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Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:43 pm
by brimstoneSalad
Regarding things like raisins vs. grapes, the arsenic is concentrated because the water is lost, which isn't very meaningful.
Arsenic per calorie is probably a more useful metric.

It probably is healthier to sweeten with fruit (whole fruit, with the fiber) than sugar, although a non-caloric sweetener like sucralose probably beats them both, then just get your antioxidants from richer sources like a smaller number of blueberries or red cabbage.

But again, to be meaningful in dietary terms, I think you'd want to work out an arsenic per calorie table.

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:20 am
by cornivore
Thanks, well I was looking into brown sugar too, and don't see any indication that it is particularly unhealthy (besides that consuming anything in excess, including water, can be). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for example has "recipes for heart health" that include brown sugar. Of the few studies I've found that tested it for some effect, one study says "among sugar cane derivatives, brown sugars showed higher antidiabetes potential than white sugars", and another says "the brown sugar extracts showed interesting free radical scavenging properties despite the low concentration of phenolic and volatile compounds." The CDC says to know your limit for added sugars (as overconsumption may cause weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease), but I'm on a vegan diet, which typically counters those problems to begin with, and I don't even eat every day, so I'll add sugar to something maybe twice a week, therefore there's practically no chance of weight gain, etc. Last night I had a bunch of brown sugar mixed with tea and ate a giant bowl of barley. I've felt great since, so it seems to suit me. When I ate more junk food in the past, I think all the sugar was wearing me out, so I can feel a big difference with brown sugar in my current diet (which is not too much of a good thing anymore). Also, eating barley is said to improve cholesterol levels and glucose regulation, and it tends to have very little arsenic, compared to rice. It seems on paper to be a good thing to eat along with sugar, besides that I thought it felt that way (and it was easier to digest than wheat pasta, comparing other grains—there's a study indicating that starch digestion can be different between grains, for cows at least—arsenic has been the most common cause of inorganic chemical poisoning in farm animals, another study reports, and looking into this stuff goes around and around).

Lately I'm looking to avoid eating foods (especially together) that contain inorganic arsenic in higher amounts than most other foods of a given type, and I would choose a fruit or grain more carefully now. There's enough arsenic in water already I gather. Rice always made me pee more as a side effect than other foods, and I had stopped eating it anyway, because that's annoying. Arsenic per calorie is beyond me, I don't count calories to begin with (basically I eat as much as I can, although infrequently), so it's enough for me to know that some foods tend to contain more inorganic arsenic than others (as a process of elimination). I wasn't going to eat grapes either, the study of those mentioned that arsenic concentration was a component of processing grapes somehow though. Last time I looked at a bottle of blackstrap molasses, it had a warning sticker about concentrated harmful chemicals (iirc), so there's probably more than arsenic to look at there. I'd already looked up some alarming info about that when I decided not to include it in my diet a long time ago (and the same would go for eating fruit juice concentrate, but you'd get a stomach ache too). I probably get plenty of fiber otherwise, so as not to be concerned whether it is abundant in a sweetener, thanks. I'm not discounting using fruits that way, if you think that's worthwhile, it just isn't worth the trouble for me, beyond establishing that the fruit I had been using was at least as unhealthy as something like sugar (even though people will villify all carbs so they can overeat with peace of mind), for some strange reason, yet sugar is simpler, with a longer shelf life, and easier to store anyhow.

The CDC could just as well warn people not to drink too much water, except that it doesn't happen very often, it's simply something to be aware of I think. Sugar can be considered part of a healthy diet, but it's abused too much for that to be kept in perspective. So a lot of people eat too much added sweetener, go figure, because it's in a lot of food, because people eat a lot of it... Those who overeat animal products can't really say much about arsenic though, since this is quite possibly one of the major contributors of disease from their diet I suppose (based on what the EPA had determined there, and the other study linked above, which says "Arsenic is contaminated in food chain though drinking water, food, meat, milk and egg. The ingestion of bovine milk is one of the most important pathways of exposure to chemicals and the accumulation of persistent organic chemicals in tissues in the agricultural food chain"). I'd say this refutes omnivorism more than veganism for that matter.

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:18 pm
by brimstoneSalad
@cornivore What do you mean by brown sugar?
Isn't that usually just white sugar mixed with molasses? Or are you talking "raw sugar" that has a golden brown color because it's less processed?

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:03 am
by cornivore
I'm talking about sugar with one ingredient that is "brown sugar". The other kind that includes white sugar and molasses lists the ingredients of the mixture separately as far as I've seen. Whatever else it is called now, I think brown sugar is the traditional name for the less refined type, particularly when it is the only ingredient. I looked up some info and found guidance for the industry though, and the FDA says "In general, raw sugar is unsuitable for human food use because it contains extraneous impurities which are removed in the refining process." So I think when studies or health organizations refer to brown sugar, they mean what I was talking about. There doesn't seem to be a requirement to describe sugar beyond simply calling it sugar in the ingredients, although I don't see why all of it would be processed unnecessarily as white sugar, only for that to be reversed to make it brown again (maybe the "dark brown" sugar is what mostly has molasses added). Perhaps it is incorrect to say brown sugar is less refined, and processed would be the word (or the white stuff is also less vegan somehow), but like I said, it seems to be considered healthy (or GRAS) if not over eaten, so that's all I was really saying about brown sugar (or relating from my experience). Another thing I like about brown sugar is that it's sticky, so powdered spices like cinnamon can be stirred with it and they hold together.

