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VSS eNewsletter January 8, 2007

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  • george jacobs
    VSS eNewsletter 8 Jan 2007 www.vegetarian-society.org VSS News VSS Exhibition at Woodlands Regional Library Raw Food Recipes from VSS on the Radio No Veg
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2007
      VSS eNewsletter 8 Jan 2007
      VSS News
      Other News
      VSS News
      Last July, VSS held an exhibition at the Central Library on Victoria Street . NLB was impressed with our posters, videos, statue and other materials. As a result, we were invited to put up our exhibition at Woodlands Regional Library from 9-21 Jan.
      This is a good opportunity to pick up VSS materials - VCD, flyers, stickers, postcard – to share with others. Also, you can chat with VSS members; however, we don’t have enough volunteers to always staff the exhibition.
      Here’s the necessary info on the library and how to go there:
      900 South Woodlands Drive
      Woodlands Civic Centre, #01-03
      Mon - Sun: 10.00am - 9.00pm
      Tel: 6332 3255
      MRT: Woodlands
      Buses: TIBS 169, 178, 187, 856, 858, 900, 901, 903, 911, 912, 913, 925, 926, 960, 961, 964, NR2
      (SBS 168 goes to Woodlands Interchange/MRT Station)
      Radio 95.8 will be getting the new year off to a good start Mon-Wed, 8-10 Jan, after the 7.30pm News, when DJ Wong Lee Jeng teams with VSS member Wong Kee Yew to pass on three unique and exciting raw food veg recipes: Creme of Popeye, Raw Marinara Pasta, Pumpkin Pudding. Maybe the idea of raw food sounds strange to you, but you might be surprised how tasty and easy raw food 'cooking' can be.
      A reader sent the following email to VSS:
      “I went to VivoCity. That place is so huge … but I just couldn’t find any vegetarian food. I was quite disappointed.”
      While Singapore is quite veg-friendly compared to most other cities around Asia and around the world, there remain places without veg outlets. The best solutions are to eat before or after going to such veg-deserted locations, bring our own food, visit the cut fruit stall or open up our own veg outlet. Next best is to find a non-veg place with veg options. Fortunately, such places are becoming more common, such as Sakae Sushi which last year announced veg options.
      One way to encourage non-veg outlets to offer more veg food is with the new postcard designed for VSS. You can view both sides of the card in pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format on the Download Page of the VSS web under VSS Postcard
      No need to put the postcard in the mail; you can just leave it with the staff at an outlet. VSS hopes to have more postcards in the future if this one is a success. You can download it from our site, collect it from Kampung Senang Holistic Lifestyle Centre, Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent (Aljunied MRT), #01-205, 6742.6627, or visit one of the following places:
      Genesis Health Food Restaurant
      1, Lorong Telok
      6438 7118
      Yogi Hub
      25 Stanley St.
      6220 4344, 9006 7318
      147B Telok Ayer St
      6226 2621
      Kingdom Vegetarian Coffee House 
      3 Temasek Boulevard Suntec City Mall T2 #02-544
      6336 5133
      World Business Group [WBG]
      Suntec Tower 2 #03-16
      9296 7558 
      Awareness Place
      1) 88 Brighthill Rd
      2) 231 Bain St (Bras Basah Complex) #01-63
      6849 5347
      Yoga Connections
      4988 Changi Rd
      9001 9669, 6293 9262
      A team of Sing Poly students is doing a major makeover of the VSS website as their final year project. Please have a look: http://web.revampers.vegetarian-society.org
      Please send feedback – positive or negative – to info@...
      Other News
      The Vegetarian Resource  Group produces a journal that can be read as hard copy or online. Here is an article, from the most recent issue, that addresses one concern VSS sometimes hears: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2006issue3/vj2006issue3hotline.htm
      QUESTION: “What causes kidney stones? Are there dietary changes that can reduce the risk of kidney stones? Are there different factors for young people?”
