New Blog: QuasiVegan

QuasiVegan, written by Christina Arasmo, is a new blog discussing failure to thrive in vegans. Christina is not a health professional, but I have been very impressed with what she has written.

In particular, I am intrigued by what she has been saying about low cholesterol possibly being the cause of many of the health problems ex-vegans have experienced. I have considered this in the past, but given that cholesterol levels of around 100 mg/dl are supposedly commonplace in Asian countries, I have figured it probably was not such a problem for most people to have a low cholesterol level.

Early studies on blood cholesterol and mortality showed a U shaped-curve, indicating that very low blood cholesterol was associated with increased mortality. But this was thought to be due to undiagnosed disease causing low cholesterol levels and not that low cholesterol levels were causing the disease.

Meta-analyses such as this indicate that the lower the blood cholesterol, the better.

That said, I have often wondered that perhaps a cholesterol of 150 to 170 mg/dl might be ideal (for people without heart disease) and have told otherwise healthy people who have written me worried because their cholesterol was not under 150 mg/dl that they should not worry about getting it that low.

I would love to find out if the problems are caused by low cholesterol because in most cases there is a very easy and fun solution to that problem – eat more fat.

Looks like another topic to add to the queue of research reviews I need to do.

Speaking of which, remember that you can support JackNorrisRd.com by purchasing things through the Amazon, Vegan Essentials, or Pangea links on the website (if you can’t see the Amazon links, you will need to turn off your ad blocking software), as well as a direct donation.

And if you do not subscribe to the comments for my posts, you are missing out on some interesting conversations. If you go to the website, the comments are linked from the bottom of each post.

49 Responses to “New Blog: QuasiVegan”

  1. Sayward Says:

    Hi Jack,

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you’re doing here. I really feel that your commitment to veganism does not cloud your honest assessment of the nutritional landscape, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. It’s so hard to find unbiased info out there!

    I blog about health and wellness too (among other things), but I know that without the appropriate letters after my name, my words can only go so far. Someday when my baby/ies are older I’ll get those letters, but until then I’m thrilled to have a place to point people for more information. Thanks SO MUCH for all you do!

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Thanks, Sayward!

  3. Lisa A. Says:

    That was an interesting post. However, I had some thoughts about veganism. I happened to visit a blog that Quasi Vegan liked of an author of vegan lunch box cookbooks, who is also now an ex-vegan. http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/2010/11/mirror-image-acorn-squash-supreme.html

    It has been depressing reading accounts of ex-vegans that have been popping up the last several months. I am also coming to realization that we need more supplements to support our health on a vegan diet. B12 is not a problem. I am taking it. Eating animal products because of that doesn’t make sense to me. But calcium somewhat bothers me. Without fortified foods or supplements it is hard to get even 700 mg, let alone 1000 mg. Yes, I have access to fortified milk and yogurt, which my husband and I eat on a daily basis. We also eat as many plant foods rich in that mineral as possible. However, I maintain a russian journal on livejournal.com and I am very active in a vegan community there. Veganism in Russia has been experiencing a rapid growth. However, I am fairly certain that many of the new and even more experienced vegans are not getting all of the nutrients they need. For example, it is next to impossible to find vegan foods that are fortified with calcium. Those people are having a difficult time finding simple soy milk. Even in big cities like Moscow and Saint Peterburg. Many don’t have access to it. And if they do find it, it is not fortified with anything. I am not aware of fortified orange juice. I don’t think it is a common practice to fortify it there. So the bottom line is that they need to be told to take a calcium supplement. It has been hard enough to dance around the issue with B12. Calcium makes it harder to convince people to switch to a vegan diet. Especially considering the fact that many people who are thinking about making the switch have been vegetarian for some time. At least that is the case with people in livejournal.

    I understand that the answer is probably more fortified foods. However, before they show up in stores, I am worried about vegans who might do some damage to their bodies because of inadequate intake of calcium.

    Becoming vegan shouldn’t mean a compromise of someone’s health. Proper education about adequate nutrition is one part of the equation. And you have been a huge help in this area. The other part is putting it in action. And maybe more easily accessible vegan foods, some of which are fortified with key nutrients will significantly help with that.

  4. Name (required) Says:

    Jack, some observational studies have found positive correlations between low serum cholesterol and depression (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. This is definitely something to look into.

