Starch vs No Starch ? More Fruits vs More Vegetables? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-05-2014, 05:32 AM
 
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Hi,

 

Was wondering what everything thinks of the topic of starch vs no starch. (bread, pasta, rice) obviously things such as beans contain a lot of starch as well as protein and is a stable in many vegetarian's diet, and root vegetables like potatoes/sweet potatoes are also a possible and convenient source of carbohydrates, but how about things such as bread, pasta, rice, etc?

 

Prior to my decision to become a vegetarian, I was a Paleo Diet type eater that get my carbohydrates primarily from fruits and vegetables. But I'm curious as to what everything thinks of this subject.

 

Obviously, being a vegetarian or vegan is a pretty vague generalization of one's diet, and just by being a vegetarian doesn't mean you're on a healthier diet if 80% of what you eat are pasta/rice/bread with minimum amount of nutritious values. On top of that, being a new vegetarian myself, i'm curious about the various types of vegetarian/vegan diet, since there's everyone has their own belief on what is is considered a healthier diet- and this ranges from heavy complex carbs, to strictly fruits/vegetables, all the way to the extreme of fruitarianism.

 

So, while we're on this topic, I would love to hear your your thoughts on this, as well as your personal experience with these various vegetarian dietary lifestyle.

 

Are you 50% fruits 40% vegetables and 10% complex carb?  30% fruits 70% vegetables? etc.

 

Obviously, all of these dietary plans and ideas are simply that, an idea or theory on how we should eat- and we must fine tune them to fit our personal needs. But, as a new vegetarian, I would love to learn as much as I can from everyone, and hopefully, after some experiments- come up with my own conclusion.

 

Anyways, hope to hear from everyone soon! :)

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#2 Old 04-05-2014, 07:02 AM
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I, personally, eat all the bad stuff! For me life is about balance. If I'm eating pasta I'll want to have it with a healthy sauce or side dishes. It isn't so much that those foods are bad for you, they just add calories without adding a lot of nutrients. It's not that I'll eat nutritionless foods all the time but if it is part of a meal or snack I just try to make sure the other parts of the meal are giving me nutrition.

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#3 Old 04-05-2014, 07:22 AM
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Yes! Saying you're veg'n doesn't say anything but meatless. It can be compared to an omnivore diet healthwise only on an equal comparison.

Initially I was all whole foods. The book Eat to Live was my standard. I tracked my diet on sparkpeople.com.

That was a step away from being an emotional eater. Now that I have a handle of where I am naturally with food, I do eat some processed things like Boca chik'n patties, Top Ramen noodles, and still like my pasta the standard white semolina. I also like white potatoes.

 

I try and focus on having dark greens daily and make a lot of stew/bowl type meals.

 

I still eat chips and cracker things. That's an on/off thing for me because I'm not good at moderation!

 

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#4 Old 04-05-2014, 10:39 AM
 
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Personally, if I don't eat something starchy everyday my body and mind go banana's.  So, I try to have either home popped popcorn, a potato, quinoa, or whole wheat noodles everyday.  I don't know the percentages of my diet, but my days usually look something like this:

 

B - Smoothie (1/2 veggie to 1/2 fruit)

 

L - Veggie soup, a big ol' salad, or veggie kimbap

 

D - Smoothie (2/3 veggie to 1/3 fruit) and either some popcorn, noodles and veggies, rice and veggies, or a potato.

 

S - Handful or nuts, 80% dark chocolate, or maybe some dry Cheerio type cereal, or all three.

 

I've heard arguments against starches and carbs, but I believe they add to a healthy diet.   But of course everyone responds to food differently so that's just what works for me.  Which is why I've never tried that 80 10 10 thing.  I mean fruit is awesome, but because sweet things don't generally appeal to me I've never understood how you can eat so much fruit!  lol   

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#5 Old 04-05-2014, 09:27 PM
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I love starches. I eat a lot of carbs and am not picky where I get them. Whether it's fruit, grains, or starches. If I have something like pasta I make sure the sauce is simple and has low sodium and include veggies, and sometimes legumes with it.