      A.R., via e-mail
      ANSWER: Kidney stones are one of the most common and one of the most painful disorders of the urinary tract. In 2000, more than 600,000 people visited the emergency room [The statistics in this article are probably based on U.S. data.] because of kidney stones. They are much more common in men than in women; 80 percent of people who develop kidney stones are men. Although kidney stones can occur at any age, they are most common in men in their 40s or older and in women in their 50s. Kidney stones in children are usually due to a genetic condition.
      Kidney stones develop when crystals separate from the urine and build up. Usually, urine contains substances that prevent these crystals from forming or limit the size of these crystals. If the crystals combine and produce a large enough stone, it can block urine flow and cause extreme pain.
      Kidney stones are categorized by their chemical composition. The most common type of stones contain calcium, either as calcium oxalate or as calcium phosphate. Less common types include struvite stones, which are caused by an infection, and uric acid stones.
      Many factors can increase one’s risk of developing kidney stones. These include a family history of kidney stones, recurrent urinary infections, bowel disease, some kidney diseases, certain drugs (including some diuretics, antacids, and steroids), prolonged bed rest, and metabolic disorders. Dehydration, which can be due to heavy sweating or to inadequate fluid intake, can lead to kidney stone formation. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends drinking enough liquid to produce at least 2 quarts of urine daily if you are susceptible to kidney stones.
      Diet also appears to play a role in the formation of some types of kidney stones. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of kidney stones are calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones. This type of kidney stone is often due to too much calcium in the urine, a condition called hypercalciuria. Hypercalciuria can be caused by an inherited disorder or by some medications.
      It may seem that high dietary calcium could lead to this type of kidney stone. Actually, low calcium intakes are much more likely to lead to calcium oxalate stones and higher calcium intakes to lead to a reduced risk. Apparently, dietary calcium limits the amount of oxalate that is absorbed, and it is excess oxalate that can cause calcium oxalate stones to form. Health care providers may tell people with a history of calcium oxalate stones to limit their use of high oxalate foods and to avoid large doses of vitamin C that can lead to excess oxalate in the urine.
      In addition, diet can influence urinary calcium levels. Hypercalciuria can be caused by excess intakes of meat, fish, and poultry and by excess sodium. A high intake of potassium, a mineral found in fruits and vegetables, is associated with a reduced risk of kidney stones.
      Another kind of kidney stone, uric acid stones, is not as common as calcium oxalate stones. Uric acid stones contain uric acid and are more common in people with gout. Recommendations for reducing the risk of developing uric acid stones include limiting meat products and alcohol since consuming these products can worsen gout. Scientists believe that dietary changes, like eating little or no meat, fish, or poultry and increasing fluid, calcium, and potassium intakes are helpful in reducing risk in those who are susceptible to developing kidney stones.
      If you’re feeling hungry in the middle of the night, but a 24-hour McDs isn’t what you have in mind, soon there will be a veg alternative. Ananda Bhavan will be open 24 hours, w.e.f. 14 Jan. They are located across from Mustafa at 95, Syed Alwi Road, S. 207671. For more info: 6297.9522 or www.anandabhavan.com
      Here, again courtesy of Vegetarian Resource Group’s ‘Vegetarian Journal’, is further evidence that vegans need to do something to make sure they get sufficient B12. Supplements are easily available or you can eat fortified foods, such as some soy milks. Even non-vegan vegetarians should be tested now and then.
      Update on German Vegans: Positives and Negatives
      A study of more than 150 German vegans provides insights into the health benefits of vegan diets as well as areas needing improvement. In this study, vegans were categorized as either strict vegans, who ate no animal products, or moderate vegans, who occasionally ate very small amounts of dairy products and eggs. Study subjects had followed a vegan diet for at least a year. Generally, diets were in accord with current recommendations and had approximately 30 percent of calories from fat, 6 percent of calories from saturated fat, and 11 percent of calories from protein. Fiber intake was quite high. Average blood lipid concentrations (total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) were in the good range that is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Study subjects were lean and appeared very health-conscious. Only 3 percent smoked, and nearly 40 percent did not drink alcohol. Obviously, vegan diets can be health-promoting.
