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For the Love of Food

by | Jul 31, 2015
For the Love of Food

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

If you’ve been hanging around the blog lately you may have noticed something a little different. You might not have been aware of it at first, but after awhile you found yourself smiling a little at what a pleasant experience you’re having.

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve removed all banner ads from Summer Tomato. Woo hoo!

I’ve never been a fan of display ads (I’m sure you don’t love them either), but I thought they were a necessary evil to pay for the cost of running a popular website (if I told you how much I spent last year you’d choke on your organic green juice). But now that Foodist Kitchen is so popular I had the luxury of removing all 3rd party advertising––and it feels so good.

I do everything I can to make Summer Tomato your most trusted source for health advice andgive you the best experience possible. Removing banner ads was the final barrier to making sure that 100% of the things you see on Summer Tomato is foodist approved. As you can tell, I’m super happy about it 🙂

This week soybean oil is worse than saturated fat, the FDA takes on sugar, and a new taste sensation is identified.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Read the rest of this story »

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Top 10 Most Overrated Health Foods

by | Mar 3, 2014

Photo by Paul Holloway

Like it or not, we tend to believe whatever we are exposed to in the media and in advertisements. In nutrition this usually means that as a society we all follow the same diet fads, glorifying some foods over others in the quest for better health. (It’s okay, I love salmon and coconut water as much as you do).

Problem is though, more often than not the news or the health claims made by food manufacturers vastly overstate any potential health benefits, because it makes a more compelling story and sells more products. Our own confirmation biases tend to make us believe what we’re told, we confidently share our insight with our friends, and suddenly our grocery stores are filled with health foods that really aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Here are my 10 picks for the most overrated health foods.
Read the rest of this story »

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Soy: Good or Evil? – Episode 10 – Summer Tomato Live

by | Jul 28, 2011

Last week we talked about the pros and cons of eating soy including it’s role in breast cancer and it’s affect on the, errr, manly arts.

As always, show notes are below.

July 19, 2011 | Tonight on Summer Tomato Live we’re discussing soy. Some say it prevents cancer, others think it promotes it, and some claim it’s evil for causing man boobs. We’ll get to the bottom of these issues and more today during the show.

Join us at 6:00pm PST to learn about how soy affects your health and what to do about it.

To watch live and join the discussion click the red “Join event” button, login with Twitter or your Vokle account, and enter the password when prompted.

I encourage you to call in with video questions, particularly if your question is nuanced and may involve a back and forth discussion. Please use headphones to call in however, or the feedback from the show is unbearable.

See you soon!

Show notes:

Relevant links:

Probiotics and Fermented Foods – Episode 6

Seaweed, salt and iodine – Office Hours (it’s in there I swear)

Cholesterol Explained

Chinese food safety issues

Healthy Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Miso

Soy sauce

Someone asked during the show how this advice applies to soy sauce. Turns out there are 2 different methods of brewing soy sauce. The traditional way is fermented and has the same attributes as fermented soy products mentioned in the episode. The other method creates the sauces by hydrolyzing soy, which creates a number of unwanted byproducts including MSG and potentially some carcinogenic chemicals. The Wikipedia article on soy sauce is very informative.

Breast cancer

Meta-analysis of soy intake and breast cancer risk

Soy isoflavones consumption and risk of breast cancer incidence or recurrence: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk

Soyfood intake in the prevention of breast cancer risk in women: a meta-analysis of observational epidemiological studies

Prostate cancer

Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis

What about demasculizing men?

One of the biggest fears men have about eating soy is the possibility of phytoestrogens demasculizing men, creating sexual dysfunction, infertility and the dreaded man boobs.

Indeed, there have been several studies in rodents suggesting that soy can interfere with reproductive pathways and fertility. However, human and monkey studies show that most men have no need to fear soy.

Acute exposure of adult male rats to dietary phytoestrogens reduces fecundity and alters epididymal steroid hormone receptor expression.

Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis

Soybean isoflavone exposure does not have feminizing effects on men: a critical examination of the clinical evidence

Dietary soy protein containing isoflavonoids does not adversely affect the reproductive tract of male cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis)

Hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction associated with soy product consumption

Osteoporosis

Soy isoflavone intake inhibits bone resorption and stimulates bone formation in menopausal women: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Effect of long-term intervention of soy isoflavones on bone mineral density in women: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Heart disease

Soy protein effects on serum lipoproteins: a quality assessment and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies

Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Relation between soy-associated isoflavones and LDL and HDL cholesterol concentrations in humans: a meta-analysis

The effect of soy protein with or without isoflavones relative to milk protein on plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women.

Association of dietary intake of soy, beans, and isoflavones with risk of cerebral and myocardial infarctions in Japanese populations: the Japan Public Health Center-based (JPHC) study cohort I.

Notably, this was not convincing enough for the American Heart Association

A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the Nutrition Committee of the AHA

Thyroid issues

If you have moderate hypothyroid issues, it may be prudent to restrict your soy intake to low levels.

The effect of soy phytoestrogen supplementation on thyroid status and cardiovascular risk markers in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study

Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature.

Impact of flavonoids on thyroid function

Memory/cognitive effects of soy

High Tofu Intake Is Associated with Worse Memory in Elderly Indonesian Men and Women

Borobudur revisited: soy consumption may be associated with better recall in younger, but not in older, rural Indonesian elderly.

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Healthy Vegetable Sources of Protein and Iron

by | Aug 9, 2010
Collards, Carrots and Lentils

Collards, Carrots and Lentils

Today’s post is written by a long-time Summer Tomato reader, Matthew Shook. Matt refers to himself as an herbivore, rather than a vegetarian, which I love. To me the term herbivore implies an intent to live from vegetables instead of simply consuming them in an exclusive way.

Although the term omnivore better describes my own eating habits, I do think plants are the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Moreover, although I eat animals I prefer to rely on plants as my primary sources of protein and iron. My reasons include health, ecology and economy.

Those of you who knew me back in the day know how very weird this is. I always considered myself a carnivore through and through, and the thought of a meal based entirely on plants seemed borderline insane. Now for me it is more normal than abnormal.

For one thing, relying on plants makes cooking and shopping a lot easier. It’s also cheaper and, as I’ve come to learn, just as tasty.

Since I have learned more about food and health I have come to appreciate that vegetarian sources of protein are not simply a substitute for meat (how could beans replace steak?), but are an essential part of a healthy diet in their own right.

Whether vegetarian or not, I encourage you to incorporate healthy plant sources of protein and iron into your healthstyle.

For this I turn you over to Matt, our resident expert on herbivory. For more wonderful vegetarian recipes visit his blog Recipes for Disaster.

Healthy Sources of Protein and Iron From Vegetables

by Matthew Shook

When I became an herbivore six years ago I had a very elementary understanding of proper nutrition. Becoming an herbivore was very simple for me–I just stopped eating animals. I soon discovered that becoming a healthy and well-nourished herbivore was a far more complex endeavor.

New herbivores often face three obstacles at the beginning of their diet transition. One is a self-perceived lack of acceptable food options and diversity. The cereal, rice, beans and pasta get old real quick. This is why herbivores often expand their interests to ethnic and unfamiliar foods.

The second obstacle, unbeknownst to many herbivores, is a lack of high-quality protein and highly-absorbable iron.

A third obstacle during my transition was trying to convince my friends, family and loved ones that becoming vegetarian can be a healthy decision. My parents swore that if I didn’t eat meat I would wither away and die within one year’s time. In their eyes, it’s a miracle I’m still alive.

The following is a review of some of the best options for maintaining a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet, but is also useful for health-conscious omnivores.

Protein

Most North Americans get more than enough protein in their diet (some even argue they consume too much protein). The problem, especially for herbivores, is that not all protein-rich foods are created equal.

Enter the “complete” protein.

A complete protein contains all of the nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), those that our bodies cannot produce themselves. So really, this should be a discussion of our need for amino acids, not necessarily protein.

