocery shop for fresh ingredients?

    Finally, consider whether you’re looking specifically for a cookbook or one that will provide you education on a particular way of eating without necessarily giving you recipes. While many cookbooks will have some content that discusses the origins of food and their nutritional benefits, these books are unlikely to go as in-depth regarding nutrition as less recipe-focused ones.

    How We Selected

    To find the best diet books among the many options on the market, we researched the most popular books available and considered their content, credibility, design, digestibility, and organization. We then looked at both expert reviews and more than 105,000 customer ratings, written by people who’ve bought these books on Amazon, to settle on the diet books you’ll find below.

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    1

    Best vegetarian

    How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    This is a great all-around cookbook, but it’s an especially great buy if you’re trying to lay off meat. This book contains everything from specific meal recipes to instructions for steaming veggies, truly teaching you how to cook from start to finish. There are recipes for every meal, as well as snacks and desserts, and it includes instructions for so many different dishes you could easily cook from only this book for an entire year and not get bored.

    2

    Best for Longevity

    The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

    This cookbook highlights recipes from specific areas across the globe—called blue zones—where people live the longest. While some of their longevity surely comes from other lifestyle factors, there’s no discounting the role diet plays in their long-lasting health and wellbeing. These recipes not only focus on ingredients, but the ways in which foods are prepared and how that relates to their overall nutritional value.

    The goal of the book is to increase longevity and quality of life while creating delicious recipes that you’ll want to eat time and time again.

    3

    Best Mediterranean

    The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

    The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It’s full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and tons of vegetables, providing a well-rounded, nutritious way of eating.

    This cookbook not only has 500 great Mediterranean recipes, but it also helps you learn which ingredients you should make staples in your grocery list. It also uses only ingredients that you can easily find at standard grocery stores, which makes the Mediterranean diet more accessible.

    4

    Best for Runners

    run fast eat slow

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”—and to some degree, the same holds true for personal records. While nutritious food won’t necessarily knock 30 seconds off your mile time, it can help you fuel your workouts so you get the most out of your training.

    This book was designed by Olympian Shalane Flanagan and is packed with recipes designed to help runners fuel their toughest workouts and recover after. As a bonus, the recipes included in this book just so happen to be delicious, too.

    5

    Best Vegan

    The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook

    When first going vegan, it can be difficult to figure out how to make food that is both delicious and nutritious. This book has 500 recipes ranging from meals to snacks to desserts that use entirely plant-based ingredients. These recipes also offer alternate ingredient options, like eggs and dairy, which is great if you want to add more plant-based recipes into your diet, but aren’t ready to dive headfirst into veganism.

    6

    Best for a full reset

    The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    If you’ve been diet-hopping in hopes of finding a meal plan that can help you commit to a healthier lifestyle and enjoy some weight loss, Whole 30 is a great choice. It has you cut out sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and some other specific foods for 30 days. The idea behind the diet is that it helps jumpstart weight loss while simultaneously getting you to reassess how you think about what you are eating to reach a place of freedom with your food.

    7

    Best for weight loss

    The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

    If weight loss is your goal, and you have struggled to find lasting success, this book could be a game-changer. It dives into the science of weight loss, helping you understand hormones, insulin resistance, and other reasons for weight gain. The book recommends intermittent fasting and a low-carb diet, and guides you on how to do them correctly, efficiently, and in the long term.

    8th

    Best for Learning about Food

    How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

    A lot of eating plans focus on what you should eliminate from your diet, but this book places more importance on what you should be adding to your diet and why.

    It discusses foods that are scientifically proven to help you live a longer, healthier life, and the many ways in which food can help prevent disease. It focuses on whole body health—including both mental and physical health—and teaches you to focus on more than just weight and physical appearance when it comes to your food.

    9

    Best for Anti-Dieters

    Not a Diet Book: Take Control. Gain Confidence. ChangeYourLife.

    The rise of anti-diet culture gave inspiration to this book, which helps you improve your relationship with food, tackle weight loss, and debunk fad diets to find a simple and easy way to lose weight and create habits that will keep the pounds from coming back. This book will help you build skills that enable you to live a happier, healthier life without focusing too closely on calories or numbers on a scale.

