Vegetarian Diets: The Latest Evidence-Based Nutritional Science ~ John Westerdahl

Vegetarian Diets: The Latest Evidence-Based Nutritional Science ~ John Westerdahl



this program is brought to you by the vegetarian Society of Hawaii a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing with the community the many benefits of a vegetarian diet free monthly meetings include vegetarian experts found locally and on the mainland quick and easy cooking demonstrations and helpful and delicious food samples members enjoy an informative quarterly newsletter social activities and discounts of many vegetarian friendly restaurants and health food stores for an application call nine four four eight three four four that's nine four four eight three four four or visit our website at WWDC org VSH Aloha and welcome to the monthly public presentation of the vegetarian society of Hawaii since 1990 the vegetarian society of Hawaii has been following our mission of promoting human health animal rights and protection of the environment by means of vegetarian education as we've grown to become one of the largest all volunteer nonprofit vegetarian societies in the nation it's now time for our special guests we're delighted to have with us tonight dr. John Wester Dahle PhD John Wester Dahle PhD MPH Rd CMS and FA MD is the chair of the vegetarian nutrition Dietetic practice group of the AMD he is a director of the Bragg health Institute and director of health science for bride live food products in Santa Barbara California he lived for many years in Hawaii right here he's even taught for us before here we really miss him anyway he not only lived here for many years but he also formerly served as director of wellness and lifestyle medicine and nutritional services for Castle Medical Center and served as president of the Hawaii nutrition council a graduate of Pacific Union College in Loma Linda University School of Public Health dr. Westar dollz Bachelor of Science Master of Public Health and Doctorate degrees are in the fields of food nutrition and health education he has worked as a nutritionist and health scientist for companies such as dr. mcdougal Wright Foods Inc sheckly Corp a veggie Life magazine millennium restaurant and Murad Inc and his co-author of the millennium cookbook extraordinary vegetarian cuisine his national radio talk show health and longevity is broadcast weekly on the lie I'm starring their life on the life talk radio network that would be a WWF and longevity radio calm and dr. Westar dolls presentation tonight is entitled vegetarian diets the latest evidence-based nutritional science please join me in welcoming dr. John Wester doll Thank You Lorraine thank you move this microphone over oh well loja that's really nice to be here in Hawaii again this is I feel more at home here than anywhere else in the world really and I would say the best many of the best years of my career were here in Hawaii as many of you know I work at Castle Medical Center in here in Kailua and served as the wellness director wellness lifestyle mess and the nutrition director there for a number of years and of course Castle is affiliate with the seventh-day Adventist Church seventh-day Adventist we call it Adventist Health Hospital which promotes a plant-based diet the cafeteria is all vegetarian how many hospitals can you say do they let's give counsel in here so it was a wonderful experience in promoting plant-based nutrition here in Hawaii and then of course I did the radio show on kwa I radio that time we called it nutrition in you dr. shintani is carrying on that program that radio show I started with dr. McDougall way back in the 80s and then he moved and gave me the radio show to do we carried it on it's the longest-running health talk radio show in Hawaii still today so I want to thank dr. shintani for carrying that on well a lot of things have happened over the years now they mentioned I was with brag live food products Patricia Bragg how many of you use brag products I know a lot of the vegetarians of course almost everyone uses the products and so my daytime job really is I do two things they have I'm director of health science and that's research and development for the food company brag like food products and developing healthy food products that are vegetarian and vegan and then I also am the director of the brac Health Institute which is our nonprofit division of the brac organization designed to help reach and promote health and nutrition and wellness and total health to people of all ages and then this year I was very honored to be elected I'm a registered dietician nutritionist and a very active in the having me of nutrition and dietetics and they elected me to be the chair of the vegetarian nutrition Dietetics group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics now let me explain what that is that used to be called the American Dietetic Association maybe many of you remember that name and just a few years ago they saw the interest in meat more growing and nutrition and sometimes Dietetics just sounds like just for dieticians so they change the name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and if you'd like to learn more about the organization go to WWE right org and there's a lot of great information on there I won't say it's all vegetarian but it is a good source of reliable nutrition information that you can get now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is actually the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals in the whole world this is the largest organization there's over 75,000 members the majority of which are registered dietitian nutritionist and then also Dietetic technicians which are assistants in hospitals to dietitians other Dietetic professionals and students who are going into the field of Nutrition and Dietetics so this is a great organization it is I guess you could call it almost like the AMA of the nutritionists profession the registered dieticians and there's some controversy as a result of it because having gone into study to become a registered dietitian I knew that you know a lot of people in those days think of registered dietitians as someone that's just making hospital food how healthy is hospital food usually except for Cassell right it's not always thought of being the healthiest and registered dieticians have had the reputation sometimes they are nutrition experts they have the Advanced science degrees and so forth and nutrition but not teaching