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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, i;ll state that I'm not vegan. I'm just a vegetarian how has a strong dislike of most dairy products.

Anyway, I find it incredibly annoying how nutritional guidelines do not actually seem to focus on nutrition, but rather on consuming certain foods to get nutrition. The big one that relaly pisses me off is milk. And I actually think that it's rather dangerous to simply rely on one type of food for nutrition, and milk is a classic example. We're all brought up to believe that milk is a great source ofcalcium. (And it is a good source of calcium.) However, I don't think that it promotes good nutrition when priority is only given to milk. I'm sure that all the vegans here will know whee else to get calcium from, but nutritional guidelines tell us only to rely on milk.

Now, the reason this is in the "health and nutrition" section is because I don't think this is a responsible way to promote nutrition whatsoever. Take my example. I hate milk. In fact, the only dairy products I will eat are chocolate and pizza, and even then, the dairy-free chocolates appeal to me more. I've always been told to drink more milk, and I've always found this to be a disgusting prospect, simply because I do not like milk. So there must be hundreds of others out there like me. Is the average person going to research alternative sources of calcium, or are they going to just stick the finger up at nutrition, and not bother, since they're condemned to "being unhealthy" since they don't lie one food? As a kid, I picked the latter. now, i used to love broccoli (And I still do!) and no one really says that brocolli is loaded with calcium. I'd have happily picked broccoli over milk anyday. But most people would ignore nutritional advice if it didn't give them breating room to be fussy with.

And another one that is starting to piss me off is the fish and omega 3 and 6. People are promoting fish as "the only source of these oils" when you can get them in quinoa, canola oil and flaxseed oil. (That's linseed oil, which is the stuff you oil cricket bats with.) But even in my omni days, I never ate fish. And my mum isn't keen on fish at all, especially the oily kind.

I think it is irresponsible to promote one kind of food solely as a source of a cetain nutrient, especially when there are a lot of allergies. Dairy allergies are common, and a lot of these people wonder where they'll get calcium from, because the nutritional guidelines that exist today are absolutely abysmal in terms of offering choice. But the guidelines are based on the money that the meat and dairy industry puts in just to sell its products, by pushing the myth that milk is the only source of calcium. And by not telling the non-milk drinkers, who don't drink milk due to ethical reasons, allergies, or because they can't stand the stuff, these nutritional guidelines simply leave a huge gap.

I dunno if this has already been said, but I firmly believe that the nutritional guidelines that we are given should be revised and expanded to reflect the fact that not everyone wants to consumer dairy, etc.

i don't know why we continue to have these nutritional myths around. It is almost the same as saying that bread is te only source of carbohydrates. Then what do the celiacs do? And those that don't eat bread?? It makes for bland eating. It would in my opinion be irresponsible nutrition guidelines. Though it's not wrong in saying that bread is a good source of carbs, or that milk is a good source of calcium, or that fish is a good source of omega 3's and 6's, it is highly irresponsible to only represent one food, and have that as a sole source of the nutrient in quetion.

I can guess that everyone else feels this way, but this is rather from the nutrition perspective, rather than the animal-rights perspective on this issue which i have encountered before.
 

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On a similar note...

I work in the children's section of a public library. Bored one day I started glancing through all the children's nutrition books like "The Edible Pyramid." There are a bunch of cute little books based on the classic food guide pyramid. And all of them promote a very limited array of foods. Milk for strong bones, meat for protein and iron, etc. And of course a very screwy array of grains: cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. That's it.

No mention of broccoli for calcium, no almonds... No quinoa.


Another thing I noticed is that in the push to keep kids from getting overweight, all the books recommend limiting fats, oils and sweets as much as possible. This is not good nutrition. There is a difference between good and bad fat. (We all know that, but some four year old reading the pretty picture book doesn't.) And besides that, growing kids need some fat and sweets! These books read like diet guidelines, not proper nutrition for healthy, growing children. Grrr.

One thing I am glad of, though, is (at least in the US) Calcium-fortified OJ is a big fad. When the average person hops into 7-11 for their morning croissant, they can grab a carton of calcium OJ to go with. Hoorah!
 

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I wasn't aware that Quinoa was a good source of Calcium!!!

Learn something new every day!

I love Quinoa - now I love it even more.
 

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omg, can I tell you... I tend to run into people (married people with kids) who like to brag about how much milk their family drinks in a week. The other day someone told me that their family of 4 consumes nearly 8 gallons a week. GROSS!!! I'm lacto-ovo, but I've read John Robbins' book and I know that milk (or dairy in general) is not nearly all it is cracked up to be. Aside from the animal rights issues, it is just not that good for you!

