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Thread: Vegetarian diet 'weakens bones'

  1. #31
    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
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    I take a multivitamin and 3 fish oil tablets every day; sometimes also calcium supplements if I'm not sure I had enough dairy that day, but I do eat/drink a lot of the stuff. I space the multivitamin and the calcium tablets though, because calcium inhibits the absorption of iron from non-meat sources - I'll generally take the calcium supps before bed. I would do that even if I weren't a pollotarian (yup, the word for someone who doesn't eat meat except for poultry... I would eat fish too except that, apart from squid, I don't like it!). I figure that at worst, it does nothing and I'm wasting a few bucks. However, it's probably supplementing my diet at least slightly, which can't be a bad thing.

    I also get loads of iron from non-meat sources, eg tofu and beans and there is still some in poultry, just not as much as in red meat. I also take the pill with infrequent placebo weeks, meaning that I only have 4 periods a year... that would help too, because I don't lose as much blood as most women of reproductive age.

  2. #32
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    My mother (75) has taken calcium supplements since her hysterectomy when she was 40 and her bone density tests are perfect. She also takes a lot of care with her diet and gets plenty of vitamins and minerals from that too. Last month she fell off a step ladder and had her bones not been so good she would almost certainly have broken her ankle, hip and shoulder and most likely would have been an invalid for the rest of her life. It was certainly a wakeup call for me to increase my calcium.
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  3. #33
    Gold Member powerorchid's Avatar
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    I've also been looking for ways to increase calcium because I don't drink a lot of milk (love cheese, butter and cream though!)

    A great way I have discovered is to is by making a huge pot of chicken stock each week, it has lots of calcium from the bones. Then I freeze it in cup sized portions, I add it to so many things, use it in my rice cooker when I make rice, it's a great base for soups, casseroles, as the broth for 2 minute noodles and I even add it to pasta sauce.

    If you let the bones rest for 1/2 hour before you start to cook it with a dash of vinegar it helps to draw more even calcium out of the bones.

    I make it with 2 x chicken carcass, I also grab a pack of chicken feet (the gelatin that comes out of the feet aids digestion.) 1 onion, a couple of sticks of celery and 1 carrot. I simmer it for 6 hours.

  4. #34
    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    If you eat a lot of dairy for the calcium, you end up shooting yourself in the foot, because you also end up eating a lot of protein. This causes your bones to leach calcium through your urine. It is one of the reasons that industrialized countries with high rates of dairy intake also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

    I don't know if anyone is interested in this little tidbit, but the World Health Organization's daily RDA for calcium is only around 500mg. In North America, the RDA is 1200mg. The reason it is so much higher, because they are trying to offset the fact that we overeat protein in great amounts.

    Brittle bones are caused primarily by too much protein and not too little calcium.

    If you want to increase your calcium intake, try to choose calcium sources that don't have a lot of protein. Usable calcium is readily available in so many foods - leafy greens [the darker green the better], okra, broccoli, bok choy, corn tortillas, dried beans [especially pinto beans], figs, blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, almonds, etc. Even green beans and potatoes have a little calcium!

    It also helps to eliminate or cut way down on cola-type sodas which are high in phosphorous and also pull calcium from the bones. I think caffeine contributes to calcium depletion too, but I'm not sure to what extent. I don't think a cup of coffee a day hurts too much [at least, I hope not! ]. Smoking is bad too, for more than one reason.

    Another very important factor in healthy bones is weight-bearing exercise. Something as simple as going for a walk every day is helpful [I've heard this is also good for lowering your risk for breast cancer!]. Walk up the stairs instead of using an elevator. Lift heavy items yourself instead of getting someone else to do it for you. Just be as active as you can during the course of the day [this will also give you more energy overall]. I also highly recommend strength training. It's addictive and you look great!

    Final note: please notice that nowhere in this post did I tell anyone not to eat meat or dairy. So I hope everyone reads this info without feeling defensive. This is just meant to give you more options.

  5. #35
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    BMD correlates well with BMI, the heavier you are, the denser your bones. Veg*ns tend to have lower BMIs thus their BMD is lower. But there is no evidence of increased risks of fractures or osteoporosis or impaired D/calcium status.

    It is not difficult to eat well when omitting animals and animal products. The new 2009 ADA position statement on veg*nism is highly positive, with an expanded section on lower cancer risks, among other things (lower diabetes risk, lower CHD risk, lower risk of overweight/obesity, etc.).

