11/10/2015: Beans and Bones


Caryn discusses the study: Legumes and meat analogues consumption are associated with hip fracture risk independently of meat intake among Caucasian men and women: the Adventist Health Study-2.; traveling to Chicago, Argo Tea and improvements in some hospital menus.


Hello everybody, I’m back. This is Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. So let’s continue talking about my favorite subject—food. I wanted to discuss an article that just came out recently. Oh gosh, I’m looking at the date and it doesn’t look as recently as I thought it was. Oh here it is, March 2015. There’s been a little bit of a buzz around it on my Facebook page with other colleagues. The title of the article is “Legumes and Meat Analogues Consumption Are Associated with Hip Fracture Risk Independently of Meat Intake On Caucasian Men and Women in the Adventist Health Study-2”. This is an interesting study. It was one of those things where they take big populations of people and they have them answer surveys every few years and then they try and glean some information about it. It is so hard and expensive to really find out what the ideal diet is and what the impact of different foods are on human health. We certainly are capable of consuming a lot of different things. If you look around the world people eat so differently. In this study it came out and said that hip fractures are reduced by 64% when people have one or more servings of legumes per day. That’s beans, my friend beans, all different kinds of beans. You can significantly reduce your risk of hip fracture by 64%. Next in line was meat analogues. That includes soy foods. They separated those from legumes. They found that there was a 49% reduced risk of fracture, say that quickly “reduced risk of fracture” compared to those eating it less than once a week. Eating meat as well showed a reduction in hip fractures compared to those who ate very little. The point of the article is saying that protein is important, plant or animal protein, even though plant protein fared better in reducing risk. I wanted to point out something that I felt was really important in the article and it’s not as obvious because the article also says that vegans have the highest risk of hip fractures. So I was confused, how can that be? If beans and meat analogues that are soy-based or wheat-based like seitan—praise seitan—how is it that vegans who are eating these foods can have a higher risk of hip fractures if they are indeed supposed to reduce hip fractures. This is where it gets confusing and crazy. I actually asked Brenda Davis, dietician. We’ve had her on this program before. She said, and I’m just going to read what she said, “This is not surprising as vegans had the lowest protein intake. The study is really showing that protein is important for bone health and vegans consuming more do better. It is also important to remember that the EPIC Oxford Study showed a 30% increase in fracture risk in vegans compared to non-vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians. However, vegans consuming at least 525 milligrams of calcium had no greater risk than anyone else. Almost half of the vegans consumed less than that in that particular EPIC Oxford Study. The point is many nutrients are important for bone health include protein and calcium.” So vegans show many chronic diseases but when you want to have strong bones you’re going to need to get sufficient protein and calcium. We want to get calcium from food. You can Google “calcium in food” but there are wonderful foods that contain calcium and you just want to make sure you get a lot. That’s why I eat a ton of kale because kale is loaded with calcium. There’s like 100 milligrams per cup, give or take, I don’t know what exactly it is. When I have a big salad, which is about 6 cups of kale, I’m getting plenty of calcium. Tofu too especially when it is processed with…what is it made with calcium… I’m slipping here now but tofu can have a lot of calcium in it. Some raw nuts and seeds and beans are loaded with calcium. When you to stick whole foods, minimally processed—stay away from the highly processed foods—and you’re eating plant-based, then you’re a winner. I just wanted to bring that up in case anybody starts waving this in your face saying, “Vegans have high risk of hip fracture.” Not if we get enough calcium. And make sure that you do get enough calcium. The other piece of that is exercise because you can’t have strong bones if you don’t have strong muscles. They work together. That means running, jumping, playing, having a good time, using your body and moving a lot. If you’re stuck at a desk job make sure every hour you get up and move around or, if you can, work standing up for a period of time and then sitting down. Move, vary it, it’s important. It’s important for your health. It’s important for your bones.