    As for the blog, I haven’t been quite as impressed as you. Although the author probably has the best intentions, her writing style resembles a stream of consciousness (poorly structured, too verbose) and she doesn’t appear to discern between scientific (eg. journals) and non-scientific references (eg. for-profit sites, blogs).

  5. Lisa A. Says:

    In regards to the low-cholesterol issue. Does this argument mean that many of the ex-vegans that are experiencing health problems are not eating enough fat? With sufficient amount of fat, our bodies can produce enough cholesterol to satisfy our needs. And the other scenario as I understand is that with sufficient amount of fat in their diets, those people are not able to produce enough cholesterol because of a genetic problem. Thus they need a source of dietary cholesterol. …have any of the ex-vegans that have blogs followed a low-fat vegan diet?

    I wonder if any Indians in India, many of whom are vegetarian and often eat a near-vegan diet, experience problems related to low cholesterol. We have heard about the Asians with their cholesterol levels of below 150. What about Indians, especially those who are eating mostly plants?

  6. beforewisdom Says:

    The last time I had my cholesterol level checked it was around 89. My health has been the best its been and my sense of well being has been the best its been in years. Anecdotal accounts are not evidence, but my non-expert, non-educated opinion counts for as much ( or as little ) as other anecdotal accounts from non-experts.

  7. Maree Says:

    Hi Jack – I’m just wondering what vegan sources are there of cholesterol? I was under the impression that cholesterol is only present in animal products.

  8. Jan Says:

    I echo Sayward — thank you so much for all of this information. I’m new to your site and have been reading through it for the past week. I’ve been vegan for almost 10 years, without problems and honestly, without thinking too much about my diet — but recently I decided to research the nutrition aspects of it more closely. This task is, in a word, overwhelming. I can’t believe how much information is out there, along with many narratives of people who can’t make the diet work. I’m having a difficult time sorting through it and to be honest, am feeling rather de-centred by it all! I am left wondering, do many (or any?) people stick with veganism? I had a (perhaps superficial) understanding of the diet: I have always supplemented with B12 and a multivitamin and other than that, have mainly just tried to eat a variety of vegan foods. For the past week, though, I’ve been in a serious state of second-guessing everything. I guess my journey is to figure out what works for me. Anyway, thanks for all that you are doing. It’s much appreciated.

  9. Rich Says:

    Jack,
    I do not see the Amazon links you mention in your column. I’m not real likely to turn off my add blocking just so I can buy something through your site, so basically you are leaving me and I would guess a lot of other people out of your population of possible supporters. Isn’t there a way you can get the Amazon stuff to show it like the Pangea and Vegan Essentials do?

  10. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Rich,

    Thanks so much for trying to use my link. My understanding is that you only have to turn it off for the few seconds you need to click on the link, and then can turn right back on. But, I have no way of doing anything about this, as far as I can tell. If I were to change the link in any way, I would no longer get the percentage. I’m sorry about that. I’ll look into it more and see if there is anything that can be done.

    Thanks!

  11. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Lisa,

    I’ve often worried about spreading veganism in countries where B12 supplements and fortified foods were not readily available. I’ve usually figured that if someone can eat enough greens, they should be fine on calcium – not that a lot of vegans do, just that it’s possible. If you can eat 2 cups of cooked collard greens a day (admittedly, that’s a lot, but doable) or calcium-set tofu, you should be fine. If there really are no good sources of calcium available, then a glass of milk a day might be the only option. Hopefully, they can get milk from as humane a farm as possible.

  12. Jack Norris RD Says:

    > observational studies have found positive correlations between low serum cholesterol and depression (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.

    I am aware of that, though thanks for pointing it out again. In the past, I just didn’t think that eating a bit of meat could provide enough of a change in cholesterol to be responsible for the immediate improvements some people claim to feel. So I figured it must not be cholesterol. And I’m still not convinced, but it is sound more plausible as the reports of ex-vegans’ experiences come in.

    As for the QuasiVegan blog, she’s not a health professional, so I don’t expect rigorous scientific scrutiny. To quote George W. Bush, “It’s hard work” being President, and it’s also very hard work writing thorough lit reviews on nutrition topics. Even if you stick with scientific journals, it’s really hard not to just cherry pick the studies you find that happen to back up your current ideas. And I have to make a judgment call when recommending site or books – can I recommend something that isn’t totally up to my own standards or where I might disagree with something here or there? Most scientific papers are written by more than one person, if not an entire team of people. For what QuasiVegan has to work with (i.e., one person without a nutrition degree), I think she’s done a good job focusing on what might be going wrong for some vegans. She has the luxury of not needing to hold herself to standards that I hold myself to, which is to try my best to thoroughly research each topic* before making a statement.

