Same foods everyday?

Any queries about vegan diet, nutrition, dieting, bulking and healthy eating in general. Diets and food from vegan perspective.

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Same foods everyday?

Postby Fallen_Horse » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:48 am

Can this be healthy? I know competitive bodybuilders tend to eat similar meals each day, but they vary their meals throughout the season. Could it be that there is a combination of foods out there that could be eaten every day and would not lead to vitamin/mineral deficiency or toxicity?
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby JP » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:31 am

i think the vitamin and mineral requirements are very low compared to the calorie volume any athlete has to eat, so you would think it would not be a problem.

+ multivit tablet :D
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby meli » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:24 am

Funny you ask that, I was just to make a smiliar thread due to what my allergy & immunology consultant told me last week...

Further to her, a vegan diet increases the risk to trigger asthma attacks (I've asthma), due to the food range is more limited than on a standard diet the body is more likely to develop serious allergies, and that some of her patients almost died because of this. (Starvation to death because became allergic to all food.)

She is a very senior consultant in the NHS (national healtcare system in the UK), and top immunologist in the UK, so I assume it is not bullsh what she says.
And she strongly advised me to ditch my vegan diet.

It quite scared me tbh...
but then I feel this diet is doing me well.

I am looking now for another good immunologist in London and will try to make an appointment in the next weeks to hear a second opinion.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby meli » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:27 am

[quote="Fallen_Horse"]Can this be healthy? I know competitive bodybuilders tend to eat similar meals each day, but they vary their meals throughout the season. Could it be that there is a combination of foods out there that could be eaten every day and would not lead to vitamin/mineral deficiency or toxicity?


what I was trying to say... it seems not to be a good idea, try to eat as many different foods as possible, so you won't develop any allergies.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby tal » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:28 am

[quote="meli"]Funny you ask that, I was just to make a smiliar thread due to what my allergy & immunology consultant told me last week...

Further to her, a vegan diet increases the risk to trigger asthma attacks (I've asthma), due to the food range is more limited than on a standard diet the body is more likely to develop serious allergies, and that some of her patients almost died because of this. (Starvation to death because became allergic to all food.)

She is a very senior consultant in the NHS (national healtcare system in the UK), and top immunologist in the UK, so I assume it is not bullsh what she says.
And she strongly advised me to ditch my vegan diet.

It quite scared me tbh...
but then I feel this diet is doing me well.

I am looking now for another good immunologist in London and will try to make an appointment in the next weeks to hear a second opinion.


You don't just 'become' intolerant or allergic to foods by eating them regularly.

And if your vegan diet is limited, you're doing it wrong.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby jpowell » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:41 am

My suggestion? Why not, if there's an adequate range and quantity of foods in the daily meal plan? On the other hand, sticking to it religiously seems to make life pointlessly more difficult. If you have allergies or whatever, then that's another story. Obviously, avoid whatever you're allergic to and get appropriate medical help.

If you're concerned about nutritional details:

1. Go to cronometer.com or any other similar nutritional calculator

2. (Preferable if time) Adjust nominal "calories" in line with what experience says you actually need/use, or don't over-stress about this field.

3. (Critical) Adjust micronutrient targets in line with being vegan and with your activity levels and performance goals:
a) Vitamin C increase to at least 250-500mg, preferably plus, not including, any supplements (mainly to help with iron absorption as a vegan, but it's a good antioxidant to the extent your body can absorb it, and arguably absorption of this is much better from foods than typical single form supplements)
b) Iron 2-3x RDI (same reason).
c) Calcium: at least 1-2x RDI to be on the safe side
d) Magnesium: at least 3-5x RDI for optimal performance and health (HARDEST?)
e) Potassium: 2-3x RDI if you are active, for performance
f) Sodium: no adjustment really necessary, but try to consume it ideally when exercising rather than at other times
g) Zinc: at least 2-3x RDI if you are active or on a high energy diet, for performance and health (immunity and hormone optimization)
h) Protein: in line with your experience of your needs, probably 1-2g per kg bodyweight
i) Lysine: 5-10% of your protein requirement (I would suggest in the higher end of this range if you do very intense exercise or exercise to complete exhaustion)
j) B Vitamins: 1-3x RDI (but not much higher for health reasons)
k) Vitamin E: preferably at least 2-3x RDI