I went traveling this week. I went to Chicago. It was actually for a memorial service so I can’t say that it was a fun adventure but I did make the most of it. I met up with a woman that I met in 6th grade because we were going to a memorial of a teacher that we had met when we were both 11 years old. We had both remained friends with him for the last 46 years. So while it was difficult mourning and grieving, I did get to re-connect with someone who I haven’t seen in 46 years. That was really fascinating for me. For a while we sat at an Argo Tea Store. Have you been to one of these Argo Tea Shops? One of the great ways to catch up with someone to sit and sip tea and that’s exactly what we did. It was a windy, cold day and we actually sat outside drinking our tea but what I love about Argo, the tea, is it’s like a candy store for me. They have so many selections of different kinds of tea all in bulk. You know how crazy I am when it comes to tea bags? I just don’t like tea bags. Occasionally I’ll have a tea that is brewed through a tea bag but I prefer not to. This place is all loose leaf teas. They had one of my very favorite teas that I don’t see very often, called maté latté, which is a maté tea if you’ve ever tried yerba maté which originates from Uruguay. It has a low level of caffeine. Some people call it mat tea from maté. It’s really a lovely tea. It just brought back so many memories. The first time I had it was when I was traveling on business to Burlington Vermont. I used to stay at this little hotel that actually had a vegan chef and this was in the late ‘90s, I think—very unusual, vegan chef, Chef Kevin Dunn. So the menu had some delightful items on it including maté latté and even though it has latté in the name, it’s not dairy milk although you can have it with almond milk or coconut milk. It’s really, really delicious. So that was a nice thing. The other thing I wanted to tell you about…again, every story has its bright side and its dark side. I was actually visiting a relative who is in the hospital for ovarian cancer. Since I had ovarian cancer back in 2006-2007 the least that I can do was be as supportive as I can, providing as much information as I can or just being cheery. I went over to Memorial Sloan Kettering, which is a big cancer hospital here in New York. I have to admit it’s not my favorite hospital. I didn’t have good experiences there when I consulted with a number of doctors. She showed me the menu and they had vegetarian and vegan options and a lot of them. The world is changing. I know this is New York City and it’s going to take awhile for other hospitals to follow suit but this is so encouraging. Isn’t it the craziest thing—you go into a hospital to heal, especially if you have cancer, and they’re feeding you foods that cause cancer, like sugar, like dairy, like pork—all these cancer-causing foods. Those are the things they want you to eat. It’s crazy. So the encouraging thing is things are changing and for those that want it, you can have it. That’s the importance of screaming and whining. Maybe not screaming and whining but at least speaking up and asking, politely is probably best rather than screaming and whining. Asking for things if you’re in a hospital. Asking for the foods that you want to eat and requesting not to be given the foods that you don’t want to eat. I remember even though I kept saying, “I’m a vegan and I don’t want these things” there was always a little dish of sugar and non-dairy creamer on my tray, no matter how many times I said I don’t want these things. So if we keep politely asking and requesting for the things that we want maybe…sometimes you have to step it up a notch and be a little more demanding, change will happen. You can’t be meek about this because it’s important. It’s important for our health. It’s important for our planet.

Looking at my notes here for all the things I wanted to talk about. I wanted to remind you again, I said I’m going to bring this up a number of times, if you haven’t seen my documentary The Lone Vegan Preaching to the Fire and even if you have seen it I hope you will go to cultureunplugged.com. If you need the link you can go to my website responsibleeatingandliving.com to get it. I’m clicking on it now just to make sure I get the right website here. It is to cultureunplugged.com. There’s this fabulous film festival. It’s going on until the end of the year. You could watch a lot of films up here. They’re all free. If you’re listening to Progressive Radio Network which I know you are these are the kind of things you are going to want to see. They’re from all over the world. If you watch The Lone Vegan Preaching to the Fire and rate it you can help us become a winner because we like to win or be a winner. We need to have more people watch it so the film that has the most people watch it gets a prize. So please help us out and check out cultureunplugged.com, watch our film, rate it too. That’ll be a big help.

