nutrition

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UFC fighter Jon Fitch’s diet

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Jon Fitch is the #2 welterweight MMA fighter in the world in pretty much everyone’s book. (Georges St-Pierre, the consensus #1, is the only fighter to defeat Fitch in the UFC.) He’s known for a grinding fighting style, overpowering and outworking his opponents. Here’s a video he recently released showing what he eats in a typical day.

Guess what? It’s all vegan.

As Fitch says: “Nutrition from the right foods make up about 90% of our total health. So let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

On Saturday, Fitch fights former lightweight & welterweight champion BJ Penn at UFC 127.

Update: I just came across this post by Fitch himself over at MMA Fighting, where he explains what made him move towards veganism (The China Study played a big role). He also talks about things like strength and the protein myth. Have a look.

Vegan UFC fighter Mac Danzig doesn’t worry about protein; hates salads

Monday, December 13th, 2010

The second-most memorable image from UFC 124, after Josh Koscheck's swollen eye.

Mac Danzig knocks out Joe Stevenson, feels happy.

Mac Danzig has been on every list of famous vegan athletes since winning season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter. Makes sense: who better to combat the stereotype of vegans as the 98-pound weakling in Charles Atlas ads than, well, a combat athlete. Last weekend was a good one for Danzig, as he picked up a big win via first-round knockout at UFC 124 in Montreal.

But here’s the part I really wanted to post about. Last week, Danzig did an interview with MMAJunkie Radio, and one of the last questions he took was from a fan who wanted to ask how he gets his protein. Mac gave a lengthy, thoughtful reply (short version: he doesn’t think about protein much; the protein requirement numbers you see in MMA magazines are inflated, based on the needs of bodybuilders, who are a different kind of athlete), and dropped this delightful quote about eating salads:

There’s this whole idea, “Well, you’re vegetarian or vegan, you must just eat salads all day,” or something like that. No. I hate salads. I mean, man, [eating] salad is like a cold shower on a cold day to me. It’s like, yes, you’re eating. A shower’s like, yes, you’re getting clean, but it’s not satisfying. I’ve never been a salad person. I don’t eat salads, all right?

I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s the Dec. 8 edition of MMAJunkie Radio, featuring Mac Danzig; the interview starts at 19:30, and the question about protein comes at 39:50.

Faulty Arguments Against Veganism, pt. 8

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Read parts 1-6 here.

Can you imagine the world in twenty years if everyone were a vegan?  These poor people are so weak, they can hardly walk. Imagine a 90 lb. Marine trying to defend our country. He couldn’t even carry the gear he needs. Imagine a Iron worker, a connector, who tool pouch weighs more then him…the bottom line is a vegan is not as strong physicaly or mentally as a meat eater.

I’m fairly sure that this guy actually hasn’t met any vegans.  We certainly aren’t any weaker than the general population, and we’re generally in better health.  As far as whether we’re weak, well…

Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke

“In 2002 Robert started Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, a company dedicated to promoting the vegan fitness lifestyle, empowering vegan athletes, and living by the words, ‘healthy food defines you.’”  (RobertCheeke.com)

UFC fighter, Mac Danzig

“…the 27 year old Danzig has carved his own path and along the way shattered stereotypical images. The lightweight fighter’s success evidences a fighter can be successful without the consumption of animal products.”  (The MMA Digest)

Dr. Ruth Heidrich

At over 70, Dr. Ruth Heidrich has been a vegan for over 25 years.  She is “a six-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, holder of more than 900 gold medals from every distance from 100 meter dashes to 5K road races to ultra marathons and triathlons.  She has completed more than 60 marathons all over the world…”  Read more here.

Vancouver's own Brendan Brazier

“He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA.” (BrendanBrazier.com)

Bodybuilder Kailla Edger

She claims to have “taught and/or taken up pilates, yoga, karate, mountain biking, swimming, water aerobics, step aerobics, kickboxing, bodybuilding, boot camp exercises, jogging…and that’s just the few I can remember right now.”  (VeganBodybuilding.com)

I didn’t stop because I ran out of vegan athletes.  I stopped because unlike them, I’m really lazy.