exactly what many of us here in this group would consider is what what optimal health is now first of all let me explain what a registered dietician nutritionist is first of all to be a registered dietician you have to go through a very extensive program of at least minimum of four years of college in taking courses in nutrition and dietetics there's a prescribed program courses that have to be taken and then in addition to that the registered dietitian has to spend a good time in doing a clinical internship or externships somewhere in a hospital Medical Center training working with patients in the clinical setting learning that is also also learning food management and so forth for hospitals and institutions and learning administrative Dietetics too so it's a very comprehensive education program and then not only do that to do the clinical internship for number three at least a year and then they go on to take a National Board Exam which is a very tough exam to pass and so that's to be the registered dietitian so that's a four year degree of course many people go on like myself went on to get a masters degree and then later on a doctorate as well but they have changed the name it used to be just called registered dietitian and now you're going to hear the term registered dietitian nutritionist more and the part of the reason that it's going the Rd n not just Rd and that is because today there's a lot of people out there saying I'm a certified nutritionist or I'm a clinical nutritionist or I have this credential or whatever and a lot of those P forces are not really that sophisticated there's some of them our home study courses you can do through the mail get a certificate they claim they're a nutritionist but they really have not the educational level that a registered dietitian has had so that is why they are now turning the name to registered dietitian nutritionist by the way do we have any new registered dietitians nutritionists here in the audience today okay now in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics dietitians like to specialize in certain areas some of them are diabetes dietitians some of them are cardiovascular nutritionists some of them are interested in a practice group which I actually help them is an integrative medicine and functional foods there are other ones that are exposed to specialist specializing just weight management some are in business and communication there's many different categories that you when you become a member of the academy of nutrition Dietetics and you can specialize in and one of the groups which I feel is really probably the most important group within the whole Academy of nutrition Dietetics is the vegetarian nutrition Dietetics practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that is a group of dietitians that want to specialize in the area of vegetarian nutrition studying vegetarian diets vegan diets plant-based diets phytochemicals not that all the dietitians that join it our vegetarian necessary but they're in to have that interest most of them probably are because they they're looking to be with other dieticians with the like-mind but we're trying to encourage all dietitians to become a member of this group because even if they're not focused in sometimes they think well I'm not a vegetarian so I can't be a member I'd say no we want you to be a member because we are the leading group of experts focused on plant-based diets which everyone's talking about and phytochemicals and other things about plant foods that can help prevent treat and even reverse disease now the mission of the vegetarian nutrition Dietetics practice of the Academy is that it's to serve its members and it's done so for over 22 years now and the members practiced in various settings from hospitals to academic institutions long term care facilities rehabilitation centers home health outpatient clinics diabetes centers private practice grocery stores locations and I think in my career I've done a lot of different things I've been a nutritionist and dietitian in a hospital setting I've worked for vegetarian food companies work for nutritional supplement companies I've worked as a nutrition editor for veggie Life magazine which is a vegetarian magazine I've done radio I've done television so I'm very interested in getting the message out about plant-based and vegetarian diets in many ways you know so I have a real passion for it so that's people wondering how did you do all those different things it's just I like that variety of experiences I think it's a it helps broaden your perspective on things and reaches a lot of people so our mission for the vegetarian practice group of the Academy is to empower members to be the leading authorities on evidence-based vegetarian nutrition for food intuition professionals healthcare professionals and the public so we have a little different mission it's not just to promote we have an you know concerns because lab dietitians unfortunately don't know a lot about vegetarian nutrition so we want to educate them about it and other health professionals but we also want to reach out to the general public and giving good evidence-based scientific latest research information on plant-based diets our vision as the leading authorities on evidence-based vegetarian nutrition our vision is to optimize global health and well-being by creating and disseminating vegetarian nutrition educational materials nutrition education cereals supporting cutting-edge research and developing influential policy and we have people on our committee that are at or in Washington they're meeting the Capitol there you know in this national organization of dietitians the beef industry the dairy industry has a lot of influence the animal food product companies and the lobbyists are trying to work with dieticians to convince them that these are really healthy foods and they give a lot of money to the organization so forth and yet we're trying to counteract a lot of that and give to tell people about the power of plant foods and vegetarian diets for their patients that they work with now one of the publications that we put out and I'm one of the editors of this is called vegetarian nutrition update and this is a regular newsletter that goes to all the members of this practice group to keep them updated on the cutting-edge information regarding vegetarian nutrition now an interesting thing happened this year under my leadership one of the things we do is we come out every