 

I have been recently eating close to 80/10/10. Being 80% carbs, 10% protein, and 10% fat. I don't eat fully raw though. About half of what I eat is fruit, then the rest is typically a grain or starch with some veggies. This way of eating just makes sense to me so I'm trying it out and so far I feel just dandy, but I plan to live like this so we shall see how it is long term. Plus my family has a history of heart problems so I plan on avoiding that. It helps keep me motivated when looking at vegan junk food to instead eat something better.

 

In my opinion the healthiest diet possible comes from eating raw fruits and veggies. You can't get healthier than that to me. But I don't see such a huge draw back from eating some cooked foods, and I can't afford to eat mostly fruits right now so I don't see a problem using grains/starches in place of them for carbs when I need to. As long as I don't slather them in oils and sauces then it's ok to me.

 

Am I an expert? Heck no! But there are tons of different diets by "experts". You just got to look at the research, form your own opinion, and give it a whirl.

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#6 Old 04-06-2014, 04:07 AM
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Even long before I became vegan I ate grains and starches as staples.  Once, years ago, I was put on an anti candida diet for yeast infections (that really had nothing to do with the dubious diagnosis I received of "candida overgrowth" but was because I was castrated along with my total hysterectomy and surgical menopause and hormone hell caused the yeast infections).  I was allowed nothing but fresh vegetables (only non starchy ones), a few nuts/seeds, and fresh meat.  I did this for over six months and felt absolutely horrible.  I went from low normal weight to very underweight and had almost no energy to speak of.  it also did nothing for the yeast infections I was supposed to starve off by avoiding carbs and sugar.  

 

As a vegan I eat a mostly whole foods diet that includes 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, several servings of beans, maybe a serving or two of seeds or nuts or avocado, and usually average five or so servings of grains.  I do not eat pasta more than a few times a month, and if I eat bread it is the whole grain seeded mostly homemade variety (or I use Ezekiel sprouted bread) but I can go weeks without it and then have it daily for a week and so on.  The grains I eat consistently daily are grains like quinoa, buckwheat groats, millet, oats, bulgur wheat grain, brown or wild rice.   I try to avoid using a lot of flour but occasionally enjoy buckwheat pancakes or homemade bread or grind my own flour in my high speed blender for muffins and so on, even use vital wheat gluten once in a blue moon for homemade seitan but very rarely.  On rare occasion for special treats I do use white flour mixed with whole wheat.  With a long history of an eating disorder (that started with the shock of losing my ovaries and then being put on that ridiculous candida diet) it is important for me not to be too strict with food and it is something I still battle with.  But I always have felt better including grains in my diet.  When I went vegan and eliminated meat and dairy and eggs from my diet, I felt worlds better, my stamina and energy increased, even my cholesterol numbers and glucose/triglycerides etc comparing the numbers from screenings as an omnivore and as a vegan improved a lot even though they were healthy before.  in three years I have still not fallen short on any vitamin and my iron/hemoglobin is excellent and B12 still good with supplementing that.  My only major issue of concern is osteoporosis that i have had for many years (starting as an omnivore consuming yogurt daily).  I try to be vigilant about getting in at least two cups of low oxylate leafy greens daily for calcium and other bone building minerals as well as fortified plant milks and foods like sesame seeds. I take a Vegan D supplement in winter months and cycle to work from May to October so get more sunlight then.   I try to keep my sugar intake low and use fresh fruit to sweeten grains (or pancakes) but on occasion use blackstrap molasses because of it's calcium and iron profile.  Or I might use maple syrup in a dessert or special occasion treat.   

