Oil-free Plant Milks in New Zealand

Last updated: 18 April 2017


This list includes plants milk that:

  • contain no oil
  • Additionally: contain no coconut products (because typically from extracted high-fat cream) and no lecithin (which is a pure extracted fat).
  • are suitable for vegans (no ingredients of animal origin)
    Note: I’ve only formally checked the suitability for vegans for Vitasoy so far, only (too) quickly the other brands. Double-check in doubt.

It is relevant for people following a low-fat (incl. oil-free) whole-food plant-based diet.


Table of contents
PART 1 – Oil-free vegan plant milks (soy, oat, almond, rice, macademia)
PART 2 – List of Confirmed Non-Suitable Plant Milks
TODO


PART 1 – Oil-free vegan plant milks

OIL-FREE SOY MILKS

OIL-FREE OAT MILKS

OIL-FREE ALMOND MILKS

OIL-FREE RICE MILK

None at the moment.

OIL-FREE MACADEMIA MILK

PART 2 – List of Confirmed Non-Suitable Plant Milks

Vitasoy Soy Milk Original: contains oil
Vitasoy Almond Milk Original: contains lecithin
Vitasoy Almond Milk Unsweetened: contains lecithin.
Vitasoy Rice Milk Long Life: Contains oil.
Vitasoy Rice Milk High Protein Long Life: Contains oil.

Macro Organic Soy Milk: contains oil
Macro Organic Rice Milk: contains oil

Signature Range Rice Milk Organic: contains oil
Signature Range Organic Soy Milk: contains oil

 

Pure Harvest Soy Unsweetened Malt-Free: contains oil
Pure Harvest Soy No Added Cane Sugar Original : contains oil
Pure Harvest Soy Unsweetened: contains oil
Pure Harvest Oat Unsweetened: contains oil
Pure Harvest Rice Unsweetened: contains oil

Sanitarium So Good Soymilk Unsweetened: contains oil
Sanitarium So Good Soymilk Regular: contains oil
Sanitarium So Good Soymilk Lite: contains oil + mono and di-glycerides (471)
Sanitarium So Good Essential Enriched Soy Milk: contains oil + mono and di-glycerides (471)
Sanitarium So Good Soy Milk Vanilla Bliss: contains oil
Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk Unsweetened: Contains lecithin.
Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk Original: contains lecithin
Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk Vanilla: contains lecithin

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original: contains lecithin
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Chocolate: contains lecithin
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Barista: contains oil and lecithin
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (Unsweetened) : contains lecithin
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Cashew: contains lecithin
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla: contains lecithin

Pam’s Regular Soy Milk: contains oil
Pam’s Regular Soy Milk Lite: contains oil
Pam’s Almond Milk Original: contains lecithin (322)
Pam’s Almond Milk Unsweetened: contains lecithin (322)

Australia’s Own Organic Soy Milk: contains oil
Australia’s Own Organic Rice Milk: contains oil
Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk: contains oil

Imagine Rice Dream Rice Milk Original Enriched: contains oil

Freedom Foods Original Whole Bean Soy Milk: contains oil.
Freedom Foods Extra Milky Soy Milk: contains oil.
Freedom Foods Rice Milk: contains oil.

TODO (plant milks to be checked)

  • Vitasoy Café for Barista Almonds (waiting for reply from Vitasoy)

What milks have I forgotten? => Please share in comments.

Whole-Food Plant-Based Potlucks – Requirements & FAQ

This is for WFPB potlucks in Wellington, New Zealand, organized by Whole-Food Plant-Based Kiwis.

What should I bring?

If you’re not familiar with low-fat, whole-food plant-based (WFPB) eating, and/or never attended the potlucks before, just pick a recipe here and stick to the instructions, it will be perfect 😉

What kind of food do you consider “healthy”?

We advocate the use of low-fat, whole plant foods (unrefined, unextracted, minimally processed plant foods), with a particular emphasis on:
oil-free and generally low in fat, even whole-food fat (like too many nuts, avocado, etc)
• using sweetness from whole sweet foods (like dried fruit, etc) instead of extracted sugars
• and flavour from whole foods and spices etc. instead of salt* or artificial flavouring.

* Note: All dishes are expected to be salt-free so that those on salt-free diets can enjoy them. HOWEVER, although salt reduction is encouraged, it is not the highest priority and you will not be expected to eat salt-free. We will provide a salt-shaker so everyone can enjoy the food at the salt level that suits them personally.

What is this way of eating based on?

Evidence-based clinical research/practice has shown that this specific type of nutrition prevents/halts/reverses cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, significantly reduces the risk for cancer, other degenerative diseases and a long list of diseases typical of the modern Western diet, which is typically  high in animal products, in fat and processed foods.

More info here:
http://wholefoodsplantbasedhealth.com.au/

I want to make my own recipe: How do I make it WFPB-compliant?

Not sure what food in your pantry is compliant? How to do without oil? How to add sweetness to your dish using whole foods? what to replace salt with? Worry not!

Here’s a practical guide to whole-food alternatives to processed foods:
http://www.youcefbanouni.com/1230/is-this-a-whole-food-a-list-of-whole-food-health-promoting-alternatives/

Note: This can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for people used to processed foods and just starting their transition to whole plant foods, or to cooking at all. So if you want to make it simple for yourself for now as you learn, just pick a recipe here, keep to the instructions and it will be perfect 😉


Must I be vegan, plant-based or WFPB to attend?

It’s a common fear, in practice almost 100% of the people that have been showing up to the potlucks are in the process of a transition to WFPB.

You or your friends do not need to be plant-based nor vegan nor already super healthy to attend. Only the food is expected to be.

It’s important for us to make everyone feel welcomed, and maintain a supportive environment for people at every stage of their transition to whole-food plant-based nutrition.

If you are not sure what foods are vegan and which are not, see the Recipe section for 100%-compliant recipes.

What gear do I need?

Your own plates and cutlery, we kindly encourage not using disposables nor recyclables to avoid generating unnecessary waste/recycling.
Water
Blankets to put on the grass.
• And in case you’re new to New Zealand: a good sunscreen or a large hat and long sleeves!
• Optional: If you have board games or fun things to play in a group, bring just in case. We do like a bit of play on a full stomach 🙂

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More recipes

100% compliant recipes, just keep to the instructions:
http://www.youcefbanouni.com/1492/list-of-low-fat-wfpb-sos-free-recipes/


 

Almost all below are low-fat, 100% whole-food, plant-based, SOS-free (free from sugar, oil, salt) but you may need to “unprocess” or “wholefoodise” some.

Online:
http://www.youcefbanouni.com/wfpb/
https://plantzst.com/indexes/recipe-library/
http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/
Healthy Living with Chef AJ (occasionally high-fat)
http://foodytv.com/healthy-living-chef-aj/

Books:
Unprocessed (Chef AJ)
The Health Promoting Cookbook (Alan Goldhamer)
Bravo Cookbook (Ramses Bravo)
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Can I come and not bring food?

If you want to come to enjoy the food with us but for whatever reason won’t be able to prepare anything, you can come and enjoy the food provided a few conditions:

  • a 10$ contribution that will be given to charity
  • that you let us know at least 2 days before the potluck date, so that we can make sure to bring enough food for everyone.

Who organizes and why?

My name is Youcef Banouni. I run the Whole-Food Plant-Based Kiwis group on a Facebook, a non-profit support group for people seeking to eat in a way that sustainably prevents, stops, and often reverses many diseases of modern Western society.

I have questions!

Read the FAQ first (this article) but if it still doesn’t answer your questions, you’re more than welcome to get in touch with the event organiser.

Calcium Requirements for Vegans Found Lower based on WHO Data

MAIN FINDINGS

Based on data from the WHO (World Health Organization), the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)* of calcium for adults on a fully plant-based diet is 660 mg/day, not 1,000 mg/day as suggested by official recommendations (U.S. & Western Europe) intended for people consuming the Standard Western Diet.
For the (minority of) vegans consuming salt-free diets, the RDI is even lower, at 480mg/day.

Animal protein and sodium (salt) deeply influence calcium losses and calcium balance.

Besides putting unnecessary pressure on calcium intakes, the current official RDI of 1,000mg calcium/day is misguiding people on plant-based diets (even more so with lower salt intakes) to observe calcium intakes that may lead to the typical adverse effects of calcium excess.

Vegans and vegan/plant-based information websites are invited to verify the calculations presented here, and if they agree with the demonstration, update their information to this new RDI of 660mg/day. It is time to quit perpetuating an RDI intended for people consuming 60g+ of animal protein per day.

* Disclaimer: The RDI proposed in the present article is calculated using WHO’s calcium model which accounts for animal protein and sodium. Unfortunately, it is not an official recommendation as it should be. These numbers are not endorsed (yet?) by the WHO nor the FAO.

 

PART 1  – DEMONSTRATION

INTRODUCTION

Many vegans are aware that there are some nutritional precautions they must take, which are specific to their dietary lifestyle. Typically, it is important for everybody in our sanitized world – but in particular for vegans – to take a vitamin B12 supplement or B12-fortified.

However, in the transition to a plant-based diet, it is common for people to bring with them (and perpetuate) a number of carnist nutritional myths, or concerns that are by no means exclusive to plant-based diets. Besides B12, other nutrients of common concern are:  protein, iron, omega-3, or calcium.
It’s important to study evidence and demystify these topics, relieve unnecessary concerns, and help refocus attention where it should really be as far as plant-based health is concerned.

Today, I will cover the one of the least covered of these subjects: Calcium requirements in the context of plant-based nutrition.

To my current knowledge, there exists no calcium RDI formulated anywhere specifically for people on plant-based diets. Yet, the World Health Organization has offered them to us, on a very slightly veiled golden platter, since 1997. How was  something this big ignored and never implemented? It is a mystery to me. Hopefully this article helps correct this.

This is how it started.

 

THE CHALLENGE OF MEETING THE STANDARD WESTERN DIET’S RDI WITH WHOLE PLANT FOODS

Meeting the calcium RDI of 1,00o mg is fairly easy when relying on transformed soy products and/or fortified foods and beverages. As you can see below, as little as 150 g/day of a very common type of tofu would easily meet the RDI of 1000 mg/day, and various combinations might as well.


