Tag: vegan

Super Healthy Ingredients That Are Not So Super (3 of 4)[:id]Bahan Alami Super Sehat yang Tidak Super (3 dari 4)

So tea tree oil is not a super cornucopia to cure all your ailments. And chia seeds have its limits. Surely soy milk is a great dairy milk replacement right? After all the Chinese has been drinking this for over 3000 years right?

Soy Milk

Alleged benefits: healthier alternative to dairy milk that is low in saturated fat.

So what if dairy milk is high in saturated fat? Coconut oil has far greater saturated fat content than soybean oil but it’s been proven to be far healthier.  In fact, based on a study done by Soochow University di China, 40 grams of cheese consumption per day actually reduce the risk of stroke by 14%!  Have you ever tasted plain soy milk processed traditionally with no added sugar?  It tastes horrible!  This is why manufacturers dumped truckloads of sugar in soy milk to make it drinkable.  And although milk naturally has sugar in it, this is at far lower concentration, and the presence of fat in milk slows down the sugar absorption into the body.  The same cannot be said on soy milk.  Not to mention the fact that children fed exclusively on soy milk later develop abnormal secondary sex organs.

Conclusion: soy milk can be part of the occasional cold sugary beverage treat healthier than coca-cola, but is NOT a healthy substitute for dairy milk.

The Soy Debate

Some people became vegan and vegetarian due to religious reason. Some people avoid any milk product due to extreme lactose intolerance. This is all fine. People should be free to make their own choice based on the best option available to them.
Some vegans insisted that everyone should turn vegan, and that being a vegan will lead to optimum health. Fruits and vegetables are indeed necessary part of a healthy diet, but some of these people would go on lengths fudging scientific facts to force you to become a vegan. Fact is that all animal protein contains all 9 essential amino acids our body produces. Many vegans loved to argue that soy also contains all 9 essential amino acids while being healthier than animal protein. So this article would like to dwell deeper into this claim, especially the later part.

Heavy Metals and Protein Drinks

Its been proven statistically that to improve your strength, other than optimal rest and training program, you should also consume more protein than the US recommended daily intake of 0.8 gram of protein / kg body mass. And of course most people want to be stronger.
And its also well known that since the 1980’s where we put heavy metals including lead in everything from kids toys, paint, to fuel additive, heavy metal now exists at varying level in the environment. Hence completely avoiding heavy metal exposure is impossible. What we can do, is try to minimize it to reasonable level to minimize the risk.
Now what is interesting is the most recent study done by Consumer Research that sampled over 150 different brands of protein supplement on the market. The research discovered that brands that has the lowest level of heavy metal content were the whey protein supplement while the ones with the highest level were actually the vegan protein supplements. And having the said supplement labeled as organic or not makes no difference on the heavy metal content.
So there you have it, if you want to be a vegan, that’s fine. If you want to be a vegan and become stronger by consuming vegan protein, you are increasing your risk of getting a load of chronic diseases. What is interesting is that there’s no shortage of vegans bragging about one or two vegan powerlifter or bodybuilder, never mind the fact that as a percentage of population, these vegan athletes make up a minority compared to the omnivore athletes.

Soy Milk Just as Nutritious as Cow Milk

Soybean is cheap, rich in protein, and readily available. Soy also contains complete protein. Something that is rare among vegan protein sources. Hence soy is a very popular protein source among vegans. Yet, soy is also rich in a type of isoflavones that is similar to estrogen on the human body. This compound is commonly referred to as phytoestrogen. And yes, estrogen is the female sexual hormone that is responsible for secondary sexual characteristics in humans.
Some vegans love to argue that these phytoestrogen actually competes with our own naturally produced estrogen and would behave differently once they are bonded with the estrogen receptors, i.e. they would act as estrogen blocker. This is a rather brave hypothesis considering the conflicting research results that are available.
Interestingly, most recent research run by the US National Institute of Health at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia actually showed that babies fed with soy based formula actually showed differences in their reproductive system tissues relative to the babies fed with mother’s milk or cow milk based formula. Of course this study is done on babies, most sensitive to these chemicals.
You can argue that adult humans are less sensitive to phytoestrogens than babies. But if you want to increase your protein intake by increasing your soy consumption, you will also increase your exposure to phytoestrogens. And you can’t argue that this increased exposure has no effect, or just as healthy as cow milk.