 

I know that there is a lot of propaganda out there about how evil and unhealthy grains are, but personally I think in whole form they offer health benefits that are important for me (such as B vitamins and magnesium and fiber and so on) and provide satiety and fullness.  I have never had issues with blood sugar eating whole grains, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, beans daily.  I have VERY regular healthy bowel movements.  I don't feel the sluggishness and congestion issues I felt with meat, dairy and eggs.  Dairy really messed with my digestion and I could not tolerate most of it (cramps, diarrhea, bloating) with the exception of plain/greek yogurt that I used to consume daily.  I think if a person has a gluten intolerance that it is important to avoid gluten containing grains, and everyone should avoid or minimize the use of refined grains and pasta stripped of nutrients, (or adding loads of butter and other unhealthy stuff to potatoes) but whole grains and natural starches from beans and whole potatoes are fine.


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#7 Old 04-06-2014, 07:07 AM
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Here in Canada, fruits and veggies aren't even considered different food groups.

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#8 Old 04-08-2014, 11:25 PM
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So, while we're on this topic, I would love to hear your your thoughts on this, as well as your personal experience with these various vegetarian dietary lifestyle.

Are you 50% fruits 40% vegetables and 10% complex carb?  30% fruits 70% vegetables? etc.
I'm not into dietary fads, latest "super foods", etc and instead stick with a more traditional vegetarian diet. I'm not sure what the percentages would be but I mostly eat starchy foods (3~5 servings of legumes combined with 6~12 servings of grains/starchy vegetables), I don't eat that much fruit (1~3 servings a day), a moderate amount of vegetables (3~5 servings), a moderate amount of nuts/seeds (1~3 servings a day).

For grains I almost always eat whole wheat, oats or brown rice and here and there I may have some fresh (white) french bread or white basmati rice.

Grains + legumes = good health as a vegetarian.
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#9 Old 04-08-2014, 11:27 PM
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Here in Canada, fruits and veggies aren't even considered different food groups.
I'm not familiar with how things are done in Canada but there are, I think, good reasons to distinguish between "fruit" (which in the US refers to sweet fruits) and vegetables (which includes numerous botanical fruits). "Fruits" aren't particularly nutritious, have very low protein contents, etc.
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#10 Old 04-08-2014, 11:51 PM
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Find what works for you. If you feel good with a lot of fruit and a handful of nuts a day, go for it. If you feel good on rice, oats, beans, condiments, collards, and raisins, do it. I fall easily within the USDA recommendations for nutrition, I am not concerned that my diet is unhealthy.

Eat it all, except for the really bad stuff. wink3.gif
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#11 Old 04-09-2014, 01:35 AM
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Find what works for you. If you feel good with a lot of fruit and a handful of nuts a day, go for it.
How do you determine what "works for you" ? Do you do excessive blood work? What about the nutritional issues that take years to manifest? Just wait and see?
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#12 Old 04-09-2014, 03:08 AM
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How do you determine what "works for you" ? Do you do excessive blood work? What about the nutritional issues that take years to manifest? Just wait and see?

I haven't gotten blood work done in a long time, I'm feeling pretty healthy.

There are many variations one can make in a diet that meets USDA recommendations. Experimenting with different food groups in different ratio to each other should not risk malnutrition if it is in accordance with guidelines.

If macro and micro nutrient guidelines are met, I fail to see what the risk is for long term deficiency.

Some days I feel like 30 bananas, other times I feel like black bean burgers and falafel. They sit a little differently (or at different times) in my stomach.
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#13 Old 04-09-2014, 06:40 AM
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I'm not into dietary fads, latest "super foods", etc and instead stick with a more traditional vegetarian diet. I'm not sure what the percentages would be but I mostly eat starchy foods (3~5 servings of legumes combined with 6~12 servings of grains/starchy vegetables), I don't eat that much fruit (1~3 servings a day), a moderate amount of vegetables (3~5 servings), a moderate amount of nuts/seeds (1~3 servings a day).

For grains I almost always eat whole wheat, oats or brown rice and here and there I may have some fresh (white) french bread or white basmati rice.

Grains + legumes = good health as a vegetarian.

Considering how much we have argued over this, I'm surprised at how similar our diet compositions are.