Per 100g (WARNING: these values may vary, most drastically in transformed and fortified products):
Traditional soy products: Edamame: 63 mg; Tempeh: 96 mg; tofu made only with calcium sulfate: 683 mg; tofu made with nigari and calcium sulfate: 282 mg; silken tofu: 31 mg;
Plant milks: Pacific® fortified oat milk: 146 mg; low-calcium soy milk : 42 mg; Other fortified plant milks: wide range;
Legumes: lentils: 19 mg; chickpeas: 49 mg; black beans: 27 mg;
Other starch/carbs sources: sweet potato: 38 mg; potato: 5 mg; brown rice: 10 mg; whole-wheat pasta: 13 mg; rolled oats: 52 mg.
Green leafy vegetables: raw kale: 150 mg; amaranth leaves: 209 mg; bok choi: 96 mg; mustard greens: 118 mg;
Fruits (per 1 medium piece): orange: 52 mg; apple: 11 mg; bananas: 6 mg;
Fungi: shiitake: 3 mg; white mushroom: 6 mg; oyster mushroom: 3 mg;


Both calcium-fortified foods or transformed soy products rely on calcium salts. Adding calcium salts to whole plant foods is a form of indirect calcium supplementation.

The real challenge appears when for whatever reason you either don’t or seldom eat them, or eat them in small amounts only.

When relying exclusively on unprocessed plant foods – which excludes fortified/processed foods mentioned earlier – it is still possible to meet 1,000 mg. It would however require carefully combining high-calcium foods.

Example of a high-calcium plant-based sample menu (to be completed with other foods to meet caloric needs) using only unprocessed, non-fortified, whole plant foods:
1 cup rolled oats, 2.5 cups of cooked amaranth leaves, 2 large oranges, 2 cups chickpeas.
Total calories: 1160 kcal;
Calcium content: 1038 mg (based on Cronometer/USDA database)

In practice, very few people on plant-based diets, including whole-food plant-based, eat anything like this artificially high-calcium diet.

So, quite naturally, some questions come to mind:

  • Why is the calcium RDI so ridiculously high?!
  • Is there something about a plant-based diet that should reduce the amount calcium we need?
  • Conversely, is there something about the Standard Western Diet that makes the calcium RDI abnormally high?
  • How did mostly plant-based populations throughout the world manage to grow bones and age healthfully on diets with no tofu, no fortification, and likely at far less than 1000 mg of calcium/day?

Answer: They weren’t given health objectives based on observing a majority of overweight and obese people eating the Standard Western Diet.

 

METHOD & RESOURCES FOR DEMONSTRATION

The demonstration below is intentionally done in a detailed, step-by-step manner, and to some extent using slightly less academic language. This is so that anyone wondering where these numbers came from can follow and run the calculations for themselves as verification. I used nothing more than high-school level maths.

Unless stated otherwise, all the calculations are based on the data presented in the WHO (World Health Organization) document “Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition, Second edition” which is free to download. The images below are captured from this document.

The WHO report above supports one of the highest and most conservative RDIs for calcium: that for the U.S.A. and parts of Western Europe.

 

DETAILS OF CAPITAL IMPORTANCE: EFFECT OF ANIMAL PROTEIN AND SODIUM ON CALCIUM BALANCE

According to this report, several factors influence the calcium needs. I learned that animal protein and sodium (= mainly salt) intake play an absolutely major role in the calcium RDIs because both dramatically increase calcium loss.

Ok, so accounting for urine and sweat losses (which includes hair and nails) calcium balance happens either at 840, 600, or 450 mg of calcium per day, depending on different scenarios of low-[animal] protein and/or low-salt.

That is huge! You wouldn’t thinks RDIs would vary so much based on dietary lifestyle.

That really struck me!
I immediately wondered what about no animal protein? Or no salt like we do at home?
What calcium intakes correspond to these?

So I went searching for the numbers on the relationships between sodium/calcium and between animal protein/calcium.

 

IN NUMBERS, HOW DOES SODIUM AND ANIMAL PROTEIN INCREASE CALCIUM EXCRETION?

Effect of animal protein on calcium excretion

Page 79:

Comments:
1 g of protein reduces absorbed calcium by 1 mg
“Low-protein” on the graph meant 20g of animal protein/day.
Cutting further that 20g lowers the straight line of excretion by “20g points” on the vertical axis.

Effect of sodium on calcium excretion

(…)

(…)

For someone who has no salt nor high-sodium foods (i.e.: voluntary SOS-free dietary lifestyles, or very low sodium diets for medical reasons such as kidney diseases) the daily intake is somewhere around 100mg sodium/day (from my personal rough estimations). ~100mg is is negligible compared to 3.45g. To simplify the calculations, we will round that up that to zero sodium.

“Low sodium” on the graph meant 50mmol of sodium (1.15 g sodium, ~3 g salt) which in passing, is below the current limit of 1.5g (sodium) set by the American Heart Association.

100 mmol of sodium takes out 40g of calcium, so 50 mmol takes out 20 mg. Going from “low sodium” to salt-free cuts that 50 mmol of sodium from the diet, which lowers the straight line of excretion by “20 mg points” on the vertical axis.

Total of “no sodium” + “no animal protein” : 20 mg + 20 mg = 40 mg, a reduction in excretion by exactly as much as the previous jumps.

If you’re plant-based with an average salt intake in Western Diets (~9g salt/day in the U.S., NZ, etc.), you’re looking at this:


Now the million dollar question is…what are these “?” values, precisely?
I never liked graphic resolutions of equations because it’s imprecise in a number of ways. So let’s see if we can find some equations. This is where it starts requiring high-school level mathematics. But don’t worry, we will use an online calculator to solve this.

 

EQUATIONS FOR CALCIUM ABSORPTION AND CALCIUM EXCRETION vs. CALCIUM INTAKE


Here they are:
Ca_absorbed = 174 log(Ca_intake) – 909 (note: the log here is a natural log)
Ca_excreted = 0.078.Ca_intake + 137 (note: urine losses only)
Ca_excreted = 0.078.Ca_intake + 197 (note: inclusive of +60mg of “skin” losses – see section 4.4.4 – Insensible losses)

Using x for calcium intake (horizontal axis) and y for calcium absorbed or excreted (vertical axis) the equations are:

For calcium absorption:
y = 174 log(x) – 909

For calcium excretion, we have different scenarios:

Scenarios with animal protein

Average [animal] protein (60g/day) + average sodium (3.45 g sodium/day ~ 8.6 g salt/day) :
y = 0.078 x + 197
Calcium balance equation:
absorption = excretion
174 log(x) – 909  = 0.078x + 197

Low [animal] protein  OR Low sodium => decrease of excreted calcium by 40mg
We take the calcium excretion equation above and remove 40mg:
y = 0.078 x + 197 – 40 which is the same as:
 y = 0.078 x + 157
Calcium balance equation:
174 log(x) – 909  = 0.078x + 157

Low [animal] protein AND Low sodium => further 40mg not excreted
y = 0.078 x + 117
Calcium balance equation:
174 log(x) – 909  = 0.078x + 117

Scenarios with plant-based diets

No [animal] protein AND average sodium=> further 20mg not excreted compared to same with low animal protein
y = 0.078 x + 137
Calcium balance equation:
174 log(x) – 909  = 0.078x + 137

No [animal] protein AND No salt => further 60mg not excreted because no salt: 40 mg for low-sodium + 20 mg for the further elimination of salt.
y = 0.078 x + 77
Calcium balance equation:
174 log(x) – 909  = 0.078x + 77

SOLVING THE EQUATIONS

Throw that into a solver to get the x value (calcium intake) at equilibrium. I could have done that with a scientific calculator, or using the Matlab software, but so that everyone can check for themselves, I used a public, free-of-charge solver: WolframAlpha. Click on the above equations to see them being solved.

Below is the solving of the calcium balance equation for average animal protein and average sodium just to check if we got things right:


Why did we take the lowest solution of the two ? Because any solution above 2,000 mg is not a valid solution because the absorption curve  is valid only from 0 to 2,000 mg.

So it gives me ~840 for the first equation. It’s no surprise, that’s the value in the WHO document, found with the same equations. We’re finding the same result, that’s a good start!

Now, what about “no animal protein”? or that + salt-free?

Scroll up and click on the equations above to see the calcium intakes at equilibrium, it’s the lowest of the two values among the solutions Wolfam finds.

CUSTOMISED CALCIUM INTAKES AT EQUILIBRIUM (OR EAR)

The calcium intakes at calcium balance are the following. They’re basically the solutions to the equations listed in the previous section. Note that by definition these values are the EARs (Estimated Average Intakes). This means the intakes below will meet the needs of 50% of the total population.

Scenarios with animal protein

Average [animal] protein (60 g) + average sodium (3.45 g sodium/day ~ 8.6 g salt/day):
Ca_intake = 840 mg;

Low [animal] protein (20 g) OR Low sodium (1.15 g/day ~3 g salt/day):
Ca_intake = 599 mg;

Low [animal] protein (20 g) AND Low sodium (1.15 g/day ~3 g salt/day):
Ca_intake = 444 mg;

Scenarios with plant-based diets

No [animal] protein AND Average sodium (3.45 g sodium/day ~ 8.6 g salt/day):
Ca_intake = 514 mg !

No [animal] protein AND No Salt
Ca_intake = 336 mg !!!

These intakes would cover the needs of only 50% of people in the respective populations.
How much calcium to meet the needs of almost all the respective populations though? In other words,  what are the RDIs?
That’s what we’re going to find out now.

 

CUSTOMISED CALCIUM RDI VALUES BY DIETARY LIFESTYLE

This is how you get an RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) from the EAR (Estimated Average Requirement) we just calculated.

Page 2:

Do we have the value of the “standard deviation” somewhere ?

Searching, and…Yes we do! The full equation for calcium absorption  had “± 71 (SD)” at the end. Now is the time to use that standard deviation.

Following the above method to determine RDI (which is the same as RNI) from the EARs we get:

SD = 71
2 × SD = 142

RDIs = EAR + 142

Scenarios with animal protein

Average [animal] protein + average sodium (3.45 g sodium/day ~ 8.6 g salt/day):
Calcium RDI = 840 + 142 = 982 mg/day.
With no surprise, that is very close to the official RDI of 1,000 mg.
Official RDI are often rounded up to number easy to remember.

