Virginia Messina RD

Sweet Potato Salad with Pecans

Sweet potato salad with pecans

This simple sweet potato salad, developed by Ginny Messina, is a great choice when you want something a little different for a picnic or potluck. It’s also a wonderful addition to fall and winter holiday meals. From Never Too Late to Go Vegan: The Over-50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet,* copyright © Carol J. Adams, Patti Breitman, Virginia Messina, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Photos by Rachael Braun.

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Omega-3 Fats in Plant-Based Diets

Flaxseed varieties

Excerpt from Never Too Late to Go Vegan: The Over-50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet,* copyright © Carol J. Adams, Patti Breitman, Virginia Messina, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.

Two fatty acids in foods are essential nutrients, which means they are absolutely required in the diet. One, called linoleic (lin oh LAY ik) acid, is a member of the omega-6 family of fats. It’s abundant in all kinds of plant foods; certain vegetable oils, such as corn and soy oil, are particularly rich in this fat. You really never have to worry about getting enough linoleic acid. A vegan diet will provide plenty of it without any effort from you. more→

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How Much Fat Should Vegans Consume?

Almonds, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts in jars

Excerpted from the book Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet* by Jack Norris, RD, and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright ©2011. Despite the popularity of vegan diets that eliminate all high-fat foods, there hasn’t been much research comparing very low-fat vegan diets to those that include some higher-fat plant foods. And there is reason to think that very low-fat vegan diets are not ideal. Eating diets that are too low in fat could be the reason that some people abandon vegan diets and return to eating meat.

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Do Vegans have a Weight-Loss Advantage?

Whole grain cooked cereal

From the book Vegan for Her: The Woman’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet* by Virginia Messina and JL Fields. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2013. Public health experts assess weight status using the body mass index (BMI), which measures body weight in relation to height. It doesn’t consider how much muscle or fat you have—just how much you weigh. It also doesn’t tell us anything about someone’s health since it measures only size. So BMI is not useful for individuals, but it’s used as a fast and inexpensive way to look for trends in populations.

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The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book by Reed Mangels, RD PhD

Everything vegan pregnancy book by Reed MangelsAny woman can feel confident about a vegan pregnancy with the easy-to-read but comprehensive Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book*, written by a registered dietitian who also holds a doctorate in nutrition. more→

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Planning Healthy Vegan Diets

Black Beans, Lentils, And Quinoa

It doesn’t matter what type of diet you choose, a little nutrition-know-how is always needed. Omnivores have to strive for food choices that reduce their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and that maximize compounds that might fall short like fiber, folate, antioxidants, and potassium. Vegans need to give a little bit of extra attention to vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin A. And omnivore or vegan, everyone needs to identify good sources of vitamin D, and maybe omega-3 fats. more→

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