The other thing I wanted to mention is I am now offering private coaching. I’ve done it for quite some time now but I’m being a little more public about it. If you’re interested in private coaching this is where I talk to you either by phone or by Skype and we discuss individual issues with food and get into a better place. I love doing this and I will be happy to call. You can go to responsibleeatingandliving.com and click on the right side and find out more about my private coaching program. I just found… I think it’s necessary, so I’m putting it out there. We cover a wide range of things. Some people want to simply eat more plant foods and don’t know how. People who are going through a health crisis, I bring my own personal experience because I had advanced ovarian cancer and most people don’t survive advanced ovarian cancer. Not only have I survived, but I’m thriving. Thank goodness. It’s not by accident, it’s because I dug deep. I did the research. I was fortunately connected with so many people in the alternative health movement and I put together a plan. I just want to share that with anyone who is interested and needs that kind of help. So there’s the private coaching program.

I also invite you to visit What Vegans Eat if you haven’t, one of the things I’m so excited about. I don’t know if you remember but I used to talk this restaurant in my neighborhood called Simple Veggie. We even did a video about them. It was really exciting because they’re a vegan Chinese restaurant and they came to my neighborhood almost two years ago. Then they were selling the restaurant, which was very sad, kind of meant that maybe they weren’t doing so well, I’m not really sure. They sold it to a wonderful group and now we have Green Zenphony. It is phenomenal. It is vegan Chinese. If you’re ever in the Forest Hills/Rego Park/Queens area this is a must visit for really wonderful, fresh, delicious food. You know that Queens is the number one travel destination for 2015 named by A Lonely Planet so if you have not been to New York City and the Borough of Queens I encourage that you do so and check out Green Zenphony. What was nice, I talked to the owner Wendy because I remember when she had a restaurant called Green Melody, which was on Long Island maybe six, seven, eight years ago now. Can’t remember how long ago is was, before they had that restaurant they had a restaurant called Green Symphony which was north of Manhattan, upstate New York. What she told me was they retired. Then people were basically saying, no you’ve got to come back. So they came out of retirement and now they’re right down the street from me. I can have these wonderful big bowls of veggie soup. If you go to responsibleeatingandliving.com and click on What Vegans Eat, Day 270 you can see these stunning pictures of soup with my favorite veggie duck which is made from bean curd skin and filled with mushrooms. It is so, so good. I was kind of actually encouraged. You know I like to eat a whole foods, minimally processed, plant-based diet and there’s some negativity surrounding these meat analogues for these people really on a health path. What’s encouraging from this article that I was just mentioning about protein and its effects on bones was a positive benefit of some of these meat analogues because they are high in protein they are good for bone health. So occasionally having a meat analogue, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. If you like it, enjoy it. It’s so much better than the other version, which is an animal that’s been slaughtered, right? I think so. I love talking about food and I’m looking at these pictures right now and I’m… no, I’m not hungry. I’m not hungry because before the show started I had some of that sludgy I was talking about before, these ground up collard stocks and kale stocks with a little peanut butter and cocoa powder and water, crazy little thing but very filling, along with lentils. You know sometimes I just like to cook lentils because they’re quick and I eat them plain. They’re fabulous. I don’t know, I just love eating this way. Simple, clean, good makes me feel happy. If you want to feel happy and eat delicious foods you can visit responsibleeatingandliving.com. We’ve got wonderful recipes or maybe you want to try the Eat Like You Give A Damn Cookbook. There’s some really fun recipes in there. I recommend them.

Other than that, please send me an e-mail info@realmeals.org when you get a chance. I’d love to hear from you. Ask me whatever questions and comments you may have. Don’t forget to watch our The Lone Vegan Preaching to the Fire at cultureunplugged.com. OK? Other than that, have a delicious week. Thanks for tuning into love. I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’ve been listening to It’s All About Food.

Transcribed by Suzanne Kelly, 1/29/2016

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