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#14 Old 04-09-2014, 07:33 AM
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I'm not familiar with how things are done in Canada but there are, I think, good reasons to distinguish between "fruit" (which in the US refers to sweet fruits) and vegetables (which includes numerous botanical fruits). "Fruits" aren't particularly nutritious, have very low protein contents, etc.

Just because a food is not particularly high in protein does not mean it's not nutritious. Fruits are a good source of vitamins and some minerals! :)

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#15 Old 04-09-2014, 10:08 AM
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OT: I think the amount of starch you take in should depend of how much calories you spend. If you do a lot of sport or have a fast metabolism then you should take more of it. If your metabolism is slow, you should eat more veggies and less starchy foods. Either way, it's a good idea to have at least some grains in your diet, preferably whole. If you are too tin and are having a hard time gaining weight even with a high carb diet, try taking more nuts instead. Peanut butter in particular is one of the healthiest things you could eat to gain weight.

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#16 Old 04-09-2014, 08:53 PM
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I haven't gotten blood work done in a long time, I'm feeling pretty healthy.
I guess I prefer objective measures of health over the subjective. Many people feel good one day and die of a heart attack, among other things, the next day.
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There are many variations one can make in a diet that meets USDA recommendations. Experimenting with different food groups in different ratio to each other should not risk malnutrition if it is in accordance with guidelines.
Which guidelines? The USDA guidelines are for people eating meat and other common foods as such you can't extend them to people eating diets much different than the ones used to determine the guidelines. The nutrients in foods vary in their bioavailability so where the nutrients are coming from is just as important as the daily recommended intake. A traditional vegetarian diet is similar enough that most of the USDA guidelines should work, but increased protein, zinc and iron are recommended for vegetarians (and especially for vegans).

Eating 30 bananas in a day wouldn't meet the USDA guidelines.
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Just because a food is not particularly high in protein does not mean it's not nutritious. Fruits are a good source of vitamins and some minerals! smiley.gif
Sure but sweet fruits aren't, as a whole, high in nutritional value regardless of their protein content. That is why the recommended intake of fruits is 2~4 servings, above 4 servings and fruits can start to displace important nutrients. And, yes, fruits are a good source of some vitamins and minerals and can be part of a healthful diet. I'm not familiar with the guidelines in Canada but I think there is good reasons to separate the two and especially in the case of veg*ns where certain vegetables, but not fruits, play an important role in the diet.
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#17 Old 04-09-2014, 09:52 PM
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I'm not familiar with the guidelines in Canada

It's pretty similar with the American one. Fruits and veggies being fused together is the main difference.

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#18 Old 04-10-2014, 01:25 AM
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I guess I prefer objective measures of health over the subjective. Many people feel good one day and die of a heart attack, among other things, the next day.
I do as well, I keep track of my BP and BMI regularly.
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Which guidelines? The USDA guidelines are for people eating meat and other common foods as such you can't extend them to people eating diets much different than the ones used to determine the guidelines. The nutrients in foods vary in their bioavailability so where the nutrients are coming from is just as important as the daily recommended intake. A traditional vegetarian diet is similar enough that most of the USDA guidelines should work, but increased protein, zinc and iron are recommended for vegetarians (and especially for vegans).
Yes, this is true that the RDA is slightly higher for protein, Zn, and Fe. These are the guidelines I was referring to.
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Eating 30 bananas in a day wouldn't meet the USDA guidelines.
Sure but sweet fruits aren't, as a whole, high in nutritional value regardless of their protein content. That is why the recommended intake of fruits is 2~4 servings, above 4 servings and fruits can start to displace important nutrients. And, yes, fruits are a good source of some vitamins and minerals and can be part of a healthful diet. I'm not familiar with the guidelines in Canada but I think there is good reasons to separate the two and especially in the case of veg*ns where certain vegetables, but not fruits, play an important role in the diet.
30 bananas in addition to salads, nuts or seeds, and rice would meet guidelines easily. Just 30 bananas would not meet RDA, just as solely black bean burger and falafel wouldn't.