five years with an official position paper on vegetarian diets and this position paper is this latest state-of-the-art state of the science information regarding vegetarian nutrition it's a document that some of you probably have seen or used that you can really give to doctors and other health professionals who question all vegetarian trician it's not the you know there's problems with that type of diet listen that and this document really supports the science behind what we're all trying to teach here at the vegetarian society about the power of plant-based diets well in May we came out with our official position paper and last one was in 2009 and it was quite interesting because we had some science writers and they don't let me know who writes these articles or he was even on the committee it's really top-secret until it's published in the journal and what happened is this position paper came out and the moment came out a number of the leading experts in vegetarian nutrition and scientists who have studied vegetarian nutrition tore this position paper apart felt that it wasn't written well there were emissions there was fault there's information that was not as scientific as it could be they just pulled the whole paper apart and as a result of it and to my knowledge the first time in history the Academy has pulled that paper and say we are not going to accept it even though it's published in the journal we all saw it and they said we're going to have it all rewritten so this was a big blow to the organization that we don't know how it really got all the way through the review process but a new paper is being written and I can assure you that that paper will be probably the strongest scientific paper ever in the history on vegetarian nutrition that we can use and the other one will be rejected so that's kind of an interesting thing that happened in within this organization now the Academy has said for now for the time being go back to the 2009 paper which was an outstanding paper it was really well written and had the really cutting-edge science and that's what I'm going to be talking to you about tonight I had hope tonight to share with you the what the new paper was going to be but it just got rejected a few months ago and maybe next time I'll give you the report on that but let's talk about what the position paper says in this National Organization of top nutritional scientists the Academy mission paper on vegetarian nutrition which states it is the position and at that time is called the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets including total vegetarian and vegan diets are helpful nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases this was a really strong statement when this came out for the first time vegan was even mentioned in this in this organization and it's showing in and very strongly proclaiming that you can meet all your nutritional needs by being on these different types of vegetarian diets and then it goes on to say that well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle including pregnancy lactation infancy childhood and adolescence and also for athletes you know some of these categories sometimes doctors would say oh you can't be pregnant being a vegetarian diet or you can't you know if you're an athlete you can't really perform well and that's unite with this organization here the Academy is saying that you can purpose be on this type of diet and still achieve optimal health now probably the number one concern that people have today they always ask you well where do you get your protein right that's the probably the number one question well in the position paper it points out that plant proteins can meet the requirements when a variety of plant foods is consumed and the energy needs are met in other words as long as you're eating enough calories and you're eating a well variety of diet it has a lot of variety you're going to meet all your protein requirements and research indicates then excellent of plant food eaten over the course of a day can provide all the essential amino acids and ensure adequate nitrogen retention and use in the healthy for healthy adults thus complementary proteins do not need to be consumed at the same meal now before this position paper came out with this official statement many people including registered dietitians said we have to have beans and rice at the same meal to complement them to get all your essential amino acids well the science the state of science shows that you don't have to do that you can get all your amino acids as long as you're eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of variety throughout the whole day so here we see you don't have to do the complementary protein unfortunately still today there are still registered dietitians telling people that you have to do that but the science shows that is not necessary eating the variety from all the different legumes and beans nuts seeds even broccoli and green leafy vegetables have good protein as long as you're getting a variety of this rough day you'll meet all your nutritional needs as far as the essential proteins omega-3 fatty acids is another area that has come up recently and this n three fatty acids means a mega 3 fatty acids the essential fats if there's where is vegetarian diets are generally rich in omega-6 fatty acids the other types of fats they may be marginal in omega-3 fatty acids now that is pointing out that not all vegetarians because vegetarians don't eat fish and they don't eat a lot of the foods that have omega-3 fatty acids sometimes that they may be lower compared to the general population diets that do not include fish eggs or generous amounts of algae generally are low and aiko so pentanoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid which is DHA fatty acids which are important for cardiovascular health as well as eye and brain development there's no question these fats play a role in cardiovascular health as well as in the development of your eye and vision and also the brain so yes typical vegetarian diets are much lower in that and then but what we do is vegetarians we bio convert alpha linoleic alpha linolenic acid which is essential fatty acid ala from different plant foods and they're converted into fatty acids of EPA but generally it's only about 10 percent in humans that's actually converted from ala to the DHA which is substantially less ago vegetarians and particularly vegans tend to have lower levels of epa