4. Put in roughly the foods you would plan to eat.

5. Tinker with it a bit if you're off base on some of your nutritional targets. This is where you might find it helps to add some nutrient dense foods like seaweed, kale, chard, mushrooms. In my view, it's strongly preferable (but not critical) to get very close to your personal targets from naturally occurring foods (as opposed to fortified foods, which are essentially supplements in disguise, and often, as processed foods, lower in key nutrients other than the ones they are fortified with). With B Vitamins, I don't think there is a naturally occurring concentrated vegan source, however by eating more veges and mushrooms so the quantities add up, or by including fortified foods/supplements, you shouldn't have a problem.

6. Other points to watch (possibly manually):
a) Omega6 to Omega3 ratio in polyunsaturated fats (they will give you the numbers, but only do the division for you in the paid version... mental arithmetic is not that hard though?). Ideally go for less than 5:1 and absolute max 10:1 (RDI)
b) Carbohydrate type: avoid a very high fructose diet, i.e. most of the carbs should NOT come from apple juice, agave, "sugar" (sucrose) or most fruits. In practice, unless you deliberately use high fructose products like apple concentrate, have a high added sugar diet (e.g. many processed foods) or decide to try an 80/10/10 high fruit raw diet, this probably won't be a problem. Possibly, depending on your needs, how much you eat, and how often, you may also want to watch the glycaemic index, or roughly how much sugars, maltodextrin and white rice/bread/mashed potatoes you consume (diabetics need to be very careful with these, many athletes actually try to consume MORE, possibly for some people it doesn't matter much at all).
c) Iron: get it without too much oxalates, i.e. don't purely rely on spinach/chard, and at eat some meals without those foods. Not that hard. Brassicas, legumes, wheat germ and seaweed are all good sources of iron. Also, ideally make sure you're consuming some vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruit) and lysine containing protein (e.g. legumes or wheat germ) at the same time.

7. Fill any remaining gaps with supplements as/if required (e.g. B12, Vitamin D, ZMA, Calcium fortified soymilk, DHA)


Doing the above daily is an almost impossible chore, hence having some things similar in your diet on a regular basis makes it a lot easier to plan a good one.

Alternatively, pay to see a good dietitian, who SHOULD be able to do at least the equivalent of all of the above for you and probably more, if you follow his/her advice and trust them to get you good advice for your situation/lifestyle/needs and as a vegan.

Or just eat reasonably healthy, care less, hope for the best, and probably get "good enough" out of life.
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Same foods everyday?

Postby ninearms » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:03 pm

Why on earth would you want to do this? Besides being more boring than the 14,000th 80/10/10 thread on VBB, eating the same things all the time in order to stay healthy strikes me as about as unhealthy a relationship with food you can get, short of not eating it at all or puking your guts up.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby meli » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:19 pm

[quote="Talyn"]
And if your vegan diet is limited, you're doing it wrong.

I think my diet is now more varied then when I was eating a standard diet...but, further to this immunologist, the problem is that my main source of protein is beans and pulses, nuts and seeds which is a too limited food range.


[quote="Talyn"]
You don't just 'become' intolerant or allergic to foods by eating them regularly.

If you are exposed to the same type of allergen over and over... then yeah you can.
Don't shoot the messenger. I am just repeating what I was told.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby tal » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:21 pm

[quote="meli"]I think my diet is now more varied then when I was eating a standard diet...but, further to this immunologist, the problem is that my main source of protein is beans and pulses, nuts and seeds which is a too limited food range.