Meat, fish, and dairy products are sources of high-quality protein, but herbivores need to look elsewhere for their fill of essential amino acids. (Sidenote: Some vegetarians consume dairy products, but relying on dairy as the foundation of your diet is, in my opinion, a very unhealthy way to go.)

This first vegetarian protein source is what I call “an herbivore’s best friend.”

Quinoa, while technically a seed, is often referred to as a “supergrain” from South America. It contains complete protein and is one of only two sources (the other is soybean) that are not animal-based. I have tried white, red, and black quinoa and find them all to be delicious when properly prepared. The red and black varieties tend to be a little “crunchier” than the white. 

Unlike many foods, quinoa is just as nutritious cooked as it is when sprouted and consumed.

(Here is the Summer Tomato recipe for Mexican-style quinoa salad.)

Amaranth, while not a complete protein, contains a large percentage of essential amino acids and is an outstanding source of plant-based protein. It is a “pseudograin” like quinoa, and can be used in dishes such as stir-fries, soups or just as a side dish to compliment seasoned vegetables. It can also be made into a pudding or be ground up into flour.

There are a wide variety of legumes (aka beans) capable of fulfilling an herbivore’s protein and palate requirements. Legumes are generally very low in the essential amino acid methionine, and therefore pair well with grains/pseudograins which fulfill this gap. Black beans, lentils, and chickpeas are three of the most nutritious and flavorful legumes.

This discussion would be incomplete without mentioning the most popular and highly debated legume: soybean. Soybeans have the highest amount of plant-based protein, by weight, of any other food. (Hemp seed and lentils are second and third respectively.) 

Soy can be a bit of a touchy subject as many health-minded individuals disagree about the long-term benefits of introducing the many forms of soy into your diet. Soy can be consumed as whole soybeans, edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, textured soy protein, etc.  Also controversial is the genetic modification of the typical American soybean (thank you, Monsanto).

Tofu and tempeh are concentrated forms of soybean, and thus have high levels of protein. Typically unprocessed foods hold more nutritional value than their processed counterparts, but one can argue that tempeh (a fermented form of soybean) is the healthiest form of soy. The argument is that unfermented soy products like tofu contain “anti-nutrients” (phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens), which can cause digestive problems and nutrient deficiencies.

I limit my soy intake to very moderate amounts of tempeh and utilize it as a complement to well-balanced meals.

This last one should come as no surprise to Summer Tomato readers. While not an option for vegans, eggs can provide a great deal of nutrition to a vegetarian diet. Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids and are particularly beneficial to herbivores as a source of active (highly-absorbable) vitamin B-12, which is only found in significant portions in animal-based food.

What are your favorite vegetarian sources of protein?

Iron

Iron is essential to any healthy diet, herbivore or otherwise. Iron is a vital part of hemoglobin in blood, and a failure to absorb an adequate amount can lead to iron deficiency anemia. 

There is a big difference between consuming and absorbing an adequate amount of iron.

Two types of iron exist in the human body: heme iron and non-heme iron.  Heme iron can only be obtained from animal sources such as cow, chicken and fish. These animal sources contain about 40% heme iron.  The remaining 60% of animal-based sources, and 100% of plant-base sources, are comprised of non-heme iron. 

The semi-bad news for herbivores is that heme iron is well-absorbed and non-heme iron is less well-absorbed. The good news is there are other foods you can eat with your meal that enhance the absorption of non-heme iron sources. Non-heme iron enhancers include fruits high in vitamin C, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and white wine.

Spinach is one of best sources of iron available for herbivores, especially when cooked. I consume spinach regularly both raw and cooked, and find it is an excellent addition to numerous recipes including soups, salads, stir-fries and smoothies. 

I have read that spinach is an iron inhibitor (reduces the absorption of iron), but when paired with iron enhancers the essential element is readily absorbable.

Swiss chard, turnip greens, and bok choy have decent but not spectacular amounts of iron.