and DHA than non vegetarians because we don't need all the fish right now of course today there are DHA supplements now that are derived from microalgae that you can see in the health food stores are that are very well absorbed and positively influenced blood levels of DHA and also EPA through this what we call retro conversion so now today through technology and these microalgae components of DHA can be included in a lot of different food products such as soy milk and breakfast bars and they're fortified with a vegetarian or a vegan form of DHA that's now available in the marketplace and this is an example of one that you see sometimes it'll say you know that it has EPA or omega-3 fatty acids so it's perfectly possible today to get all your essential fatty acids including mega 3 fatty acids in DHA in your diet in any vegetarian food products today now vegetarians should also include sources of ala in their diet such as flaxseed walnuts if you use oil canola oil contributes some of this and also soy soy products the word those is spelled wrong I noticed there those with increased requirements of omega-3 fatty acids such as pregnant women and also lactating women can also benefit by getting some of these DHA supplements any of you used DHA supplements at all to take additional nests ok gives your breastfeeding and so forth okay now here's walnuts you know a quarter cup of walnuts you're going to get all these essential fatty acids that you need I think a dr. Esselstyn brings out the point that even five walnuts will provide you with really the essential fatty acids that you need and then maybe two tablespoons of flax seeds also have great source of these omega-3s and one thing about flax seeds you have to make sure that you run them through the little grinder to break those seeds because otherwise those seeds are just going to go through your body and you're not even going to absorb those essential fatty acids so you want to have the ground flaxseed and it's better to it fresh to do it make it at home as opposed to buy it in the bag unless it's refrigerated because these oils and the essential fats break down very easily so it's better to make it fresh what about iron iron is another nutrient that is often a somewhat concerned with vegetarians are discussed sort some controversy over now the iron in plant foods is what we know is non heme iron heme iron is the iron that you get from blood how many of you like blood well of course that's a very rebel reliable source of absorbing your iron from blood but so vegetarians we're going to are going to get it from a non heme iron source and these non heme iron sources are quite sensitive to things that we find the foods that inhibit their absorption and even things that enhance the iron absorption inhibitors of iron absorption include phytates these are phytic acid that you find in whole grains and in the plant-based diet some of the too much of the phytic acid can actually inhibit some of your absorption of iron there's also calcium too much calcium in the hip its absorption of iron and certain poly phenolic compounds like if you're drinking lots of regular tea or coffee even some of the polyphenols that you find in herb teas and cocoa can inhibit iron absorption so while phytochemicals that the polyphenolics are very healthy for us in one way it does have some inhibitory factors in iron and fiber only slightly inhibits iron absorption a lot of people in the past would say oh fiber foods you and it they counteract the ability for you to absorb iron which is not not really true it's a very small amount vitamin c eating more fruits and vegetables particularly fresh fruits and vegetables and other organic acids that we find in produce actually help can substantially enhance the absorption of iron and reduce the in inhibitory effects of the phytates thereby improving iron status so very important to eat lots of the fresh fruits and vegetables or that's where the raw food type of diet comes in is that this vitamin C will help you to absorb your iron much better and because of the lower bioavailability bioavailability of iron from a vegetarian it's recommended that the intake of vegetarians are 1.8 times those of the non-vegetarian the recommended intake of iron for non vegetarians is 18 milligrams and it's recommended that vegetarians and vegans maybe try to strive to get closer to 32 milligrams because of some of these inhibitory things that we may get from other plant foods now the incidence of iron deficiency anemia among vegetarians is very similar to non vegetarians so here again we're getting we can get our iron and the incidence of the deficiency is very similar although vegetarian diets have lower iron intakes the non vegetarians their serum ferritin levels which is the measure that we look at in the blood test are usually within the normal range so it's just eating a good variety of whole foods that you're going to make sure you get your iron zinc is another nutrient that's sometimes brought in question the bioavailability of zinc from vegetarian diets is lower than from non vegetarian diets and this is mainly due to again the phytic acid that you find seems to inhibit the intake of zinc zinc Ramat requirements for vegetarians whose diets consist mainly a phytic acid rich unrefined grains and legumes may exceed the recommended dietary allowance so anyway you can get zinc from a variety of different plant foods as well whole grains and others but the one thing I want you to point out is that overt sync deficiency is not really evident in Western vegetarians so people the United States who are eating vegetarian diets we don't really see at high levels of zinc deficiencies now what are some zinc sources soy products legumes grains cheese of course you don't have to eat cheese but that is a source for the to ovo vegetarian nuts are very high in zinc Brazil nuts are by the way one of the better ones food preparation techniques such as soaking and sprouting beans grains and seeds as well as leavening bread can reduce binding of zinc by phytic acid and increase the bioavailability of zinc so these are some things you can do to increase the bioavailable to zinc in those types of foods iodine some studies actually have suggested that vegans who do not consume key sources of iodine such as iodized salt or sea vegetables may be at risk at iodine deficiency because plant-based diets are typically low in iodine coarse seaweed and sea vegetation which a lot of people eat here in