Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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If I quit meat will I lose weight?

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This article was ALL OVER my twitter feed last week. I couldn’t help but wonder how much truth the headline “To shed pounds, going vegetarian or vegan may help” contained. You know, I have no doubt that it may help. I also have no doubt that it may not help, and that it may not be the only option.

The article states that the study (meta-analysis) concluded that following a vegetarian or vegan diet lead to greater weight loss than following an “average American diet”. At which point I was like “are you kidding me?!!“. Of course following a prescribed vegetarian or vegan diet is going to lead to more weight loss than a terrible diet consisting of heavily processed foods and few vegetables (aka the “average American diet”)! Especially when you’re only looking at the results over the course of the study. We all know that it’s easier to lose weight than it is to keep it off.

I was also left wondering how the authors decided which studies to include in their meta-analysis. There were only 12 studies used and I can’t imagine that there were only 12 studies that met their inclusion criteria. Is it possible that they were “cherry picking”? Someone want to do some pubmed searching and let me know? I don’t really have time for that so I suppose I’ll let them slide on that count and just leave the suggestion out there.

The authors themselves state that at most, the studies lasted for 18 months and it did appear that weight loss on these vegetarian and vegan diets was often not sustained over time. Therefore, while it’s possible that people will initially lose weight on vegetarian and vegan diets they may not keep the weight off over time. This may be due to reverting to normal dietary intake or to increasing consumption upon conclusion of study participation.

While this article tells us that at least 12 studies have shown vegetarian and vegan diets to be effective methods of short-term weight loss it doesn’t tell us if other diets are any more or less effective. There was no comparison made between low carb, high fat, high protein, calorie counting, mindful eating, or any of the kazillion diets that people undertake to lose weight. Perhaps there is an equally, if not more effective way to lose weight. As everyone is different, I would hazard a guess that, while going veg might help one person to lose weight it might not help another. Don’t feel that you have to give-up roast chicken to lose weight, and don’t be discouraged if you give-up meat and don’t see a change on the scale. There are many factors that contribute to weight loss, the consumption of animal products may or may not be one in your case.


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Follow Friday: the truth about raw almonds

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com

If you’re like me, you assumed that raw nuts were indeed raw. Well, when it comes to California almonds at least, we were wrong. These “raw” almonds are actually pasteurized at 165F, hardly raw. Check out this interesting article in The Salt for the complete low-down on so-called raw almonds.


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Follow Friday: Food sharing

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Apparently the Germans (besides having the best soccer team) are also leading the world in food waste innovations. Last week I shared the new package-less supermarket, this week the food sharing website.

I learned about this site from the NPR blog The Salt where they shared a little bit about the premise and its development.

Essentially, it’s like freecycle for food. You sign-up; then you can post food to share, get food from others, or meet people and share a meal with them. The idea is based on the fact that we waste a lot  of perfectly good food, and about half of that waste comes from households. You buy a cabbage but only use a quarter of it for a recipe or you’re going away and have perishables in your fridge or you buy a new cereal and you hate it. Instead of just throwing away, or composting, your perfectly edible excess food, now you can give it away through the website. Very cool.