Does Veganism Cause Colon Cancer?

As you, dear reader, might have probably guessed from my past diet mythbusting post, I’m a fan of bacon and butter. So imagine by glee I have when ResearchGate, EurekaAlert,  Telegraph, and RT news, all excellent source of credible information mind you, claims on their headline that having a vegetarian diet will cause you to get colon cancer.

After all, the vegans and vegetarians including some respected respected UFC fighters like Nate Diaz and his big brother Nick Diaz has been touting abandoning meat and dairy has help them get stronger. Which is strange since if you think about it, the canine and molar teeth in our jaws proved that we evolved as omnivores.

Of course, sometimes the good things in life must end once you do enough reading on the underlying research. Lets get through them one at a time:

What is PUFA and LCPUFA

fish steakHuman body needs Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) to function properly from conception to aging. However, LCPUFA are mainly found in fish, along with grass fed mammals and eggs.

What the research actually shows


Based on research done at Cornell University, approximately 70% of South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese), 53% of Africans, 29% East Asians, and 17% Europeans have a very specific genetic variations that could convert plant based Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) into the said essential LCPUFA. There is nothing magical here. Merely the fact that unlike what Paleo nuts insisted, humans do adapt, in this case via genetic mutation, to what they eat. The vegetarians simply become adapted to plant based diet.

So if you are one of these individuals with this genetic variation, you don’t need to eat animal sourced calorie to supply you with LCPUFA.

Where it became a problem

Crude sunflower oil unrefined

Now what happens in adaptation, borrowing the words of Dr. McGill, is that you usually “rob Peter to pay Paul.” In this case one of the LCPUFA is Omega 6 Fatty Acids is a pro-inflammatory and pro-blood clotting agent that cannot be taken at excessive level and need to be balanced with the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 Fatty acids. Since modern processed sunflower, safflower, corn, soy and peanut oil are especially high in Omega 6 and low in Omega 3 (not an issue with traditional sources like virgin coconut oil and nuts and avocado eaten directly), then in this case, the majority of Indians simply became more vulnerable to inflammation when they consume modern diets (think of chicken deep fried with canola oil) because not only are their body also producing sufficient Omega 6 on their own (unlike majority of Europeans), they also need to cope with additional Omega 6 from their food. Hence, chronic low level inflammation that leads to elevated risk of colon cancer, heart disease and a host of other nasty stuff.


nate diaz

Just putting it out there, the brothers I mentioned early in the article actually eats seafood as they definitely have at least partial European ancestry hence they need the aforementioned LCPUFA from their diet. My advice as usual is the same, first try to eat what your ancestors ate,  and as a lot of people (including this article writer) have a mix ancestor here and there, try to experiment a little bit and see what works best for you.

If you are an African Massai herdsman or pure blooded Mongolian and you try to be a vegan without taking appropriate supplements, your children will have higher chance of becoming idiots and you will have higher chance of severe dementia in your old age.

Why it is safe for you to eat that bacon anyway

So in October 2015, WHO decided to classify processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen. It share the same classification as asbestos and smoking. The basis of this justification is the research done by Global Burden of Disease Project that placed an estimated 34,000 death globally due to diets high in processed meat on an annual basis. Understandably, this leads to a flurry of both sensationalist and respected media  such as the guardian, Canadian Cancer SocietyAmerican Cancer Society, and BBC all to publish articles about the evils of processed meat. And it leads to the Big Asian Guy’s lovely Significant Other to understandably started getting worried about his bacon consumption. Hence me writing this article to both ease her mind and make sure you, my dear readers will also be properly armed to ease your SO’s mind.

Mind you, according to WHO, processed meat are:

“Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood.

Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.”

So if you think it doesn’t concern you since you hate bacon but love beef jerkey or heck, even smoked salmon, then you are wrong, this does concern you and the food you love.

First and foremost, the basis of this classification is their research finding that shows sufficient evidence that processed meat causes colorectal cancer. Nasty disease I agree. There is no sufficient evidence linking it to any other form of cancer. An association with stomach cancer, yes, but no conclusive evidence. And this is after combing through 800 studies on cancer in humans, and 400 epidemiology studies on processed meat, the study is done by 22 experts from 10 countries. If there is a conclusive evidence linking processed meat with any other cancer, they would have found it.