Note also that the Dieticians of Canada and the American Dietetic Association agree that:

…appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.

A few more links:

VeganBodybuilding.org

VeganPersonalTraining.com

VeganFitnessTeam.com

What’s all the hype about calcium in dairy?

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

I was messing around with Wolphram|Alpha today doing some nutritional comparisons of different foods. Here’s the result of the query “calcium 1 cup milk vs 1 cup tofu“:

Calcium in 1 cup of milk vs 1 cup of tofu

Calcium in 1 cup of milk vs 1 cup of tofu

This is pretty astonishing. I never see anything in the milk  ads or on dairy websites that would indicate that tofu has more calcium than milk. They always just say that milk is the best source of calcium. Tofu’s even a better source of iron.

But, you say, the calcium in milk is more easily absorbed by our bodies? Perhaps not. I looked around and found this chart of calcium bioavailability (how readily absorbable it is by our bodies) of different foods from the Linus Pauling Institue at Oregon State University. Note that the serving sizes of the different foods are all much smaller than the serving size of milk. For example, 8 oz of milk is 227 grams, while 1/2 cup of tofu is only 130 grams. That makes the serving of milk almost twice the size of the serving of tofu. 130 grams of tofu is a bit less than 1/2 a package of tofu, while 8 oz of milk is a full glass of milk.

Bioavailability of calcium in different foods

Bioavailability of calcium in different foods

You might notice that 1.2 servings of tofu has the same amount of bioavailable calcium as 1 serving of milk. And that serving of milk is a bit larger than the serving of tofu. You might also see that Chinese cabbage has the same amount of bioavailable calcium as 1 serving of milk. Considering that 1 serving of Chinese cabbage is smaller than 1 serving of milk, this means that Chinese cabbage has more calcium than milk.

So, why does everyone promote milk as such a great source of calcium, when there are better sources? It’s a mystery to me (although I’d bet it involves substantial influence by the dairy industry on universities and agencies that study nutrition). Dairy production has a far greater impact on the environment and animal suffering than either tofu production or Chinese cabbage farming, so it really doesn’t make sense that this information isn’t more readily available.

I also came across this chart on the “Dairy Goodness” website (a production of the ubiased folks over at the Dairy Farmers of Canada).

The calcium contained in selected sources in decreasing order of the amount absorbed by the body.

The calcium contained in selected sources in decreasing order of the amount absorbed by the body.

Here’s the tricky part: notice that they order the chart by column 5 “Calcium absorbed (mg).” But also note that the serving of milk is twice the size of the serving size of the rest of the foods.  They also don’t mention tofu, of course! This chart is an example of misinformation – an effort by the dairy industry to skew the facts available to make milk look like the best choice, when in fact it is not. A clear case of “whitewashing” (pun intended).

Also, with so many easy and more nutritious alternatives, is there any excuse to support the dairy industry, which directly causes the veal industry and the horrors detailed below?

Reading: a bunch of links from the past week

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Here is a batch of links from the past week or so, for your reading pleasure. Sorry to get to it so late. The biggest story was probably the HSUS veal slaughterhouse investigation, but I’ve only included one link to a story about it below. I’ll try to do a recap post about that story sometime this week.

NPR: For Foer, Meat is Murder …And Worse

New Yorker review of Eating Animals

Wolves, moose and biodiversity: An unexpected connection

Hearts on Noses pig sanctuary fundraiser at Karmavore

HSUS veal slaughterhouse investigation

Poultry giant Tyson sued by the state of Oklahoma

Meat loving cowboy is still vegan

Supervegan: Does it matter that Jonathan Safran Foer isn’t vegan?

Digging through the dirt: ‘Bones’ Features Factory Farm, Slaughterhouse Footage

VegNews interview with Jonathan Safran Foer

Change.org Animal Rights blog: There Is No Such Animal as “Seafood”

Animal Place: Divine Turkey Talk

The Vegan Dietician: No Need for Vegans to Give Up Fat, Gluten, Soy or Cooked Foods