      On the other hand, 58 percent of strict vegans and 34 percent of moderate vegans had a vitamin B12 deficiency, based on the concentration of vitamin B12 in their blood. They also had high concentrations of homocysteine, a substance that has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Elevated homocysteine can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. The elevated homocysteine concentrations seen in these vegans may explain why death rates from heart disease tend to be higher in vegans than in lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegans should strive for an adequate vitamin B12 intake, both to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and to reduce risk of heart disease.
      Waldmann A, Koschizke JW, Leitzmann C, Hahn A. 2005.
      German vegan study: Diet, life-style factors, and cardiovascular risk profile. Ann Nutr Metab 49:366-72.
      Raw Food Diets Also Have Positives and Negatives
      A similar study, also conducted in Germany , examined 201 participants who consumed at least 70 percent of their total food intake as raw food and who had followed this diet for at least two years. The majority of subjects ate small amounts of raw meat and fish, while approximately 20 percent were lacto-ovo vegetarians and 20 percent were vegan. More than three-quarters of the subjects ate more than 90 percent of their food in raw form. The diets of the subjects were quite low in protein with an average protein intake of 30-40 grams per day. Current recommendations call for 56 grams of protein for men and 46 grams for women. Dietary fat was around 30 percent of calories, and intakes of saturated fat were low. Blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations were low. On the other hand, HDL (good) cholesterol concentrations were also low, with the lowest levels seen in subjects eating the greatest amounts of raw food. Close to 40 percent of participants had vitamin B12 deficiency, and 50 percent had elevated homocysteine concentrations, which can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency and has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Subjects who regularly used vitamin B12 supplements had higher vitamin B12 and lower homocysteine concentrations than subjects who did not use supplements. The low concentrations of HDL cholesterol and elevated homocysteine concentrations seen in this group following a raw food diet raise concerns about an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It is clearly important for those following raw food diets to have adequate and reliable sources of vitamin B12.
      Koebnick C, Garcia AL , Dagnelie PC, et al. 2005.
      Long-term consumption of a raw food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglyceride but also with elevated homocysteine and low serum HDL cholesterol in humans. J Nutr 135:2372-78.
      In case you didn’t see this in this past issue of Mind Your Body, here, courtesy of Physicians for Responsible Medicine, is a summary of an important study. Colin Campbell makes similar points in his book The China Study.
      A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high protein intakes are associated with an increased cancer risk. Washington University researchers evaluated the relationship between diet and certain plasma growth factors and hormones that are linked to cancer. The study's “low-protein” group, who consumed the recommended amount of protein from plant sources (approximately 10 percent of calories), had significantly lower blood levels of IGF-1 (hormone substances associated with premenopausal breast and prostate cancer) than two high-protein groups consuming 17 percent of calories as protein from mostly meat and dairy products.
      Fontana L, Klein S, Holloszy, JO. Long-term low-protein, low-calorie diet and endurance exercise modulate metabolic factors associated with cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr 2006, 84:1456-1462. 
      Charlotte’s Web is now in local movie theatres. Another book about a young pig saved from slaughter is Pigs Might Fly by Dick King-Smith, author of the book on which the movie Babe is based. In this book, the protagonist is Daggie Dogfoot who, like Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, is the runt of the litter. Daggie is saved by his mother, his own ingenuity and bravery, and the help of an otter, a duck and other friends. Publishers Weekly praised the book, stating that, “It’s impossible to remain unmoved …a soaring, heartening fantasy.”
      And another book for those who like Charlotte’s Web is Cricket in Times Square with drawing by Charlotte’s illustrator, Garth Williams. While this book isn’t directly about eating or not eating our fellow animals, it’s nonetheless a great read that helps us humans put on the shoes (in this case, all six of them – for a cricket) of our fellow animals.
