|Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
|WHAT IS A VEGAN?
A vegan is someone who chooses to avoid animal products in his or her life. Vegans basically choose not to eat
anything that had the ability at one time to avoid their fork. A vegan does not eat meat, dairy, eggs, or honey.
Vegans also avoid using leather, silk, wool, animal by-products, etc.
SO VEGANS ONLY EAT SALAD?
Actually, the vegan diet is one of the most varied and creative diets out there. Most “ethnic” foods have many
vegan choices, and many vegans find a wealth of different food choices by exploring the cuisines from India, China,
Africa, Thailand, and Indonesia to name a few. Vegans also get very creative in the kitchen in order to find the taste
and textures that we’ve all grown accustomed to while growing up. Nuts, beans, fruits, veggies, and grains are used
to make everything from creamy sauces to veggie burgers.
|ARE VEGANS ALL PALE, THIN AND SICKLY WITH THEIR HAIR FALLING OUT FROM LACK OF
No. Vegans are a pretty healthy group – mostly because they choose to be. Going vegan is a pretty big decision
for an individual to make, and I can’t think of anyone who would make the choice without giving some thought to
how to stay healthy on their new diet. The items that all vegans should pay particular attention to are: protein,
vitamins B12 and D, essential fats, calcium, and iodine. All of these can be found in a plant-based diet – with the
exception of B-12.
AHA – IF YOU CAN’T GET B-12 FROM PLANTS, THEN THAT PROVES THAT THE VEGAN DIET IS
No, all it proves is that this country needs to clean up and go organic! Let me explain: B-12 comes from bacteria
that are found in two places – the soil, and the intestines of animals. Many years ago, we were able to get all the B-
12 we needed from the soil and water (and this is still true in many “under-developed” countries) But now, because
our soil and water is so polluted by pesticides (and many, many other things) we need to clean our veggies
thoroughly, and we purify our water, removing many harmful bacteria – as well as all the B-12. And so every vegan
should take some form of B-12 supplement whether in a pill or in enriched foods like Nutritional yeast.
CYANOCOBALAMIN is an animal-derived form of B12, so vegans supplement with METHYLCOBALAMIN, a type of
B12 derived naturally.
BUT CAN A VEGAN REALLY GET ENOUGH PROTEIN?
Protein needs vary greatly from individual to individual, but everyone can find what he or she needs with a vegan
diet. There is a large variety of plant-protein sources such as legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL FATS?
They are the polyunsaturated fats known as: Omega-6 and Omega-3. Vegans tend to get plenty Omega-6 as it is
readily available from corn sunflower, soy, and safflower oils. Omega-3 is a little more elusive. Vegans can find it in
Flax oil, hemp oil, or can get DHA (the nutrient that Omeg-3 is converted to in the body) from supplements. DHA is
important because it is the major component of the retina of the eye, the gray matter of the brain, and cell
membranes – so, yeah, it’s kinda useful.
Nothing tastes as good as a vegan diet feels.
“If beef is your idea of 'real food for real people,' you’d better live real close to a real good
hospital.” - Neal Barnard, MD
In China a recent shift to meat-heavy diets has been linked to increases in obesity, cardiovascular disease, breast
cancer and colorectal cancer. U.S. and World Health Organization researchers have announced similar findings for
other parts of the world. And then there are the growing concerns about what happens to people who eat the flesh
of animals that have been pumped full of genetically modified organisms, hormones and antibiotics.
To find out more, look up "The China Study."
National Cancer Institute researchers studied 500,000 people and found those who reported eating the highest
amounts of red meat (about a steak a day) had a 30 percent greater risk of dying compared to those who ate the
lowest amounts of red meat (which was on average about a kid’s hamburger a day).
"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total
vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention
and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of
the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."
YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF YOUR FAMILY: At least 2 million people were poisoned last year by
salmonella bacteria and up to 2,000 died, scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate. And at least
twice as many people were poisoned by little-known bacteria called campylobacter, they believe. In both groups, up
to half got sick eating chicken, they say. See Factsheet at all-creatures.org
THE HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, ON THE CONSUMPTION OF DAIRY PRODUCTS:
“The recommendation to drink three glasses of low-fat milk or eat three servings of other dairy products per day to
prevent osteoporosis is another step in the wrong direction… Three glasses of low-fat milk add more than 300
calories a day. This is a real issue for the millions of Americans who are trying to control their weight. What's more,
millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and even small amounts of milk or dairy products give them
stomachaches, gas, or other problems. This recommendation ignores the lack of evidence for a link between
consumption of dairy products and prevention of osteoporosis. It also ignores the possible increases in risk of
ovarian cancer and prostate cancer associated with dairy products.”