Hawaii is a very good source of natural iodine iodine intake from sea vegetables should be monitored because the iodine content of sea vegetables varies widely in in different amounts and can contain substantial amounts as well some dependents have a seaweed that you may be having but some of the good sources of iodine from foods include soy beans cruciferous vegetables sweet potatoes in and and some of these foods have natural Koide origins in them these are things that inhibit iodine from being absorbed and causing thyroid insufficiency in some people calcium another thing that people bring up what about calcium well calcium intakes in lacto-ovo vegetarians are similar or – or higher than the of the non-vegetarian whereas in vegans it tends to be lower than both groups and then they fall under the under what you know the high recommendations that they give diets rich in meat though and fish and dairy products and certain nuts and grains produce a high renal acid loads when eating lots of these animal products you you the acidity goes up in your in what we call a renal acid load and this is mainly due to the sulfate and phosphate residues that's caused by these types of products but calcium reabsorption from bone helps to buffer that acid load resulting in increased urinary losses of calcium and so in other words by eating too much of these animal products you make the blood more acidic and your body tries to buffer that and it draws it from the bone which is not a good thing and that's that's where we promote osteoporosis fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium and magnesium produced a high renal alkaline load these are more alkalinizing foods which blows bone calcium reabsorption and decreases calcium loss through the urine so eating more of the alkaline based diet which is a healthy plant-based diet is the way to go and this whole thing on trying to get lots of calcium it's really we're eating too much animal products making our blood more acidic and having to buffer it with a bone in fact I don't if you know this but it's been said that about 60% of the calcium that the average American eats is flushed down the toilet because of the high protein diets that Americans eat today of course greens green leafy vegetables broccoli bok choy these foods are very rich in calcium that's highly absorbable particularly the low oxalic greens now spinach on the other hand has a lot of oxalic acid which inhibits the calcium from being absorbed but the aloha solid greens such as bok choy broccoli Chinese cabbage collards and kale and fruit juices that have been fortified with calcium citrate malate which is one of the more absorbable form of calcium are good sources of highly bioavailable calcium well calcium said tofu cow's milk M there's good bioavailability and some of those although this question about the high protein in cow's milk at that is really as bioavailable as we think it is sesame seeds almonds and dried beans actually have less bioavailability of calcium compared to to this green leafy vegetable so greens is where it's really at the bioavailability of calcium from soy milk fortified with calcium carbonate is equivalent to what compared to calcium in milk from cows however limited research has shown that calcium bioavailability is substantially less when tri calcium phosphate is used to fortify soy milks so when you look for soy milk look for the one that's been fortified with calcium carbonate as opposed to tricalcium phosphate oxalate you've heard of oxalic acid which is high in spinach and Swiss chard particularly these can greatly reduce calcium absorption making these vegetables really a poor use of of calcium although they're good for beta carotene and other nutrients they're not don't rely on calcium vitamin D here in Hawaii we don't really have to worry about vitamin D because we get our we get sunshine but of course sunshine is a natural way of getting exposed to vitamin D you know works on certain type of cholesterol on your skin converts it into vitamin D foods that are fortified with vitamin D Glu cow's milk but then there's also now today you get the rice milks the soy milks orange juice some of the breakfast cereals have vitamin D I don't wreck them are Geron but I know they do put it margin soy milks now have plenty of vitamin D in it and that can help you with the absorption of calcium vitamin b12 is another nutrient that of course particularly monks vegans that we need to be watchful of the b12 status that some vegetarians is less than adequate due to not regularly consuming reliable sources of vitamin b12 for vegans vitamin b12 must be obtained from the regular use of vitamin b12 fortified foods such as soy milk or rice milk some breakfast cereals some of the meat a vegetarian meat substitutes of course they add vitamin b12 too as well red star vegetarian nutritional yeast is also a good source of vitamin b12 bragh we put out a nutritional yeast that each tablespoon has 40 percent of the daily value of vitamin b12 so you have a little bit of that and you have some other types of foods you're going to get all the vitamin b12 that you need although if you really want to assure that you're getting the b12 you may want to take a button b12 supplement daily that contains 100% of the daily value of item b12 is a just a nutritional insurance now let's talk about vegetarian – through the lifecycle because this is an area that many people are concerned about as you go from birth all the way to old age can you adequately get all the nutrients that you need on a vegetarian and vegan diet well according to Academy nutrition Dietetics well-planned vegan lacto-ovo and lacto-ovo vegetarian lacto-vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the lifecycle including pregnancy and lactation properly planned vegan lacto-vegetarian & lacto-ovo vegetarian diets satisfy the nutrient needs for infants children and adolescents that promote normal growth it really upsets me when I hear people tell me that their doctor said you got to feed their children meat or they're not going to grow properly you ever hear that medical doctors telling parents that and it scares the parents but here through this document through this position paper you can take it into the doctor and show them here's the scientific evidence where you're getting that type of information vegetarian children and adolescents have lower intakes of cholesterol saturated fat and total fat and higher intakes of fruits vegetables