    *No matter how much I do this, there are always things I’m going to miss. I’ve accepted it. When you read one journal article, it gives you a trail of citations to follow, which then give more citations to follow. At a certain point, you have to say ‘enough is enough’ or it will go on infinitely.

  13. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Jan,

    One of the problems that I think people run into is that upon becoming vegan they read a lot of the nutrition propaganda and then they restrict their diet even further and further until they do run into problems. It sounds like you already found what works for you and if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. (Although, you should make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D in addition to B12).

    I know a lot of people who have been vegan for 10-20+ years and are in good health, as well as vegan kids. See the section on Ellen Green here. And to quote a group of researchers who do a lot of research on vegetarians, “Overall, the data suggest that the health of Western vegetarians is good and similar to that of comparable non-vegetarians.” (Link)

  14. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Maree,

    Some (or possibly all) plants contain minute amounts of cholesterol – not enough to have any sort of dietary significance. So, for practical purposes only animal products have cholesterol. But the body makes cholesterol out of the byproducts of fat metabolism. And since carbohydrate and protein can all be turned into fat, the body can make cholesterol from all of them.

    Eating more fat should increase someone’s cholesterol levels, with saturated fat possibly increasing LDL and monounsaturated fat (such as olive oil) increasing HDL. This is theoretical because most studies have been done decreasing total fat and saturated fat, not increasing it. So, I’m reverse engineering these theories which might not hold.

  15. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Rich,

    I just found out that you can disable AdBlock for individual sites:

    http://www.devcha.com/2007/08/how-to-disable-adblock-plus-or.html

    I hope that helps. Thanks again.

  16. Roselie Says:

    Hi Jack!

    I recently found your site and I think you’re doing a fantastic job in educating people about the truths in the nutrition of veganism!
    .I ‘d like to ask your opinion about something closely related that I hear often lately, in regards of cholesterol. I ‘ve been thinking about, these claims some omnivores make that saturated fat and cholesterol are good for us or that all those relatively new diseases (cancer e.t.c.) are not caused by animal parts but only by processed foods and sugar. And it seems that they are judging only by SAD American’s standards, you know just pop a processed ready meal in the microwave and that’s your dinner, but they are not taking into consideration many other cultures with the same health problems but considerably less consumption of processed foods and sugar like Greece and where I lived. What do you think about that?

  17. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Roselie,

    Reviewing the literature on that subject is something I’m in the process of doing and hope to have it finished in the next few weeks. In the meantime, my sense of the research is that many studies link higher saturated fat intake to heart disease rates, but the finding has been inconsistent.

  18. Sayward Says:

    Okay, I finally went and read that blog. I have to say, it made me VERY uncomfortable. Honestly I’m surprised at your response to it., in helping to legitimize it. Obviously the author has read a lot about nutrition. I recognize all the different ideas because I’ve read them too – I think any armchair nutritionist who’s spent enough time on the internet has encountered those ideas. The problem is, she’s clearly not qualified to synthesize and present them in the manner that she is attempting. Neither am I, but the difference is that I don’t try to.

    I think it’s a bad bad thing when unqualified people try to pass themselves off as nutritional authorities on the net. It happens a ton and it does NOT help anyone; this is not a vegan issue, it’s a net issue. But because vegan nutrition is so misunderstood, it becomes particularly dangerous in these cases.

    To be clear, my problem is not that she is presenting and discussing these ideas. My problem is that she is attempting to do it *with authority*. I do not think this kind of thing should be encouraged.

  19. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Sayward,

    I can understand your misgivings, but I’m not saying people should believe every word QuasiVegan writes as the indisputable truth or change their diet based on her writings. Rather, I’m suggesting that people might be interested in what she has to say. In your case, I was wrong. But she has made me aware of a number of things I hadn’t considered (or considered enough).

