Well, sort of.
But now that I’ve got your attention, it’s time for the weekly weigh up! Following on from my first post, we’re going to be comparing different kinds of foods to get to the bottom of how we get our nutrients.
Imagine: you’re sitting in your living room, feeling drained after a long day and watching T.V. Maybe you’re thinking about what to make for dinner. An advertisement comes on: ah yes, it’s Olympic cyclist Sarah Carter from New Zealand Beef and Lamb. The theme song runs – “we like to boogy.. we like to boogy” and you might be thinking a beef stir fry would hit the spot. After all, low iron does make you tired.
We all know that red meat contains a lot of iron, eggs are a great source of protein and we are encouraged to drink milk so our bones can grow strong. But how do we know this is true? Well, certainly the extensive advertising of these products as ‘health foods’ plays a large role, as do the likes of the food pyramid and the advice given by nutritionists. But could it also be because other foods that also contain high levels of these nutrients are not advertised or promoted to the same extent? And what if they were actually better for you too? Without getting into conspiracy theories about the corruption of the world’s food industries, let’s take a walk down that produce aisle with an open mind and hungry belly.
Iron is a vital mineral to human health as it delivers oxygen to our blood cells and gives us more energy. Here are two ways to get in your daily dose.
Lean shoulder cut steak
- 3.79mg of iron per 100 grams (21% of D.I – daily intake)
- 11% D.I of fat
- 31% D.I of cholesterol
- 7mg per of iron 100 grams (21% D.I)
- 1% D.I fat
- 0% D.I of cholesterol
Protein is required to build all types of cells, including muscle, blood and organs. Almost all kinds of food contain protein in some amount, as it is found in all cells.
- 22g of protein in 1 cup scrambled eggs (43% D.I)
- 35.2% D.I of fat
- 272.8% D.I of cholesterol
- 20g of protein in cup firm tofu (39% D.I)
- 28.6% D.I of fat
- 0% D.I of cholesterol
Calcium is needed by our bodies to build strong bones and teeth as well as aiding in heart function. It is also the most plentiful mineral in the body.
- 121mg of calcium per 100 grams (12% D.I)
- 5% D.I fat
- 4% D.I cholesterol
- 132mg of calcium per 100g (13% D.I)
- 3% D.I fat
- 0% D.I cholesterol
From lifestyle to life-saver?
These nutrients are clearly plentiful in plant-based foods and many of them can easily replace animal products in our meals. Due to their lower fat content and zero cholesterol rating, these foods are also much more beneficial to our overall health. In fact, vegan diets have been used to lower cholesterol and reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease; two of the world’s most common diseases. Vegans have also been found to have blood that is eight times more efficient at fighting cancer cells than an omnivore’s blood. Hummus, anyone?
So before you go asking a vegan where they get their protein from, consider changing the source of yours. It may just save your life.
Peace and science,
More information about the health benefits of veganism can be found here.