and fiber than non-vegetarians so you're eliminating a lot of the common problems today leading to heart disease and I have to tell you we're in a serious situation now with children eating all the saturated fat and cholesterol today we're finding children as young as seven who are have adult onset diabetes you have an idea when we start seeing the beginnings of atherosclerosis at what age we find that sane and the artery walls do what have an idea six actually at age three we start seeing the beginnings of streaking where why is that because one of the parents feeding them whole milk McDonald's all this type of saturated fat and cholesterol containing foods from animal sources pregnant and lactating women vegetarian diets can be planned to meet the nutrient needs of pregnant and lactating women and I see a woman back there one of our members here breastfeeding and giving them good nutrition breastfed infants whose mothers do not have adequate intake of b12 should receive a vitamin b12 supplement in that way the infant will get the b12 through the mother's milk and it's so wonderful now to see in the health food stores and down to earth who's who's here tonight having all these great vegan vegetarian baby food products organic it's wonderful to see all the variety of baby food products that are out there to help those who are raising their children to be vegetarians and vegans children growth for lack of lacto-ovo vegetarian is similar to that other non vegetarian peers so when it comes to lack Toba vegetarians it's almost identical as far as growth patterns some studies suggest that vegan children tend to be slightly smaller but within the normal ranges of the standards of weight and height sometimes the vegan children may grow a little bit slower they're not getting those high protein diets which promotes rapid growth and aging actually so they may grow a little bit slower but by the time that they get older they're at the sent there at normal height ranges that they should be I love to see these kids learn about healthy vegan vegetarian diets and getting them on a plant-based diets this is the most important thing you can do my daughter we raised Jasmine on a vegan diet right from the beginning there she is so those of you that are parents I commend you for raising your kids on these healthy diets because in the long run they're going to live longer healthier lives vegan children may have slightly higher protein needs because of differences in protein digestibility and amino acid position but these protein needs are generally met when diets contain adequate energy and a variety of plant foods in other words it's easier to absorb the protein break down the amino acids from animal foods because kind of pre-done for you you're getting it secondhand but when you're eating these plant foods there's results there's some inhibitory factors or it's not it's not absorbed as well but as long as you're getting a wide variety of the plant foods and you're meeting the caloric needs you're going to get all the adequate protein you really need for adolescents and teenagers growth of lacto-ovo vegetarian and non-vegetarian adolescents are similar and this is the age that unfortunately the teenagers are eating diets that aren't too healthy and vegetarian diets appear to offer some nutritional advantages for teenagers and adolescents meat vegetarian adolescents are reported to consume more fiber more iron folate vitamin A and vitamin C than non-vegetarians think about that these needs all these nutrients they're getting more than the non vegetarians because they're eating more of a whole food plant-based diet vegetarian adolescents also consume more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweets fast foods and salty snacks compared to non-vegetarian adolescents now I have to qualify this a little bit is that I do have a concern that today a lot of kids are becoming vegans for animal write reasons which that's a good cause but they don't realize that they don't know they're not doing it for healthful reasons so there tend to eat more these vegan cookies and and junk foods I call vegan junk foods that maybe not the best for their health and don't supply the nutrients their body really needs now I remember when I was veget Veggie Life magazine we had a magazine that really promoted vegan diets and vegetarian diets and they I was criticized when as nutrition editor there because I was making the foods too healthy they said we got letters from vegans saying oh after Western all came on is vegetarian nutrition editor there's to the foods are too healthy the recipes and they say we became vegans because we're interested in the animal rights we want more of those cookies and pastries egg vegan recipes we don't want all this healthy stuff so anyway when I'm when I'm told that buy some vegan friends and young people I say so you're for animal rights right yes and you're an animal aren't you yes well when you eat junk food vegan foods that's animal abuse right they never thought of it that way but you got it all starts with yourself so in the growing trend of more people becoming vegans particularly with teenagers for animal rights we want to make sure that we encourage them to eat healthy vegan foods because that's supplying the nutrients to their body needs key nutrients of concern for adolescent vegetarians include calcium vitamin D iron zinc and vitamin b12 but if as long as you're getting a wide variety here again of the different foods they're going to meet all the nutritional needs older adults here again I have heard of doctors that tell seniors that are in their 80s you got to get off that vegetarian diet you need to eat more animal protein or that they say that with older people well with aging energy needs decrease but recommendations were several nutrients including calcium vitamin D but b6 and higher intake of micronutrients especially calcium zinc iron vitamin b12 decline in older adults studies indicate that older vegetarians have dietary intakes that are similar to non-vegetarian so even those that are eating a wide variety of plant-based foods can have a dietary intake similar for those nutrients as long as healthy athletes vegetarian diets can also meet the needs of competitive athletes nutrition recommendations for vegetarian athletes should be formulated and for with consideration for the effects on both vegetarian diets and exercise and you're going to see today you know used to be said that you can't be