      Vegetarians have many different reasons for not eating meat, and meat eaters have a wide and sometimes wild excretion of excuses for their eating habits. It looks like meat eaters are about to add a new excuse: animal fat a bio-fuel. Major meat producers are working on ways to create fuel from the huge amounts of animal fat derived from their manufacturing processes. Let’s see if we can help them think of names and slogans. How about ‘McFuel’ and ‘Go Green: Eat Beef’? For more info: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/B/BIODIESEL_CHICKEN_FAT?SITE=NYELM&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
      Recently, someone wrote to ask about tingkat veg food. Coincidentally, VSS’s newest corporate member, Yuan Xin Vegetarian Buffet, offers such a service: 9693.0662,
      Last issue, we had three responses to a reader’s question about how to deal with a non-veg spouse. Here is a response from another reader on the general issue of how to peacefully co-exist with meat eaters.
      It is very common to encounter all sorts of comments from non-vegetarians. However, we must be true to ourselves and not let all these unpleasant comments affect our good deeds.
      I have been a vegetarian for about 12 years, but most of my family members and friends are not. When they boast about how healthy they are, I only give them a smile. Their unpleasant comments grow fewer as I show no response and am not defensive. My favourite example is that my 3rd brother used to laugh and joke about me being a vegetarian, and now he is a vegetarian too!
      I have learned thru all these years not to comment on what non-vegetarians eat but only to let them know once in a while (at the right time) the benefits of being a vegetarian. They will get fed up if I keep talking about the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
      During my short period working at a mini-mart, a 65-year-old customer used to boast that he was very strong and healthy, and exercised daily. He claimed that God had created other animals for human consumption. One month later, he told me he had been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. I suggested that he eat less meat if he couldn’t go 100% vegetarian. After trying for a month without meat, he told me he felt very good, and that he had started doing his own research on vegetarian food.
      Remember we are responsible for our own bodies.
      In our last excerpt from The China Study, the book’s main author, Prof Colin Campbell, gave advice to people who are going to try a veg diet for a month. In the following excerpt (pages 247-248), he shares the words of an associate, Scott (presumably in the U.S. ), who went and stayed veg.
      The first week is quite challenging. It’s hard to figure out what to eat. I’m not much of a cook, so I got some recipe books and tried creating some vegan dishes. As someone who would swing through McDonald’s or heat up a frozen dinner, I found it annoying to have to cook meals each evening. At least half of them were a disaster and had to be thrown out. But over time I found a few that were fantastic. … But all of this does take time.
      I’m rediscovering fruit. I’ve always loved fruit, but for some reason I didn’t really eat much of it. Maybe it’s not eating meat, but I’m finding that I’m enjoying fruit more than ever. … I actually think my tastes are getting more sensitive.
      I was avoiding eating out—something I used to do constantly—for fear of not having a vegan option. But I’m getting more adventurous now. I’ve found some new restaurants that have some great vegan side dishes, … The other day I got dragged into a pizza place with a large group; there was nothing I could do, and I was starved. I ordered a cheese-less pizza with lots of vegetables. They even made it with a whole wheat crust. I was prepared to choke it down but actually it was surprisingly good. …
      I’m finding that my cravings for meat products are pretty much gone, particularly if I don’t let myself get hungry. And, honestly, I’m eating like a pig. … The first month went by quicker than I thought it would. I’ve lost eight pounds and my cholesterol has dropped dramatically. I’m spending a lot less time on this now, particularly since I’ve found so many restaurants I can eat at, plus I cook huge meals and then freeze them. My freezer is stocked with vegan goodies.
      The experiment is over but I stopped thinking of it as an experiment weeks ago. I can’t imagine why I would go back to my old eating patterns.
      Next issue, Prof Campbell discusses why some medical authorities still advocate animal-based foods.
      Disclaimer: The information provided in this Newsletter is solely for the consideration of the subscribers, and does not constitute an endorsement by VSS.
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