Monday, October 13, 2008

How much vitamin B6 and B12 should we take?

If you don’t eat well, have heavy menstrual periods, use oral contraceptives, etc., you likely need extra iron and/or vitamin B6. Try a B-complex containing from 10-100 mg of vitamin B6, and 10-100 mcg of vitamin B12.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ensuring that your vegetarian diet contains enough iron & protein (& vitamin B12)

Someone asked me about getting enough iron and protein in a vegetarian diet with milk, but no eggs. It's difficult to get enough iron or protein without meat, fish, or eggs, so I’m not surprised that the questioner’s son has low hemoglobin. My answer: try to eat beans at most meals (together with fruit or veggies for vitamin C to help you absorb the iron). You’ll need to eat all sorts of beans, like lentils (dal), kidney beans (chili), garbanzos (hummus), etc. to get some variety, but in particular try to eat soybeans (edamame) or tofu. Here’s a quick recipe that kids like:

Crispy Tofu Tenders
Cut open tofu package with a knife and drain out water. Cut tofu into slices about 3/4 inch thick, and drain on several layers of paper towel. Cover with additional paper towels, and press lightly to dry. Leave to dry for a couple of minutes. Cut slices into cubes. Heat about one tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan, or two tablespoons in an iron frying pan. Fry tofu until it is crispy and brown on at least two sides. Serve immediately with soy sauce for dipping. An alternative dipping sauce is mayonnaise with a little catsup mixed in.

P.S. It’s very unlikely that you’re getting enough vitamin B12 if dairy products are your only animal foods. Take a multivitamin&mineral with B12.

Friday, October 3, 2008

How to use healthy fats in your cooking

People are always asking me “What is the best oil for cooking?” and “Is coconut oil good for health?” Those are great questions, that I’ve written about quite a bit, so for the answers, I can refer you to either my book, Fat Is Not The Enemy, for an in depth discussion, or to an article I wrote for How To Do, at - this can also be accessed from my How To Do profile page: . Let me know if you have trouble accessing it- maybe I’ll reprint it here.