Low [animal] protein (20 g)  OR Low sodium (1.15 g/day ~3 g salt/day):
Calcium RDI = 599 + 142 = 741 mg/day

Low [animal] protein (20 g) AND Low sodium (1.15 g/day ~3 g salt/day):
Calcium RDI = 444 + 142 = 586 mg/day

Scenarios with plant-based diets

No [animal] protein AND average sodium (3.45 g sodium/day ~ 8.6 g salt/day)
Calcium RDI = 514 + 142 = 656 mg/day (~660 mg)

No [animal] protein AND No salt
Calcium RDI = 336 + 142 = 478 mg/day (~480 mg)

 

COMPARISON WITH PUBLISHED SCIENCE ON CALCIUM BALANCE IN PLANT BASED-DIETS

The above calculations based on official WHO models for calcium requirements matches a number of others studies and articles on the lower calcium needs in plant-based nutrition:

  1. October 2007: Calcium Requirements Much Lower Than Previously Estimated, by Dr McDougall.
    In this article Dr. McDougall suggests intakes around 500mg/day are sufficient.
    cites:
    Calcium requirements: new estimations for men and women by cross-sectional statistical analyses of calcium balance data from metabolic studies.
    This study examined calcium balance, sweat losses were ignored because considered negligible after measuring them.
  2. June 2016: Long-Term Low Intake of Dietary Calcium and Fracture Risk in Older Adults With Plant-Based Diet: A Longitudinal Study From the China Health and Nutrition Survey
    This study on lifelong senior vegans in China finds the lowest rates of bone fracture happen in a range of calcium roughly from 250mg – 650 mg all genders considers.
  3. December 2014: How to Get Calcium Without Dairy, by Dr. Thomas Campbell.
    Quote: ” if all of your calories are coming from whole plant foods, including plenty of fruits, greens, beans and other vegetables, you don’t need to think twice about calcium requirements or do any fancy math or milligram counting. You’ll be fine.”
    cites:
    Appleby P, Roddam A, Allen N, Key T. Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;61:1400-6.
    Note: This study suggested that vegans with intake below ~500 mg/day had more bone fractures than carnists. However, in a critique of this study, Dr. McDougall observed that the vegans were younger, healthier (lower BMI) and far more physically active. Although the study tried to adjust for that, “vegans had no hip fractures, compared to 30 in the meat eaters, 9 in the fish eaters, and 14 in the vegetarians (dairy)”. He adds:
    “The observation that the fractures were of the wrist, arm, and ankle, and not the hip, to me, means the fractures were due to trauma caused by physical activity and not due to weakened bones.”

 

CONCLUSION

The WHO/FAO matches with the most conservative and highest calcium RDIs in the world: U.S.A & Western Europe.

Using this model and applying it to plant-based diets and low-sodium diets yielded surprisingly low calcium RDIs. The plant-based calcium RDIs are more easily achievable with little to no thought put into nutrition, provided:

  • a well-planned mostly unprocessed diet (more nutrient-dense, from whole foods) even on its own,
  • and/or a particularly low sodium intake
  • and/or calcium-fortified foods.

This is consistent with observations/suggestions from previous research on calcium intake and health in plant-based populations.

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank one of the people I view as a role model and mentor, the lovely, brilliant and generous Jenny Cameron. Jenny pointed me towards the calcium chapter of the WHO publication when I asked if any official recommendation suggested lower nutrient requirements for people on plant-only nutrition. Now, I and hopefully many other plant-based folks, have a clearer idea what exactly these requirements are – at least according to one of the most official and publicly recognized institutions that publish dietary health guidelines: the World Health Organization (WHO).

PART 2 – DISCUSSION

(still in the process of writing – table of contents below)

RDI-related questions

• What is an RDI worth anyway?
• Factors affecting absorption
• Shouldn’t the RDI depend on body size too?
• Menopausal women (& “Ageing” men)
• Infants, Children & Adolescents

A concern about calcium excess

• Is it harmful to consume 1,000 mg calcium on a plant-based diet?

Improving calcium balance and bone health

• Reducing/cutting animal protein vs. increasing calcium
• Salt Reduction: An additional strategy for osteoporosis & bone fracture prevention?
• Is it relevant for vegans to reduce salt intake?

• Open Questions

Vegan Buttermilk Couscous (Moroccan Saykouk)

Saykook is a very simple and satisfying Moroccan dish. Traditionally it is made with fermented milk (leben) which is basically a plain liquid yogurt. Here I propose a plant-based version of this dish I’ve always loved. I like it even more now 🙂

Note: I do care to post only WFPB recipes. The yogurt here is not a whole food. So I’m posting this exceptional deviation from a conservative WFPB line-up of recipes. I will be looking forward to making a whole-food yogurt and update this recipe 🙂

Vegan Saykouk (Moroccan Yogurt Couscous)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Saykouk is a popular summer dish served in Moroccan cuisine. Here is at last and at least, a vegan version while I work to upgrade this to a low-fat whole-food plant-based version.
Author:
Recipe type: low-fat, whole-food, plant-based, sos-free
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 2 large meals
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of steamed wholemeal couscous (For now, check online how to properly steam couscous, I may post a recipe at some point)
  • 500 mL unsweetened plain soy yogurt (I’m yet to try tempeh yogurt for a more whole-food version)
  • 200 mL water
  • Sourness to taste: 2 Tbsp to 8 tsp lemon juice juice or blended whole lemon equivalent (I like sour so for me it’s 8).
Instructions
  1. Blend the soy yogurt with water and lemon, this is to make the yogurt smooth because it tends to clot.
  2. In a container, pour the steamed couscous. If it is still very hot let it cool first.
  3. Add the soy yogurt/water blend, the lime juice, and mix thoroughly until uniform.
  4. Cover and save in the fridge.
  5. Serve cold. Ideal lunch soon a hot day.
Notes
Because the couscous will absorb a lot of the soy yogurt, feel free to pour more soy yogurt just before serving if you like your dishes to be more saucy.
If you don't want to lemon taste in it, trying leaving the covered dish at room temperature for a while, the lactic fermentation should make the dish more sour, as it is supposed to be.

 

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[Recipe] Garam Masala Spice

Ok, I absolutely love Garam Masala! It’s hasn’t always been that way.

There’s a couple reasons why I make this spice mix at home now as opposed to buying it ready-made:

  • The commercial ones are far too hot for me which completely spoils this amazing spice mix.
  • The commercial ones don’t always taste good, the recipes vary.
  • And toasted spices go rancid/change taste overtime, so by home-making you get better flavour. The commercial ones are almost always ground, and a long time ago.

So let’s get toasting!

[Recipe] Garam Masala Spice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: low-fat, whole-food, plant-based
Cuisine: South Asian, Indian
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon (2-inch or small finger size) OR 1 tbsp ground cinnamon. (x 3 if you're using the weaker-flavoured Ceylon cinnamon)
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 dried red chilli (or chilli powder added to the roasting pan towards the end of roasting to prevent it from burning)
Instructions
When toasting spices, you always want to add the spices in the order of the heaviest/bulkiest to the smallest/thinest.
  1. If you're using cinnamon sticks, set a pan/pot on medium and toast until it starts to be dark brown and fragrant. If using cinnamon powder, we'll add it at the end.
  2. Reduce the heat to between low and medium.
  3. Add the cardamom, dried chili,and the cloves. Toast for a few more minuts. Keep stirring.
  4. Add the peppercorns, toast another minute or two. Keep stirring.
  5. Reduce the heat to low/low-ish.
  6. Add the Coriander seeds, toast for another 1 minute. Keep stirring.
  7. Add the cumin seeds, toast for another 1 minute. Keep stirring.
  8. Add the poppy seeds toast for another 1 minute. Keep stirring.
  9. If using cinnamon powder, this is the time to add it. Toast for another 1 minute. Keep stirring.
  10. Off the heat. Empty the pan in a dry bowl. Let cool a few minutes and grind.
Notes
Toasted spices go rancid. So prepare only in small batches, use fresh, keep the leftover in the sealed container in the fridge and use within 1 month.

This is what you get in the end. Bliss!

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Chana Masala

Chana Masala (Chickpea curry)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I started off with Hema's recipe but found it far too hot and corianderish (seed) for my personal taste. Also simplified greatly the roasting processes. I'm very happy with this recipe now. My ethnically/gastronomically-Indian partner just told me it tasted amazing, and exactly like that Chana Masala we had at that restaurant where we both thought was the best-tasting we've ever had so far in the healthy-food category. So I think my improving this recipe is over and it's time to share it with you 🙂 You'll need to make a trip to the local Indian/Asian shop to do full justice to any Indian cooking including this dish. These are the must-have Indian spices you'll only find in any Indian shops : asofetida & amchur (which is green/unripe mango powder). The rest is usually commonly found even in supermarkets.
Author:
Recipe type: low-fat, whole-food, plant-based
Cuisine: South Asian
Serves: 4~6 adult meals if served with rice
Ingredients
  • 3 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 3 large onions finely chopped
  • 220g of salt-free or low-salt tomato paste concentrate OR 1kg of grated tomatoes (to be reduced later)
  • A few stalks of fresh coriander (5 g)
WHOLE SPICES FOR ROASTING
  • 3 small sticks cinnamon (finger-sized or two inches)
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
OTHER SPICES
  • ¼th tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp grated ginger, densely packed
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 1½ tsp cayenne (OR 1 fresh hot chilli halved lengthwise)
  • 1½ tsp unripe mango powder (look/ask for amchur in any Indian/South Asian shop, do not replace with mango!)
  • 2 Tbsp Garam Masala (or Make your own)
Instructions
  1. Put the soaked chickpeas to cook for 1h30 on medium heat in a regular pot (without a lid) or ~20 minutes in a pressure cooker. Do not stir them. They should be very soft and melt in the mouth when you press them with your tongue. Don't put too much water, ideally you wouldn't need to strain them later.
  2. Put some brown rice to cook as well to go with the Chana Masala later.
  3. Chop the coriander finely.
  4. Prepare the Garam Masala.
  5. Cut the onions finely. To save time, I use a mandoline to slice them, and a chopper (or a knife). Set aside.
  6. If you're using fresh tomatoes, grate them now to a purée. Set aside.
  7. Grate the ginger
  8. On low to medium heat, roast the spices "for roasting" for a few minutes. To prevent burning the the small/thin spices/herbs, put the biggest items first until roasted, then add the the smaller ones, so in this order: Cinnamon, cardamom, then bay leaves & cumin. Stir well, whenever it starts being fragrant and slightly smoking, add the onion immediately.
  9. Set the heat to the maximum and keep stirring the onions "dry". They will give off a lot of steam and start caramelizing.
  10. When the bottom of your pot starts being brown, reduce the heat to medium.
  11. Add either the grated tomatoes, or the tomato paste + ~1 litre of water.
  12. Add the "other spices" and the coriander, stir well and let cook for ~20 minutes. Stir now and then to prevent sticking at the bottom. Turn off the heat when the sauce is rather thick.
  13. Mix gently with the chickpeas. Enjoy!
Notes
Garnish with fresh coriander and slices of purple onion.
Serve either on rice or as a side with chapati (Indian wholemeal flatbread).