There are a few legumes that are excellent sources of iron. Lentils, lima beans, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and soybeans are the best sources in the legume family.  The wide range of flavor from these legumes enables herbivores to get more than enough iron from a variety of cuisines.

(For more nutrition information on lentils and the recipe for the dish pictured above read the Summer Tomato recipe for collards, carrots and French green lentils.)

Chickpea hummus, black bean burritos, dahl (lentil) soup and lima or soybean stir-fry are fantastic recipe ideas using iron-rich legumes. If you choose soybeans, be sure to add some iron enhancers to the meal since they are considered iron inhibitors as well.

Quinoa and amaranth, the two psuedograins mentioned for their high protein content, are also good vegetarian sources of iron. I try to maintain a varied diet by frequently switching up the different greens, legumes and (pseudo)grains in my meals.  I’ve included one of my favorite recipes that features many of these protein and iron-rich ingredients.

Black Bean and Quinoa Burrito

What are your favorite vegetarian sources of iron?  Are you concerned about iron inhibitors in your diet? Are you or someone you know ever been chronically anemic?

Originally published August 19, 2009

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For The Love of Food

by | Nov 13, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

I’ve been in such a wonderful mood lately, I hope it’s contagious. I’ve discovered tons of fantastic food blogs the past few weeks and really look forward to sharing the best of what I find with you. This week I have compiled a list of articles that made me smile. And just to keep the chill vibe, I omitted the B.S. of the week.

I still need votes for the People’s HealthBlogger Award by Wellsphere and would greatly appreciate your support. Wellsphere is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in healthy living. To vote for me you have to create an account with them, but you can delete it when you’re done (I have yet to get any spam). If you enjoy this blog, please take a minute to show your support. Much thanks to those who have already voted.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

For The Love of Food

  • Are vegetarian diets OK? <<Of course they are. Here’s a comprehensive examination on the health value of vegetarian and vegan diets by NYU professor of nutrition, Marion Nestle. Great info. (Food Politics)
  • Fabulous <<This short post by Seth Godin isn’t about food per se, but is about appreciating the things in your life that are awesome, and why awesomeness breeds more awesomeness. This certainly matches my experience with real food. The more I love it and nurture it as an important part of my life, the better my life is all around.  It’s really about understanding your priorities. (Seth’s Blog)
  • In Praise Of Slow Food <<Great article about slow food and the importance of eating for enjoyment. (Huffington Post)
  • Phytoestrogens: Helpful or harmful? <<I get a lot of questions about the pros and cons of eating soy. Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva, reviews the evidence. (Nutrition Data)
  • To eat less, your body may want you to eat slowly << In my experience one of the main determinants of how much I eat is how quickly I eat. Now there’s some science that helps explain why. Learn mindful eating and how to become a slow eater. (Reuters)
  • High-carb diets may put dieters in better moods << Here’s some evidence that extreme carbohydrate restriction can make people grumpy for an entire year. Doesn’t that sound fun? (Los Angeles Times)
  • Worry Less, Cook More <<Short post by Mark Bittman on the most important skill to develop in the kitchen–confidence. Don’t strive for perfection, strive to get in there and start. (Bitten)
  • How I Made My Wife a Lettuce Snob <<This is such a cute post by Jeff Clark, I adore it. Also a great example of how real food is like Pandora’s box. Once you’ve seen inside you can never go back. (Middle Aged and Living Well)
  • Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Garlic Sauce <<I found about a zillion new Brussels sprouts recipes on the internet this week, but this on intrigued me most. I rarely follow recipes, but I think I’m going to try this. Guest post at Simply Recipes by Garrett McCord from Vanilla Garlic.
  • Making the World a Better Place, One Chicken Wing at a Time <<Absolutely brilliant demo by Chef John on how to properly eat a chicken wing. You’ll be amazed! (Food Wishes)

What made you happy this week?

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For The Love of Food

by | Jul 3, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

There are a ton of interesting articles and news stories out this week, and unfortunately I did not have room here to include a favorite recipe. See below for instructions on how to find a comprehensive list of my reading recommendations.

