Zinc and selenium are important micronutrients required for the immune system to function effectively along with vitamins A, C, E, B6, B12, C, D, E and folic acid and the trace elements iron and copper.
Both insufficient and excessive intakes of zinc and selenium can have negative consequences on the immune status.
For the majority of people, low selenium intake is not a major issue. Whole-grains provide provide a more than adequate supply for vegans.
A serum selenium test shows a short-term status of selenium whilst red blood cell selenium reflects a long-term status.
Before consuming large amounts of selenium in foods or supplements, it is important to know the true status of your selenium.
Colin Campbell was a nutritional biochemist at Cornell University. In the 1960s, he was involved in nutritional programs in the Philippines to help families provide for their critically undernourished children. Peanuts were one of their preferred sources of protein. It is a legume— great for improving the soil, easy to grow, and is nutritious and tasty.
At the same time, children younger than 10, were dying at alarming rates from liver cancer. Normally liver cancer is an adult disease— and the children dying from the disease were from the most affluent suburbs in Manila. These are the families that could afford the best housing and the best food.
Whilst in the Philippines, he read a paper in an obscure medical journal. Rats were fed aflatoxin— one of the deadliest carcinogens known. One group of rats was given a diet of 20% protein —and they all died of liver cancer. The second group was given a diet of 5% protein— and they all lived. 100% deaths compared to zero deaths. They were all fed aflatoxin— but only those rats that had a high protein diet died.
A 20% diet of wheat protein, gluten, or pea protein did not result in liver cancer deaths whereas casein, which comprises of 80% of the protein found in cow’s milk, and albumin, which is found in egg white, did result in liver cancer deaths. Plant-based diets are often considered to be lysine deficient. However, adding the amino acid lysine to the wheat protein to match the level found in casein also resulted in cancer deaths.
Significantly, peanuts and corn in the Philippines were often contaminated by aflatoxin— and the wealthy ate Western-style diets, one rich in protein.
Dr James Muecke is the Australian of the Year in 2020 which was awarded for his work as an eye- surgeon and his work in preventing blindness.
He is trying to convince Australians to eat more meat, eggs and dairy. Australia is ranked number 2 in meat consumption, just behind United States but in front of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and New Zealand.
Muecke has declared that we need to “Declare war on type 2 diabetes and cut back on sugar” in order to reduce the incidence of blindness.
He believes that it is the introduction of sugary drinks and highly processed foods are the cause of diabetes – not a high-fat, high-protein diet as shown by numerous papers dating back to 1927.
Despite India's reputation for a healthy, vegetarian cuisine, it is not justified. Only 1.6% of Indians are vegan, 24% are lacto-vegetarian. 3% add eggs to their lacto-vegetarian diet which leaves 72% consuming meat.
The Indian population has the highest prevalence of diabetes worldwide and exhibits high-risk metabolic profiles at younger ages and lower body mass index than their Western counterparts. There are significant regional variations to this observation.
The reasons why Asian populations exhibit diabetes at a lower threshold than western populations are not known.
According to WHO mortality statistics, India is ranked 17 for Low Birth Rate, 37 for Diarrhoeal Diseases, 40 for Tuberculosis, 60 for Malnutrition and 62 for Influenza & Pneumonia out of 183 countries.
Given the current increase in consumption of meat and oils and a decrease in grains, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes is likely to continue.
On December 14, 2015 an article titled Vegetarian and “Healthy” Diets Could Be More Harmful to the Environment was published on the Carnegie Mellon University website. The article quotes Paul Fischbeck, a professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy at the institute. He was a co-author of a paper Energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions for current food consumption patterns and dietary recommendations in the US. Professor Fischbeck is quoted in the website article, stating “Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon. Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.”
2040 is a documentary by Damon Gameau that targets a young audience to convince them that they can make a difference to planet Earth’s well-being using technology that we all ready have at our disposal.
The key areas addressed in the documentary are transport, electricity production, agriculture, marine permaculture (kelp farming) and education.
Many popular commentators suggest that we limit fruit intake to two pieces of fruit a day due to the fructose content. However, there is a big difference between consuming fructose in fruit and consuming fructose added to foods in products such as high-fructose corn syrup.
William Davis, a cardiologist, author of Wheat Belly, claims that “modern wheat is a perfect chronic poison”. He claims that modern wheat causes diabetes, inflammation, heart disease and high blood pressure and that eliminating wheat will cure these problems.
Davis recommends the avoidance of foods such as corn, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, beans and potatoes, even though they do not contain wheat or gluten.
Davis's inconsistencies would be amusing if they did not have such serious health consequences.
An article titled, How the Keto diet – even without exercise - slays the opposition, by Derek Beres was published on Think Big website on 11th December 2017.
The Gibas study quoted by the article claims that ketosis is a useful and valid tool to control metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity.
A significant amount of nutrients may be lost when food is processed. Below are two charts showing the proportion of selected nutrients found in white rice compared with brown rice and white wheat flour compared with whole wheat flour.
Often white wheat flour is enriched to attempt to make up for the nutrients removed.
White rice and white wheat flour are created when the hull, bran layer and cereal germ removed. The germ is part of the grain that germinates to create a seedling.
Storage life is increased due to the removal of oils and nutrients.