Top positive review
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Reliable, evidence-based, common sense advice
on 25 October 2011
Vegan for Life by US dieticians Jack Norris and Virginia Messina provides reliable, evidence-based, common sense advice for anyone following or seeking to follow a vegan diet. The book is clear, concise and easy to read. It also scotches a number of myths surrounding the vegan diet, including the widely held belief that vegans need less calcium than omnivores because acid-forming meat and dairy proteins increase the acidity of the blood, leading to a greater release of calcium from bone to neutralise the acidity. However, the truth is rather more complicated, and the authors recommend that vegans consume 6 to 8 servings of calcium-rich foods daily to ensure that they meet the recommended calcium intake. Not surprisingly, the authors' recommendations are based on US recommended nutrient intakes, and some of the fortified foods mentioned in the book are unique to North America. However, this is not as great a drawback as it might seem because recommended nutrient intakes are similar across the world and locally available fortified foods can often be substituted for those in the book.
With chapters covering the potential `problem' nutrients for vegans such as protein, vitamin B-12, calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc and iodine, vegan diets during pregnancy and lactation, raising vegan infants and older children, vegan diets for older people, sports nutrition, the potential health benefits of a plant food diet, and the pros and cons of soy foods, Vegan for Life is both comprehensive and practical, with clearly-presented dietary advice, menu plans and nutrient tables. New and aspiring vegans should definitely buy a copy, established vegans and health professionals with vegan clients will certainly benefit from having a copy for reference purposes, and a copy might even encourage non-vegans to give veganism a try.