 

Health-Promoting Eating: Simple, Powerful Steps and Rules to Actually Do It

This is my ass, at the produce market, or farmers market.


Why am I posting this?

As simple as this may seem, this is a very very important post. It’s true.

If you would really like to eat more healthy food but struggle to actually do it, this is precisely for you. If you live in a “healthy food deserts”, this is also for you.

It will also help anyone seeking to be:
– eating food that leaves animals alone and off the plate
– eating health-promoting food
– any allergy or intolerance to certain foods (low-sodium, gluten-intolerance, wheat allergy, …)

Below, a “health-promoting diet” is interchangeable with a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet.

My story living in food deserts

Three/four years years ago, I lived in a real food desert. It was a high-density neighbourhood with very few even tasty options, let alone healthy…and I didn’t cook. In that country, if you want to eat out all the time, it’s affordable, cheaper than making it yourself, and that’s what *apparently* everybody did. Except for breakfast, I ate only from restaurants and take-aways most of the food I was having. Sort of tried to make the food less harmful asking: “less oil”, “no MSG”, “less syrup”, “less sugar”…but still…but how much less harmful can you make a fried rice? of deep fried banana fritters? or any of the overly oily, salty, sweetened, animal-product-containing foods restaurants make in big batches for the day, when that’s the only options you have in front of you?

So, how to do? How to deal with the situation of wanting to eat a certain way and the reality that almost nowhere convenient/affordable provides that sort of food? It’s a very common complaint, but I (and other people) go on for years, sometimes decades yearning for healthy food, while not actually eating it yet.
Unfortunately, our health and body cares little about how good our intentions are. Restaurants are businesses, their mission #1 is sustainable profit. What are sure-fire ways to do that? Oil/salt/sugar, other processed foods, animals products. Precisely the worst thing for health. Your mission is very different from theirs, it’s sustainable health.

Good news: There are just a few simple but incredibly powerful things to know and practice if you want to actually eat exactly what it is you would like to be eating “ideally”.
There are two approaches:
1) Learning about everything that’s bad, and avoiding bad things. I call it the “negative restriction” approach. It feels like the list of things you can’t have is endless.
2) Learn about getting what is right, and do just that. I call it the positive saturation approach. It feels like the list of healthy things you can have is infinite.

#2 is by far the easiest. Just saturate the terrain with what is right, this leaves no space for anything else.

I break it down in a few key points:

0) What to eat: whole-food, low fat, vegan (notably: no salt, no oil, no sugar) is where best health is. How to actually do it?:
1) Get your ass veggie-shopping
2) Get your ass in the kitchen
3) Outsmart the lazy eating monster that’s in you:
A) No crap in the Temple
B) Think ahead to feed the beast within you, or it will kill you
C) Veggie-shop on a full stomach
D) Eat before joining friends in restaurants
E) Always leave the house with packed food if you’re out over meal time.

1) Get your ass veggie-shopping

What I buy I eat, what I don’t buy stays away from my plate and stomach. As simple as powerful. Many (farmers or produce) markets have a regular weekly schedule. In all cases, make it a habit to grocery shop once a week. And when shopping for dried foods (cereals, grains, legumes, wholemeal pasta, etc..) don’t be shy to buy in bulk and get enough for half a year or several months if you are able to store that conveniently. It won’t go bad and the less frequently you have you “fuel your tank”, the less likely you are to run out of food in your house. Because what happens when the pantry or fridge is empty? We make poor decisions, like ordering a pizza, or driving like mad to our favourite restaurant that will serve us “ethnic-flavoured fat, sugar and salt” to quote the lovely Dr. Klaper.
What we do for fresh produce is buy all the fruit and veggies that we most often use (tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, etc…) + the special ones needed for some meals we already know we want to make. If after that we think of making a certain dish but a few ingredients are missing, we quickly hop by the supermarket to get them.
In our experience, 1 week = 3~4 sessions of batch cooking, it can be fully planned if you wanted to.

2) Get your ass in the kitchen, merrily

What I cook, I have (mostly) full control over what goes in it. But what I buy that is already cooked – like when I eat out – other people made the decisions and I choose from there: poor choice, no control what goes in and how it’s made…
Ahead of time, have an idea what food want to eat. Write it down. Get the recipes.
Prepare food in large batches. From one batch to another, variation can be created by adding various raw foods: raw veggies, salads and fruits, bakes veggies/potatoes take no time to put together. You can also freeze surplus, right after cooking/cooling, not after 6 days in the fridge and you can’t take it any more. Use it when you feel like having something new or for busy/lazy days.
Make it a habit to spend 30 min to 1 hour in the kitchen several times a week.
Make it enjoyable: If you ever feel it’s painful, it’s supposed to be fun/enjoyable and it eventually will become so. Meanwhile, if you feel that time is long, consider these while preparing food: play music, play podcasts, if you have a TV turn on the documentary channel or a fun series, phone someone, request for your partner’s company. Whatever keeps it fun for you and makes time fly while your hands are busy.
Take turns with your flatmates or partner. We do two weeks each.


Tip: For couples that include at least one (pre-menopausal) female, we’d recommend taking turns based on menstrual cycles when possible. This way, whoever is not feeling their best (PMRollercoaster/periods) is off-duty and gets to take a break, while the other one is in a mode to take care of things and people.

For those who feel time-poor, chefs like Chef AJ specialize in recipes that batch cook in less than 30 minuts. Many meals are appealing, it’s not 100% home-made or always sophisticated but it surely works for health, no doubt.

 

3) Outsmart the lazy eating-monster that’s in you (and in me)

A) Out of sight out of mouth
No junk foods in my temples: house, office, wherever I spend time. Because I am like you, if I am hungry (or not), in front of chips or chocolate, I will experience temptation. But what is sitting in the junk food isle of the supermarket is away from sight, away from tempting anyone.
I also saturated a corner of the kitchen with fresh fruits, dried fruits, and an oat bag. It’s the hottest spot in the house, we pass by it all the time. Guess what my snacks are whenever I feel hungry between meals? What you see is what you eat.

Below is the busiest corner in the house. More details on Instagram (click on the picture to see).

B) Always have food ready
Aim to always, and I mean ALWAYS have food that you prepared, ready to be eaten, in the fridge or in the freezer, or some sort of box at reach. The fridge/kitchen/lunchbox is the lazy place, that’s where food comes from. If there’s no food you prepared in it, you’ll either cook while hungry (not fun at all!) or more likely: order a pizza, or eat out somewhere unhealthy or with unsuitable ingredients for the tenth time this month. When you cook, cook in batches, and cook again another batch before you run out. Find yourself one or two 5L (5 liters) pots at second-hand shops if you don’t have any.

Basically, think of ready-to-eat / health-promoting food as you would petrol in your car:

  • There’s always supposed to be some,
  • always more than you need,
  • the more the better.

Below is a pot of 5l of Moroccan-style tabouli, that will last us quite some time! More details on Instagram (click on the picture to see).

C) Make grocery shopping enjoyable
Shop only right after a nice filling meal, life is so much more pleasant when you’re not feeling hangry, you’ll make healthier and more rational purchases too.
Look for ways that condition your shopping trips to be either short, or fun, by any means possible. When you need only key items go with the written list you’ve accumulated on your fridge post-it. On days when it feels like a chore to me, I just ask my partner to come with me. She’s not required for the grocery shopping, but it turns a pain for one person into a nice chatting/bonding moment for two people. Companionship makes everything better.
If you can shop at a place that has only healthy foods, like fresh produce markets, or farmers markets, that’s even better. It’s far more charming and social than supermarkets, and you won’t be as tempted by junk food if that’s an issue for you.

D) Eat before joining friends/colleagues/family in restaurants
Restaurants are no health-food temples. Here are a few things I’ve done in the past that worked for me:

  • Join your friends on a full stomach and order nothing. Depending on the context and people, this might put an unwanted spotlight on you, and might send a “starvation” vibe about the lifestyle you’d love everyone to adopt.
    Just say you had a large snack earlier and you’re still quite full and remind that you’re here to hang out/catch up.
  • On a full stomach, you will get by with the pinch of calories in that “ridiculous salad” that might be the only plant-based item in the menu. At least you’d be eating something, which is more socially acceptable.
  • If you’re expected to eat or want to eat a substantial meal with them, call the restaurant in advance (ideally 24h+ same-day reminder). This way the long process of checking the chef’s skills around healthy cooking and communicating your detailed needs can be done over the phone as opposed to in the restaurant.
  • Feel free to find a restaurant that will cater for your needs, suggest that instead to your mates.

I learned this the hard way. Trying persistently to get healthy food at a random pub/restaurants will most often do two things: 1) predictably drain you while offering bizarre show to your hungry friends or 2) the food you’ll get won’t be as health-promoting as you’d like it to be

E) Always leave the house with packed food and snacks if you’re out over meal times
It’s ridiculously easy to make poor dietary decisions in a healthy food desert. If you’re not sure how long you’re out for, make sure to always have a meal’s worth of food just in case you might feel like staying out. Worst case scenario you’ll eat that when you come back home.
Cold food is something easier to get used to than we may initially think. I find the easiest food to fill up your stomach when out occasionally is muesli and fruit, because it’s super easy to prepare, dry, and only needs water to become edible. Of course if you’re eating out of the house often (i.e. at work) you’ll have to pack proper varied meals.

Below is an example of food we pack with us when going to the movie theatre. More details on Instagram (click on the picture to see). We also use a tiny chilly bin that we load with proper meals, bowls and cutlery.

