Current vegan recommendations advise avoiding all added salt, sugar, and oil. In addition, nightshades and other acidifying vegetables are highly recommended. Furthermore, smoothies are often used to replace some meals altogether. It is my concern that this may not be a healthy direction for a sustained vegan practice. All of the world’s long-standing civilizations were plant-based; their mainstays were grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. They also used salt and oil in their food preparations (this includes the people of Blue Zones). It seems it is safer and healthier to base our general recommendations on what has already worked for many hundreds, or even thousands of years.
There’s no doubt that the excessive use of salt and oil is unhealthy, especially when these are poor quality. It might be advisable to take a softer approach by recommending a minimal use of natural sea salt and high quality sesame and/or olive oil. Salt makes food tastier, more enjoyable, and satisfying. High-quality sea salt, used in cooking, aids in carbohydrate digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Oil, used in cooking, aids in the absorption of minerals and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). It also adds to the taste and enjoyment of foods cooked in oil.
Vegan foods that are high in calcium:
- Leafy green vegetables – collard and turnip greens, broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, and bok choy. Another great choice is adding leafy greens to your miso soup.
- Beans and lentils
- Soy products – tofu and tempeh
Plant-based foods offer the highest quality in calcium. Therefore, having a strong plant-based vegan diet is the best to keep your bones strong. Here are the benefits of having a high calcium diet:
- Help bone and teeth formation and development
- Keeps muscles strong and healthy
- Plant-based calcium neutralizes acidity and keeps your condition alkaline
I am concerned that current vegan recommendations are an overreaction to a meat and dairy-based diet. The world is watching us; let’s make sure we get it right. If you need help with bone health, set up a macrobiotic counseling appointment.