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.
Contributed by William Santoro.Vegan fitness looks and sounds a lot like fitness for non-vegans. That’s just the point: Eating meat, dairy, fish or other animal protein is not necessary for building up muscle and achieving a high level of fitness and energy. Not convinced? There are dozens of famous vegan athletes to prove it, more and more ultra-class, notably Brendan Brazier*, Scott Jurek,* and Rich Roll*, whose achievements are heroic and inspiring by any standards. more→
Excerpted from Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts,* copyright © 2012 by Colette Martin (reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment). Common wheat belongs to a genus of grasses known as Triticum. The genus itself is also sometimes referred to as wheat. Those who are allergic to wheat need to avoid all of the Triticum grains, including triticale, durum wheat, kamut, spelt, and einkorn. While these grains are sometimes suggested as alternatives to wheat in recipes, if you are allergic to wheat you must avoid them all. Any grain in the wheat or Triticum family must be labeled “wheat” on processed food packages. more→
Contributed by the The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Soy products have recently enjoyed increasing popularity. Soy products include soybeans (also called edamame) and any other items made from soybeans, including soymilk, tofu, tempeh, miso, and vegetarian meat and dairy substitutes like soy meats and soy cheeses. Like most other plant foods, the most healthful choices are those that are minimally processed so they retain all of their original nutrients. But because soy products are so widely consumed, some people have raised the question as to whether they are safe. Let’s take a look at what medical studies show: more→
One teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 mg of sodium, which is more than the amount that anyone should have per day. We do need some sodium in order for nerve and muscle function, and to conserve the level of fluids in the body. But when there’s too much sodium intake, it can cause havoc in a number of ways.
Believe it or not, the size and color of your plates have a lot to do with portion control. Most of us really do eat with our eyes, so to speak. If you’re given a large plate or bowl do you only fill half of it? Most of us would fill the entire thing, and once it’s in front of us, we feel compelled to to eat it all. If, on the other hand, you use a smaller plate or bowl, you’re likely to eat — and be satisfied with — that portion. more→
An apple a day really does keep the doctor — and dentist, away. Just one a day, or at least 5 a week, will help you get the full benefits of this common fruit. One apple has only 100 calories or less, 5 grams of fiber, no sodium or fat and are 5% protein. The skin contains many of the vitamins and other nutrients properties, so enjoy your apples unpeeled. more→
Contributed by Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH, adapted from The Anti-Breast Cancer Cookbook.* Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from damage caused by the unstable molecules known as free radicals. Damaging free radicals can come from many sources: sunlight, carcinogens in cigarette smoke and charred meat, chemicals such as benzene, and the heme iron found in red meat. Free radical damage to cells may lead to DNA damage, which can contribute to cancer risk. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals, thereby preventing some of the damage free radicals might cause. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, resveratrol, quercetin, anthocyanidin, vitamins C and E, and many other substances. more→