Dairy-Free Diets Are Packed with Nutrients

A study published in the scientific journal Nutrition Research last November looked at the effects on nutrient intake when dairy foods are reduced or removed from the diet. Rather than focusing just on calcium—which is easily found in other foods—the researchers looked at several nutrients that are abundant in dairy products. They concluded that even when “calcium-replacement foods” provided the same amounts of calcium as dairy products, they fell short on other nutrients that milk provides.

This study was funded by the National Dairy Council and administered by the Dairy Research Institute. Two of the researchers work for the Dairy Research Institute. I don’t generally get too excited about sources of funding for nutrition research because they don’t affect the findings. They can affect how ... Read More >

Tryptophan, Milk and Depression

People who abandon plant-based diets often say that they suffered from depression as vegans. One common belief is that vegans can’t get adequate tryptophan, an essential amino acid. Tryptophan is needed to make the neurotransmitter serotonin and low levels of serotonin are linked to depression. In the book The Vegetarian Myth (which I plan to review here in the next few weeks), author Lierre Keith notes that she suffered from severe depression as a vegan partly because “there are no good plant sources of tryptophan.”

While it’s true that meat is higher in tryptophan than plants, a well-balanced vegan diet is almost guaranteed to provide more than enough of this amino acid. The Institute of Medicine—the group that sets nutrient recommendations for Americans—established an RDA of ... Read More >