To sum up the results of my reader survey, it appears that most people want to see my answers to questions, even if not always well-researched (as long as I point that out). People were not as interested in having me pass on media reports of non-veg related nutrition and health info, so I will not pass those on. Also, if you don’t know already, you can receive my blog in one daily digest via email by clicking on subscribe in the upper right hand of the website and choosing the email option. That means no more than one email per day.
I am a bit backed up with blog posts, so I might make a few today. Never fear – it won’t continue at this pace.
Because people are interested in my answers, you can read a whole page of Q&A that I recently did for Earth Balance’s website, Jack Norris R.D. Answers Your Plant-Based Nutrition Questions!
I will paste the one Q&A that I thought might be the most new to my blog readers:
Beth Mickens asked:
A close co-worker and I talk a lot about our differences in diets. While she is a devoted Paleo, I am a devoted vegan. Her and I are both very informed about both diets and continuously debate about what diet is best for our bodies. While we both agree a gluten-free diet, low in carbs and higher in protein and fat seems to be ideal, I’m really interesting in hearing what the RDs say about following what we call a “Vegan Paleo” diet… one that contains no animal products but is focused on the concept of eating a higher amount of protein and healthy fats? Another thing she commented to me that I really want to know… as a vegan, will my skin lose elasticity faster (causing me to look more aged at a younger age) than a meat eater based on the fact collagen is only found in meat? (assuming I don’t use ANY products on my face). Help me bust that one!!
Answer: There has been one four-week clinical trial that put people on a low-carb vegan diet, which they called “ECO-Atkins” with positive results. I personally don’t think it’s necessary for most people, but if someone feels good on it, then more power to them. I’d say the same about gluten-free. Gluten has become an easy molecule to hate but it’s just a protein that most people can break down into amino acids as they do with most protein. Some people have an autoimmune reaction against it, but that puts it in good company with a host of other proteins. If you have celiac disease, then avoiding gluten is very important, but a knee-jerk reaction to avoid gluten by people without celiac disease is, in my opinion, a waste of time and energy. For what it’s worth, one study showed that avoiding gluten can have harmful effects on beneficial gut bacteria.
In terms of looking old because of not getting enough collagen, just make sure you are getting enough protein by eating at least 2 servings of legumes (including soy foods) or quinoa per day. There has been no research indicating vegans have collagen issues and many vegans look younger than their age. People often mistake me for being 10 years younger than I am. I don’t know that it’s only due to being vegan, but the high level of antioxidants in the vegan diet might be at least part of the reason I stay looking relatively young.