For people that have already experimented with non SAD food diets, I feel there is a potential for wanting different dietary experiences. Eating 30 bananas for one day is likely going to be a whole new experience on the toilet for someone used to low carb diets. I don't consider this to be especially dangerous.

Yes, following USDA recommendations for veg*ns is a good idea. Any combination of scurvy, kwashiorkor, night blindness, goiters, and anemia isn't groovy.
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#19 Old 04-10-2014, 04:47 PM
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I do as well, I keep track of my BP and BMI regularly.
So then, I ask again, what should someone do to determine whether their diet is "working"? Merely talking your blood pressure and observing your weight isn't going to tell you that much. To determine, in any real sense, whether a diet is working you'd need to run a lot of tests and even there you'd only be able to catch the sorts of conditions that manifest themselves over shorter periods of time. The nutritional issues that take decades to manifest, like poor bone density and heart disease, would only be known when it was too late.

I just don't see how an individual is going to realistically determine whether some alternative approach to diet is "working" for them. The best one could do is blow thousands on various testing and hope that the long-term works out as well.
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Yes, this is true that the RDA is slightly higher for protein, Zn, and Fe. These are the guidelines I was referring to.
The RDA for protein is slightly higher, but the RDA for zinc an iron is a lot higher. 50% more zinc and 50~80% more iron. But these guidelines are based on people eating a diet that is built around a traditional eating pattern (e.g, grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, etc) and not people with alternative eating patterns.

But regardless of that, I don't think there is a large range of vegetarian eating patterns that consistently meet the standard guidelines and that is why, perhaps, you see a lot of consistency in the diets of traditional populations that eat no to little meat. The biggest difference is whether the primary staple is a starchy vegetable or a grain, these two seem to be nutritionally interchangeable. Some of the popular themes (high fruit, high raw, smoothie diet, greasy frou-frou diet, etc) in western vegetarianism are a big departure from the sort of eating patterns that are known "to work".
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30 bananas in addition to salads, nuts or seeds, and rice would meet guidelines easily

For people that have already experimented with non SAD food diets, I feel there is a potential for wanting different dietary experiences. Eating 30 bananas for one day is likely going to be a whole new experience on the toilet for someone used to low carb diets. I don't consider this to be especially dangerous.
You eat 30 bananas in addition to salads, nuts, seeds and rice? The bananas alone is 3,000+ calories.

I'm not sure what you mean by people wanting "different dietary experiences". My diet is health oriented and is by means the SAD yet I've never been compelled to try an alternative diet.....and definitely haven't been compelled to eat 30 bananas. I just base my diet on nutritional science and what has been known to work for thousands of years.
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#20 Old 04-10-2014, 05:30 PM
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So then, I ask again, what should someone do to determine whether their diet is "working"? Merely talking your blood pressure and observing your weight isn't going to tell you that much. To determine, in any real sense, whether a diet is working you'd need to run a lot of tests and even there you'd only be able to catch the sorts of conditions that manifest themselves over shorter periods of time. The nutritional issues that take decades to manifest, like poor bone density and heart disease, would only be known when it was too late.
If they feel good, maintain healthy BMI, BP, and meet RDA. I don't need to know my blood panel to have a reasonable assurance I'm getting my vitamins. BP and weight really do 'tell much', they are key risk factors for CHD. A diet working for me, is one that fuels me to work and not get sick often. For you, a working diet requires blood panels. If you'd like to pay my copay for a blood panel, I have a PayPal account you can send money to.
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I just don't see how an individual is going to realistically determine whether some alternative approach to diet is "working" for them. The best one could do is blow thousands on various testing and hope that the long-term works out as well.
Alternative to SAD shouldn't garner such cynicism. Following USDA recommendations for veg*ns is a reasonable likelihood of a diet that works long term.
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The RDA for protein is slightly higher, but the RDA for zinc an iron is a lot higher. 50% more zinc and 50~80% more iron. But these guidelines are based on people eating a diet that is built around a traditional eating pattern (e.g, grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, etc) and not people with alternative eating patterns.