I hope this was helpful.

Le Véganisme – Attention aux Carences ?

Voila un reportage/documentaire excellent (à 95%) sur la santé, l’alimentation végétalienne, et les nutriments. Je commente en dessous quelques points importants qui manquent à ce reportage.

Commentaires généraux

C’est ironique que tout le monde se soucie des carences des véganes alors qu’une alimentation végétalienne est de plus en plus utilisée comme une des thérapies les plus puissantes au monde. On est censés manger comme ça, forcément qu’on guérit ! C’est comme arrêter de pisser dans son réservoir d’essence, il y a pas de magie.
Le public, consommateurs de protéines animales souffre d’intoxication par ces aliments et de carences en minéraux, vitamines, fibres, et phyto-nutriments. Mais ils sont toujours au rendez-vous, et deviennent spontanément des experts en nutritions, pour se soucier des carences supposément intrinsèques à l’alimentation végétale. Qu’en est-il vraiment ?
Il y a UNE et UNE SEULE carence donc il faut absolument se soucier dans le concept général d’alimentation végétalienne…c’est la vitamine B12, fin de l’histoire.
Pour le reste des carences purement nutritionnelles c’est des carences de gens (omnivore ou pas) qui mangent autre chose que des aliments d’origine végétale non-transformés, c’est à dire qui mangent des aliments relativement pas nutritifs voire toxiques. Il ne faut pas confondre le concept d’alimentation végétale, et les carences qui apparaissent chez des gens qui malbouffent et donc implémentent mal le concept d’alimentation végétale et du coup développent inévitablement des carences, des intoxications, et des maladies qui vont avec.

La B12, parlons-en !

C’est le seul supplément obligatoire pour les véganes. Allez sur les sites d’information pour le dosage, elle coûte quedalle (2€/an pour moi) et peut être prise quotidiennement, une fois par semaine, ou en injection tous les 3 mois je crois (c’est pas pour moi ce truc !). Je prends 2500 mcg une fois par semaine et teste ma B12 tous les 6 mois au départ puis tous les ans depuis que je suis rassuré que le dosage est suffisant sur plusieurs prises de sang.

Beaucoup de consommateurs de viandes et autres sont déficients en vitamine B12 donc c’est important pour eux aussi, mais particulièrement important pour les véganes dont l’alimentation n’en contient pas du tout dans les conditions modernes de vie.
=> ACTION :
Tout le monde mais surtout si végane: Prenez de la B12! Renseignez-vous à ce sujet. Achetez une B12 végane. Testez-là régulièrement: Test sanguin B12 + Test Acide Méthylmalonique (urine ou sang).

Le soja

Le soja ne pose de vrais problèmes (allergie, intolérance, etc) qu’à très peu de personnes en réalité. Les cas à problème sont sur-représentés dans ce reportage. Contrairement au cliché, pas toutes les personnes végétaliennes en sont fans. C’est loin d’être perçu comme un remplacement à la viande, ainsi cette perception persiste chez les non-végétaliens. Le seul remplacement nécéssaire des aliments carnées c’est des aliments végétaux, tout simplement.
On (ma femme et moi) en avons mangé très régulièrement au départ mais on en avait toujours mangé de toute façon vivant en Asie, même avant de ficher la paix aux animaux. On n’en consomme plus désormais, ça reste un aliment transformé. On préfère par souci de qualité nutritionnelle, de prévention, et de santé optimale une alimentation végétale complète (non-transformée). On mange occasionnellement le tempeh, qui contient la graine de soja complète contrairement au tofu qui est un jus de soja gélifié. Avec plusieurs milliers de plantes comestibles (connues) dans le monde, le soja est un aliment parmi d’autres et n’est pas du tout indispensable.
=> ACTION :
Aucune inquiétude à avoir concernant le soja si vous décidez d’en manger régulièrement, à supposer que vous mangez une alimentation végétale faible en aliments gras, *variée*, et principalement constituée d’aliments complets non-transformés.

Calcium, besoin de s’en soucier ?

Le documentaire recommande une eau riche en calcium. Vous me direz l’O.M.S. observe que beaucoup de pays industrialisés ont une consommation de calcium plus faible que…les recommandations officielles. Mais que valent celles-ci justement?

Cet apport jugé trop faible par l’O.M.S est dû à:

  • une quantité de calcium recommandée trop élevée
  • une alimentation transformée trop pauvres en aliments végétaux complets (non-transformés).

Les recommandations sur l’apport quotidien de calcium sont en train d’être revues à la baisse pour tenir compte des études et observations récentes qui sont plus en faveur d’un apport adéquat entre ~200 à 600 mg plutôt que les ~1000 mg actuels, c’est à dire “comme par hasard” ce qu’on consomme naturellement sas se soucier de rien tant qu’on mange une alimentation variée, riche en aliments complets ( =non-transformés) d’origine végétale, et faibles en gras.

Les excès de calcium non-végétal (eau et compléments), fréquents à cause du matraquage de l’industrie laitière au sujet du calcium, sont aussi problématiques, car liés à des taux de fracture plus élevés.

Enfin, une eau riche en calcium n’est pas nécessaire et potentiellement à risque parce qu’elle réduirait l’acidité dans l’estomac (pH plus élevé que la normale acide, vers la neutralisation du pH). L’acidité gastrique naturelle est importante pour absorber les nutriments, minéraux en particuliers.

=> ACTION :
Aucune inquiétude à avoir concernant le calcium, à supposer que vous mangez une alimentation végétale faible en aliments gras, *variée*, et principalement constituée d’aliments complets non-transformés.

Vitamine D

C’est pas un problème de véganes du tout même s’il y a un peu (et pas assez) de vitamine D dans les aliments d’origine animale.
La base de la création de la vitamine D pour tous les mammifères diurnes (qui vivent le jour) c’est une exposition suffisante au soleil.
=> ACTION :
Végetalien•ne•s ou pas, exposez-vous au soleil quand il y en a, avec soin (se couvrir de vêtements ou de crème solaire quand ça tape), et idéalement en prenant du plaisir (sport, ballade, bronzette, etc.).
Si le style de vie, la couleur de peau ou la situation géographique ne permettent pas une exposition suffisante au soleil, il y a des compléments alimentaires véganes de vitamine D3, à base de lichen (et pas de graisse de laine de moutons).
Pour tout le monde: en saisons peu ensoleillées prendre un supplément. Vérifier sa vitamine D régulièrement par prise de sang (en même temps que la B12 tant qu’affaire), qu’on soit végane ou pas.

“Trop de fibres mène à des carences minérales” ?

Non, beaucoup de fibres c’est en fait la quantité normale. Quand ces fibres viennent de céréales complètes (blé, riz , etc..) ou de légumineuses (haricots, soja, lentilles, etc) et certaines graines grasses (sésame, noix, etc) elles sont associées à différentes quantités d’acide phytique, qui serait selon certains un inhibiteur de l’absorption de minéraux de type “2+”: le fer (Fe2+), le zinc (Zn2+), le calcium (Ca2+) etc…

Mais en plus des bénéfices de ces aliments en eux-même parce qu’ils sont végétaux  complets et faibles en gras si c’est pas des graines grasses, on découvre depuis peu que l’acide phytique est aussi un antioxidant puissant associé à beaucoup de bénéfices de santé. Alors que faire ? Bah la même chose que ce qu’on fait avec le reste des aliments d’origine végétale complets et faibles en lipides : les manger sachant qu’ils améliorent la santé, sans se triturer l’esprit avec les interactions entre chacun des millions de nutriments !
=> ACTION: Ne pas s’en soucier et vérifier régulièrement un bilan ferrique *complet* (attention aux Drs fénéants qui se précipitent vers des conclusions hatives alors qu’ils manquent d’information: les volume des globule rouges (tout seul) ou la densité de globule rouges (prise seule) ou la ferritine seulement ne suffisent pas, il faut TOUT regarder: hématocrite, transferinne, saturation de la transferinne, CRP etc…). Vous avez pas besoin de comprendre tous ces mots compliqués, comprenez juste que pour forcer votre docteur à pas vous raconter n’importe quoi, exigez de lui ou d’elle un bilan ferrique (et inflammatoire) complet si c’est pas déjà le cas par défaut en France.
Anémie jurée
J’ai été souvent obligé de leur tirer les oreilles à ce sujet. BAC+12 et ils•elles (pratiquement tous/toutes) te flaquent à tout le monde, inutilement, des compléments ferriques qui te bousillent le bide ou des protéines animales toxiques, juste parce qu’ils sont pas fichus ni de dresser un bilan ferrique comme il faut, ni de l’interpréter correctement, c’est grave quand-même !

Carences en fer: Ne pas confondre alimentation végane avec problème de santé déjà existants, ou mauvaise implémentation

Si je mange une mangue (chose rare) aujourd’hui et que le lendemain ma voiture tombe en panne, il serait pas pertinent de dire que c’est à cause de la mangue que j’ai mangé la veille, parce que d’habitude la voiture a pas de problème, et la seule chose qui a changé récemment c’est cette mangue que j’ai mangé.

Il arrive malheureusement que des gens aient pour la première fois dans leur vie un problème de santé particulier et que cela se produise après avoir transité vers une alimentation végétalienne. Quand on est pas bien instruit sur l’alimentation et qu’il reste des vieux mythes de l’alimentation végétalienne comme étant quelque chose de carencé, on se rue à croire que c’est forcément dû à l’alimentation végétalienne sans même faire faire d’enquête médicale, de chercher à optimiser l’alimentation.
C’est comme ça qu’on a une flopée de témoignage de ces fameux “ex-veganes” et de leur livres qui font sensation et réconfortent les amateurs d’aliments carnés dans leurs habitudes toxiques.

Ces ex-vegans (ou plutôt ex-végétaliens) c’est soit des gens avec un problème de santé chronique, on eu une implémentation de l’alimentation végétalienne qui est la pire (vegane-malbouffe) ou qui ont négligé leur nutrition. Puis au lieu de prendre leur responsabilité, vont mettre le blâme sur le mode d’alimentation en général. C’est un peu comme avoir une jambe et un bras pété et ou se bourrer la gueule, puis porter plainte contre Renault parce qu’on s’est mangé un platane et que c’est donc forcément à cause de la voiture, ou de la route, ou du platane.