a bodybuilder and be a vegan well that's not necessarily true there are quite a few vegan bodybuilders out there today it really has to do with the training that's the key part of it and as long as you're getting your protein whether it's from beans or whatever it is you know whatever the plant food is that will give you your nutrient needs now I want to just mention about chronic disease prevention and treatment with vegetarian diets the key thing I want you to remember is that foods from plants prevent the diseases that are killing us fruits vegetables whole grains and beans to me this is the medicine of the future this is what we call lifestyle medicine in plant foods in a plant-based diet plays a key role in the future of medicine we got to get our doctors thinking this way more eating more of these foods and we know with four ischemic heart disease a vegetarian diet is associated with lower risk of death from human heart disease atherosclerosis and and so forth blood lipid levels the lower risk of death from the ski McCart disease risk scene vegetarians could be explained in part due to the blood levels of the cholesterol the LDL cholesterol and so forth hypertension lower rate of hypertension among vegetarians I had some interesting statistics here on that pointing out the compared to meat-eaters lifelong vegetarians have 24 percent reduced risk incidents I should say of ischemic heart disease and lifelong vegans have a fifty fifty seven percent lower incidence of ischemic heart disease compared to meat-eaters so that's very powerful of course saturated fat primarily in animal food products of course they're promoting coconut oil today which I'm not a big fan of that's still saturated fat but want to stay away from these foods because saturated fats raise cholesterol increasing your risk of heart disease and remember plant foods fruits nuts grains vegetables all plant foods have zero cholesterol it's only found in animal food products here you have a cross-section of artery and you can see the build-up of the plaque along the walls of the artery to where you have up to 99% plugged-up buildup of cholesterol plaque and as I mentioned we see the beginnings of this process even at age three in the average American so we need to be aggressive on this and there's no reason to have heart disease if you raise your children on this type of all plant-based diet there's no reason they should ever have a heart attack really and the scientific research supports this and many of you know dr. Dean Ornish's work where he put people on an all plant-based diet in his local very low-fat vegetarian diet and 82 percent of the patients actually had reversal of the plaque buildup of their arteries and here's the PET scan that showed it on the left-hand side you see when the patient started out beginning in one year later this is a PET scan of the heart showing the circulation and on the right side you can see the more red and yellow color their ink shows that those arteries opened up there's more circulation there was actually reversal of atherosclerosis on on a low-fat vegetarian diet vegetarians appear to consume more phytochemicals than do non vegetarians because of a greater percentage of their energy and calories coming from plant foods and these include flavonoids and other phytochemicals which appear to have protective effects as antioxidants in reducing platelet aggregation in other words in reducing those blood cells from sticking together and forming clots and blood clots and they have anti-inflammatory agents in these plant foods and in improving the endothelial function of our body's antioxidants of course we know that story in more fruits and vegetables the more color and huai we say eat a rainbow of colors that that's that that's about it again remember foods from plants prevent the diseases that are killing us know why our plant foods so important they're low in fat generally except for coconut and avocado nuts but most plant foods are very low in fat they're high in fiber fiber that can help you lower your cholesterol fiber that can also help you prevent colon cancer they're low in calories and filling up more on these foods make you not want to eat as much of the bad type of food so that's important and they're loaded with these wonderful phytochemicals and antioxidants this is just a list of some of the different types of antioxidants that we find in plant foods of course vitamin C and E and all these colorful pigments carotenoids alpha and beta carotene lycopene ludian and then we find the flavonoid compounds which are pigments which are the reds and purp and blues and and the whites all these things have very powerful effects on the body in fighting against disease phytochemicals okay I want to just mention diabetes the seventh-day Adventist population where approximately 50% of these 70 of us fall vegetarian diets well the Adventists vegetarians are reported to have a lower rates of diabetes compared to the non Adventists vegetarians when they compare the two within the group in higher intakes of vegetables and whole grains and legumes and beans and nuts have all been associated through the scientific literature with a substantially lower risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and improved by semi semuc control in either normal or insulin resistant individuals when it comes to obesity of course the Adventist population has been the biggest population studied as far as vegetarian diets but it shows they have about 30 percent of whom follow a meatless diet it's actually 30 to 50 percent vegetarians eating patterns have been associate with lower BMI and BMI increase as the frequency of meat consumption is increased in both men and women now cancer the big see vegetarians tend to have an overall cancer rate lower than that of the general population and this is not just confined to smoking related cancers you know every aspect every phase going through the progression of cancer from the normal cell going to pre cancer going to cancer going to invasive cancer fruits and vegetables have powerful components of antioxidants and phytochemicals and other properties that we don't even know all about today in breaking that chain reaction so that's why it's important that you just just flood your body with lots of fruits and vegetables as I mentioned the Seventh day Adventists halation who they don't smoke a lot of them are vegetarians have significantly less rates of cancer when it comes to osteoporosis