But regardless of that, I don't think there is a large range of vegetarian eating patterns that consistently meet the standard guidelines and that is why, perhaps, you see a lot of consistency in the diets of traditional populations that eat no to little meat. The biggest difference is whether the primary staple is a starchy vegetable or a grain, these two seem to be nutritionally interchangeable. Some of the popular themes (high fruit, high raw, smoothie diet, greasy frou-frou diet, etc) in western vegetarianism are a big departure from the sort of eating patterns that are known "to work".
You eat 30 bananas in addition to salads, nuts, seeds and rice? The bananas alone is 3,000+ calories.
I buy 40 lb boxes of bananas on occasion, and I will eat 20-30 bananas a day until they run out. 20-30 bananas makes 2 smoothies, I put flax seed meal, strawberries, and soy milk in each. I lift, run, swim, and cycle. If I was sitting on my asparagus all day I wouldn't be able to enjoy all this food.
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I'm not sure what you mean by people wanting "different dietary experiences". My diet is health oriented and is by means the SAD yet I've never been compelled to try an alternative diet.....and definitely haven't been compelled to eat 30 bananas. I just base my diet on nutritional science and what has been known to work for thousands of years.
That's great. OP was doing paleo diet, which I consider a 'different dietary experience'. For most Americans, a vegan diet also qualifies as a 'different dietary experience'. I don't believe it is a coincidence veg*ns and paleo folks both flip back and forth between the two.
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#21 Old 04-10-2014, 08:40 PM
 
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Carbs become glucose which becomes glycogen stored in your muscles if you don't have enough already.

 

Your muscles run on glycogen.

 

If your energy level is low eat some good carbs.  If you're losing too much weight eat some good carbs.  Your muscles need 'em and you won't feel well without them.

 

If you're overweight don't overdo carbs but get enough so you can stay active.

 

Anyway, that's my best guess.

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#22 Old 04-11-2014, 02:18 AM
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If they feel good, maintain healthy BMI, BP, and meet RDA. I don't need to know my blood panel to have a reasonable assurance I'm getting my vitamins.
Why not? The amount of vitamins and minerals you put in your mouth and what your body actually absorbs and utilizes are two different things. Absorption rates, utilization, etc are all effected by ones particular eating pattern so I don't see how you can have any sort of "reasonable assurance" without actually testing it.
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BP and weight really do 'tell much', they are key risk factors for CHD. A diet working for me, is one that fuels me to work and not get sick often. For you, a working diet requires blood panels. If you'd like to pay my copay for a blood panel, I have a PayPal account you can send money to.
They are risk factors but they aren't "key risk factors", people with normal BMI and blood pressure die of heart disease all the time. But cardiovascular disease is just one disease. I think many people eating a SAD diet could say that "it fuels me and I don't get sick often" so if that is what you mean by a diet "working" than its pretty far removed from ones actual long-term health.

And I'm certainly not the only one suggesting blood panels are important, after all, everyone is recommended to have their blood work done at regular intervals. But what I'm questioning here is the idea that one can determine whether some alternative diet is "working" from subjective measures of health and/or very broad markers.
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Alternative to SAD shouldn't garner such cynicism. Following USDA recommendations for veg*ns is a reasonable likelihood of a diet that works long term.
I buy 40 lb boxes of bananas on occasion, and I will eat 20-30 bananas a day until they run out. 20-30 bananas makes 2 smoothies, I put flax seed meal, strawberries, and soy milk in each. I lift, run, swim, and cycle.
I haven't been talking about the SAD diet, when I say "alternative diets" I mean alternative to the standard science-based recommendations. You seem to be saying two different things here. Earlier you said this:

"Find what works for you. If you feel good with a lot of fruit and a handful of nuts a day, go for it"