There's all these studies about how the hormones in milk are possibly causing girls in certain communities to get their periods at like age 5.

Neither my husband nor I are big milk drinkers and the thought of some of these families sitting down to dinner with their meat loaf and their tall glasses of milk (refilled 2 or 3 times during the meal) is nauseating.

People will believe anything ANYBODY tells them.

So yes, Loki, I'm with you!
 

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I hate how they always advertise milk as the only source of calcuim. I was brought up to beleive that and never knew that you could get calcuim in tons of other sources. I never knew broccli was a good source of calcuim until recently. We hear these things growing up and I never thought about researching it myself and seeing if it were true that milk is the only source of calcuim. Okay, I realize that I am starting to ramble about nothing, but I am starting to hate milk and I used to drink alot of it. Thank goodness I'm learning about all these other sources.
 

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i as well thought that. i thought vitamin D was only found in milk and the sun, and that milk was the best source of calcium. bunch of bull**** they feed the people to make a dollar...
 

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This is one of my pet peeves! I try to tell people around me that there are other sources of calcium and EFA, but they just go on and on about milk and fish oil. Sigh. However, I'm slowly converting two of my co-workers into a healthier lifestyle, which involves vegan products.
Somedays I'm pretty sure they believe what I'm saying!
 

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Well, I know that in the US the pyramid is skewed toward certain kinds of food because of the people that put the pyramid together: the US Department of Agriculture.

And what kinds of business does the USDA support? Meat, wheat & dairy. So guess what gets featured on the pyramid? Yep, you guessed it.

Agribusiness is big business--and money talks.
 

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dvmarie;

Quote:
I wasn't aware that Quinoa was a good source of Calcium!!!
I was curious about that so I looked quinoa up in the USDA database. They say that 1 cup of quinoa has:

635.8 kcals

102 mg calcium

Based on that information I wouldn't say that quinoa is a good source of calcium. It has a substantial amount of calcium but it's not a good source. Almonds, calcium set tofu and yu choy are much better sources.
 

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We used to think I had a dairy allergy when I was little. They may have been at least partially right. I am allergic to all kinds of pollen, dust and cat and dog dander. I used to take 2 meds a day to keep my allergies at bay. Since going vegan I havn't needed to take them at all.
 

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Aarrgh!!! Makes me mad too. Maybe someday I'll write a children's book emphasizing eating a wide variety of whole plant-based foods! Until then...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by spa_girl

omg, can I tell you... I tend to run into people (married people with kids) who like to brag about how much milk their family drinks in a week. The other day someone told me that their family of 4 consumes nearly 8 gallons a week. GROSS!!! I'm lacto-ovo, but I've read John Robbins' book and I know that milk (or dairy in general) is not nearly all it is cracked up to be. Aside from the animal rights issues, it is just not that good for you!
My DH's mom brags about how my DH used to drink a GALLON of milk PER DAY (4 litres) when he was in high school.

Now... aside from the sheer cost of that, how can someone possibly think that drinking an entire gallon of milk every day is good for you?

Thankfully my DH is pretty healthy (and almost vegan!) but I still find this disgusting.

amy
 

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ok this is kinda the same type of rant but a little different....It has to do with school cafeterias. My kids are all in grade school/preschool. When they first started going to school here, they ate the school's "healthy" lunches, as they were provided at no charge. They brought home a menu and I was shocked at what was considered "healthy". Milk was the only drink offered, cheese was present on just about EVERY meal. greesy meats, chicken nuggets. All horrible disgusting fat laden foods. Needless to say my kids started packing lunches immediately. What I want to know is, how schools can "promote" the things Loki is talking about (and they do because my kids brought home the "food" pyramid. I sent back my revised version) and say they are promoting healthy eating when they are serving horrible foods to the kids. At my nieces school they even have fast food fridays, ack! Even for free I wasnt going to feed my kids that crap. I cant imagine PAYING for it.
 

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This dairy and calcium thing annoys me too.

At our grocery store if you have a "bonus card"(saves you money), you get coupons and whatnot in the mail. Anyways, there was this thing about calcium, and of course dairy products were mentioned. Let's see, milk, cheese, and yogurt were all taunted as having calcium. They do have calcium, but why can't they list other sources? I have a clue why, they were promoting their products! See, they had a recipe for a smoothie, and it called for yogurt, and of course in front of yogurt was their brand name.