Second of all, although 34,000 deaths might sound a lot, these numbers contrast with about 1 million cancer deaths per year globally due to tobacco smoking which is also placed within the same category. And I would argue that there are way more people eating processed meat than there are people smoking.

Third, the ABSOLUTE risk factor increase from consuming processed meat DAILY compared to going all paleo vegan here is 18%. I am not making this up. All 3 facts can be found on the first link I gave on top of this article.

Now after we consider these three facts, lets step back a little bit and do a little bit of research on what IS the baseline risk of getting a colorectal cancer anyway, as in based on the current diet of different cultures GLOBALLY. According to research published on Clinical Colorectal Journal in 2009, the highest population-at-risk for colorectal cancer are the people in United States, Australia and New Zealand, and Western Europe which is 40 out of every 100,000 people (0.04% mind you) whereas in Africa and some parts of Asia, its down to 5 out of every 100,000 people (0,005%). WITH EXISTING DIET. Suppose you abandon your existing diet and go all monk, the ABSOLUTE decrease in risk is (0.04% times 18%) ….0.0072% if you are on the HIGHER population bracket. Mind you, according to US National Weather Service, your odds of getting struck by lightning over your LIFETIME (approximately 80 years) is 0.0083%. The decrease in risk by changing your lifestyle is less than the chance of you getting hit by a lightning. And based on our dear NSC friend’s data in 2002, the chances of death while being a car passenger 1 out of 17,625. Are you going to stop riding a car?

So do you think its worth changing your diet? Bring on the bacon darling!

Diet Myths that has Nothing to do with Reality

We get it, you are trying to loose weight and get your swagger back but there’s just so many conflicting advice out there on the wild internet. So we decided to list 4 Myths that you should completely ignore coz they were never based on science.

1. Eating Fat makes you Fat (or gives you high cholesterol)


This is probably one of the biggest misconception out there. You are what you eat they say so eating fat will put layers of fat on you. Although fat is a very nutrient dense type of food, it suppress later food intake when present in the small intestine of both humans and animals on multiple study, i.e. fat helps makes you feel fuller longer. Not only that, but lots of vital nutrients can only be absorbed in conjunction with fat. Hence long term low fat diet leads to vitamin deficiency! Last but not least, Dariush Mozaffarian, renowed Harvard researcher, already published a landmark study  published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that  showed increased consumption of saturated fats slowed down the progression of atherosclerosis in the studied group of postmenopausal women. Excess consumption of sugar leads to cholesterol, not fat.

Having said that, fat is still very energy dense and you can only loose weight by having total energy deficit. So we are not exactly recommending you to gorge on those wagyu beef.

2. Eating past 6 PM (or 8 PM) will make you fat!


This is yet another popular myth on the circle and another variation is not to eat any carbs past a certain hour. Yes, its true that post-workout sugar consumption helps muscle recovery and when you are almost off to bed, you don’t do much activity. However, maintaining a stable blood glucose level is the key. Hence why eating complex carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes) is much better than simple carbs (white bread, soda). Fact is, if your last meal is at 6 and you are off to bed at 11 or 12, your body will probably learn how to store some energy for that long bout of starvation, i.e. low metabolism or increased fat storage.

So why do some people swear off getting result with no-carbs diet after 6 PM? Probably because it led to decrease in total carb consumption compared to their pre-diet days.

3. Vegans Can’t Build Muscle

Patrick Baboumian called, and u won’t believe how strong he is. Having said that, most of vegetarian source of protein are incomplete, i.e. it doesn’t contain all the essential proteins your body needs. An exception is soy in which some people claim that their high level of estrogen can affect your body. So one of the alternative would be to either ferment the soy first, say like Japanese edamame and Indonesian Tempeh, or eat a combination of different sources of protein, such as grains (rice, wheat, barley) with peas (beans, chickpeas).

What’s most important is doing enough workout, eating enough nutrition, and rest.

4. Supplements will help get me ripped


Oh God, no. Regardless what GNC says, if you are a desk jockey with no workout, chugging those whey protein might even lead to kidney disease. Same thing with growth hormone, CLA, BCAA, and any other alphabet combination you can think of. Heck, even if you take steroid shots, if you don’t work out, you will never ended up like Arnold. So lay down the supplements and go to the iron temple!