Quand c’est pas une carence en B12 parce qu’ils ont eu la bonne idée de pas prendre de supplément de B12, la carence en fer avec les anémies et fatigues reviennent souvent…

Si une carence en fer est visible malgré une alimentation végétalienne irréprochable (quand ça arrive, c’est rare, et c’est chez les femmes en général)  c’est très souvent un problème gynécologique à régler (rien à voir avec la nutrition) et d’une manière générale une perte de sang trop élevée. Ça peut être aussi à cause de médicaments/pilule, ou enfin à cause d’une maladie gastrique qui n’a rien avoir avec une alimentation végétale: comme les colites, maladie de Crohn, etc.

Enfin, si c’est rien de tout ça, un dernier recours alimentaire consiste à optimiser l’alimentation à fond (ce qui n’est pas nécessaire normalement) pour enlever tout ce qui peut être un frein à l’absorption de fer: laisser tremper tous les grains et légumineuses plusieurs jours avant de les faire cuire pour que des enzymes  phytases dégradent l’acide phytique, c’est ce qu’on appelle la “déphytinisation“. A cela peut s’ajouter symboliquement l’action de réduire et/ou isoler (consommer séparément) tout ce qui est riche en substances qui réduisent l’absorption de fer (soja, café, chocolat, cacao, le thé la plante – mais pas les infusions herbales) et manger suffisamment d’aliments crus comme fruits et salades pour augmenter la vitamine C qui aide à absorber le fer alimentaire.
Pas besoin de suppléments…et surtout pas besoin d’animaux morts!
Et si vraiment mais alors vraiment rien n’y fait ou qu’il y a besoin d’une action rapide pour une raison lambda, bah il y a a toujours les suppléments véganes de fer.

Jus d’orange avec les repas ?…ou pas

Aliments complets riches en vitamines C oui, mais mais laissez tomber les jus ce sont des produits transformés, sans fibre ou bourrés de sucre extraits.
=> ACTION:
Manger fruits variés et/ou salades (crus) avec les repas pour optimiser la symbiose Vitamine C / fer. Encore une fois c’est intuitif donc ne pas vous triturer l’esprits avec chaque nutriment ou des calculs inutiles. Il y a de la vitamine C en quantité appréciable dans quasiment tous les aliments crus donc ne vous restreignez pas aux oranges ni aux aliments les plus denses. C’est la variation et la diversité qui paye, pas les super-aliments et autres mythes.
Voir liste USDA : Vitamine C dans les fruits et légumes (Unité: mg/100g).

Ah les Inuites…

Alors oui, le corps est capable de tout et n’importe quoi…et dans le n’importe quoi, il y a manger quasiment que de la viande comme l’ont fait les Inuites, populations émigrées en terrains “végétalement deserts”. L’intervenant dans le documentaire laisse entendre qu’on peut manger tous les extrêmes, le corps gère de toutes façons…
Mais on peut pas comparer les végétaliens comme ça aux Inuites pour dire que le corps est capables de tout. Les végétaliens ou quasi-végétaliens qui mangent une alimentation complète et pauvre en lipides (= le modèle qui s’impose le plus souvent) vivent jusqu’à 90 à 110 ans en excellente santé. Les Inuites survivent toute leur vie malgré les insultes métabolique qu’ils s’infligent. Contrairement un article infondé qui a longtemps entretenu le mythe des Inuites en bonne santé cardio-vasculaire, les Inuites meurent jeunes et ont des taux phénoménaux de maladies cardiovasculaires et de cancers.
Je suis d’accord de reconnaître la résilience du corps humain. Que les Inuites arrivent déjà à se développer normalement, à apprécier un petit bout de vie, et se mouvoir est un miracle de la Nature. Cela montre en effet que le corps a des mécanismes de survie impressionnants pour tenir à peu près la route malgré aux tortures inutiles qu’on lui inflige….jusqu’à un certain point. De là à se dire qu’on peut manger n’importe quoi et que l’alimentation n’a aucun effet sur la santé…faut vraiment être de mauvaise foi ou chercher désespérément justification pour conforter nos habitudes toxiques.

(Activer les sous-titres Français)

Conclusions?

Une alimentation 100% végétale, variée et diversifiée, essentiellement complète (non-transformée), et faible en lipides, avec un apport calorique adéquat et un supplément adéquat de vitamine B12 satisfait tous les besoins nutritionnels.

Plus que ça, cette alimentation prévient, stoppe, et souvent guérit de la plupart des maladies modernes dont les plus mortelles et handicapantes: maladies cardiovasculaires (crises cardiaques, AVC, hypertension, etc) diabète, obésité, cancers, etc.
Voir documentaire Forks over Knives ou La Santé dans l’Assiette pour plus d’informations à ce sujet.

List of Low-Fat WFPB SOS-free Recipes

This page is a WORK IN PROGRESS. It is a bit messy here and there but can be used right away already until further improved/optimised.

Update info:

Dec 15th: Added recipes (+ ~20) + easier navigation.
Dec 6, 2016: Loaded and provided comments to wholefoodise and make SOS-free a large proportion of the recipes on the PlantPlate website.

Summary

Breakfast / Teatime
Lunch and Dinner

Salads
Salad dressings
Soups

Appetizers
Sauce,  dips and spreads
Desserts
Snacks
WFPB no-SOS Food Classification Explained

 

Breakfast / Teatime

Savoury Breakfast

Curried Chickpea and Millet Croquettes – 45 min (prep: 10 min, cooking: 30 min)
Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add slightly more of the strong-flavoured ingredients).

Sweet breakfast

Easy Overnight Oats – 5 min
Must: Use water instead of plant milk. The oats will release their own oat milk if you stir a bit.
Note: An instant version (not overnight) can me made with “shredded” rolled oats.

Cranberry Spice Granola
Must: Skip seeds if recovering cardiovascular disease. Use a date mash/blend instead of maple or date syrup. Instead of cranberries a dried fruit that is not processed nor with sugar added (dates, raisins, currants, figs, apricots etc).
Preferable: Skip nutmeg.

Baked Goods

Heads-up: Although baked good being ground are preferable as occasional treat or had in a small amount, not as a meal.

Banana & Blueberry Walnut Cake – 50 minutes (+~1h dough rising)

Scrumptious Hot Cross Buns– 3h10min total – 1 hour of work

Lunch & Dinner

3 Bean Mole –  45 minuts
Must: Mash a few sweet dried fruits instead of maple syrup, use real tomatoes and reduce water or use very-low-sodium tomato paste.
Preferable: prefer home-cooked beans to cans, prefer paprika to smoked paprika.
Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

7 Minute Soup – 10 minutes
Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Adzuki Bean Stew – 40 minutes
Must: Use real tomatoes and reduce water or use very-low-sodium concentrated tomato paste. Preferred/Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Artichoke Tapenade – 5 minutes
Must: Not use tahini if recovering cardiovascular disease. Preferred/Optional: Steam/boil artichokes instead of relying on cans.

Baked Butternut and Mushroom Risotto – 1h10min
Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients). Preferred: Nutritional yeast is best left out (free glutamic acid is MSG-like).

Biryani – 1h20min
This recipe is plant-perfect as it is.

Braised Leeks and Peas – 25 minutes
Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients). Preferred: Nutritional yeast is best left out (free glutamic acid may act like MSG). Instead of the commercial plant-milk, blend your own oats to make a thin whole-food milk if recovering heart disease, or almonds otherwise.

Buckwheat and Roasted Vegetable Medley – 25 minutes
Must: Not use sunflower seeds if recovering a cardiovascular disease. Mash a few sweet dried fruits instead of maple/date syrup. Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Buckwheat, Pea and Mushroom Pilaf – 40 minutes
Must: Make sure the curry powder is salt-free. Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Cauliflower Dal – 50 minutes
Preferred: Cut your own fresh whole tomatoes instead of relying on cans. Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Youcef’s Moroccan Sweet & Savoury Tagine– 2 hours – 8~10 meals (prep: 1 h – cooking 1 h)

Khadija’s Moroccan Couscous – 1 h 20 – 7 meals (prep: 20 min – cooking: 1 h)

Khadija’s Moroccan Lentils – 1 h 20 – 4 meals (prep:20 min – cooking 1 h)

Pizza:

Burgers & Sandwiches:

Easy Oven Fries
Preferred: Use regular paprika instead of paprika. Use the dips listed in the present article.

Eggplant Stuffed with Moroccan-Spiced Millet – 1h (p:10 + c:50)
Must: Use a salt-free vegetable stock, or water in which case you might want to add just a bit more of your favourite strong-flavoured ingredients in the recipe.

Healthy Hummus – 10 minutes
Must: Skip tahini if you are recovering from cardiovascular disease. Skip soy yogurt as an alternative. If using paprika, use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika.
Preferable: Prefer home-cooked beans to cans even if they’re salt-free.

Salads

Carrot, Beet and Chickpea Salad – 15 minutes
Preferred: Prefer home-cooked beans to cans even if they’re salt-free.

Balsamic-Roasted Butternut and Chickpea Salad – 30 minutes
Preferred: Prefer home-cooked beans to cans even if they’re salt-free.

Hearty Bean Salad – 10 minutes
Must: Not use avocado seeds if recovering a cardiovascular disease. Seed out and blend the lemon/lime instead of juicing them. Not use salt.
Preferred
: Prefer home-cooked beans to cans even if they’re salt-free.

Millet and Black Bean Salad– 40 minutes
Must: Replace the rice/maple syrup by mashed/blended sweet dried fruit.
Preferred: Prefer home-cooked beans to cans even if they’re salt-free.

Spring Herb Potato Salad – 40 minutes
Must: Not use mustard if recovering cardiovascular disease. Replace silken tofu by a whole food, like this mayo-ish dressing. Use seeded out and blended lemon instead of juice. Use a paste of sweet dried fruit instead of rice syrup and instead any other sweetener.

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad – 25 minutes
Must: Not use sesame seeds if with or recovering advanced cardiovascular disease (high-fat). Not use white vermicelli if you don’t find brown rice vermicelli. Not use tamari nor soy sauce (high-salt). Use a paste/blend of sweet dried fruit instead of rice syrup and instead any other sweetener (whole food). Blend seeded lime flesh instead of juicing it (whole food).

Salad dressings

Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette – 25 minutes
Must: Seed out and blend the oranges instead of juicing them.