I do have some good news, after they listed their yogurt, they listed soy yogurt!
Oh yeah, they also listed some other sources of calcium, but dairy was mostly mentioned. They had strawberries and bell peppers, and that's all I can remember.
 

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It is kind of scary the kind of foods that they serve in some schools. A lot of them have pop machines even in the elementary schools that the kids have free access to. Most high schools and some junior high schools have snack bars with candy bars, chips and other junk food that the kids can buy for lunch. Some even have name restaurants such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut that the kids purchase from. Most would choose this kind of fast food over the healthier alternative in a heartbeat. I remember in my high school, kids would eat french fries and a coke and consider that lunch. And they wonder why childhood obesity is an ongoing problem.
 

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One time I tried to see how much grease was on the school fries, and I covered a whole napkin with the grease from 2 fries! It was disgusting. At my school they make you get milk too. Maybe not, you can substitute a juice but they're only 4 ounce containers. And you're not allowed to get 2 fruits. One time I got an orange juice and some grapes and they made me put back the grapes because it was too many fruits. Everything's covered in grease. They have a whole line for junk food- candy, chips, huge cups of greasy fries, and chicken nuggets. and the only vegetarian option is a wimpy iceberg lettuce salad with one pale slice of tomato and about 2 cups of tasteless lettuce. They used to have a vegetarian meal but it cost a dollar extra and it was pretty lame stuff anyway(a big pretzel, baby carrots, a yoplait yogurt(contains gelatin) and one of those gross Sunny Delight "juice drinks.") They said they got rid of veggie meals because they had a bad shelf life but they didn't even refrigerate them. My brother claims that when he visited my school the lunch lady said the lunches have 50 grams of fat but i'm not sure if he was telling the truth... 50 grams of fat or not, I still think the lunches are disgusting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ouch. I've read the posts here. A gallon of milk a day? I smelled some milk the other day and asked the guy next to me "How the **** do you manage to drink this without spewing?"

I think that the problem with the food pyramid is that is segregates foods too much. And I agree about the grains as well. It is far too wheat-oriented. My mum is allergic to gluten, and is lactose intolerant. (She still eats wheat and dairy, though you shall not see her consume these in great quantities.) If she followed the food pyramid, she'd be screwed.

Here's how I'd lay the food pyramid out:

At the top: Fats, oils and stuff like that: Use fats and oils like olive oil and caola oil opposed to saturated fats such as lard. rather than eating red meat, which is full of fat, eat fish, which has better fats. Seeds and nuts contain many good fats.

Protein group: Meat, eggs, beans, soy, nuts, quinoa, mushrooms - Try to get approximately 50g of protein a day, or slightly more.

Calcium group: Dairy products, brocolli, chickpeas, blackstrap molasses etc. Aim for about 600mg of calcium a day. (That's ten oranges, or 330g of garlic)

Vegetables: Try to eat with variety. All vegetables will do.

Fruit: Eat a variety of fruit, and any fruit will do.

Grains: Includes quinoa, wheat, millet, corn, pasta, bread and associated products - Eat a lot of grains, and have some variety. Don't just eat wheat.

I still on't think there's enough detail in my idea. The poblem is that the food pyramid is a consdensed "for dummies" guide. It doesn't recommend different solutions to getting nutrition, but rather a monotonous way of meeting nutrition, through promoting a single food as important, when it is possible to do without it. The grain group means "wheat" The protein group means "meat" The calcium group means "milk"

It is fairly annoying, because allergies and othe rcomplications aren't dealt with by these guidelines. Rather than promoting the eating of certain foods for nutrition, we should be promoting common sense.
 

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I sent a letter to some milk site basically saying that milk isn't the only source of calcium(and listed some others) and said they shouldn't be recommending FOUR glasses of milk a day if the calcium group needs only 2 or 3 servings and most people have at least one other source. It was kind of fun writing a semi-nasty letter!


They spend so much time promoting one food of each group that many people call them meat group, dairy group, bread group instead of calcium group, protein group, grain group.

My brother says that when he went to the doctor today they said he needed to eat more meat. They could have said get more protein, but NO it had to be more meat. He eats 2-3 servings of meat a day already! He's an ok weight for a kid his height and age anyway. It just annoys me that even the doctors are telling Americans to eat more meat when most eat enough or too much anyway.
 

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I agree that any food pyramid is too segregated. For instance, many whole grains are excellent sources of protein and other nutrients, so it seems odd to completely separate them from the other protein sources. Broccoli and kale are good sources of calcium, so why separate them from dairy? They try to simplify very complex nutrition into basic food groups so people can easily follow it, but in the end it ends up being very misleading.
 
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