Shop Smart: 21 Tasty (Oil-Free, Vegan) Finds at Trader Joe’s

As nice as it is to catch the farmers’ market every week, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And for those weeks, Trader Joe’s is a popular source of wallet-friendly produce, interesting staples, and healthy convenience foods such as ready-to-eat steamed... Read more

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Vitamin B12 Recommendations

Vitamin B12 Recommendations on a Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet has been shown time and time again to be the most health-promoting, disease-fighting, and nutrient-dense way of eating possible. Emphasizing a wide range of vegetables (especially leafy green varieties), fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices makes it simple to achieve nutrient needs while avoiding chronic overnutrition. Guides such as the Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate, 6 Daily 3’s, and Notable Nutrient Chart help with the high level view of what exactly a day-in-the-plant-based-life may look like. As does this post of Everything You Need to Know About A Plant-Based Diet in Less Than 500 Words and Sample Meal Plans Made Simple + Hundreds of Recipes.

One nutrient that likely will fall short on a plant-based diet is cobalamin, commonly referred to as vitamin B12. B12 is produced by microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and algae, but not by animals or plants. B12 is found in animal products because they concentrate the nutrient after ingesting these microorganisms along with their food in their flesh, organs, and byproducts (e.g. eggs and dairy). Also, ruminant animals (such as cows, sheep, and goats) have bacteria in their rumen that produce vitamin B12.

In a vegan diet, vitamin B12 may be found in fortified plant milks, cereals, and other foods, such as nutritional yeast. However, if vegans are not conscientious about taking in the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), there could be harmful health consequences. Deficiency can result in potentially irreversible neurological disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and megaloblastic anemia. B12 deficiency is not unique to vegans who do not supplement. Deficiency is also a concern with aging, medication use, and gastrointestinal issues. So much so that it has been recommended that all adults over the age of 60 years supplement to avoid deficiency.

Interestingly, the body is able to store B12 for upwards of even ten years. To further complicate this, signs and symptoms for deficiency are either not noticeable or simply very subtle. So, if B12 is not being taken in at adequate levels or if there are absorption problems, deficiency will eventually ensue. Because blood tests for B12 levels can be skewed by other variables, irreversible damage may occur before a deficiency is detected.

RDA’s for vitamin B12 across the lifespan can be found in detail here. For non-pregnant adults, aged 14 and above, the RDA is 2.4 micrograms per day. To ensure this is absorbed (in a healthy individual, barring any possible inhibitors), higher doses are recommended.

B12

 

The bottom line is that it seems the best way to supplement to maximize absorption and maintain optimal blood levels of B12 is for vegan adults (as well as non-vegan adults over the age of 60) should consider supplementing with these doses of vitamin B12:

  • 50 µg twice a day OR
  • 150 µg once a day OR
  • 2,500 µg once a week

High doses of B12 are safe and there isn’t a tolerable upper limit that has been established. It is best to undergo testing regularly and adjust the dose as necessary.

 

The post Vitamin B12 Recommendations appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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7 Key Takeaways From ‘What the Health’

“What the Health,” the new Netflix documentary from the makers of “Cowspiracy,” is creating quite a buzz and bringing much-needed attention to the link between diet and disease. The film covers a lot of the same groundbreaking science supporting a... Read more

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How I Answer 6 Common Questions as the Parent of a Vegan Toddler

As a now-seasoned vegan and public health advocate, I consider myself an expert at “Vegan 20 Questions: Eating Out With Omnivores.” If you’ve ever gone rogue from the standard American diet (SAD), chances are that you too have encountered questions... Read more

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Why You Should Have a Fruit-Filled Summer

If you’re like most Americans, you probably aren’t eating enough fruit: Americans eat a single serving of fruit per day, on average. In fact, only a small minority—24 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of the population—are meeting the recommended minimum... Read more

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Goldmine! Plant-Based Diet Gets An Entire Special Issue in a Medical Journal

Plant-Based Nutrition for Healthcare Professionals

goldmineDouble celebration as my new article, Plant-Based Nutrition for Healthcare Professionals: Implementing Diet as a Primary Modality in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease, with Ray Cronise just published in The Journal of Geriatric Cardiology.

You can view it here: bit.ly/GeriatricPBN

This is the full-text: bit.ly/GeriatricPBN-pdf

Further, this issue of the journal is a (very) special issue as it is the first one ever to be completely dedicated to plant-based diets!

Here is the table of contents for the entire journal issue, which as you may notice, is a goldmine of information that can be shared with your physicians, dietitians, colleagues, friends, family, and anyone else who is seeking to dig deeper into this most health-promoting way of eating.

 

The post Goldmine! Plant-Based Diet Gets An Entire Special Issue in a Medical Journal appeared first on Plant Based Dietitian.

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Can You Guess the Most Addictive Food? Plus, Why We Get Hooked

The following is an excerpt from The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy, which was released by Hachette Book Group. Which foods do you find most addictive? That’s the... Read more

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Congratulations! Vegan Lunches for Country’s Second-Largest Public School District

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Unified School District! Earlier this month, school board members unanimously voted in favor of bringing healthful plant-based options to L.A. schools next fall in a pilot program championed by students, parents, and doctors. Lila Copeland,... Read more

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How My Patient Beat Prediabetes and Won a Decade-Long Battle With Excess Weight

Have you ever tried something, invested nearly everything you had—time, energy, and resources—into a project, and failed? What would happen if you fell short every time? Chances are you would quit. The goal wouldn’t seem realistic. Tammy, a 33-year-old woman,... Read more

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Don’t Believe the Hype: Diets High in Saturated Fat DO Cause Heart Disease

A new commentary just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine contends that saturated fat is uninvolved in coronary artery disease. Before you get too excited: the commentary is comprised only of theory and opinion, none of it new, all... Read more

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