Mayo/Aioli-like Dressing – 45 minutes

Soups

Carrot, Orange and Ginger Soup – 55 minutes
Must: not use miso (high-salt), blend the orange instead of juicing it. Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Creamy Zucchini Pasta – 30 minutes
Must: Not use sunflower butter or sesame seeds if with or recovering advanced cardiovascular disease (high-fat), a lower-fat creamy effect can be obtained with the nut-free version of this sauce.
Preferable: to replace plant milk by water especially using the creamy sauce suggested above. Nutritional yeast is best not used (free glutamic acid is MSG-like). Optional: Veggie stock optional (you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients).

Chinese Vegetable and Noodle Soup – 30 minutes
Must: Not use anything else than brown rice vermicelli.

Curried Pumpkin and Kale Soup – 45 min (p:15 + c:25)
Must: Use a no-sodium vegetable stock, you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients.

Curried Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup – 55 min (p:20 + c:35)
Must: Skip miso. Use a no-sodium vegetable stock, you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients.

Curried Pumpkin and Kale Soup – 40 min (p:15 + c:25)
Must: Use a no-sodium vegetable stock, you can use water instead and add more strong-flavoured ingredients.
Preferable: Skip nutmeg.

Appetizers

 

Sauces & Dips

Ketchup – 5 minutes
Must: Use a paste/blend of sweet dried fruit instead of rice syrup and instead of any other sweetener (whole food). Use no salt.

Low-fat Mayo-like, Aioli-like dips – 5 min prep – 30 min cooking

Lemon Mustard Dressing – 5 minutes
Must: Not use sesame seeds if recovering with or recovering advanced cardiovascular disease (high-fat). Use a paste/blend of sweet dried fruit instead of rice syrup and instead any other sweetener (whole food).

Chunky Salsa Dip – 25 minutes
Must: Replace the maple/date syrup by mashed/blended sweet dried fruit. Use a salt-free or very low-salt tomato paste, or make your own and reduce it.
Preferred: Use paprika instead of smoked paprika. Prefer home-cooked foods to cans even if they’re salt-free.

Tomato and Pepper Chutney – 35 minutes
Must: Use a paste/blend of sweet dried fruit instead of maple syrup and instead any other sweetener (whole food)

Spreads

Savoury

Moroccan-style Jackfruit Tuna with Spicy Tomato Sauce – 1h
This recipe is potentially plant-perfect. Directions to make WFPB SOS-free in the recipe article.

Sweet

Orange Marmalade – 10 min prep / 3 h cooking

Black Lemon Marmalade – 5 min  prep – 2 h cooking

Desserts

Fresh Fruits.

Nice Cream – 5 minuts
Must: Use water instead of plant milk if needed at all, use real vanilla bean instead of an extracts.

WFPB SOS-free Food Classification

Why is there confusion with what is a “true” whole food?
Why best practice is where I stand?
List of acceptable/non-acceptable low-fat whole foods and exceptions

Why is there confusion with what is a “true” whole food?

There are various degrees of how seriously one can implement a WFPB no-SOS diet. The somewhat subjective word is “whole food” because “processing” a food can mean a lot of thing although we have some good idea what the safest definitions are.

Since whole foods are meant for health, the mother question remains “How likely is that likely is ingredient X or recipe X to be harmful?” or “How likely am I or the people in my house to abuse the wrong products supposed to be had in moderation”.

It’s easier (and sadly more popular) to adopt a loose approach with WFPB, and sadly so many cookbooks do so. I reckon these are of major help and far better than nothing, and I understand that some compromises might appeal more to the general public as a step. In the whole-food and plant-based circles,  we get irritated by the stories/articles of doctors who know eating a plant-based diet would be the best thing for a patient, but they don’t tell them assuming the patient will accept. We all agree, tell the patient, if you the doctor don’t eat this way, and let the patient decide.
Well, likewise, our whole food leaders should not shy away from proposing the best practice, and they know what it is. Whether they practice it or not personally at home, people need to be told and shown best practice and decide for themselves where they want to compromise their health and nutrition, if they want to compromise it at all.

So where do I stand?

My approach is pretty simple:

  1. If what I have on my kitchen counter to start with doesn’t look like the solid foods I would bring back from a garden/field somewhere, it’s probably not a food.
  2. If what ends in my mouth, has lost something in the journey since it was an edible food from the garden, I’ve probably done something I shouldn’t do.
  3. If a beverage isn’t what falls from the clouds and fills the lakes and rivers and ponds all other animals drink from, or that mixed with item #1, it’s probably not a beverage.

Does this sound like common sense ? Yes. Is this is what the healthiest populations we know of actually did? Yes.

In this modern, outsourced, processed world, I am not the type of person that will  recognise something processed (or artificial) as safe by default, and say “there’s no strong enough proof it’s harmful” until the (predictable) day there is. Looking in the past and learn from cumulative personal and collective wisdom, you’ve got to think ahead and not reinvent the square wheel.

This said I’m very aware that if we go 500 years ahead or use an omniscient computer, and look back at the way I eat, in hindsight there are certainly things I exclude which may be irrelevant health-wise. Is it a big deal? No. Why?

For one, I’m already very satisfied eating the way we already eat, real food for really healthy humans.
If logic strongly suggests that something both unnecessary and unnatural, is going to be likely harmful by definition, then I find it not just wiser but also easier to not do any amount of that.
It saves me the self-inflicted torture of “moderation”.
It saves me the harm left behind by of half-measures.
It saves me the million wonders, doubts and guilts when a health problem arises.
It saves me the unspeakable waste of time there is keeping in touch with the fine science of measuring just how harmful are exactly the utterly unnecessary harmful things humans still decide to do or eat.

Alright! We got it…Now shoot the list!

Non-foods:

  • artificial flavourings (vanilla extracts, etc)
  • artificial leavening agents (baking soda, baking powders, etc)
  • salt
  • liquid smoke (smoke in liquid form, hundreds of toxic chemicals, including aromatic hydrocarbons, many of which are known carcinogens).

Common processed foods:

  • tofu in all its forms
  • extracted sugars such as: date syrup, date sugar, rice syrup, coconut sugar, rice syrup, molasses…they may not be empty calories, but a sugar extracted from its natural and usually fiber-rich environnement (tree trunk, coconut stalk, beet root, corn kernel, rice grain…) is not a whole food and should be viewed by default as something inherently very similar to white or refined sugar. What is a whole food is a whole dried fruit for instance.
  • nutritional yeast: Principle of precaution: The glutamic acid is released when the nutritional yeast is deactivated by a heat process, an umami taste appears and that’s due to the same molecule as that in Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which has been proven harmful).

Tolerated are:

  • Cocoa powder: it is the fibre-rich, lower-fat fraction of the whole cocoa fruit. Not a whole food, best kept to a minimum if had at all (mainly due to the fat), a million times preferable to chocolate which is pure fat and sugar.
  • Vinegars: The whole-food version would be rather unappetising and vinegar has shown some health benefits.
  • Plant milks: They are refined products. Their popularity, omnipresence and liquid aspect makes us forget it’s a highly processed food, not uncommonly comprised of many processed ingredients with relevant amounts of sugar and/or fat. I prefer doing without, and looking for ways to replace them whenever possible.
  • Low-salt or salt-free tomato pastes.

Why the General Public is Orthorexic

Table of Contents
Intro
Analysis of Definition #1
Analysis of Definition #2
Analysis of Definition #3
Analysis of Definition #4
Morale of the story
Important disclaimer
Do we really have to choose either Health or Pleasure?


In my reading and interacting online, I’ve come across different uses of the word “orthorexia”. Some people, like the person who coined this word, strictly reserve it to cases where the person got physically sick from it. Others are happy to throw the word “orthorexia” at anyone who seems to be interested in eating in a healthy way, usually healthier than themselves.

The first time I came across this word it was from someone promoting a very obsolete (health-damaging) dietary lifestyle. When I confronted him, he explained that he should be thanked for working hard to ease people into developing a healthy relationship to food and fight off “orthorexia”. Basically, he was trying to reassure people that are curious about how to eat healthfully, and/or people whom feel bad for genuine excesses of junk foods. His advice was down the line of “a little bit of everything”, “moderation” etc., in short, stuff which we know gives the population a little bit of every cancer, and give otherwise preventable cardiovascular disease to a moderately huge portion of the population.

So I looked at the definition of “orthorexia” and something very interesting happened!

I wasn’t interpreting the definition with the common biases of someone who eats carelessly and judges from there. I read the definition from the standpoint of someone who understands rather extensively and on evidence-based grounds, that what most people eat, makes most of the sickness.

Suddenly, and I must say ironically, orthorexia explained very well why the general public eats its ways to disease and death, in massive numbers and with appalling predictability. By general public I mean most people, of most countries.

denial_610

I called it “orthorexia nervosa populi”  for orthorexia of the people, or “orthorexia nervosa vulgaris”  for Common Orthorexia.

Let’s a take a few definitions from Wikipedia’s article on Orthorexia nervosa, and demonstrate the mechanism. Virtually any definition works.

Analysis of definition #1 – Bratman’s original definition

“dietary restrictions intended to promote health may paradoxically lead to unhealthy consequences, such as social isolation, anxiety, loss of ability to eat in a natural, intuitive manner, reduced interest in the full range of other healthy human activities, and, in rare cases, severe malnutrition or even death.”

Let’s analyse all this.

“dietary restrictions”
People representing the general public’s way of eating are restricting their diet from a wide variety of unprocessed whole plant and mushroom foods.

“intended to promote health”
Based on popular nutritional illiteracy, a (low-fat, whole-food) plant-based diet is commonly viewed as unhealthy and extreme.
The general public avoid eating in what is perceived as “extreme” or “unhealthy” ways, and instead holds beliefs such as:

  • “some oils are health-healthy”,
  • “meat is good because you need protein”,
  • “milk is good for bones”,
  • “fish is good for omega-3s needed by the brain”,
  • “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
  • yin/yang or heating/cooling balance, alkaline/acid balance between health-promoting and health-damaging foods and habits, etc.

Additionally, and beyond physical health, the average eater follows whatever food is pleasurable based on familiarity, which is heavily influenced by culture and the food habits parents have passed on during upbringing. There is a sense of psychological health in the pleasure and satisfaction derived from eating foods we grew used to, unfortunately most often foods with a very relevant negative impact on health.

