Banting for vegetarians

Banting for vegetarians has come about because there are a lot of people who can't, or won't, eat a diet that is very high in animal protein and fat.

There are in any case serious questions about the wisdom of following such a menu, even though it may be quite successful.

The greatest single difficulty, to my mind, however is not the animal products, but the complete banning of legumes because of their carbohydrate content. To eat only red meat and strictly avoid chickpeas, lentils and beans, for example, is highly questionable, and in any case, extremely distasteful to vegans.

New research is coming out all the time that trans fats, and not red meat and dairy are the villains of the piece when it comes to heart disease. Butter is in, and the host of foods like margarine to which the food industry adds trans fats are out.

So, in that respect, classical banting is not so way out.

The usual Banting diet is not only high in animal fat and protein, but also very low in carbohydrate; the reason is to put you into a state close to ketosis.

In my humble opinion, this isn't necessary. It's the starches with a high glycemic index that we need to studiously avoid; they are the foods that produce an insulin rush and cause our bodies to store the excess blood glucose as fat.

This opens a window of opportunity for banters who are also vegetarians.

These are the ingredients for eggs florentine that could easily form the delicious breakfast of all banting vegetarians, and meat eaters too for that matter.

One of the joys of greens like this is that you won't be one of the five million Americans who are blind, and another ten partially sighted because of lutein macular degeneration.

That together with zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that are vitally found in the retina giving protection against high energy light entering the eye and damaging the cones in the macula; a deficiency will make you go blind. Those vegetarians who are banting will be pleased to know these phytochemicals are best absorbed with extra fat, so enjoy the butter.

Have it on half a slice of low GI bread, toasted, with extra butter.

Butter is back and should never have been sent packing.

Banting for vegetarians

Banting for vegetarians can be done without a diet high in animal fat and protein.

Vegans and vegetarians get their proteins from legumes like green peas, hummus, beans and pulses. They do have some carbohydrate but it is universally in the very low glycemic index category. And that makes them not only acceptable, but also highly desirable. Enjoy your legumes without guilt or distress.

Vegetarians can also be obese if they eat starches with a high glycemic index. The problem children are not their legumes, but their sweet tooth and a liking for white rice and potatoes.

White bread and rolls, bagels, chocolate cake and colas are also problematic; these are the foods that make us obese.

More difficult are the carbohydrates that do not have a high glycemic index but certainly do contain starch. Banting for vegetarians allows most fruit, but in moderation, and likewise sweet potatoes and butternut; green peas and beans are unlimited in my book.

Just plop two eggs on this spinach, broccoli and green peas mix. Swiss chard is often used too.

So, banting for vegetarians is based on a diet that is

  • high in legumes like green peas.
  • high in olive oil and avocado.
  • moderate in butter.
  • moderate in cheese and eggs.
  • unlimited greens.
  • moderate in 100% wholewheat bread and pasta.
  • moderate in fruit.
  • moderate in starches like butternut and sweet potato.
  • low in generally available whole wheat products which in fact 60% or more refined.
  • very low in white rice, white bread and even potato.
  • extremely low in white flour products like chocolate cake and cookies.
  • zero in colas and beer.

Obesity kills twice as many people on earth as starvation. It does that in many ways, often not considered is that they are highly likely to have major surgery to hips, knees and ankles, all of which comes with risks.

I prefer to think in principles rather than precise measurements. Forget weighing out how much of this or that you may have, and I have nothing to say about exactly how many eggs you may have.

Also take care not to become the proverbial health nut neurotic; when eating out enjoy your meal but perhaps only take a tablespoon of white rice, a small helping of ice cream, and a half roll with your soup.

At home be much stricter.

Following this banting for vegetarians you may only lose at half the rate of the classical meat, lard and butter diet, but is it sustainable? Remember that research shows that 95% of dieters are as heavy or heavier one year later.

So, it's taken you thirty years to get so heavy. Is it a problem if it takes six months to get it off, instead of three? With this banting for vegetarians you know it's basically a healthy and sustainable diet. Enjoy your food, take more walks as the pounds come off, and don't get neurotic about it.

But do it!

Low GI bread

Low GI bread is an important part of the banting for vegetarians diet; because of the chickpeas paste that's added, it's not offensive to those who eschew animal products.

This low GI easy sourdough bread recipe can be enjoyed in moderation. Two slices a day perhaps, with butter. Shun margarine and in fact all foods with trans fats.

Simply adding a scoop of vegetable protein to the dough, like hummus for example, lowers the glycemic index; and extra fat like olive oil or butter lowers it further still. Both low GI and sourdough bread are very simple to make. It takes me six minutes every morning, including grinding the flour and tending to the starter; I've timed it.

If you are going to take the trouble to make low GI bread, then use only the best ingredients; that means healthy flour. I find it incredible that bakers can use flour that has had up to 40% of the goodies removed, and yet still call it wholewheat. 

100% whole meal contains the lignins and vitamins that our bodies urgently need; anything less is really processed junk food to one degree or another. 

Quick hummus

Quick hummus is something every family should do regularly; the main ingredient is chickpeas. It's inexpensive, and takes me only five minutes; it's loaded with the vitamins and minerals to keep homocysteine levels down, and will lower the glycemic index of any starch like bread.

For example, very occasionally you might break down and have a baked potato with butter and quick hummus.

It readily fulfills the basic amino acid needs of those banting for vegetarians.

Healthy living tips

Healthy living tips are for those who are seriously tired of being sick, taking medication and visiting doctors; and are willing to ring in some important changes to their diet.

I don't need to speak to vegetarians about healthy living tips, except perhaps in regard a balanced amino acid regimen. If you're eating hummus and eggs then you'll have no problem but, for newbies, adequate methionine and lysine is vital, otherwise you'll get a serious disease called kwashiorkor.

Banting for vegetarians is not something to be done in a spurious manner; it can have serious consequences if not scientifically done. If in doubt, get advice from a registered dietician.

Vegans need to be particularly careful not to be come anaemic due to a vitamin B12 deficiency. No amount of chiropractic help will suffice if you get pernicious anaemia.  

Another potential problem is insufficient omega-3; fatty fish is the best source, freshly ground flaxseed and true free range eggs have three times as much. Alternatively, if you're a wacky greenie like me, one of the many chicken tractor designs that can be moved around your garden is an option.

Our healthy living tips are one of our most popular pages; afraid of change? Don't be; our slogan is slow food made fast. Most of these recipes are easy. Make a start with quick hummus.

Useful links

› For vegetarians

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.