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  Chat Transcript
Plant-based diets – Joy Valvano, C.D.E, October 10, 2012
 Joy at Unity:
 Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Joy Valvano, a certified diabetes educator and registered dietician, and I’ll be hosting today’s chat. We’re glad you could join us today. I’m excited to talk with you about the benefits of a plant-based diet for people with diabetes and to answer all of your diabetes-related questions.
 Joy at Unity:
 Before we get started let me just tell you how we’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they are posted to the site, and there might be a slight delay as I respond to each question. It may take a few minutes for me to type answers to your questions, so please stay logged-in to the chat to see my response, even if it takes a few minutes. And you might need to refresh every few minutes to keep up with the latest posts in the chat if you switch to another application on your computer.
 Joy at Unity:
 Let's get started!
 sassy35:
 Can you tell me about the Vegan class you offer?
 Joy at Unity:
 Hi sassy35, I would love to tell you about our Seeds of Change vegan class. We offer the four-session class three times/year. The sessions are held for two hours, once per week for four weeks. The class offers an introduction to a low-fat plant based meal plan.
  sassy35:
 Do you share recipes at the class?
 Joy at Unity:
 The class offers an opportunity to sample vegan menus, food samples of alternative milks (almond, rice, oat milk for example) and tofu products.
 sassy35:
 Samples - that's a great way to learn more. How often do you hold the class and how do you register?
  Joy at Unity:
 We do a cooking class each week and also offer strategies for eating out at restaurants, grocery shopping and holiday dining. We do offer recipes and sample meal plans.
 Joy at Unity:
 We offer samples at every class. The class is held 3 times per year. Call 368-4560, Unity Diabetes Center, to register and/or to get on the wait list for the next class. Our next class will be held in early 2013, we have not yet specific class dates for 2013 yet.
 sbloom:
 Is this an online class?
 Joy at Unity:
 Hi sbloom. No, the class is offered in person at the Unity Diabetes Center on Ridgeway Avenue.
 sassy35:
 Thanks, Joy. Do you have any tips on how to get started with a vegan diet?
 sbloom:
 Is there any cost involved?
 Dave55:
 Is vegan better than vegetarian?
 Joy at Unity:
 Well, the best place to start is to consider removing dairy and or meat from your diet. The vegan diet avoids all animal products including dairy, eggs, meat, chicken, fish and of course cheese. Some people start by making one meal per day vegan i.e.,: breakfast – changing from dairy milk to almond, soy or rice milk.
 Dave55:
 I always thought being diabetic that I can't eat many grains, and that lean meat would be a good choice. So you are saying meat is not good for diabetes?
 Joy at Unity:
 Hi Dave55 - I wouldn't say vegan is better than vegetarian, but many health benefits can be derived from totally eliminating all dairy as well as animal products.  In doing so you avoid many of the saturated fat found in animal products which can improve heart health. By choosing whole grains and less processed foods the body is able to move sugar from blood into cells better thereby potentially lowering blood sugar.
 Joy at Unity:
 Hi sbloom, yes there is a fee to take the Seeds of Change class. It costs $120.00 for the 4-week session (Unity Health System employees get a 50% reimbursement upon completing the class).
 sbloom:
 Thanks, Joy.
 Dave55:
 I'm a quite active person. I'm afraid if I don't eat meat I won't get enough protein from just eating veggie and fruit. How would that work?
 Joy at Unity:
 Hi Dave55. Lean protein is a good choice, however new research has shown that a plant-based low fat diet also shows great benefit in promoting lower blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure. It is the fat in animal products that is thought to be the culprit in insulin resistance. Of course it is also important to choose grain products that are less refined and more whole foods like brown rice, beans, legumes and vegetables and some fruits.
 Joy at Unity:
Good question Dave55 - protein is found in beans, legumes like lentils and split peas. Many of the grains have protein as well. You can also include some soy products. Typically we can get enough protein from including these foods in our diet.
 Joy at Unity:
 By the way there are many elite athletes, including endurance athletes, who are vegan!
 Dave55:
 That's good to know. Will vegan cooking take a long time?
 sassy35:
 I have a friend who is vegan and uses the term "forks over knives.” Do you know what that means in terms of menu choices?
 Joy at Unity:
 A typical vegan breakfast: oatmeal with fruit and almond, rice or soy milk.
 Dave55:
 I have no idea what that means - not really a cook myself but would like to eat healthy...
 sbloom:
 Is vegan diet similar to south beach diet?
 Joy at Unity:
 Hi sassy35. Forks over knives is the name of a documentary showing the health benefits of a plant-based, low fat diet/lifestyle. I would encourage anyone considering transitioning to a plant based diet to watch it. It is available on Netflix. It is very informative and shares a lot of the evidence-based research supporting this way of eating for improved health and weight management.
 sassy35:
 Thanks, Joy - I'll check that out.
 Dave55:
That's a good resource. Thanks.
 Joy at Unity:
A typical vegan lunch or dinner: bean and rice burrito with broccoli or salad pasta with marinara sauce (skip the cheese) and salad veggie burger on a bun with split pea soup.
 Joy at Unity:
Another good resource is the website: pcrm.org It is the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine and they have specific information on benefits of plant-based diet for people with diabetes, cancer, heart disease and for weight management.
 Dave55:
Once I did a calculation online based on my weight and activity level. I need about 100 grams of protein every day. I wonder if you know how much protein beans and soy can provide.
 Joy at Unity:
Locally, the Rochester Area Vegetarian society holds monthly vegan potluck dinner and have a speaker. For more info you can contact me at 368-4560 and I will share contact info and meeting time.
 Joy at Unity:
 Great question Dave55 - 1/2 cup of beans, lentils or 4oz. of tofu provide about 7g or protein. I bet the calculator was providing for 20% of total calories as protein. The research shows we really need about 8-10% protein. I would suggest reading The China Study by Dr. Colin Campbell for more info on protein needs. It's fascinating!
 Dave55:
Will vegan diet reverse diabetes symptoms?  
Dave55:  
Where can I find the China Study?  
 Joy at Unity:
Another good free resource is NutritionMD.org - you can plan meals, get calorie and protein counts on your meals and there are lots of recipes. Great ideas as you transition to a vegan diet.
Dave55:  
That will be helpful.  
Joy at Unity:  
Hopefully a vegan diet will promote reduced blood sugars which then will reduce symptoms...you can find the China Study at amazon.com. 
 Joy at Unity:
Studies show vegan low fat diet will reverse heart disease! Go to Youtube and look for the Bill Clinton interview - did you know he is a vegan now?!
 Dave55:
 Okay. But sorry ... not a Clinton fan. No offense ...
Joy at Unity:  
 Okay - this was a lot of fun! We are out of time - thanks for participating and hope you join us again in two weeks for a chat with Dr. Bingham!
 Joy at Unity:
 No offense taken Dave55!
 Dave55:
 Thanks for your time.
 Joy at Unity:
 You are welcome!
 
 
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