In short, for most people, pleasure is the new health, and it’s often assumed pleasure can only come from the foods one is already used to, and mistakenly assumed this cannot change.

“may paradoxically lead to unhealthy consequences”
Look at the rates of cancer and heart disease in essentially (low-fat, whole-food) plant-based rural China in the 1980s, and look in your own country.

“such as social isolation”
A majority of people, in a growing number of countries eating a Western-type diet, will unfortunately suffer for decades from cardiovascular disease and/or cancers. These are mostly preventable and largely caused/promoted/worsened by a poor  dietary lifestyle centred on animal and processed foods. Ask someone getting their chest open or undergoing chemotherapy if they don’t feel isolated. Sadly, most cultural or “convenience” diets leads to much isolation.

“anxiety”
There are different ways by which eating “a relaxed, unrestricted diet” causes anxiety: the short-term, the sickness and the guilt.
Some junk foods are known to change the mood and raise anxiety. Few people are aware how sugar or animal protein increases stress levels. That in the short-term.
Disease and illness are also very anxiogenic, especially when people can no longer do simple things they used to, life is threatened, drugs are ineffective and cause undesirable effects.
Anxiety is also what I often observe when I talk to people about healthy eating. Without even doing that, just observe the inner struggles of people that don’t “restrict” anything, and yet are filled with guilt because they know better.
A lifetime of poor choices we’re well-aware of, is a lifetime of anxiety and guilt, and that’s before people even get seriously sick. It gets worse then.

“loss of ability to eat in a natural, intuitive manner
Well, that’s done long ago, find me other apes that naturally and intuitively eat white bread, French fries, ice-cream, or pizza covered in cheese.
There is nothing natural about what most people eat today. There is nothing intuitive in spending a life of eating foods that we don’t digest well, make us regularly sick and result in life-threatening illness. There is nothing intuitive in continuing to eat “like everyone” when we know too well what kills everyone.

“reduced interest in the full range of other healthy human activities”
People who care little about something as central to health as food can be expected to have a reduced interest about not smoking, minimizing drinking, exercising, taking part in constructive social activities…

“and, in rare cases, severe malnutrition or even death.”
This regrettably not rare. The general public, which consumes a processed and carnist diet (containing foods of animal origin) does routinely suffer malnutrition, does routinely intoxicate itself with food, does routinely suffer the subsequent diseases, and the death caused by the diseases. This is not rare at all.
I urge you to consult the public websites with the disease and mortality statistics of your country. They’re made very accessible to the general public nowadays, it’s most often very easy to read.

Analysis of definition number #2 – Ursula Philpot’s definition as former chair of British Dietetic Association

“solely concerned with the quality of the food they put in their bodies, refining and restricting their diets according to their personal understanding of which foods are truly ‘pure’.”

“solely concerned with the quality of the food they put in their bodies”
Most people who have a so-called “relaxed and healthy relationship” to food are solely concerned the pleasure-giving quality of their food.

“refining and restricting their diets according to their personal understanding of which foods are truly ‘pure’.”
“refining”: yes, in all its meanings, including literal meaning of “refining”: refined processed foods.
“and restricting their diets”: from a wide variety of unprocessed whole plant and mushroom foods, which are naturally nutrient-dense and fiber-rich.
“according to their personal understanding of which foods are truly ‘pure'”: “pure” in the understanding of the general public can be:
• what’s pure pleasure, typically the health-damaging “foods” high in animal products, fat, sugar and salt.
pure can mean traditional, authentic, cultural, but health-damaging foods
• what feels homey, those irresistible family recipes that are emotionally rooted yet are tremendously unhealthy
• local and organic animal products, for instance bought from the local butcher who might also be a friend or relative, or dairy and eggs from our very local friend who owns a cow or chickens which you might have seen yourself “happy” in the open air and pastures…all of which, regardless, still cause the same high rates of damage to heath, disease, and death, because you can’t escape the biology of it.

Analysis of definition #3 – Bratman’s reconsidered definition

“In 2015, responding to news articles in which the term orthorexia is applied to people who merely follow a non-mainstream theory of healthy eating, Bratman specified the following: “A theory may be conventional or unconventional, extreme or lax, sensible or totally wacky, but, regardless of the details, followers of the theory do not necessarily have orthorexia. They are simply adherents of a dietary theory. The term ‘orthorexia’ only applies when an eating disorder develops around that theory.”[7] “

So based on Bratman’s statement, the general public does not necessarily have anorexia, even if it follows the conventional theory, lax and wacky, according to which neither of these is harmful: moderation, carnism, “eating a bit of everything”, and “not depriving oneself of any particular food”.

He goes on:

‘Bratman elsewhere clarifies that with a few exceptions, most common theories of healthy eating are followed safely by the majority of their adherents; however, “for some people, going down the path of a restrictive diet in search of health may escalate into dietary perfectionism.”

“with a few exceptions, most common theories of healthy eating are followed safely by the majority of their adherents;”
Some are not theories, but abundantly evidence-based: such as low-fat whole-food plant-based.
In contrast, the mainstream theories (i.e. dietary carnism) and approach to food is surely followed by everyone and is not safe at all. Look at the statistics, compare to plant-based rural Africa half a century ago (or in anywhere today that still eats that way if you find).
All that disease need not exist.

“for some people, going down the path of a restrictive diet in search of health may escalate into dietary perfectionism.”
For many people, going down the path of restricting oneself from unprocessed plant and mushrooms food in search of the pleasure kind of health, does routinely escalate into dietary perfectionism: one that rejects systematically anything that doesn’t have animal products, lots of fat, sugar or salt.

Analysis of definition #4 –  (U.S.) National Eating Disorders Association

“Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating.”

“Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers”
In orthorexia nervosa populi, the general public’s food is highly restrictive to almost only to processed foods high in fat, sugar and salt along with animal products. It is restricted in terms of calories as it doesn’t allow many low-calorie foods, if any at all. As a result, health suffers, people get obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease,  high rates of cancer and so on.

“an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating.”
An ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to a life that’s healthy through pleasure.
So much for “having a relaxed and healthy relationship with food”.

Morale of the story

I’ll stop at four definitions, I think you get the point by now.

I could go with virtually any definition of orthorexia nervosa, to easily demonstrate that the general public itself is the leading community that most literally suffers orthorexia nervosa.
The only differences with the conventional interpretation are:

  1. mistaken beliefs on the benefit of harmful foods on physical health
  2. the benchmark for foods that are “healthy” in orthorexia nervosa populi are foods that are “psychologically” healthy through pleasure.

As for the harmful effects on heath, we observe both physical and psychological, and as far as the psychological aspect is concerned, the spectrum of is large:

  • it starts with guilt,
  • turns into anxiety and depression from sickness and disease and
  • can also take the form of neuro-degenerative diseases like far higher rates of Alzeimer’s disease in junk-food-reliant countries.

Important disclaimer:

This article is not to minimize the serious health issues that some people experience by following trends (like Atkins, Paleo, etc…) which are neither rooted in clinical scientific evidence, nor based on any reasonable and coherent considerations.

This is not to take the defence of the many people who get at the doorstep of ways of eating proven to be healthy (ex: plant-based diets) but implement it completely wrongly, for instance :  not introducing enough food diversity, not taking B12, or eating an overly processed version of it and as a result get predictably sick. A good example is a great portion of “ex-vegans” whom often blame the diet instead of questioning their own implementation of it or an unexplored health issue (like, among others, menstrual/intestinal bleeding so important that even the generous amount of iron in a healthy plant-based diet can’t make up for it).

This is not to minimize the gravity of the issue of people seeking physical health and hurting themselves by doing it wrongly, or as a means of self-harm, typically for those who had started the dietary journey loaded with personal issues.

In short, this article is not ammunition for people who genuinely qualify to the conventional definition to retaliate back when they have demonstrably eaten their way to illness. Yes, these people exist and they are relatively very few.

What I am doing here is showing the other side of the big finger pointing at “conventional” orthorexia. There we find many more people making themselves sick, in fact virtually everyone. Almost every person has an obsession for foods that maintain psychological well-being through the pleasure we get from eating junk foods. This attitude is shielded by dogmatic theories (now fallacies) on omnivorism. At the scale of the general population, this attitude leads most systematically to serious nutrient restrictions, chronic food intoxication, and routinely to premature, preventible death.

When a cancer is clinically declared, or a heart disease threatens someone’s life, the illness cares very little whether the person got sick by prioritizing the carefreeness sort of health over physical health (Orthorexia Nervosa Populi), or by seeking physical healthy and getting it wrong (conventional Orthorexia Nervosa). A metastatic cancer cares little whether a fancy name was given to our poor behaviour, or not. It cares little if we were on the side of majority, or breaking out from it trying to eat sanely, or to compensate for personal issues.

Bottom line, all these attitudes have in common: nutritional illiteracy.
Nutritional illiteracy is best achieved by not wanting to know, by thinking we know, or by being confident we know but knowing the wrong things.

The good news is: You are not doomed.

Do we really have to choose between healthy food and pleasure?

I am living proof that no, far from it!
At this time, the best evidence over more than half a century of science and clinical trials, clearly points the healthiest way of eating as being : high-carb, low-fat, whole-food, plant-based nutrition, with no oil, flavour from food instead of salt and sweetness from sweet whole foods instead of from the many extracted sugars out there.

If you want to find out more, watch and listen to: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. McDougall.
That is the science.

As for what it’s like to eat that way: It is the sweet spot that combines pleasure, carefreeness, and health, with no compromise. But to fully understand that, you can’t just use your fear-fed imagination, speculate, or throw a snap judgement and call it “extreme”…To really know you need to do your homework first. If that looks convincing and serious enough, then steer your way out of popular death foods and the theories that try to make sense of then without proving a benefit similar to what low-fat plants, whole-foods, plants and mushrooms have to offer.
The destination is only what we’re all supposed to eat. It’s normal if at first it looks very far, or extreme. What’s actually extreme is how far away each one of us is from eating foods that do what they’re supposed to do: not kill us, taste wonderful, and support our health.

Food for thought…

Related article:
Whole foods FAQ – Why whole-food plant-based? Why no oil, no salt or no sugar?
“Is this a whole food?” – A Guide to Whole-Food Alternatives to Common Processed Foods

Recipes (WFPB, no-SOS)