Compare and Contrast the Vegan Lifestyle

More and more Americans are pursuing a vegan diet. While many benefits may come from reducing serving sizes, one should carefully consult with their Doctor and a Dietitian in order to better understand their own  biochemical make-up before taking up a Vegan Lifestyle.
Let’s begin by examining a Vegan Lifestyle. Vegans, like vegetarians, never eat meat. But vegans are stricter, shunning not only meat, but fish and shellfish (which some vegetarians will eat), eggs, milk and other dairy products — any food with an ingredient coming from: an animal,  a cow, or an insect. (Insects? Yes. For example, cochineal, which makes many red food dyes, has only recently been required to be listed on ingredient labels, but it’s always been made from insects.)  Vegans and vegetarians have to take special care to get enough vitamin B12 and protein, but like anyone, they can get all the nutrients they need from a varied diet of plants and grains, which must be consumed in one meal in order to achieve maximum intake of required protein.

Here’s a look at some more of the foods avoided by vegans:
1. Meat. All meats.
2. Fish and shellfish. No shrimp,  fried fish stick, nor wild Alaskan Salmon.
3. Dairy products. No milk and yogurt to cheese and butter.
4. Eggs. No mayonnaise or anything made with eggs (yes, most brownies and cakes, too!).
5. Honey. Bees are animals who make honey; it is therefore not part of the vegan diet.
6. White sugar. Some white sugar is processed with bone char. (PETA) No sugar.
7. Most beer. Guinness is filtered using tiny amounts of gelatin derived from fish bladders.  While some beers are vegan, others are filtered using egg whites or sea shells.
8. Some breads. While many simple breads, containjust four ingredients (flour, yeast, water, and salt) other types of  breads and baked goods are made with whey (a dairy product) or with butter, eggs, or sugar.
9. Marshmallows. These and other foods, like gummy candies and Frosted Mini Wheats cereal, are made with gelatin — a protein made from boiling skin, bones, and other animal parts. Surprisingly, though, a lot of junk food qualifies as vegan, even if it is unhealthy.
10. Salad dressing. Salads are great for vegans, but not necessarily the dressing. Scan the ingredient list, and you’ll often find lecithin, which helps keep oil and vinegar from separating, and can be derived from animal tissues or egg yolk.

Vegan Diet  

At the top of the pyramid in small amounts. Protein: Nuts, Seeds, Flax SeedsVitamin B 12, Legumes
Second Level: Dark Green Vegetables, Soy, Tofu
Third Level: All fruits and Vegetables
Fourth Level in larger amounts:  Whole Grains, Wheat Germ

If choosing to pursue the Vegan Lifestyle after a medical consultation, meet with a Dietitian who can counsel and establish a meal plan that meet the body’s nutritional needs; expect the following area’s to be reviewed before prescribing a new meal plan.
1. Fish (healthy fat) are a strong source of Omega-3, Phosphorous and Calcium, assists in keeping organs or wound healing, healthy, increases HDL and reduces inflammation in the body brought on by stress.
2. Red Meats (protein), Whole or Multi-Grain Breads (carbohydrates) promote HDL and reduction in plaque build up. They are an excellent source of Vitamin B in which the brain and central nervous system gets much of their nourishment.

Saturated fats need to be consumed in reduced amounts

3. Eggs (protein) contain the secret for complete protein. An egg holds all 21 amino acids,which are protein building blocks critical for maintaining healthy skin, eyes, nails, hair, organs, muscles, bones etc.
4. Dairy products provide Vitamin A, D, B12, Calcium, Phosphorous, Riboflavin all contributors of healthy: brain, bones, enzymes, skin, red blood cells (avoid anemia).
5. Honey has wound healing and antibacterial capabilities. Know also for reducing swelling, sore throats and boosts the immune system.

While the benefits of the vegan diet is advantageous in that the focus on fruits and vegetables are abundantly consumed, one should carefully consider how to replace necessary vitamins and minerals before taking on a new lifestyle.

