Archive for the 'Nutrition' Category

Can a vegan diet help the Environment?

27 March 2019 at 15:31

Can a vegan diet help the Environment?

The environmental impact of meat and dairy consumption has been well-publicised recently, with cattle accounting for considerable amounts of greenhouse gas emissions as well as using significant amounts of water, land and other resources in farming. In fact, the amount of methane produced by just one cow in a year has been estimated to have the equivalent negative effect of burning 1000 litres of petrol  - enough to drive 7,800 miles. Livestock are also said to occupy over 30% of the entire land surface on earth, with huge amounts of Amazon rainforest being cleared to provide land for grazing.


Animal welfare was the number one reason that people signed up for Veganuary (going Vegan for the month of January) in 2019, but environmental concerns also ranking highly. So what are the main environmental issues of animal produce? And are vegan foods all entirely innocent?

Environmental effects of agriculture – some facts

Greenhouse gas emissions

  • Livestock and their by-products account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, over 50% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
  • Emissions for agriculture are projected to increase 80% in the next 30 years
  • Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation industry
  • Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day, and methane has a global warming potential 86 times greater than CO2. This means reducing methane emissions would have a far greater benefit than reducing CO2 emissions

Water

  • While we are all being told to save water, did you know that it takes 2,500 gallons of to produce 1lb of beef? This means just one hamburger uses as much water as showering for 2 months.
  • Another startling fact is that is takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk.
  • Agriculture is responsible for nearly 90% of the entire water consumption in the US – the majority being used to grow animal feed

Land and oceans

  • Livestock covers over a third of the earth’s total land, with up to 5 acres required per cow. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction and habitat destruction
  • Animal agriculture is responsible for destruction of over 90% of Amazon rainforest, with 1-2 acres being cleared every second.
  • The use of seafood and fish as a protein source is unsustainable – it is estimated that for every 1lb of fish caught a further 5lb of sea creatures are netted and removed from the ocean. At this rate, the ocean could be free of fish within the next 30 years.

What about vegan alternatives?

The environmental evidence for following a vegan diet appears strong. However it is still important to remember that some vegan choices will have an environmental impact, and be mindful of this when creating a diet:

SOY MILK production of uses significantly less water and land than dairy milk; however there are environmental consequences of transportation since soybeans do not grow well in UK soils the majority are imported from Brazil and the US. There are also well-documented links between soybean production and deforestation, with large amounts of rainforest being destroyed each year to grow the crop.

ALMOND MILK requires also as much water to produce as dairy milk (900 litres of water per litre of almond milk). Because 80% of the world’s almonds come from California, which has suffered some of the worst droughts in history, almond production is having a major environmental impact. Commercial almond milk can also be high in sugar and surprisingly low in almonds.

IMPORTED FOOD is common on our supermarket shelves – we see pomegranates and mangos from India, blueberries from the US and goji berries from China. According to the Vegan Society, the UK has good growing conditions for many plant proteins including fava beans, peas, and hemp seed. However, less than 20% of agricultural land in the UK is assigned to growing these crops, while we continue to import plant proteins like lentils and chickpeas from across the globe.

QUINOA and AVOCADOS have both received bad press for the problems caused to local communities when demand for these foods surged amongst Western populations. Kenya – one of the world’s largest providers of Avocados - banned export of the fruit in 2017 because the country’s supply had become critically low, while the price for locals soared. In 2013 the price of quinoa (a staple food for those living in the Andes) had trebled in less than a decade, creating great profits for farmers but becoming too expensive for locals.

Conclusion

We can clearly see the huge environmental impact of meat and dairy products, so even if you are not ready to eat an entirely vegan diet you can make a big contribution to the environment by cutting down the amount of animal products you eat and choosing local rather than imported produce. For more information on the issues with agriculture, see: www.cowspiracy.com

If you do decide to try a vegan diet, careful planning and a consultation with a nutrition expert is recommended in order to avoid nutrient deficiencies. You can read more about the nutritional impact of a vegan diet here

If you would like to know more about Nutrition why not sudy one of our courses.

