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Article highlighting that just because something's natural doesn't mean it's safe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12060507
I think most (if not all!) OMSers are pretty well clued-up on this stuff anyway, but I liked the article as I've met quite a few people who don't seem to realise that alternative medicines can have side effects too, or might not be as effective, and just like conventional drugs (although possibly not to the same extent) they are produced by a large industry with a financial interest in promoting their use. We need to apply the same rigorous standards to decide whether to use them.
I think this is an excellent point and am glad you raised the issue. The research shows that many supplements are, in fact, quite harmful. Also, the supplement companies create demand for supplements that are not needed. For example, the supplement companies charge high prices for sublingual (under the tongue) vitamin B12 but the research shows that sublingual B12 works no better than swallowed B12. We can all save our money by taking the less expensive B12 unless injections are needed. I think it is a shame that companies are willing to swindle consumers with untruthful claims.

It is interesting that again and again the research shows that whole foods are the best sources of nutrition and have the most positive impacts on health. Few supplements are actually of value and those that are of help generally are quite inexpensive.
I agree that just because something is "all natural" does not mean we should be ingesting it without reflection. Take arsenic for example.

However, I am now in the care of a naturopath and am quite satisfied. He was recommended by my family doctor and has a Phd in nutrition. My impression is that he has a very good and up-to-date understanding of the complexities of the interactions of vitamins and minerals in the human body. After receiveing a detailed evaluation of my situation from him, I am confident in carrying out his suggestions.

I do agree that the best way to get nutrients is through foods, sunlight, etc.--that there is nothing better. I also understand that some supplements can pose a real risk and that our knowledge of vitamins and minerals and how they interact remains limited. I am also not advocating mindlessly following the direction of naturopaths because I am quite sure there are quacks out there and this industry is often criticized for being poorly regulated (it wouldn't be a first in the US, but that is another story).

But I also wouldn't dismiss supplementation outright. With this nutritionist/naturopath I have discovered that I am having trouble absorbing calcium and he is helping me support its absorption through teasing the system with different levels of other nutrients. In addition, he recommended to avoid dairy, sugar and simple carbs based on my digestion of these foods--in compliance with the OMS diet (without mentioning it to him). I also was shocked to learn that I am getting one third the amount of protein I actually need so I will start to take protein shakes to supplement my diet. I was getting I think around 30 grams of protein a day when in fact I need 90 (based on my weight and activity levels). For those of you newly switching to a vegan plus fish diet please be careful about this--I have been a vegetarian (plus fish and eggs) for a decade now and cringe at the problems I have created by not getting enough protein over many years. These are just some of the valuable things I learned in his care and in combination with the OMS diet I definitely see an improvement.

I understand that I may be less open-minded to the criticism of naturopaths because I am having a positive experience with one (and want to), so please don't think I am entrenched on their side. I am aware of the limitations and in fact should probably be mores sensitive than I am to the risk. I do appreciate this discussion because I find it directly relevant.
I worry that I am not getting enough protein, especially since I work out at the gym for an hour 3 times a week. I also worry that I will loose too much weight. I can maybe loose another 5 pounds, anything more than that will be too much.

Copeching,
what kind of protein shakes are you taking? I havent looked into them, but thought they would contain things that we couldnt have on this diet, like whey.

Thanks for your help.
There is plenty myth out there about the levels of protien that we actually need a day.
Roman Galdiators ate a simple wholefood none meat diet (poor man's food), and boy did they pack muscles.
The China Study and/or rooting around on McDougall.com. about protien and protien myths.
Too much protien can lead to more damage, such as kidney damage, gall stones, promoting cancer... but that is at the western diet levels and I would suspect no one on the OMS should be getting near that level.
My spreadsheet for food diary also includes protien and the WHO protien daily requirements as a percentage of calories calculation, which is in fact a padded out figure to play safe anyway. I easy make a day what I need too and that was when stritcly vegan too and with not eating any legumes. If you eat legumes then it is very easy to get enough from what I worked on so you may have been getting enough when you were eating vegatarian and eggs before :).
NJmom I am still new to this, but while whey is one type of protein shake you can buy, there are several others, including soy, pea, egg white, etc.

Veg, thanks for the advice about problems with excessive protein. I have not read the China Study, but I am sure this is an imperfect science and that we have a lot to learn. A friend of mine promotes being a raw vegan (which I do not) and he is a professional cyclist (you can read a lot about how we can get protein from uncooked veggies etc). I realize this is a controversial subject. The recommendation for me to immediately increase my protein was based on findings connected to my problems metabolizing sugars and a Na/K inverted ratio indicating excessive protein breakdown. I know this can sound like hocus pocus, but the point is that I need more protein, and because I haven't been at all dilligent about this, I am happy to modify it and see if it helps. It would be nice if you could share the ratio you use.
Hi
5% protien (6% if breast feeding) are the figures, so I aim for 5% minimun.
Looking at my last completed spreadsheet I ate 2189.69 calories, 47.56 grams of protien giving 9%, working to the WHO figures I should eat 43.27 grams for my weight so I over achieved that. Bearing in mind if I ate legumes that would be a lot higher as beans in general are 28% protien.
Some useful reading here:
http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html
I eat stuff raw too but only if that suits rather then all the time.

Good luck in feeling where you want to be soon :)

PS the calculations are weird so the above wont work backwards.
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