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4772 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2007 10:37 AM by slowtwch RSS 1 2 Previous Next
jayrnunnerxk1 Rookie 25 posts since
Oct 18, 2006
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 27, 2007 4:49 PM

Vegetarians

Are multivitamins and protien shakes good ebough to make up for the nutrition you're missing in the meat?

  • Ariann092 Rookie 680 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 27, 2007 5:22 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    Most people could benefit from a multivitamin, vegetarian or not.  Luckily, many vitamins that are often lacking in the average meat-eaters diet are abundant in fruits and vegetables, which should make up the bulk of a vegetarian's (and anyone's) diet.  Vegetarians may need to pay more attention to iron, zinc, B-12 and Omega-3 fatty acids; vegetarians who do not consume milk should also watch out for calcium and Vit. D.  Often, dietary changes are sufficient to make up for this shift, but any healthy diet needs to be a well-planned one.  A basic book on vegetarianism or a visit to a nutritionist who has experience with vegetarians should be enough to clear up any confusion. 

    Hardly anybody needs a protein-supplement, whether they are meat-eaters, vegetarians, or vegans.  If you are lacking protein in your diet, it's time to re-plan what you're eating.  Vegetarians who eat a varied, whole-foods based diet should not be lacking in protein by any stretch of the imagination.  You should get protein from real food, not from protein shakes.

  • merigayle Amateur 1,569 posts since
    Aug 15, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Mar 28, 2007 5:30 AM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    Try tracking your food intake in a program like fitday.com (free) and see how your food adds up with protein and whatnot. If you eat a good variety of foods which include legumes, whole grains, and dark leafy green vegetables, you should be fine. Also, i like to drink fortified choc soy milk after hard workouts, and that packs a lot of nutrients in a little package.

  • slowtwch Rookie 24 posts since
    Jul 16, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Mar 28, 2007 4:00 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    I agree with Ariann totaly in theory but I have to admit that when my milage gets higher (45-65 range) I use a whey protient shake. Im sure I could get enough protien if I put more planning into my diet but I wasn't and the shakes were very helpful. When my training is lighter I don't need them but I still enjoy them now and then especialy when I don't have time to eat correctly (or I'm just lazy). I don't think they have any major down side but maybe Ariann is aware of a problem that I'm not.

  • Ariann092 Rookie 680 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 28, 2007 6:39 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    quote:


    Originally posted by slowtwch:

    I don't think they have any major down side but maybe Ariann is aware of a problem that I'm not.


     



    I think it's always a problem to start relying on supplements for basic nutrition.  All of those supplements are very highly processed - the same amount of protein conveyed by whole foods would bring with it a bevy of other nutrients - vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, essential fats, etc.  That's why I think whole foods are always a better choice.  But if you can't plan your diet to get enough nutrition in, I guess the choice is to use a supplement or go without the nutrition - I think the jury is still out about which one is the better choice.  Many supplements have been shown to have dangerous effects (fat-soluble vitamins taken in non-food form, for example).  But then again, many supplements can be health- and life-saving.  Everyone's gotta weigh the pros and cons for their own lifestyle, I guess.

  • dragonsrouges Rookie 1,004 posts since
    Aug 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 28, 2007 7:13 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    It's probably enough IF you otherwise have a well balanced diet (you get all your vitamins and minerals).

  • tmk37 Rookie 9 posts since
    Mar 13, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Apr 6, 2007 7:09 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    Protein is NOT usually one of the things vegetarians have trouble getting enough of. That's a carnivore's myth. If your meals/snacks are relatively healthy (that is, you're aren't a vegetarian because you eat nothing but potato chips), you will get plenty of protein. Protein is practically everywhere.

    Things vegetarians needs to keep track of are iron and calcium, which you can also get plenty of by eating a wide variety of vegetables, beans, and grains (and dairy, of course, if you aren't vegan). Hardest of all, though, is B12, which you theoretically can get by eating fermented foods (tempeh, nutritional yeast, etc.), but taking a supplement once a week or so would be "easier."

    Any book on vegetarian nutrition will have lists of good sources of nutrients that you can get from food.

  • bigapplepie Legend 2,454 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Apr 6, 2007 9:53 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    My niece became a vegetarian aged 8.

    Her parents did not approve until she explained how she was going to make for the nutrients provided in meat and fish.

    She went away and did the research, came back and has been a vegetarian ever since.

    All the information is easily accessible in the public domain. You just need to do the research.

  • Ariann092 Rookie 680 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 6, 2007 10:18 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    quote:


    Originally posted by tmk37:

    Hardest of all, though, is B12, which you theoretically can get by eating fermented foods (tempeh, nutritional yeast, etc.), but taking a supplement once a week or so would be "easier."
    .


     



    Tempeh is not a source of B-12. Fermentation does not produce B-12. Nutritional yeast contains B-12 if it's grown on a particular culture, but it must be clearly marked as containing B-12, otherwise you should assume it doesn't (Red Star brand Vegetarian Support contains B-12). Other kinds of yeast (like brewer's) don't contain B-12. So far no purely vegetarian source of B-12 has been discovered, but there are fortified vegetarian foods (Red Star nutritional yeast, soy milk, meat replacers) that contain B-12. Some foods, like seaweeds, contain an analog to B-12, but it is not utilized by the body and may even interfere with absorption of real B-12. Eggs and dairy are poor sources of B-12 - you'd have to eat around 10 servings a day of them combined in order to meet the RDA. So anyone who doesn't eat meat, maybe even anybody who doesn't eat red meat, should take at least a weekly B-12 supplement. Long-time vegetarians who haven't taken that precaution should really get tested for a deficiency.