    10

    Best for fasting

    Complete Guide to Fasting

    Fasting has gained popularity over the last decade and can be a great way to boost your metabolism, clear your mind, and promote weight loss. There are, however, rules you should follow while fasting so that you improve your health rather than endangering it. This book will guide you through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting to ensure you choose the style that will work best for you and do it correctly.


    Before joining Runner’s World as an Editor in 2019, Gabrielle Hondorp spent 6 years in running retail (she has tested top gear from shoes, to watches, to rain jackets which has expanded her expertise—and her closets); she specializes in health and wellness, and is an expert on running gear from head-to-toe.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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Eating different kinds of protein protects against hypertension: New study

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Despite all this talk that more Australians are toying with vegetarianism, and despite the endless drum-beating about red meat giving you cancer and a dodgy heart, we continue to have one of the world’s highest levels of meat consumption.

Analysis published in December found Australians eat about 95 kilograms of meat per capita every year. The global average is 35 kilograms.

The article, ‘The Evolution of Urban Australian Meat-Eating Practices’, argues our meat-eating habits are driven by a blocky culture, an association with social status, a perception that plant-based diets are inadequate and lame, and ignorance about cooking legumes and tofu.

On the other hand, the authors point to a survey that found almost 20 per cent of those sampled “identified as meat-reducers”.

Furthermore, the authors say, 87 percent “of the meat reducer segment reported consuming a meat-free dish as their main meal at least once a week”.

They point to another survey that found almost 20 per cent described themselves as “flexitarian”, which is cool.

But it may not translate to more lentils, nuts, whole grains, fish and dairy hitting the dinner table as new favorite sources of protein.

A new study found why we need variety

Chinese researchers found that “eating protein from a greater variety of sources is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure”.

Good to know because blood pressure is literally out of control in Australia.

One in three adults – more than six million Australians – has high blood pressure.

Of those afflicted, only 32 per cent have their hypertension under control. That leaves about four million Australians as ticking time bombs.

In December, in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Alta Schutte, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UNSW Sydney, called for a national taskforce to tackle the issue.

By improving the control of hypertension, the risks of coronary heart disease, dementia and cerebrovascular disease will be substantially reduced.

The Chinese study suggests changing your diet will go some way to solving the problem.

the study

“Nutrition may be an easily accessible and effective measure to fight against hypertension. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is one of the three basic macronutrients,” said study author Dr Xianhui Qin, of the National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Disease at Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China.

The study authors analyzed health information for nearly 12,200 adults (average age 41), who had taken part in multiple rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey from 1997 to 2015.

Over three days in the same week, participants shared what they had eaten.

They were given a protein “variety score” based on the different sources of protein they’d eaten: whole grains, refined grains, processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, egg and legumes.

One point was given for each source of protein, with a maximum variety score of 8. The researchers then evaluated the association for new onset hypertension in relation to the protein variety score.

New-onset hypertension was defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg, the use of blood pressure-lowering medicine, or self-reporting that a physician had diagnosed high blood pressure.

The average follow-up time was six years.

The results

More than 35 per cent of the participants developed new-onset high hypertension during the follow-up.

Compared to participants with the lowest variety score for protein intake (1), those with the highest variety score (4 or higher) had a 66 per cent lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

The amount of protein eaten was also a factor. Consumption was divided into five categories, from least to most intake.

The researchers found that “people who ate the least amount of total protein and those who ate most protein had the highest risk for new onset of hypertension”.

The researchers didn’t ask why a variety of proteins was more healthy. But nutritionists, doctors and health writers have banged on about it for years.

Lean red meat is high in quality protein but provides no fiber or healthy fats. Processed meats are high in saturated fats and salt and are the worst.

Fish is high in long-chain fatty acids, which are good for the brain. Lentils and whole grains are high in fibre.

Hand on heart, a bit of each during the week might stop you from carking it in the street. Which is just undignified and unmanly.

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