There are some heavy topics here, but all are worthy of your full attention. For balance, I posted several contradictory articles to make it clear that these issues are not simple and clear cut. Anyone who claims otherwise is not thinking hard enough.

If you would like to see more of my favorite articles each week or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious, and share with me your favorites as well.

Submissions of your own best food and health articles are also welcome, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am currently accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any healthy eating and exercise tips.

For The Love of Food

  • You. Need. Fat. <<I love Michelle’s (@MPfennighaus) perspective on dietary fat in this article. Just this week I’ve fielded a ton of questions and confusion about fat. I love oils, and so should you. (The Daily Balance)
  • Eating Animal Fat May Lead to Pancreatic Cancer <<Just in case you were thinking about going crazy Atkins-style after that last article, remember that not all the news is good about certain kinds of fat. This study just shows an association (not causation) of animal fat and pancreatic cancer, but moderation is usually a good idea. (HealthDay)
  • Horizon organics alert: here comes “natural” <<B.S. of the week Seems like Dean Foods is bent on ruining all the biggest organic products. First Silk Soy Milk, now Horizon. Apparently they want to charge you organic prices for foods that aren’t certified organic (aka conventional). Don’t fall for it. (via @marionnestle at Food Politics)
  • This just in: Vegetarian diets are fine <<Looks like the American Dietetics Association has finally issued a bill of approval on vegetarian diets. Not sure what took them so long. Personally I don’t have much of an opinion on the vegetarian thing. Sure it can* be healthier than a typical Western diet (*see next 2 articles), but if health is your concern you have more options as an omnivore. No matter what food religion you subscribe to, vegetables are the cornerstone of any healthy diet. (Los Angeles Times)
  • How High Carbohydrate Foods Can Raise Risk For Heart Problems <<Yes, refined carbohydrates are the real culprit in heart disease, not fat. (ScienceDaily)
  • Metabolic Syndrome May Make Breast Cancer More Likely <<Metabolic syndrome, also caused by carbohydrates, increases risk for breast cancer. (HealthDay)
  • Dear Mark: Freezer Essentials <<Those of you living in states that aren’t California may want to start stocking your freezer now, before your farmers markets close up for the winter. Mark Sisson offers some tips on how to make that dream a reality. (Mark’s Daily Apple)
  • Don’t be Fooled by Healthy Food Imposters <<I pick on Diets In Review a lot for being completely full of crap, but I like to give credit where credit is due. Finally some good advice about fake health food from an otherwise irresponsible publication. (Diets In Review)
  • It’s Time to Learn From Frogs <<One of the most important articles I’ve read in weeks. This is a fantastic piece in the New York Times about why we should stop being naive about the impact of environmental toxins (especially endocrine disruptors) on our lives.
  • Soy isn’t affecting men’s hormone levels…but something is <<Another important piece on the impact of hormones on human development. Looks like soy isn’t the problem some people (not me) thought it was. (Nutrition Data)

What great articles did you read or write this week? Leave your links in the comments.

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Eco-Atkins Diet May Be Healthier Alternative for Weight Loss

by | Jun 10, 2009
Collards, Carrots and Lentils

Collards, Carrots and Lentils

A new study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that both weight loss and risk factors for heart disease can be improved following a vegan version of the low-carb, high-protein Atkins diet.

The “Eco-Atkins” diet focuses primarily on soy, nuts and wheat proteins (gluten) to increase the amount of vegetarian protein in the diet. Carbohydrates were restricted to 130 g/day, which is on the higher end of most low-carb diets. All starchy foods such as bread, baked goods, potatoes and rice were eliminated. Carbohydrates were provided in the form of whole, intact grains (barley and oats) and low-starch vegetables.

In a small (47 participants), short-term randomized controlled trial, this diet lowered bad LDL cholesterol by 20%, without negatively impacting good HDL cholesterol (statin drugs improve cholesterol levels by 30%). The diet also substantially lowered blood pressure and other markers of cardiovascular disease, such as triglycerides and apolipoprotein B.

