Put down the tofu and take a step back! It’s going to be okay. You can have your gluten free cake and eat it too, I promise!
Food as of late has become extremely political, especially for vegans and the veganism movement. Groups like the AMA, PETA and yes, even the conglomerate health food chain Whole Foods, have spent millions of dollars per year for pro-vegan/vegetarian advertising. Here on the Wellness Force™ website, I’m spending about three hundred advertising dollars per year in support of sustainable foods and lifestyles instead.
First off I want to set it down like a block of concrete- This is not a trash talking session; it’s really just a forum to post science I’ve researched for your reading pleasure. If you have questions as to why you should not adapt to a vegan lifestyle, search no more, as I’ve done the reading for you! If, on the other hand, you love your cheese and soy burgers and you have no autoimmune disregulation or insulin sensitivity issues and you skin, hair, muscle tone and energy are where you would like them, then skip this article and proceed directly to the nearest People’s market; they are waiting for you with open arms. For the other 95% plus of the population, we have another mission- good health without religion.
Before I go forward, I do have to put on record that I don’t hate or dislike vegans. Seriously, some of the best people I know are vegan/vegetarian. It’s all about love and education right now, that is all. The fact is, I just flat out dislike the religion of veganism, as it’s only metabolically typed for less than 5% of the population. It’s a style of eating that allows the follower to literally “flex” his or her food muscles every time they eat. It gives the eater a kind of power, if you will, and a way to show what they are doing is “better than the rest of the non-believers.”
The dogma of veganism goes beyond just being healthy or being a good person. I know by researching the truth and presenting the facts I will upset a lot of vegans, but the country deserves the right to know the science behind eating when it comes to food; not religion. Veganism is a systematic eating practice and lifestyle, where a structure of rules laid down from it’s key note speakers, usually high profile Hollywood celebrities directly funded by pro-vegan/vegetarian groups, express how eating animals and animal products are not “ethical”. In the scientific world, based on long standing and current research however, humans are omnivorous, capable of consuming plant, animal, and inorganic material and have been eating flesh since the dawn of time. The cycle of life on earth is only sustainable by consumption and assimilation of flesh and plants; it is the circle upon which all ecosystems are based. When one species dies, it is either taken back directly or indirectly for other species- this is the law of the land. See chart below-
A simple metaphor showing the flaw in veganism would be asking a shark to please eat kelp and let the seal go because “it’s the right thing to do.” Well, in all reality and the scientific laws of nature, the right thing to do is survive. We live in an age where looking back at the past 50 years, the tax payer based and government subsidized agricultural revolution has created such a huge surplus of grains and legumes, that it has allowed the surfacing of eating methods in cultural affluence, morality and religious specificity. In other words, people now have the luxury of choosing what to eat based on culture and belief instead of the biology and laws found in nature. The human body was designed to eat both plants and animals; to deny this is to deny the fabric of who we are.
“We’ve been told that a vegetarian diet can feed the hungry, honor the animals, and save the planet.” (-Lierre Keith, believed in that plant-based diet and spent twenty years as a vegan but after serious health issues returned to an omnivores diet) In The Vegetarian Myth, she argues that we’ve been led astray–not by our longings for a just and sustainable world, but by our ignorance. The truth is that agriculture is a relentless assault against the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. In service to annual grains, humans have devastated prairies and forests, driven countless species extinct, altered the climate, and destroyed the topsoil–the basis of life itself. Keith argues that if we are to save this planet, our food must be an act of profound and abiding repair: it must come from inside living communities, not be imposed across them.” -Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth
Vegans are extremely strict in cutting most healthy saturated fats and exclude all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs (which are proven amazing sources of protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin B12). When compared to the SAD (standard american diet) diet of potato chips, beans, wonder bread, fruit by the foot, grain fed meats and snicker bars, there are some benefits of being a vegetarian. Vegans, however, are not as lenient in consuming cheeses and other animal based products. They have a quest to “never hurt a living thing,” all the while forgetting that plants have feelings too. They have also conveniently forgotten that nature shows us a multitude of certain plants that are even themselves carnivores, such as the Venus flytrap, Roridula gorgonias, and Archaeamphora longicervia plants. So yes, in the context of ignoring nutritional body language for spiritual beliefs, the dangers of a vegan diet are very possible! (just as with any diet if the right foods are not consumed).
A huge danger of a vegan diet is malnutrition, which is an insufficiency or imbalance in micro and macro-nutrient feeding. A vegan diet is very low vitamin B12, a nutrient found mostly in animal products. Vegans try to supplement this vitamin or drink fortified soy milk. Soy, when drank in quantities to fill nutrient gaps in diets, can become toxic and the phyto-estrogens within the proteins of the soybean can lead to cancer, especially ovarian and breast type in females, as well as low testosterone and high estrogen levels in men.
In addition to the ever-growing list of soy health risks, it has a solid foundation with tofu in vegan diets, and can interrupt thyroid function. Soy promotes disregulation of human metabolism and growth functions via blockage of the t4-t3 hormone conversion for normal thyroxine functions; basically it’s metabolic derangement. Vitamin D deficiency is another huge problem with a veganism. Vitamin D is crucial for the body to process calcium and comes from sources such as grass-fed cow’s milk, raw dairy and from exposure to sunshine; all excluded from a vegan diet! (haha, except sunshine)
Iron deficiency & omega-3 deficiency will also occur with an unmonitored vegan diet. Iron is found in green leafy vegetables, which is why a vegan diet is extremely high in nightshades. In some biochemical individualities, these vegetables can cause immune system loads depending on you metabolic type. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid found in cold water ocean fish such as salmon. Omega-3 prevents heart disease, memory loss, and vascular problems. Vegans try to supplement a lack of omega-3 by consuming flax or hemp seeds which have shorter chain fatty acids, however the lost purine content from not eating the long chain fatty acids is sub-optimal nutrition.
A recent study by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) found that people who are currently vegetarian are more likely to binge-eat and take drastic and unhealthy measures to control their weight. In addition to the new findings, those who formerly were vegetarian turned vegan had showed an increase in using extra measures to mimic basic physiological processes such as using diet pills and laxative, to control weight. Foods suitable for vegetarians and vegans may contain sugar and processed grains. Vegetarians may get too much fat and cholesterol. If you want to lose weight, vegetarians and vegans must eat fewer calories than they burn in the correct MBTD ratios, just like their meat-eating counterparts.
The bottom line about nutrition is that we all need to step back, take a look at what we are eating and begin to really feel what the food does to our energy, vitality and mood. We need to learn more from nature. There is no religions in packs of wolves, there is no key note speaker for a group of whales. We humans, as simply just an advanced type of species on this planet, have the power to rebuild and revive this broken food system. Veganism is obviously not the answer, and until we can change the policy of lobbyists in congress, who pay MILLIONS for the votes to benefit agribusiness, sugar and grain companies, the health of our people and this planet will continue to decline.
Food is not religion; it’s simply just fuel for our body, mind and soul. Eat what fuels you best and be happy. Chew on that the next time someone yells “meat is murder!”
In best health,
NASM-CES, FDN, CMTA, CHEK HLC1
“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.” -Proverb
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- Being vegan could put heart health at risk: study (theglobeandmail.com)
- Even Vegans Aren’t Immune to Heart Disease (fitsugar.com)
- Vegans Have High Heart Risks (diet-blog.com)
- Vegan diet and health problems (mnn.com)