dairy products green leafy vegetables and calcium fortified plant foods do provide calcium of course we're trying to get more of the plant foods and osteoporosis is a big problem but as I mentioned earlier it has a lot to do with eating those high animal products promoting the acidity in the blood and your bone trying to buffer that acidity renal disease kidney disease also related to eating too much animal protein soy based vegan diets appear to be nutritionally adequate for people with chronic kidney disease and they slow the progression of kidney disease dementia the brain and everyone's interested in a brain nutrition is quite a topic today and there's some studies to show that vegetarians are at lower risk of developing dementia compared to non vegetarians and this reduce risk is believed to be in lower blood pressure and because of the increased amounts of antioxidants and vegetarians get in their diet so in concluding what the state of the science is saying from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the leading organization in the world of nutrition when they look at vegetarian diets they have three main conclusions one appropriately planned vegetarian diets have been shown to be helpful nutritionally adequate and may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases the second point vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of life there are many reasons for for the rising of interest of vegetarian diets whether its ecological or health or animal rights there's many reasons but they are appropriate for whatever stage of life you find yourself in and the third conclude vision is that the number of vegetarians in the United States is expected to increase during the next decade food nutrition professionals can assist vegetarian clients by providing current accurate information about vegetarian nutrition foods and and resources that they can get now I would like to refer you to this website one might want to write it down this is from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the vegetarian practice group vegetarian nutrition dotnet is a very reliable source of good scientific information about vegetarian nutrition is a lot of great recipes and other things to help you get on a healthy vegetarian diet in lifestyle one mention also I do have my national radio show that you can go and learn learn more about the vegetarian nutrition I have a lot of great interviews handouts materials and that's a health and longevity health longevity radio.com and you can hear some of my past radio shows I've had all the leaders in the vegetarian movement on dr. Esselstyn dr. mcdougal T Colin Campbell and many others thank you dr. John Wester Dahl for this really wonderful presentation from an insider's point of view and we appreciate getting all these useful details from the latest position paper on vegetarian diets from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics from you thank you so much we'd like to now invite all of you to enjoy some tasty vegan dishes courtesy of down to earth thank you again very much dr. John Wester Dahl and Mahalo to all of you for coming and have a safe return home good night everyone this program is brought to you by the vegetarian Society of Hawaii a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing with the community the many benefits of a vegetarian diet free monthly meetings include vegetarian experts and locally and on the mainland quick and easy cooking demonstrations and helpful and delicious food samples members enjoy an informative portal e-newsletter social activities and discount at many vegetarian friendly restaurants and health food stores for an application call nine four four eight three four four that's nine four four eight three four four or visit our web site at WWDC h org VSH org you you

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15 thoughts on “Vegetarian Diets: The Latest Evidence-Based Nutritional Science ~ John Westerdahl

  1. The speaker references "doctors" giving inaccurate nutritional information yet fails to mention the role registered dietitians have played and continue to play in the propagation of horrible nutrition advice. While a doctor may not have an adequate background in nutrition, professional nutritionist/ dietitians devote their education to knowing what is best nutritionally, yet the diabetic and heart disease programs they run are full of damaging advice – eat "healthy" meats, eat healthy processed foods. Time for dietitians to own their mistakes and time for them to fight for what is right for human health, instead of pushing variations of the SAD.

  2. The only evidence you need is fact… Q:  Which diet allowed 99% of all the earths native cultures to emerge generation after generation and flourish pre westernised diet??? A:  It wasn't veganism!!Vegans seem to know a lot of scientific/nutritionist jargon and  "new study suggests", bla bla.  Don't you realise the biggest and most thorough study ever conduct was the evolution of the human race.!!  PLEASE IF YOUR A PROUD VEGAN THEN I CHALLENGE YOU TO ANSWER THIS….Name 5 examples of multigenerational cultural veganism on this Earth??  Can you also tell the effect of Veganism on the 4th generation born??  I think you find Veganism is a modern Idea, rather than a cornerstone of human emergence.  All scientific studies are somewhat irrelevant due to the fact the none of them last much longer than a month. I want to see  the results of 3 generations of pure veganism…THAT IS A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT….Untill then I will try to model the ancestral pre western diet, as I have great records of my ancestors health and fertility.  Science is not wisdom.

  3. Hohum…While I really enjoy most of these videos, I couldn't spend my time listening to very much of this: too boring!

  4. at 30:23 he f'ed up big time: soybeans, cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes are NOT good sources of iodine, they contain goitrogens that INHIBIT iodine absorption.

  5. terrible presentation.
    99% stroking westerdahl's ego (by vsh lady AND HIMSELF)
    1% old news on veganism

    waste of time… vsh, get it together!

  6. There are now brands of mushrooms with vitamin d. I go to costco often and costco sells vitamin d mushrooms from monterey mushrooms. I believe the vitamin d2 in mushrooms are created by exposing them to uvb light right before packaging them.

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