Posted in Education | Environment | Health | Nutrition | Research

Should you go vegan for health?

27 March 2019 at 14:45

Should you go vegan for health? Veganuary 2019 was the biggest ever, with hundreds of thousands of people officially pledging to eat vegan during January. The number one reason given for ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Inspiration | Health | Nutrition

Food for the winter blues

19 December 2018 at 14:01

Food for the winter blues With the cold weather and the short days upon us, many people in the UK struggle with the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) at this time of year. But ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Inspiration | Health | Nutrition

7 Reasons To Stop Calorie Counting

02 November 2018 at 12:39

7 Reasons To Stop Calorie Counting Should we stop calorie counting? Yes, yes and yes!! Counting calories is time consuming, can be wildly inaccurate, and is increasingly controversial in the world ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Health | Nutrition

Halloween Pumpkins

02 November 2018 at 12:33

Halloween Pumpkins Five amazing benefits If you’re carving out pumpkin lanterns this Halloween you will have plenty of pumpkin to feast on. Whether you make it into soups, bake it into ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Nutrition

5 Foods to Boost Joint Health

02 November 2018 at 12:26

5 Foods to Protect Joints & Boost Joint Health Feeling stiff, slow or sore? Try these five foods to help get things moving again! Oily Fish Containing omega 3 (EPA and DHA) in a ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Health | Nutrition

Coconut oil - healthy or hype?

08 October 2018 at 15:32

Coconut oil – healthy or hype? Coconut oil has become hugely popular in the last few years, with a whole host of claimed health benefits and some people adding large quantities into their ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Inspiration | Health | Nutrition

Could you be allergic to wine?

06 September 2018 at 10:25

Could you be allergic to wine? Moderate amounts of red wine have long been thought to be beneficial to health, due to the antioxidant properties plus the ability to relax the blood vessels and ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Nutrition

Eat Less to Live Longer - The Secret of Longevity

06 September 2018 at 09:57

Eat Less to Live Longer - The Secret of Longevity Research is growing on the benefits of fasting and you may have heard the terms ‘Intermittent Fasting’ or ‘Time Restricted ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Nutrition

Gluten intolerance - The problem with modern wheat

26 July 2018 at 12:23

The rise of gluten intolerance The problem with modern wheat... Gluten-free diets were rare in the 80s and 90s but nowadays most of us know at least one person who avoids wheat or gluten.  ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Health | Nutrition

Is your diet making you attractive to mosquitoes?

17 July 2018 at 17:35

Is your diet making you attractive to mosquitoes? Why is it that some people seem to avoid being bitten by the mozzies, while others are covered in bites as soon as they step off the plane? ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Health | Nutrition

Reduce hayfever misery through diet

10 May 2018 at 09:41

Reduce hayfever misery through diet Hayfever is a widespread issue, being estimated to affect around 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives. Symptoms often arrive without warning and can cause ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Health | Nutrition

Sugar, Sweetie

18 April 2018 at 13:24

Sugar, Sweetie The Sugar Tax – is it a sweet thing? The new sugar tax finally arrived in April 2018 – but is it going to benefit health in the way that the Government hope? ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Health | Nutrition

Spring Clean your Diet

04 April 2018 at 11:18

Spring Clean your Diet With winter behind us and Easter treats safely out of the way, now is a great time for a quick spring clean of your diet. If a full detox sounds too challenging, there are ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Inspiration | Health | Nutrition

The great soy debate

28 March 2018 at 15:18

The great soy debate Soy is possibly one of the most widely misunderstood foods around. In the late 80s and early 90s, soy products grew in popularity as a low-fat, high protein alternative to ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Health | Nutrition

Focus on: Chickpeas

28 March 2018 at 15:12

Focus on: Chickpeas Also known as garbanzo beans or Bengal gram, chickpeas were originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and Middle East and are popular in dishes across the world. ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Nutrition

