vegansaurus!

04/14/2011

Walmart is selling flax milk?!  »


Apparently
, Walmart is selling flax milk at 2,500 of their stores. Damn, Walmart! Way to be modern! Walmart is still an evil beast but it’s cool that the milk will be available in such an accessible store. This flax milk comes from a couple in North Dakota, which started producing flax 11 years ago and has a full line of products under the company Flax USA. I’ve never heard of flax milk but it does appear people have been making it at home for a while. Any readers make their own flax milk? What’s it taste like?!

Here are some of the nutrition details from the Flax USA site:

  • 50 to 60 calories per serving
  • As much calcium as dairy milk
  • Zero cholesterol
  • Zero saturated fat and zero trans fat
  • Non-GMO

Flax is a great source of omega-3 and the milk is enriched with vitamin A, D, and B12. Flax is also high in fiber! Gotta love some fiber.

I’m really into flax because it’s supposed to be good for crazy people and I need all the help I can get! Well, omega-3 is supposed to be good for crazy people and flax has got it. There was a study conducted on depressed mice (?) that showed they exhibited fewer depressive behaviors (?) when given alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the type of omega-3 that’s in flax. Of course knowing how inaccurate animal-testing can be, this isn’t the most solid evidence. And depressed mice? Really? I’m imagining a mouse that, like, won’t leave the house or take calls from friends. He’s no longer interested in things he once enjoyed.

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine actually released a statement on this study basically saying it was inhumane and effed. They should have just tested on people; everyone already consumes foods containing ALA so it’s not like it would kill people if they tested on them. Leave the depressed mice alone. Or better, let them all go so they can come live with me or Laura and we can eat ice cream and watch¬†Bridget Jones¬†together. Sometimes you just need to wallow, you know?

Here’s a great “primer for the mental health professional" on omegas and major depression that collates all the different studies. It’s dense like whoa but I pulled out some points. Most of the studies are done with fish oil, not flax. In several different studies, scientists saw a correlation between low levels of omega-3s and depression. High rates of fish consumption (gross) has a correlation with lower levels of depression, bipolar disorder, season affective disorder and lower rates of postpartum depression. A small Harvard study showed that a very small amount of EPA (another omega-3) reduced aggression and depressive symptoms in women with borderline personality disorder (which is very difficult to treat). And there are a lot of other studies, OK? I can’t just tell you about all of them, I have things to do and naps to take! But basically, the journal wants you to know that there has been a ton of study results that indicate omega-3s could be really good for depression but then again, none of it could be true. Yay science!

Fish oil has different types of omega-3s than flaxseed oil but your body can convert ALA to those other types (though only at a pretty low rate). The debate over fish oil versus flaxseed oil is a bit confusing. It seems though that with flaxseed oil, your body needs to take an extra step to get omega-3 benefits by converting the ALA so it’s not as efficient as fish oil. But that’s for heart disease and cholesterol, I don’t know about mental health. It was specifically the AHA that helped the depressed mice. Some people say you just have to take more flaxseed oil. I can do that. Since we aren’t going to eat fish, it’s time to hit the flax milk!

OK, I’ve sufficiently bored everyone. Carry on!

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