Wednesday, March 30, 2005
BBC NEWS | Health | Raw food eaters thin but healthy: "People who follow a raw food vegetarian diet are light in weight but healthy, according to US researchers.
It has been suggested that eating only plant-derived foods that have not been cooked or processed might make bones thinner and prone to fractures.
But a study in Archives of Internal Medicine found although bones were lighter on this diet, turnover rates were normal with no osteoporosis.
The lower bone mass is down to raw food eaters being slim, believe the authors.
We recommend a varied, healthy, balanced diet which includes raw fruit and vegetables as well as other foods
Dr Fontana said the raw food diet group also had higher vitamin D levels than people on a typical Western diet, even though they did not consume dairy products which are known to be a good source of vitamin D. He said this was probably down to sun exposure.
The Vegetarian Society said "We recommend eating a healthy, well balanced vegetarian or vegan diet that includes 2-3 portions per day of high protein foods such as pulses, nuts, soya and wheat proteins, five portions of carbohydrates (the less refined the better), 2-3 portions of dairy products or calcium-enriched dairy alternatives and at least five portions of fruit and vegetables."
A spokesman for the National Osteoporosis Society said: "This is an interesting study which highlights the fact that low bone density is just one part of our overall risk of breaking bones.
"We would recommend that raw food vegans make sensible food choices to ensure they are taking in an adequate amount of calcium from a variety of foods and ensure they obtain good amounts of vitamin D from sensible exposure to sunlight."
Elaine Bruce, experienced naturopath, homeopath and director of the UK Centre for Living Foods, said calcium was important for building bones, but that inorganic calcium in the form of supplements would not do the job.
"You have to have organic calcium as it occurs in fresh green leafy vegetables. "What we do in our programme is maximise that intake by having it in juice form." She said that the chlorophyll found in green plants and vegetables also contained right amount of magnesium that is essential for the uptake of calcium for healthy bones.
"The chemical composition of chlorophyll and blood is very similar which further facilitates this uptake," she added.
Archives of Internal Medicine
Fresh Network - Raw Food
The Vegan Society - Vegan Diet - Raw Food Diet
National Osteoporosis Society
The National Osteoporosis Society, whose donors include Dairy Crest, Express Dairies PLC, Unigate Dairies Ltd, Muller Dairy UK Ltd and The Nestle Charitable Trust (NOS Accounts 2000/2001), agree. Their publication "Diet & Bone Health" (page 32) confirms that "vegans can maintain a very healthy calcium intake from tofu, green leafy vegetables, nuts and dried fruit, which all contain high calcium levels. The lack of animal protein in your diet may also make more calcium available for your bones..."
World Vegan Day Report at www.worldveganday.org
Raw Food Diet - The Garden Diet
Raw Food Vegan Diet from Shazzie
Advice on vegan diets from certified nutritionist