The original meat-based Atkins diet has been shown to be effective for temporary weight loss (after 1 year the effects of the Atkins diet are diminished), but cardiovascular risk factors such as LDL cholesterol and blood pressure are not substantially improved under the traditional Atkins regimen.

Interestingly, a traditional Atkins-style diet based on animal protein was not used as a control in this study, so a true comparison of the diets cannot be made using the present data. Instead the researchers chose a control diet representative of a typical high-carb, low-fat vegetarian diet that included eggs and dairy products. Both diets tested in this study represented a 60% decrease in total calories.

Because of the study design, we cannot conclude that this diet is more effective than the Atkins diet for health, though you would predict it would be if future studies made this comparison. On the other hand, it does seem that a plant-based high-protein diet is more effective at improving health than a high-carbohydrate lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, at least in the short-term in a highly controlled environment.

This study took place over the course of 4 weeks, and all the food was provided for the particpants by the researchers. Thus, compliance in the program was very high. It is not clear if the participants would have had the same level of success if they were instructed to provide their own food to comply with the dietary programs.

Despite this, satiety levels were notably improved in the high-protein group and it would be expected that the increase in satiety would encourage greater compliance in a free living situation.

A small four week study, however, tells us very little about the effectiveness of this diet. While it is possible to improve risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure in such a short period of time, disease outcome is the true measure of a successful diet. Also, this study did not test the feasibility of the Eco-Atkins diet in the long-term, and it is likely many dieters would object to a strictly vegan regimen.

Interesting points raised by this preliminary study include:

  • Plant-based, high-protein diets may be more effective at improving cholesterol and other cardiovascular measures than traditional lacto-ovo vegetarian diets.
  • Short-term weight loss is primarily determined by the number of calories consumed, not macronutrient content.
  • Low-carb diets that include intact whole grains and plant-based protein can be effective at improving both weight and cardiovascular risk factors in the short-term.
  • Plant-based high-protein diets can increase satiety compared to high-carb vegetarian diets.

However, many questions must be addressed before this diet can be recommended to individuals trying to improve cardiovascular measures and lose weight.

New questions:

  • Can the Eco-Atkins diet be maintained in the long-term by normal individuals?
  • Does the Eco-Atkins diet continue to improve cardiovascular risk factors including weight loss after 4 weeks?
  • What would result from this study if beans and lentils were used instead of soy and gluten?
  • Does the Eco-Atkins diet improve disease outcome?
  • Does the Eco-Atkins diet extend life?
  • Does the Eco-Atkins diet affect quality of life?
  • Can these effects be attained through other diets that include some animal protein, more whole grains or more fat?
  • Is the effectiveness of the Eco-Atkins diet affected by an individual’s level of insulin resistance?
  • Can adding fish further improve the results of the Eco-Atkins diet?
  • Can a further reduction in carbohydrates improve the results?
  • Will you get these same results if the study is NOT funded by the soy industry?

In summary, the results of this study are interesting and encouraging, especially for those of us who think both carbohydrates and meat should be limited in a healthy diet. I very much look forward to future studies exploring this idea.

What concerns me most is the lack of marine omega-3 fatty acids (fish) in the Eco-Atkins diet, which could potentially improve cardiovascular measures even further. Fish is also important for cognitive health and may lower cancer risk.

I am also worried that a strictly vegan diet would not be feasible in the long-term for many Americans. Moreover, it is not necessarily the healthiest option available. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a particular concern, but could be addressed with supplements. Generally, however, I do not recommend relying on supplements for optimal nutrition.

Finally, this study was funded by a company that makes soy and gluten products. Personally I would have prefered to see these protein sources used in combination with other things such as beans and lentils. Many people question how much soy can be safely consumed and gluten intolerance is more common than ever, so wouldn’t it be interesting to know if there were safer alternatives? It really annoys me to see science being influenced by industry funding.

What do you think of the Eco-Atkins diet?

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