Now Bill Clinton is a Vegan, is that Healthful?

January 2, 2011 Trisha Han Wellness & Prevention

Bill Clinton’s hamburger days are behind him, he says. Former President Clinton now considers himself a vegan.

In his interview with CNN’s Dr. Gupta, Bill Clinton says that now he consumes no meat, no dairy, no eggs, almost no oil. He’s dropped more than 20 pounds, and he says he’s healthier than ever. “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy,” Clinton said.

Clinton adapted the plant-based eating pattern out of concern for his cardiovascular system — “to avoid any food that could damage his blood vessels,” CNN says

In fact, many celebs are vegetarian. To name a few: Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, Lauren Bush (Niece of President Bush), Josh Hartnett, Kristen Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alicia Silverstone, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire (the Spiderman). Another big name is Carl Lewis – the former sprinter has been a vegan since 1990.

I didn’t know so many celebs are vegetarians until I started writing this blog today. By the way, my family of four is vegetarian family except that my daughter and I eat fish occasionally (maybe once in three months). My son was born and raised as a vegetarian. My husband has been a vegetarian since 1996. We’re all very healthy and seldom get sick.

Now the question is:  what should you eat to stay healthy if we want to be a vegetarian or a vegan?

Vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet, any healthy meal should be rich in all the following nutrients:

  1. Vitamins
  2. Protein
  3. Calcium
  4. Carbohydrates
  5. Zinc
  6. Iron
  7. Omega-3

Okay, now let me tell you about the foods in which you could find the above nutrients
Calcium: Broccoli, dairy products, tofu, soy, fruit juice (especially orange juice)

Protein: Tofu, apart from being rich in calcium, is also full of protein. Besides tofu, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, etc. are also rich in protein content

Iron: Once again I have to suggest the highly nutritious tofu here. Apart from that, iron is also available in plenty from rice, cashew nuts, tomato juice, etc.

Zinc: Tofu is here as well. Aren’t you surprised how a single food could be rich in so many different types of nutrients? Okay, apart from tofu, whole grains, especially the bran and germ of grains, are rich in zinc content.

Also, any vegetable available in the form of roots such as radishes, carrots, beets, etc., contains zinc. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage leaves are rich in zinc as well. If you hate potatoes because of its carbohydrate content, note that it is rich in zinc too.

Vitamins: Vitamins are available in milk, soy, cereals, Tempeh, miso, etc.

Vitamin B12 is a tough one to find outside animal products, look for it in fortified products like plant milks. Some cereals, substitute meat products and a form of nutritional yeast are also fortified. Or, to make it simple, take Vitamin B12 supplements.

Carbohydrates: Do I even need to tell you where could you get carbohydrates from? They are already available in junk and sugary foods but…WAIT, since you may not want to have them, eat potatoes instead.

Finally, omega-3 fatty acids are typically found in fish, but they can also be gotten via walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds. There are also omega-3 supplements derived not from fish, but from algae.

Who says that a vegetarian diet cannot be as nutritious as a non-veg diet? As long as you eat a healthy and well-balanced meal, your body would definitely receive the right amount of nutrition. Moreover, being low on calorie, the vegetarian diet won’t make you fat; if anything, it would help you maintain a slim and flat stomach throughout your entire life. Ask those celebs and you’ll know for sure.

Trisha Han, Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist
Mother Nature’s Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
Austin, TX
Phone: (512) 217-3855

bill clintondigestive systemhealthnutrition & food therapyveganwellness

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