Probiotics unravelled

28 March 2018 at 14:35

Probiotics unravelled Probiotics are becoming a regular part of life for many people, but with so many different options available it can be tricky to know where to start. Here we unravel some of ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Inspiration | Health | Nutrition

Choosing The Best Nutrition Course

23 February 2018 at 11:01

12 Tips On Choosing The Best Nutrition Course This 12 point guide is designed to help you navigate the options, to ensure you choose the best nutrition course for you! With so many different ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Nutrition

Understanding Vitamin B12 deficiency

23 February 2018 at 10:23

Understanding Vitamin B12 deficiency Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) helps the body produce healthy red blood cells and is necessary for the correct functioning of the brain and nervous system. ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Nutrition

New Year diet resolution success!

31 December 2017 at 12:18

New Year diet resolution success! New Year is a time when many of us decide to make improvements to our health and diets. But with most resolutions being broken before the end of January, the ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Inspiration | Nutrition

Christmas calorie countdown

15 December 2017 at 12:36

Christmas calorie countdown   Research by food historian Dr Annie Gray revealed that the average person in wartime Britain consumed 3,500 calories (kcal) on Christmas day - half of ... [ read more ]

Posted in Education | Health | Nutrition

Nail Nutrition

21 November 2017 at 15:22

Nail Nutrition What are your nails trying to tell you? Good nutrition benefits every part of the body and deficiencies can lead to changes in the skin, hair and nails. The nails are particularly ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Nutrition

Eat away Eczema

02 November 2017 at 10:11

Eat away Eczema Dietary approaches to Eczema Say goodbye to Itchy and scratchy… Eczema refers to a group of inflammatory skin conditions causing red, dry, flaky, itchy or blistery skin. ... [ read more ]

Posted in Health | Nutrition

Eat right to sleep tight

09 October 2017 at 16:02

Eat right to sleep tight Many people have experienced difficulty sleeping after eating a heavy meal or drinking coffee late in the evening, but there are a number of other ways that diet can ... [ read more ]

Posted in Health | Nutrition

Why whole food may be greater than the sum of its parts

21 September 2017 at 16:09

Why whole food may be greater than the sum of its parts Naturopaths have long believed in the health benefits of eating whole, unprocessed foods and a panel of experts has now recognised the ... [ read more ]

Posted in Health | Nutrition

To salt or not to salt?

31 August 2017 at 16:26

To salt or not to salt? Can salt be beneficial to blood pressure? Earlier this year a large, long term study found that a low sodium diet wasn’t beneficial to blood pressure. This goes ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Education | Health | Nutrition

Benefits of Raw Chocolate

21 August 2017 at 11:26

Benefits of Raw Chocolate Raw cacao products are some of the most appealing superfoods around – the idea that chocolate can be good for you is the news that many people have been waiting ... [ read more ]

Posted in Nutrition | Inspiration

Hormonal Health : 1 Day Event

18 August 2017 at 16:44

Hormonal Health : 1 Day Event This packed and informative day will demystify the various hormonal health issues that many people suffer from, including thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, PCOS, ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Inspiration | Nutrition

Eating the Mediterranean way

02 August 2017 at 16:22

Eating the Mediterranean way The Mediterranean diet comes up time and time again in reports as one of the healthiest diets one can follow, with studies finding it beneficial to a whole host of ... [ read more ]

Posted in Health | Nutrition | Nutrition

Eating the Mediterranean way

02 August 2017 at 16:22

Eating the Mediterranean way The Mediterranean diet comes up time and time again in reports as one of the healthiest diets one can follow, with studies finding it beneficial to a whole host of ... [ read more ]

Posted in Health | Nutrition | Nutrition

Flexitarianism: is it for you?

24 July 2017 at 15:50

Flexitarianism: is it for you? Flexitarianism (or ‘flexible vegetarianism’) is becoming increasingly popular as a move towards better health without the commitment of going fully ... [ read more ]

Posted in Alternative Medicine | Inspiration | Environment | Health | Nutrition