View Full Version : NHS Choices website

Oct 23rd, 2009, 04:17 PM

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I was pleased to see a link to the above pages on the main page of NHS Choices.

Mr Flibble
Oct 23rd, 2009, 05:27 PM
I've not seen it before, but looks good

Oct 25th, 2009, 01:06 AM
after some initial wording issues it is quite decent. It does suggest that vegan and vegetarian diets are healthy and that they are only unhealthy for the same reasons most other diets are, laziness with food, lack of balance and poor research.
on the whole good that it's there I feel

Oct 25th, 2009, 01:49 AM
oh my lord...

Rachel Smith’s experience of becoming a vegan serves as a warning to anyone who thinks it’s as simple as cutting meat and dairy products out of your diet.

Rachel, 19, a student from Leicester, was 15 when she decided to switch overnight from a mixed diet to a vegan diet.
Despite initial efforts to eat varied and balanced meals, she became complacent and her health suffered as a result.
“I didn’t know a lot about the vegan diet,” she says. “I knew I needed protein from different sources, but I wasn’t good at getting a varied diet.”
It was not the first time Rachel had swapped diets. At 13 she went vegetarian, but began eating meat again after a year when she became anaemic.
She lost a large amount of weight and felt generally weak. As concern grew for her health, Rachel was persuaded to go back to eating meat.
“I was not getting a balanced diet,” says Rachel. “I relied mostly on pre-prepared vegetarian meals, but I didn’t get much variety.”
Going vegan
Two years later, she decided to go vegan. “I was going through a difficult time and I needed a big change in my life,” she says.
“At the beginning, I made an effort to eat well. I made all my meals from scratch but I wasn’t getting much variety.”
Rachel became lazy and, instead of preparing risottos and soups, she relied on ready meals and baked potatoes with baked beans.
“I had long school days,” she explains. “When I got home I was often so tired I didn’t feel like cooking.”
She lost a lot of weight and, again, was generally lacking in energy. Her poor diet started to affect her studies and social life.
“I had trouble concentrating,” she says. “I stopped going out with my friends because I was always too tired. I wasn’t the ‘old Rachel’ people knew.”
She says she missed many school days during the last year of her GCSE exams through ill health caused by her poor diet.

The turning point came during her first year at college, where she is currently studying to become a nutritionist.
“I realised, with the help of my family, that I needed to do something about my health and I gradually started to improve my diet,” she says.
She saw an NHS dietitian who gave her a dietary plan to help her put some of the lost weight back on.
“My health has definitely improved,” she says. “But I still have a long way to go with putting on weight.”
She’s since developed a strong interest in her diet. She subscribes to vegan magazines and has built up a collection of favourite cookbooks.
“I try to go to a few vegan food festivals every year. They're great for discovering new dishes,” she says.
Her advice to others tempted to go vegan or vegetarian is to do some research on the subject before making the change.
“I don’t think being a vegetarian or a vegan is any harder than having a mixed diet,” she says.
“But, as with all diets, you need to eat the right proportion and variety of foods to make sure you get essential nutrients.
“Go online. There are plenty of useful websites with vegan recipes. The Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society are reliable sources of information.
“Check out some of the vegan festivals. If you love food you’ll discover things you’ve never tasted before.
“Get some cookbooks and try to experiment with different foods. That’s part of the fun. I don’t think I’ve had the same meal twice in the last two months.”

Gosh, can I share the weight with you?!

Oct 25th, 2009, 09:23 AM
Vaganese - I was a bit worried when I saw the above on the website, but after reading it I thought it came out as fairly positive for vegans. Did you think otherwise?

Oct 25th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Hmm. That website says regarding calcium:

"white bread (in the UK calcium is added to flour by law), "

So I checked with Dove's farm website (I use their flour for bread), and they confirmed it

UK law requires all flour millers to add the following statutory nutrients to all wheat flour, including organic products but excluding wholemeal flour; Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Thiamine, Nicotinic Acid.

The 1984 Bread & Flour Regulations defined wholemeal flour as ‘the whole of the product obtained from the milling of cleaned wheat’. Wholegrain and 100% are other terms used for wholemeal.

It also appears in the ingredients list for their white flour.

I did not know this. Does anyone know how much Calcium they are supposed to add?

(I looked it up for myself. They must add 235-390mg / 100g flour)

Oct 25th, 2009, 07:14 PM
yes, but it's strange that the first thing they say is slightly negative, isn't it? the typical, not-very-receptive english speaking person would have stopped reading half way through it, having therefore a negative opinion about it...

Oct 25th, 2009, 09:33 PM
I'll be sending them an email asking them to look at the wording

Oct 25th, 2009, 10:52 PM
oh my lord...

Gosh, can I share the weight with you?!

I quite like the idea of that, so many vegans just cut out meat/dairy, which is what I did for a few months too, but I was ill so my excuse. lol It is good she stayed vegan though, which is a positive side, it isn't saying people quit veganism. However, they could have started it off with...how she is now on a mixed healthy vegan diet and is still one but when she first went vegan she made a few mistakes...