That is only a limited range, but this is also not what most vegans eat. When you consider analogues of those foods, and things like grains and vegetables, which also have protein, the range is very wide indeed.

[quote="meli"][quote="Talyn"]
You don't just 'become' intolerant or allergic to foods by eating them regularly.

If you are exposed to the same type of allergen over and over... then yeah you can.
Don't shoot the messenger. I am just repeating what I was told.


You seem to miss the point that most foods are not allergens to begin with. So you won't just get allergic to them if you eat them regularly.

[quote="meli"]And she strongly advised me to ditch my vegan diet.


What reasons were you given for this advice?
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby meli » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:37 pm

[quote="Talyn"]
You seem to miss the point that most foods are not allergens to begin with. So you won't just get allergic to them if you eat them regularly.

All foods carry allergens (some more than others, a lot of vegan food like nuts, soy etc. are highly classified on LOAEL), but they need triggers to promote an allergic reaction. Also, not everyone is prone to allergies, but it is much more likely to become allergic if you eat the same food over and over


[quote="Talyn"][quote="meli"]And she strongly advised me to ditch my vegan diet.

What reasons were you given for this advice?

Because I eat beans, nuts, seeds on a daily basis, and very likely this will trigger my asthma to become worse. According to her, it would be irreversible, even if I'd change back to a standard non-vegan diet.
For this reason I am looking now for some other consultant to hear a second opinion.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby blinki » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:17 pm

[quote="meli"][quote="Talyn"][quote="meli"]And she strongly advised me to ditch my vegan diet.

What reasons were you given for this advice?

Because I eat beans, nuts, seeds on a daily basis, and very likely this will trigger my asthma to become worse. According to her, it would be irreversible, even if I'd change back to a standard non-vegan diet.
For this reason I am looking now for some other consultant to hear a second opinion.

I'm really, really struggling not to think that's BS. A second opinion sounds wise.

I have quite a few allergies and intollerances, most of which I haven't always had. I've had asthma as long as I can remember and I've been vegetarian my whole life. I know I'm just one person so an anecdote of me not having any problems means nothing. But it does seem odd to me that no doctor or nurse has ever mentioned anything like that to me before. If it were true and not some very recent break through I'd expect to have heard it before.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby JP » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:28 pm

[quote="meli"]
Because I eat beans, nuts, seeds on a daily basis, and very likely this will trigger my asthma to become worse. According to her, it would be irreversible, even if I'd change back to a standard non-vegan diet.
For this reason I am looking now for some other consultant to hear a second opinion.


maybe for someone from "outside", even senior consultant, eating beans (dozens and dozens of different type of beans) and lentils (same) - and all the huge variety of nuts and seeds look all "the same".

Even from the allergant point of view they have such a wide range of properties, which is why you get people who are allergic to one type of nut but not the other and same with beans, though there are people who are allergic to most beans etc.

If you look at meat, you could just say people who eat meat have only one source of protein, meat. :D I mean if you were ignorant about how many different types there are. Same goes for dairy products.

but sounds like you of all people have to focus on variety in your diet.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby beforewisdom » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:38 pm

I think people have an instinct to eat a variety of foods. I think that is why people get bored eating the same thing all of the time. This seems to be an instinct that still serves as well. I see articles all of the time how similar, but different foods have different benefits.
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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby sergio » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:39 pm

[quote="ninearms"]Why on earth would you want to do this? Besides being more boring than the 14,000th 80/10/10 thread on VBB, eating the same things all the time in order to stay healthy strikes me as about as unhealthy a relationship with food you can get, short of not eating it at all or puking your guts up.


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Re: Same foods everyday?

Postby wannalift » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:24 pm

I eat the same things almost every day. Very often the exact same things at the exact same quantities. It's not nearly as bad as the tittybabies on here are making it out to be. I enjoy everything I eat so what's the difference? Yeah, I don't eat pizza, pasta, fruit, bread, junk food, beer, etc. and I'm better off because of it.
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