I think brown sugar is more popular for baking than simply stirring into things though. I'm cooking most of the spices I use now, and brown sugar along with the tea tonight. There are some stories about another kind of sugar used as a food additive called trehalose (a.k.a. mycose or tremalose) that has been linked to bacterial epidemics involving Clostridium difficile (which the CDC says is a major cause of infectious disease-related death in the United States). :| It is said to be heat resistant, and boiling would be necessary for food safety, so I'm not assuming that there's nothing like this in other sugars that shouldn't be cooked out of them (c. botulinum could be anywhere I gather, even though sugar is typically said to make it difficult for botulinum bacteria to grow). I think sugar tastes better when cooked too (mixes better anyway, so I'll probably use less of it for cooking to get the same sweetness).

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:18 am
by cornivore
Other than that I was reading about mycotoxins ("unpredictable and unavoidable contaminants in foods and feeds worldwide"). In a survey, "about 50% of respondents were not informed that mold toxins are thermally stable and that they are not destroyable by normal cooking processes". Cooking can reduce the presence of mycotoxins though (according to another study), similarly to how cooking rice in excess water and discarding the water can reduce arsenic. This would apply to something like pasta as well (and is said to work better for pasta with mycotoxins than rice, yet rice is said to be less likely to contain mycotoxins than other grains, such as corn especially, so there's another reason to vary grains in the diet and not prepare or eat anything with signs of mold on it).

It also seems that cooking plants can be more effective at reducing mycotoxins than cooking animal products:
Aflatoxins decompose at temperatures of 237–306°C (Rustom, 1997); therefore, pasteurization of milk cannot protect against AFM1 contamination. Awasthi et al. (2012) reported that neither pasteurization nor boiling influenced the level of AFM1 in bovine milk. However, boiling corn grits reduced aflatoxins by 28% and frying after boiling reduced their levels by 34–53% (Stoloff and Trucksess, 1981). Aflatoxins: A Global Concern for Food Safety, Human Health and Their Management
I think reduction is an important concept in risk assessment, to paraphrase what the FDA has stated: "Mitigations that reduce the levels of [toxins] in the product, reduce the frequency of consumption, or reduce the amount consumed per eating occasion will proportionally reduce the risk".

Considering what a related article said again ("The ingestion of bovine milk is one of the most important pathways of exposure to chemicals and the accumulation of persistent organic chemicals in tissues in the agricultural food chain.")—arsenic and aflatoxins being examples—I suppose consuming something like milk is more risky because toxins may accumulate in it that cannot be reduced as they can be in plant foods with careful preparation. This is an example of why veganism would be less risky, given that it involved a well prepared and balanced diet, because its preparation alone may reduce toxins most effectively, and such toxins may cause disease more readily than nutrients would help to prevent it, in general (as nutritional deficiencies are not a leading cause of disease among those who eat regularly, compared to excesses, which are more difficult to avoid from animal products).

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:54 pm
by brimstoneSalad
@cornivore I suspect the sugar you're buying is probably white sugar with a little molasses added. I'm not sure there's a labeling requirement to differentiate them.

Wikipedia says commercial brown sugar is usually made that way:
Although you may be able to test it by washing it as described.

That said, I don't think there's much if any significant difference, as it has so little molasses in it I don't think it's really different from white sugar. Wikipedia backs that up.
Wikipedia wrote:Although brown sugar has been touted as having health benefits ranging from soothing menstrual cramps to serving as an anti-aging skin treatment,[8] there is no nutritional basis to support brown sugar as a healthier alternative to refined sugars despite the negligible amounts of minerals in brown sugar not found in white sugar.[9]
If you want a healthier option, try molasses (you can get unsulphured if you're worried about that). It has significant mineral content per calorie, and it just takes a little bit for a lot of flavor.
For sweetness I'd really go for adding fruit, or use a non-caloric sweetener like sucralose or stevia.

Sugar in small amounts probably isn't very harmful, but it's still empty calories which raises the glycemic index of the food you're eating and add virtually nothing of positive value. If you want sweetness it can be gotten without the negatives of sugar.