    Here is an example. People often write to me about hair loss and I have an article about it on VeganHealth.org. But I was not aware of the connection between thyroid problems and hair loss. When I saw QuasiVegan’s mention of that, I checked it out at MayoClinic’s site and sure enough, there is a connection. I wonder if this could explain some of the hair loss vegans experience, particularly from not getting enough iodine. So, I will add that to my hair loss and iodine page soon (it’s in the queue!). Of course, I would check anything out before saying it’s true. I read the page on tooth decay QuasiVegan recommended and thought the ideas were pretty wacky.

    Anyway, I’m sorry to have disappointed you with my recommendation to read her blog.

  20. Lisa A. Says:

    Jack,

    How is thyroid typically checked? Is it possible to find out if one is consuming enough iodine by checking the blood or something else?

  21. beforewisdom Says:

    QuasiVegan recently posted in the comments section of my blog.

    Though she took it as a personal affront I told her in good faith that I would wait until established medical authorities reported on this issue before it would become an issue with me.

    I explained that in the 30 plus years since I went vegetarian I have seen things like this come and go. In the present day it is made even worse in that there is a web site with “citations” for every opinion. Single studies don’t mean much, even less when interpreted by people who are not professionals.

    If there is a dietary need for cholesterol among a minority of people and it is confirmed through proper scientific channels I am sure I will hear about it in the news. I couldn’t imagine the animal agriculture industries letting such a finding remain obscure to the public.

  22. Lisa A. Says:

    I am sorry about bugging you with questions. I did find an answer to my question about iodine intake and blood tests in the previous post. I should have looked more carefully.

    On your page about iodine, you mention that the amount of iodine in seaweed varies and that it is also easy to overdose. Probably for the same reason USDA nutrition database doesn’t have any information on iodine in its nutritional profiles of various foods. But is there an option for people who do not wish to take supplements? Is it possible to find out how much iodine comes in kelp powder that can be bought in bulk in some grocery stores? How big are the variances in iodine content of kelp and other seaweeds that are obtained from different sources? I am asking these questions because I understand that you are recommending supplementation to vegans in US who typically consume iodized salt. So that might not be enough in many cases, is that correct?

  23. Michael Says:

    Hi Jack!

    I wonder about all these supplements…maybe they are not enough? Have you read the wonderful book “healing with whole foods” from paul pitchford. This is one of the best nutrion books out there focusing on nutrion and health. And while the author is a vegan and gives a lot of knowledge on how to suceed with a vegan diet he says that from his viewpoint, some people need some animal foods (though small amounts). Also Jack Tips another “nutrional genius” ( with his wonderful book “the provita!plan) says that from his clinical experience he must say that there are people who do not well on a vegan diet and need small amounts of animal foods. Do you know both of them?

    best wishes
    MIchael

  24. CAB Says:

    I just cobbled together some info that is worth taking a look at:

    Vitamin K2, Saturated Fat and Other Fats, Unhealthy Gut Flora – Major Components Missing In a Healthy Vegan Diet.

    http://quasi-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/12/vitamin-k2-saturated-fat-and-other-fats.html

  25. CAB Says:

    Yeah the ideas are wacky, but there’s some gems in the wack. And further persistence you can get some real science out of the crap.

  26. CAB Says:

    You actually have to read all the posts to know that I have no authority and neither does anyone else. Does a certain “vegan” MD here in Santa Rosa have the authority. NO! Meet any family with massive tooth decay? I have. I was horrified to find this. In FL where there’s a vegan RD running the group, I would have the assumption that all vegans look like Nikki (she’s not only brilliant but she’s a babe). This is not the case. My perspective is not to close ourselves off to ideas coming from the “dark side”. Read the stuff on K2

  27. CAB Says:

    All the things you mentioned in your email to me or via this site, one that stood out was that you ate Earth Balance with your bread. Yes, it’s got saturated fat and the failure to thrive, for the most part, might come down to that and the K2 thing. Remember I’m here in Santa Rosa and Jack Noris has WAY MORE AUTHORITY than an MD but tell that to the people here and they’d run me out of town. I was so deeply depressed you have no idea that my beloved diet has harmed people. Not all people, but some people. I was shaken. Going to that Vegan Potluck here was the best thing and the worst thing all at the same time.

  28. CAB Says:

    I’ve got so much more on the tooth decay that that first post with the wacky link. The only thing I got out of that page was natto, and that lead to K2 and why some people have it and some people don’t. I’m hoping that people will not outsource their thinking to anyone, not to me, not to a certain MD here in Santa Rosa, not to anyone but actually listen to themselves and if they crave fish, then it might be from a lack of iodine (this is an example).