    The only supps I take are B12 and D.

    If you are going to look for excuses as to why you should continue to eat animals this is not one you should use. You eat them because you like the way they taste, not because they make you healthier.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by marina View Post
    If you are going to look for excuses as to why you should continue to eat animals this is not one you should use. You eat them because you like the way they taste, not because they make you healthier.
    very true. and i have no trouble admitting that.
    to me, culture and food are very closely linked. i love to travel, and part of that includes tasting the food in other places. food is a pleasure, cooking is an art form, and i just can't think of restricting that to exclude all animal products. i can't think of going anywhere in the mediterranean and not enjoying the wonderful seafood and fish, or going to france and not having cheese and raw oysters and duck or, having lived in switzerland for years, i can't imagine not having enjoyed all the wonderful cheeses and milk and dairy and chocolate.
    food to me is about culture, sensuality, taste... you might not 'need' a lot of it, including animal products, but to me anyway life would be very sad if it was limited to only the things we 'need' to survive.
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  7. #37
    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    Meat was banned from my kitchen 14 years ago,when father and kids went vegetarians.
    I had trouble to cook for them,but i ve learned over the years to create dishes both healthy and tasty.
    I love cooking,it relaxes me.
    So,i fell ill lately and both my doctors told me my vegetarian days are over.
    I am to have meat twice a week for my bones and muscles.
    I dont do it often,cause they hate the smell and i dont like to cook for me only.
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  8. #38
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    I've been a vegetarian for over 10 years, and I am perfectly healthy (as my blood tests confirm.)

    I will never eat meat again. I would consider myself cruel & selfish by eating meat after learning about the cruel and inhumane ways the meat industry treats and slaughters their animals. Factory farms are nothing more than huge prisons, full of drugged-up, sickly animals who have little room to move and suffer through out their miserable, short existences before they are inhumanely slaughtered for profit. I have absolutely no desire to enrich an industry that has no regard for life, and contributes greatly to global warming and antibiotic-resistant diseases (70% of antibiotics in this country are used in animal feed to compensate for poor sanitation and cramped conditions).

    I don't think the average meat-eaters diet can be considered healthier than that of vegetarians, given that most are consuming large quantities of red meat and overly-processed food that is bad for you.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    very true. and i have no trouble admitting that.
    to me, culture and food are very closely linked. i love to travel, and part of that includes tasting the food in other places. food is a pleasure, cooking is an art form, and i just can't think of restricting that to exclude all animal products. i can't think of going anywhere in the mediterranean and not enjoying the wonderful seafood and fish, or going to france and not having cheese and raw oysters and duck or, having lived in switzerland for years, i can't imagine not having enjoyed all the wonderful cheeses and milk and dairy and chocolate.
    food to me is about culture, sensuality, taste... you might not 'need' a lot of it, including animal products, but to me anyway life would be very sad if it was limited to only the things we 'need' to survive.
    I do agree with you that food is intragal part of a lot of cultures - and your experiences are similar to mine. Plus there is nothing like chatting with locals or friends over a meal.

    Quote Originally Posted by effie2 View Post
    Meat was banned from my kitchen 14 years ago,when father and kids went vegetarians.
    I had trouble to cook for them,but i ve learned over the years to create dishes both healthy and tasty.
    I love cooking,it relaxes me.
    So,i fell ill lately and both my doctors told me my vegetarian days are over.
    I am to have meat twice a week for my bones and muscles.

    I dont do it often,cause they hate the smell and i dont like to cook for me only.
    We're omnivores, we benefit from a little of everything. Interestingly a number of my previously veggie friends are now meat-eaters. NOt every meal, and selective about the meat that they do eat, but meat eaters none-the-less.
    As some one who has had an early menopause, I am very concerned over my bone health - I eat foods that are either high in calcium or help calicium absorbtion...
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  10. #40
    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aabbcc View Post
    If you eat a lot of dairy for the calcium, you end up shooting yourself in the foot, because you also end up eating a lot of protein. This causes your bones to leach calcium through your urine. It is one of the reasons that industrialized countries with high rates of dairy intake also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

    I don't know if anyone is interested in this little tidbit, but the World Health Organization's daily RDA for calcium is only around 500mg. In North America, the RDA is 1200mg. The reason it is so much higher, because they are trying to offset the fact that we overeat protein in great amounts.