Kim Crocker-Scardicchio

+Homocysteine Levels and Vitamin Deficencies

The amount of homocysteine in the blood is monitored by three vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B12 and B6.  Vitamin B 12 and how it works with the degeneration of the protein “cysteine” is intensely studied, as are the negative effects of hyperhomocysteinemia (too much homocysteine) and Vitamin B12 Deficiency.  The body needs antioxidants (Folate that comes from fruits and vegetables) to combat homocysteine and it’s positively charged oxygen.  If the O+ does not find an anti-oxidant the eventual negative effects are extensive on LDL cholesterol (leading to build up of plaque in the arteries), development of dementia, tingling feeling in the arms and legs and Depression. The contributing negative factors should be removed and then  new dietary sources introduced to reduce inflammation and restoration of a healthy body. 

LDL is an unhealthy cholesterol only when it becomes oxidized.  Oxidation of LDL is due to free radicalsfloating around in our body which are  O+ broken off from degenerating protein called homocysteine. The positively charged oxygen then attaches itself to LDL cholesterol and plaque begins to form in your arteries and veins. According to studies at the Linus Pauling Institute, “Although increased intake of folic acid and vitamin B12has been found to decrease homocysteine levels, it is not presently known whether increasing intake of these vitamins will translate to reductions in risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, several randomized placebo-controlled trials are presently being conducted to determine whether homocysteine lowering through folic acid and other B vitamin supplementation reduces the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.”  
Additional studies look at vitamin supplements,which do not seem to contribute to the reduction of the negative effects of homocysteine as determined by in an International randomized trial Dr. Allen Brett MD. He concludes, “What remains unclear is whether homocysteine is merely a marker for other atherogenic factors or whether adverse effects of the vitamins themselves offset the theoretical benefits of homocysteine-lowering. Finally, it remains possible that B vitamins confer cardiovascular benefit in the unusual patient with extremely elevated homocysteine levels.”
Vitamin B 12 is released from it’s food origin as the food enters our stomach and the vitamin is released by stomach acid.  Mal-absorption of Vitamin B12 has been associated with insufficient stomach acid present to release the vitamin from it’s food origin,or  contrastly atrophic gastritis could contribute as too much stomach acid is present.  Alcohol can block the absorption as can being on a vegetarian diet, as B12 is present in animal dietary source.  Those diagnosed with AIDS will also experience discomfort as these individuals will not have Vitamin B12 available.  Lastly, interference from stomach acid pharmacueticals can also contribute to improper release and absorption of Vitamin B12.
Hence forth, anti-oxidants from fruit and vegetables need to be a part of ones daily intake, to clean up the free radicals and meat must be included in ones diet so that our brain stays focused and strong. Consider the following suggestions as part of your daily Meal Plan.
Put everyone on Oatmeal in your home. Preferably Quaker Oats and add honey, cinnamon, sugar or slices of fruits. 
Reduce saturated fats.
red meats only 2-3 times a week 112 g per serving/day
cheese only 28 g/day
replace butter with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Skim or 1% milk 1/day NO CREAM!
Omega 3,6 and Red wine which are an anti-flammatory.
 Nuts, green tea, fruits and vegetables (wine) have antioxidants that look for O+ released from Homocysteine
This new diet should reduce tingling and restore energy. 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (with vinegar) for salads and cooking
Fish 4 times a week (omega 3,6)
Walnuts 28 g/day (omega 3,6)
Flaxseed 1 tbsp/day (omega 3,6)
Red wine 1 glass/day
cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries 1/4-1/2 cup ea day (choose 1)
pomegranate fruit or juice.
Any citrus fruit. (high in potassium and will work with the K Na channels in all organs to flush out excess Na, metals and toxins.) 4 each day
Vegetables 6 per/day
Breads:multigrain breads Panera or Aunt Millies 5 or 7 grain american sandwich bread, Quacker Oatmeal, Whole-grain Pasta (Barilla, yellow box)
By Kimberly Crocker
Literature Research