  29. Sayward Says:

    Hi Jack,

    Maybe I came off more stern than I intended. Sorry! As a pretty crunchy girl, I’m just very sensitive to the crunchy nutritional scene, and the prevalence of bad advice out there.

    I still love what you’re doing here! =)

  30. CAB Says:

    Yes, it is stream of consciousness and really wordy, like Mark Twain wrote, something like, “I don’t have time to make this shorter.” This past two weeks rattled me and so I’m trying to get the information out there for people to chew on.

    The cholesterol idea is something that WAPF adherents talk about a lot. But one thing leads to another. It’s not like they have corner on the perfect diet either. Instead of blocking all information from “them” it’s good to keep an open mind. Plus, reading the stories of failed vegans of the low fat and raw variety mostly is so very sad.

    I remember on veganbodybuilding or some other forum when that news of the baby who died was being publicized and one guy said, essentially, “What kind of nut jobs have hijacked my perfect diet?”.

    I want people to be healthy on this diet and I want them to listen to Jack Norris. I would love to be able to take back the vegan diet out of the hands of the money makers and cultists (that’s how it appears, pie in the face freaks) and the misguided to someone pragmatic and who loves animals because, “that animal’s life means something to that animal and his life means something to me” (I can’t find the exact quote by Jack). I want people to stop eating animals and their secretions not because they want to lose weight, get laid, be pure, appease their guilt, be moral, be ethical, and so forth. I want them to stop because they have deep empathy for animals at some level want to boycott the cruelty as a way of life. Even if they have to take supplements. That’s why the booklets are effective and movies like Peaceable Kingdom are effective, The Witness, but moves like Forks Over Knives, not effective.

    Those are my thoughts for the time being. I’m pooped.

  31. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Only salt for consumers is iodized, processed foods, while often containing a great deal of salt, do not contain iodized salt. So if you are someone who does not salt their food (like myself), you will not get any iodine that way. Because i do not want to encourage people to use salt, I recommend a supplement. Most of the iodine supplements I’ve seen are made from kelp, so wouldn’t that be the equivalent of getting it from kelp powder?

  32. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Michael,

    I have looked through Pitchford’s book – it was awhile ago. I don’t recall it telling me anything that I hadn’t heard before. I have never heard of Jack Tips.

  33. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Hi Sayward,

    No worries – I hear what you’re saying. I’m usually fairly picky about only promoting ideas I think have a decent amount of science behind them. What I like about QuasiVegan is that she has the a similar attitude to me – let’s not just dismiss ex-vegans’ claims, but let’s see if we can figure out what is going on. If history is any indication, it is not any one thing and will not be solved over night. But who knows.

  34. Lisa A. Says:

    Why wouldn’t producers of packaged foods use iodine?

    I remember taking small white iodine tablets when I was a kid. I looked it up and apparently they are made from casein iodine, which at this point will not work because they are not vegan. I will check out kelp capsules… I would rather not take that many tablets at this point. Putting some kelp powder in my morning green smoothies is much easier.

    I noticed that in one of the studies that you linked to researchers measured iodine in urine to approximate how much of iodine each subject was taking. I am curious if doctors use that in a combination with TSH to assess whether their patients are taking a sufficient amount of iodine.

  35. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Lisa,

    Since kelp seems to be one of the more reliable sources of iodine, using kelp powder would probably be fine. If you want to be more exact about the amounts you’re getting, adding a kelp tablet to your smoothie might be the way to go. I would think the blender would blend it up.

    > Why wouldn’t producers of packaged foods use iodine?

    Because they aren’t required to by law.

    As for doctors using iodine levels in urine, according to this site, it is the most reliable way to test for iodine deficiency in populations (so it seems like it should be a decent way to test for iodine deficiency in individuals?):

    http://www.iccidd.org/pages/technical-resources/assessing-iodine-status/fast-b-test.php

    I don’t recall doctors in the U.S. routinely including this test when testing for thyroid health, but it’s been awhile since I saw a typical thyroid panel.

    Jack

  36. Lisa A. Says:

    Thank you for your responses.

    Does it make sense to require producers of packaged foods to use iodized salt? Or is it going to be an overkill?

    Throwing a kelp capsule in the blender sounds like a good idea. I wonder if the price difference between capsules and kelp sold in bulk is significant. It might add up after a while.