    I think zinc is also a serious concern, even with a very good diet. In my experience calcium and iron haven't really been issues, but I supplement with them sparingly just in case. When I make a list of the things I wasn't getting in my diet pre-vegetarianism (while being fed by my very health conscious mother a diet most would have called exemplary) versus what I have trouble getting in my diet now, I think I'm a lot better off now.

    I don't take a multivitamin, but I do take B-12 a couple times a week, iron (there is also Vit. C and a couple B vitamins in this one to enhance absorption) every few days, and a calcium/magnesium/zinc/Vit. D every few days (more often in the winter).

  • littlestar Rookie 14 posts since
    Apr 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 16, 2007 6:18 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    I am a vegetarian and had my b-12 tested about 9 months ago and I was fine.

    I do take a B Complex and Zinc several times a week and I take Lethicin too.

    When I am feeling tired I add a Multi for a week or two but rarely stick to it regularly.

  • Ariann092 Rookie 680 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Apr 16, 2007 10:21 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    quote:


    Originally posted by littlestar:

    I take Lethicin too.


     



    Do you mean lecithin?  Can I ask why you take this?

  • littlestar Rookie 14 posts since
    Apr 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Apr 16, 2007 10:44 PM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    quote:


    Originally posted by Ariann:

    Do you mean lecithin? Can I ask why you take this?


     



    Yes I did.

    There are many (possible) benefits of Lecithin and I do not eat a diet that is rich in it. (i.e. soy and eggs). Also I like the culinary aspects of it, I like the texture and taste.

  • danielle035 Rookie 76 posts since
    Jan 31, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Apr 17, 2007 3:37 AM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    I'm not a veg I wish I was but always end up eating poultry/fish. Anyhow regardless it depends I think on your body. I'm having some other health issues that my doc recomended a b complex supplement,I always take a good multi,glucasomine msn,sometimes fish oil pill. As for protein shakes yuck. I don't.  I agree unless you have health issues or certain needs unable to be meet like high calorie needs its better to eat a balanced diet.

  • dragonflyhex Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Apr 17, 2007 4:01 AM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    Ariann, You seem fairly versed in nutrition...I went "raw" almost 2 years ago, meaning whole, vegan, live food, nothing raised over 115°. I'm curious as to any input/knowledge you may have about training on this sort of diet. I don't supplement with anything other than E-3Live, a blue-green algae liquid. I make organic green juices daily and I do alot of grain and nut sprouting. I feel good, but I'm just wondering if you've come across any info I haven't encountered on the topic.

  • Ariann092 Rookie 680 posts since
    Jan 4, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Apr 17, 2007 7:23 AM (in response to jayrnunnerxk1)
    Re: Vegetarians

    quote:


    Originally posted by dragonflyhex:

    Ariann, You seem fairly versed in nutrition...I went "raw" almost 2 years ago, meaning whole, vegan, live food, nothing raised over 115°. I'm curious as to any input/knowledge you may have about training on this sort of diet. I don't supplement with anything other than E-3Live, a blue-green algae liquid. I make organic green juices daily and I do alot of grain and nut sprouting. I feel good, but I'm just wondering if you've come across any info I haven't encountered on the topic.


     



    I think the biggest issue with raw diets is just eating enough. If you're losing weight, you should be concerned that your diet is inadequate. Obviously athletes especially need to make sure they're eating enough. If you're not losing weight and still making gains in training, you're probably eating enough. Lots of nuts/seeds are probably a must to get enough fat in. Also, the same supplemental issues that concern vegans concern raw foodists - you need a reliable source of B-12 and if you're not eating processed vegan foods and not supplementing, you're simply not getting it and may suffer irreversible nerve damage as a result of deficiency. That is not a pretty sight. "Feeling good" generally just means you're consuming enough calories and aren't experiencing hypoglycemia or any other really obvious metabolic issue. It doesn't mean your diet is nutritionally adequate, as most vitamin/mineral deficiencies won't show any noticeable effects for many years.

    That being said, I think the raw diet may be a better source of iron and calcium than a regular vegan diet because greens are such a rich source and even vegans don't get enough of them. (I've read that anthropologists believe early man actually got an average of 2000 mg a day of calcium just from eating mass quantities of wild greens like nettles!) Zinc can still be a problem - seriously, take a real supplement. If you don't get a lot of sun or are dark-skinned, seek out a Vit D supplement (Vit. D2 is vegetarian, D3 is not.) Blue-green algae doesn't have any research backing it up to my knowledge - not that it'll hurt, I just don't know how it could help.

    On a side note, depending on what lattitude you live at, the raw diet may not be doing what you think it's doing. Raw diets may be very practical in parts of Africa or Mexico (or Ca. or Fla.), but because most of us have to have fresh stuff shipped in, the actual nutritional content of "fresh" fruits/veggies is a lot lower than one would expect. The benefit of being able to get canned and frozen varieties is that they are actually stored right where they're picked and retain many more nutrients as a result. I have yet to figure out what enzymes people are talking about when they say 115 degrees (or 110 or whatever). Different enzymes denature at different temperatures. Plant enzymes don't do us any particular good (as enzymes, they're of course useful when taken apart into amino acids) since they've mostly associated with things like cell-suicide and photosynthesis. And they don't much like being dehydrated, either, so that's no solution to the temperature problem.

    In any case, if you actually are getting your hands on enough fresh produce to do this with an adequate caloric intake and can insure a source of B-12 and some other things, then it certainly has the possibility of being an adequate diet that will support training.

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