And now you're saying that if you follow the USDA recommendations there is a reasonable likelihood of a diet working long-term. The USDA recommends a very particular eating pattern and a diet of "a lot of fruit" doesn't meet their guidelines so you are suggesting that alternatives to the USDA recommendations are okay if "it works". This is why I asked you about how one determines whether a diet "works for you".
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#23 Old 04-11-2014, 05:06 AM
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Why not? The amount of vitamins and minerals you put in your mouth and what your body actually absorbs and utilizes are two different things. Absorption rates, utilization, etc are all effected by ones particular eating pattern so I don't see how you can have any sort of "reasonable assurance" without actually testing it.
Barring personal malabsorption issues, the RDA are set for veg*n diets with these issues in mind. I don't feel the need to test them, and I'm not saying it's a bad idea to test them.
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They are risk factors but they aren't "key risk factors", people with normal BMI and blood pressure die of heart disease all the time. But cardiovascular disease is just one disease. I think many people eating a SAD diet could say that "it fuels me and I don't get sick often" so if that is what you mean by a diet "working" than its pretty far removed from ones actual long-term health.
Personally, I feel the effects a junk diet within the day I eat it. This is anecdotal, but I have a hunch my gut is on to something. I'd bet money if I ate what makes me feel unwell for a month, I'd have some horrible blood panels. Those things would include boxes of oreos, butter butters, and ice cream. They fuel me, and I don't literally get sick, but I feel terrible. Feeling good or bad is the first symptom I use for evaluating if what I'm eating is working.
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And I'm certainly not the only one suggesting blood panels are important, after all, everyone is recommended to have their blood work done at regular intervals. But what I'm questioning here is the idea that one can determine whether some alternative diet is "working" from subjective measures of health and/or very broad markers.
I haven't been talking about the SAD diet, when I say "alternative diets" I mean alternative to the standard science-based recommendations. You seem to be saying two different things here. Earlier you said this:

"Find what works for you. If you feel good with a lot of fruit and a handful of nuts a day, go for it"

And now you're saying that if you follow the USDA recommendations there is a reasonable likelihood of a diet working long-term. The USDA recommends a very particular eating pattern and a diet of "a lot of fruit" doesn't meet their guidelines so you are suggesting that alternatives to the USDA recommendations are okay if "it works". This is why I asked you about how one determines whether a diet "works for you".
I never said "Only eat fruit and nuts." You can eat a lot of fruit and meet RDA. Even if I pull up a food log we will end up debating what is 'a lot'.

Perhaps I am a renegade astronaut plunging into dangerous territory eating strange ratios of fruit when I buy boxes of bananas. On my list of things to worry about, peoples concern over my strange eating habits now reside at the near bottom of the sea floor.

My official recommendation is to adhere to the dietary recommendations the US government has set forth. Eat a lot of fruit at your own risk, always wear your seatbelt, pay your taxes, and keep your vaccinations up to date.
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#24 Old 04-11-2014, 06:30 AM
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I think you are both right at some level. If you are active, follow the RDA guideline and take your B12, you are probably very healthy, but it's still worth it to get your blood tested from time to time just to be sure.

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#25 Old 04-11-2014, 10:56 AM
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I'm not into dietary fads, latest "super foods", etc and instead stick with a more traditional vegetarian diet. I'm not sure what the percentages would be but I mostly eat starchy foods (3~5 servings of legumes combined with 6~12 servings of grains/starchy vegetables), I don't eat that much fruit (1~3 servings a day), a moderate amount of vegetables (3~5 servings), a moderate amount of nuts/seeds (1~3 servings a day).

For grains I almost always eat whole wheat, oats or brown rice and here and there I may have some fresh (white) french bread or white basmati rice.

Grains + legumes = good health as a vegetarian.

Considering how much we have argued over this, I'm surprised at how similar our diet compositions are.