    I will check with my physician. I would be really curious to see what my readings would be. My TSH levels have been normal during the last two years when I tested my blood. However, after reading you website and one of the linked studies I am beginning to think that we have not been eating enough iodine. So a test like that would be really useful.

  37. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Lisa,

    > Does it make sense to require producers of packaged foods to use iodized salt? Or is it going to be an overkill?

    Most of the population doesn’t need it. Might be worth suggesting to a soy milk manufacturer, though.

  38. CAB Says:

    http://quasi-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/12/link-between-low-cholesterol-andcancer.html

    This is an interesting post and special thanks goes out to a commenter here for the inspiration.

  39. linda ellison Says:

    Hello; I am thankful to have found this site. I was vegan or about a year, and tried very carefully to educate myself and eat as well as possible. Initially I lost 30 pounds easily, which I needed to lose, and felt much, much better. Slowly, over time, however, I began to feel more and more fatigued and weak. (I did supplement with a sub-lingual B-12 spray). I very reluctantly started eating eggs, dairy, and a small amount of chicken again. I feel miserable about eating animal products, and have decided to give veganism another try. Perhaps with the help of your site, I will succeed. I do feel overwhelmed by the information on the internet, some of which seems “cultlike” and extreme. Thank you for your balanced and intelligent information.

  40. linda ellison Says:

    I also wanted to ask – regarding your comment about two cups of cooked collard greens supplying adequate daily calcium – is it important that the greens be cooked, or would two cups of raw collards in a smoothie provide the same benefit? Thank you.

  41. Amy Says:

    Thanks Jack, but I don’t have time to spend reading diatribes by people who are not medical or dietary professionals, pontificating on all kinds of subjects they most likely know little or nothing about.

  42. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Linda,

    A cup of raw collards has 52 mg of calcium.

    I have never seen research comparing the absorption of raw collards to cooked. I would be a little concerned that calcium from raw collards isn’t absorbed as well, but it might be (might even be absorbed better).

  43. CAB Says:

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2002-0816.ch010

    Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent nutritional problem in the world today. Diet composition is critical since low iron intake and/or bioavailability (IB) are the main causes of the deficiency. Previously, Kapanidis and Lee (1) showed that cooked cruciferous vegetables increased extrinsic IB three to four fold and could improve iron nutrition. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the effect of cooking on in vitro IB of various vegetables for their potential for improving iron nutrition and combating anemia. Forty-eight kinds of vegetables were studied for their IB (expressed as Iron dialyzability, ID) in both raw and cooked forms. A wide variation in ID was observed, ranging from 0.2% to 33.8%. Cooking resulted in higher ID in 37 of the 48 samples. Other heating processes, such as oven drying and stir-frying, were also examined and showed increased ID. We can assign these vegetables into three categories based on their ID and enhancement by cooking. Possible mechanisms for ID increases are discussed.

    Cooking increases bioavailability.

    Diatribes indeed ;-)

  44. Jack Norris RD Says:

    CAB,

    But that’s for iron, not calcium. It might be true for calcium, too, but I wouldn’t assume so based on iron studies. Good find, though.

  45. CAB Says:

    Here’s one by Dr. Greger:

    http://www.all-creatures.org/health/rawversus.html

  46. CAB Says:

    Ahh. Oops. I just saw the other day something on kale at vegfamily as the best source for calcium:

    http://www.vegfamily.com/whole-family/kale.htm

    Unlike spinach or chardchard, kale doesn’t contain oxalic acidoxalic acid, which prevents the body from absorbing calcium. Kale is the richest of the greens in the phytochemical luteinlutein. Known mostly for its prevention of eye diseaseeye disease, lutein is now thought to be more protective against cancer than beta-carotein. Kale is also one of the highest sources of antioxidant flavonoids which help ward off heart disease and regulate blood pressure.

  47. Jack Norris RD Says:

    There is a discussion here about the calcium absorption rates from various plant foods:

    http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=744

  48. linda ellison Says:

    I read Christina’s very interesting post about iron deficiency anemia. I thought I read somewhere that post menopausal women and some men can have too much iron, which contributes to heart disease, hence iron-fortified cereal, etc., is not a good idea. What do those of you who know much more about all this than I do think?

  49. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Linda,

    Some people store too much iron; it’s called hemochromatosis. Men and postmenopausal women should not actively try to increase iron absorption unless they know they have low iron stores.

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