    Brittle bones are caused primarily by too much protein and not too little calcium.

    If you want to increase your calcium intake, try to choose calcium sources that don't have a lot of protein. Usable calcium is readily available in so many foods - leafy greens [the darker green the better], okra, broccoli, bok choy, corn tortillas, dried beans [especially pinto beans], figs, blackstrap molasses, sesame seeds, almonds, etc. Even green beans and potatoes have a little calcium!

    It also helps to eliminate or cut way down on cola-type sodas which are high in phosphorous and also pull calcium from the bones. I think caffeine contributes to calcium depletion too, but I'm not sure to what extent. I don't think a cup of coffee a day hurts too much [at least, I hope not! ]. Smoking is bad too, for more than one reason.

    Another very important factor in healthy bones is weight-bearing exercise. Something as simple as going for a walk every day is helpful [I've heard this is also good for lowering your risk for breast cancer!]. Walk up the stairs instead of using an elevator. Lift heavy items yourself instead of getting someone else to do it for you. Just be as active as you can during the course of the day [this will also give you more energy overall]. I also highly recommend strength training. It's addictive and you look great!

    Final note: please notice that nowhere in this post did I tell anyone not to eat meat or dairy. So I hope everyone reads this info without feeling defensive. This is just meant to give you more options.
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by effie2 View Post
    Meat was banned from my kitchen 14 years ago,when f
    So,i fell ill lately and both my doctors told me my vegetarian days are over.
    I am to have meat twice a week for my bones and muscles.
    They are apparently unfamiliar with the literature. You can read it yourself if you wish. Net calcium balance is far more important than calcium intake and there is absolutely no reason why you must eat animals for a healthy net calcium balance or healthy muscles. I'd find another doctor.

    Vegetarian Diets

    and this is on net renal acid production: far more important than calcium intake. Less calcium is needed when acid production is lower, i.e. fewer meats and grains. Eat more vegetables.

    Estimation of the net acid load of the diet of ancestral preagricultural Homo sapiens and their hominid ancestors -- Sebastian et al. 76 (6): 1308 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

  12. #42
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    Maybe she has other health issues that merit this? Her doctor will know this because s/he has her medical history.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by aabbcc View Post
    My vegan diet also keeps my genetic disposition to poor circulation in check so that in a few years I don't have to worry about having a leg or a foot amputated like many members of my family.
    I am VERY interested in hearing about diet and circulation. I am a lacto-vegetarian (and some eggs, like I won't eat an omlet or any egg that's obvious but I don't get too concerned if I eat a piece of cake that was baked with eggs). A year ago I had a blood clot in my leg (likely from the pill and genetics). Since then I've lost about 75 lbs and move more to prevent another clot. However, circulation is always going to be a concern. Is there anything specific you'd recommend? Like with arthritis, I know my mother helps control hers by cutting back on foods that specifically cause inflamation such as nightshades.

    More on topic - I have grown up vegetarian and know MANY healthy vegetarians who don't have to put a huge amount of time into being that way. I don't think being a healthy vegetarian takes any more planning than being a healthy eater regardless of whether meat is involved.

    I think the idea that it takes a huge amount of planning and effort is just because it's takes forming a new habit to think about it for each meal. For me, it's the norm because I wouldn't ever consider eating meat, so it's nearly effortless. Whenever I go out to eat with people who aren't used to being around vegetarians they always think that we have to go to some special restaurant, or that I need to call ahead and check. Neither is true. Vegetarians can eat at almost any restaurant, there is always something vegetarian on the menu, usually multiple options. It is harder for vegans but still possible, unless the restaurant is completely unwilling to work with the customer, leave something off the dish etc.

    I also know many vegans who are healthy, including two vegan women between 55-65 who have had regular bone-density checks and whose bones are in perfect shape.

  14. #44
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    Those who can see right through this propaganda know that of course, vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters. It's a big ass duh.

    No, eating fat, polluted carcasses is HEALTHY. About as healthy as eating road kills. With ketchup and mayonaise.
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  15. #45
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    We all have different bodies and need different diets.

    I was vegetarian for 5 years, didn't suit me at all and I just simply need meat. I try to eat game and organic meat as much as possible.

    I try to leave the dairy out as much as possible, it does not suit me.
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