I was thinking the same thing, lol, but I have more fruit and somewhat less grains. I love potatoes and legumes of all kinds. grin.gif

My weight stays fine, I don't restrict food, and my labs are good except high lipids (which run in my family, and are improving but preexisting from standard American diet until age 40ish, now 55 years old.)
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#26 Old 04-11-2014, 09:22 PM
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Barring personal malabsorption issues, the RDA are set for veg*n diets with these issues in mind. I don't feel the need to test them, and I'm not saying it's a bad idea to test them.
The RDA aren't set for vegetarians in mind and they definitely aren't set with alternative eating patterns in mind. This is part of the issue. While we have a pretty good idea what intakes are required by those eating traditional style vegetarian diets there is little to no research on alternative diets.
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They fuel me, and I don't literally get sick, but I feel terrible. Feeling good or bad is the first symptom I use for evaluating if what I'm eating is working.
But, like I said, there are plenty of people that don't feel terrible after eating ice cream etc....so for them is a junk food diet working?
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I never said "Only eat fruit and nuts." You can eat a lot of fruit and meet RDA. Even if I pull up a food log we will end up debating what is 'a lot'.
I didn't suggest you said eat "only eat fruit" but a diet that includes "a lot of fruit" wouldn't meet the USDA guidelines. The USDA guidelines for fruit is 2~4 servings a day, I don't think 4 servings would count as "a lot". Meeting nutrient requirements while eating "a lot of fruit" is difficult.
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#27 Old 04-11-2014, 10:04 PM
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I'm not aware of any serious study advising against eating a lot of fruits.
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#28 Old 04-11-2014, 10:19 PM
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The RDA aren't set for vegetarians in mind and they definitely aren't set with alternative eating patterns in mind.
The RDA values set for veg*ns have been set specifically with a veg*n diet in mind. The RDA values that are not altered are found sufficient for both veg*ns and meat eaters. Why you think differently is puzzling. I don't know what 'alternative eating patterns' you are referring to.
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This is part of the issue. While we have a pretty good idea what intakes are required by those eating traditional style vegetarian diets there is little to no research on alternative diets.
But, like I said, there are plenty of people that don't feel terrible after eating ice cream etc....so for them is a junk food diet working?
I said 'feel good' not 'don't feel terrible'. Define 'junk food diet'. Taken to the extreme, a junk food diet may be a diet only comprised of ice cream. If this person feels good (not just 'not terrible') on an ice cream island, then it's working until they no longer feel good (or more accuratelly well).
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I didn't suggest you said eat "only eat fruit" but a diet that includes "a lot of fruit" wouldn't meet the USDA guidelines. The USDA guidelines for fruit is 2~4 servings a day, I don't think 4 servings would count as "a lot".
Define 'a lot of fruit'. It's arbitrary, and I'm not about to debate subjective values.
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Meeting nutrient requirements while eating "a lot of fruit" is difficult.
I feel like we are beating a dead horseradish here, Logic.
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#29 Old 04-11-2014, 10:22 PM
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I'm not aware of any serious study advising against eating a lot of fruits.
Are you aware of any study that has shown that eating "a lot of fruit" is a healthful dietary practice?

I've always thought it a bit peculiar that people think, in the case of food and dietary practices, that something is safe until shown otherwise.
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#30 Old 04-11-2014, 10:35 PM
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The RDA values set for veg*ns have been set specifically with a veg*n diet in mind. The RDA values that are not altered are found sufficient for both veg*ns and meat eaters. Why you think differently is puzzling.
I think differently because contrary to what you seem to think there is not, in fact, any RDA "set for vegetarians". There is no official RDA for vegetarians, instead we have the standard RDA with recommendations by some researchers that these may need to be adjusted for vegetarians. Neither the standard RDA nor the unofficial recommended adjustments have in mind alternative diets though, instead they are built around the USDA eating pattern. For vegetarians that would mean substituting legumes for meat and a "USDA vegan diet" is a less clear since the USDA still explicitly recommends dairy.

When I say "alternative eating pattern", I mean alternatives to the eating pattern promoted by the USDA and other health groups. For example a raw food diet, a high fruit diet, paleo diet, etc.

The RDA isn't an abstract, its based on particular assumptions about the sorts of foods that are being consumed. When a diet starts to deviate significantly from the assumptions used to create the RDA you can no longer apply the RDA to the alternative diet. Even changing one assumption, namely the consumption of meat, requires some significant modifications.
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