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:12 pm
by cornivore
Okay let's just talk about sugar refuted, but there isn't much else to say about it (to each their own sweeteners for whatever reason). ;)

Maybe I'll go with a more natural, or less redundantly processed, cane sugar next time (I might like the stronger flavor). Apparently brown sugar used to be made the way I was thinking, and some cane sugars still are (never white sugar), but those aren't called brown sugar these days. Looks like it was misleading to me because one bag listed ingredients as molasses added to white sugar and the other simply listed brown sugar.
It may seem strange that molasses is removed from sugar only to be put back in, but brown sugar is made this way, says Miller, for consistency. Sugar producers can ensure a uniform product batch after batch, because they’re regulating the exact amount of molasses that goes in.
Like I said though, studies that refer to brown sugar are talking about this common type (or they'd probably specify otherwise, unlike the assholes of industry that lie about ingredients or are intentionally vague), so it's still in the same context there, and I wasn't looking for amazing health benefits from a sweetener, it was just to see if they found anything especially disturbing (like the arsenic in grape juice, etc). My perspective on these things is getting to be more like this quote: "It was Paracelsus who first observed that Everything is poison. There is nothing without poison. Only the dose makes a thing not a poison (Paracelsus 1564)." So the arsenic is more of an issue to me because I think it could add up to more of a problem than sugar, which is easier to avoid eating in poisonous amounts (especially if knowing is half the battle). Other sweeteners can be poisons for whatever reason besides overeating, which may be worse than that, like the one said favor bacteria which produce more toxins that poison the poor slobs who ate some ice cream (oh yeah that's better than sugar, a better poision that is—pick your poision, as they say; well I think other foods have done more of a number on me than sugar, from time to time, considering that sugar can have an indefinite shelf life, it's quite clean, with fewer toxins than most foods, most likely). I don't feel much different fasting on empty calories though (they aren't that empty), and I'm mostly eating less these days, but reading more about it (oddly enough).

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:13 am
by cornivore
I was eating some more sugar today, and looked up whether it has an effect on athletic performance. Yes, it looks like that's the ingredient in so-called energy drinks which makes the biggest difference.
38 subjects who had drunken Red Bull 30 minutes before they ran cycles at 65~75% of their maximal heart rate showed a significant increase in exercise time than the placebo group. However, subjects who had drunken sugar-free Red Bull one hour before they ran at 80% of their maximum oxygen consumption showed no significant changes in RPE, blood lactate, and exercise time.—Effect of energy drink dose on exercise capacity, heart rate recovery and heart rate variability after high-intensity exercise
I can feel a difference too (not that I use energy drinks, especially), and think sugar can be good for health (even if it's an unpopular thing to think). There are examples of this in nature. Hummingbirds seem to perform splendidly with it and they are among the most high energy creatures on earth: "Table sugar most closely resembles the nectar found in flowers. This is the feeding method of choice by every hummingbird researcher I know." ... birds.html

By the way: Red Bull Brought a hummingbird back to good health

Interestingly, after I looked around more on that topic, another study says about as much:
Taken together, these data lead to the suggestion that, just as in the case of nectar bats, exercise in humans counteracts the potentially harmful effects of ingestion of large quantities of sugar, particularly fructose.
Sugar Metabolism in Hummingbirds and Nectar Bats
I think the general principle is the same, whether it's fructose or sucrose (in reasonable amounts, depending on the activity), although there may be some performance differences between those sugars surrounding exercise: The effects of glucose, fructose, and sucrose ingestion during exercise In that study, the fructose was "associated with gastrointestinal distress, compromised physiological response, and reduced exercise capacity". In other words, the less "empty" calories from fruit sugars could take more energy to digest, and digestion interferes with exercise (while exercise interferes with digestion)... or at least just about everyone has eaten too much food and tried to exercise, where obviously there's a conflict of interest.

So the simple sugars have their place, and fruit sugar isn't necessarily superior to table sugar in every way. A lot of the bad news about it lately has to do with people trying to overeat and not exercise without experiencing any health problems. Good luck with that (but it's a very narrow perspective). I'd rather eat some sugar and run around myself. Well, I'm not necessarily going to increase my intake of sugar based on this info, but I might time it better for that matter.

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:49 pm
by cornivore
Speaking of timing, I just tried putting up a hummingbird feeder this winter, to see what would happen (well, I'd read that Anna's hummingbird doesn't migrate in winter)... really? Who knows, the first couple of weeks it was warmer than usual outside, and all I saw were a few fruit flies there (I guess, since I'd put a top with a rim on it, and those little flies were sipping the water it pooled, at least). Then today it had snowed, and the nectar was half frozen, but as I looked at it, pondering whether to bother changing out that slush, a hummingbird flew up and took a few sips... ha! Maybe my feeder showed up better as a red rimmed snow cone, surrounded by the whiteness outside. Good stuff, I like the cold nectar myself (it's 1 part sugar to 4 parts water), yum. Of course, I put some warmer nectar out, and Anna returned for a few more sips. Apparently hummingbirds don't need all that much sugar at a time, even in freezing weather (although they can convert an abundance of it to fat for warmth... yeah, me too).
Cheers... ;)

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:31 pm
by Dorrie1967
I add nutritional yeast to some of my food (pasta, rice etc) and I think in the amounts I use I am getting my daily requirement that way. Anyone else do this? I find it a good substitute or cheese in some of my dishes.