GROSS: "Dairy products are a health hazard. They contain no fiber or complex carbohydrates and are laden with
saturated fat and cholesterol. They are contaminated with cow's blood and pus and are frequently contaminated
with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics." (Milk Sucks.com)
"Feeding plants to animals then eating the animals is like filtering water through a sewer then drinking
it." Bruce Friedrich
THE REASON SO MANY OF OUR ANTIBIOTICS DONT WORK: "The short answer is overuse of antibiotics...
It is livestock producers, however, who use the vast majority of antibiotics produced in the United States. An
estimated 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs produced in this country are used for nontherapeutic
purposes such as accelerating animal growth and compensating for overcrowded and unsanitary conditions on
large-scale confinement facilities known as "factory farms." (Union of Concerned Scientists)
LIVE HEALTHY AND SAVE THE PLANET, TOO! The American Dietetic Association states that vegetarians
have “lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; … lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure,
and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer” and that vegetarians are less
likely than meat-eaters to be obese.
VeganHealth.org - an amazing resource of info for following a healthy & beneficial diet"Leading health experts agree that going vegetarian is the single-best thing we can do for ourselves and our
families. Healthy vegetarian diets support a lifetime of good health and provide protection against numerous
diseases, including our country’s three biggest killers: heart disease, cancer, and strokes."
"As with any diet, a vegan diet requires planning. However, when properly planned, a vegan diet can be
considerably healthier than the traditional American diet."
Decades of experience, culminating in more than a million vegans today, have shown that appropriate vegan
diets support good health at all stages of life and reduce the risk of heart disease.
FAST FACT: Vegetarians and vegans live, on average, six to 10 years longer than meat-eaters. (Robbins, p. 14.)
“The iron in plants is called nonheme iron. Its absorption depends on how much is in the body already. That is, if
you are low in iron, your body absorbs more of it from the foods you eat. If you already have plenty of iron in your
body, nonheme iron is less absorbable. That’s good. It means you’ll get the iron you need without overdoing it.
The iron in meat is called heme iron. Its absorption does not change. You may have plenty of iron stored in your
body already, but like an uninvited guest at a party, heme iron barges in whether you need it or not. As a result,
many meat eaters end up with too much iron, which is dangerous because iron sparks the production of free
radicals- molecules that can damage your body tissues…In the process iron releases free radicals that are linked
to aging, cancer, and heart disease.” Vegetarian Times February 2009.
PBS.com interview with Carol Tucker Foreman, the director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America
Scary Story - CLICK HERE
"...tracing the story of her burger, through interviews and government and corporate records obtained by The New
York Times, shows why eating ground beef is still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor
the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe."
Neal Barnard, M.D., author of Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for reversing diabetes, answers questions about nutrition
Q: Do athletes need to eat meat?
A: Absolutely not. Some of nature's strongest "athletes" - stallions, bulls, gorillas, and elephants -are vegans.
Whether you're an on-field pro or a weekend athlete, going vegan will give your health and energy a boost. Studies
show that vegetarians and vegans are less likely to be overweight than meat-eaters and also less prone to
developing heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses that can leave you on the sidelines. That's not surprising:
Plant foods are not only free of animal fat and cholesterol but also naturally rich in antioxidants, which can inhibit
heart disease, as well as cancer-fighting vitamins, phytochemicals, and fiber. The protein and other nutrients that
athletes need can be found in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and soy foods - without the
artery-clogging fat and cholesterol found in animal products. Carl Lewis, named "Olympian of the Century" by
Sports Illustrated magazine, says that his best year of track competition came when he switched to a vegan diet.
After Atlanta Hawks guard Salim Stoudamire went vegan in 2007, he told reporters, "I lost 3 pounds, and I'm in
better condition. My endurance has gone up, and I haven't gotten tired at all during the whole season."
Six-time Ironman Triathlon winner Dave Scott and four-time Mr. Universe Bill Pearl have also excelled on a meat-
free diet, and Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez has touted vegetarianism since he read Dr. T. Colin
Campbell's book The China Study. When Gonzalez added high-protein plant foods to his diet, he discovered that
he had more energy on the field - he even had a record-breaking season in 2007. Vegan runner Scott Jurek has
won the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run seven years in a row, setting a course record. Champion
triathlete Brandon Brazier found that a vegan diet reduced his recovery time, giving him a competitive edge.
Vegans and vegetarians should take a multivitamin or B-12 supplement, and if you're looking for extra protein,
you'll find it in lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa, faux meats, and nuts. For more tips, visit PCRM.org and the
"Optimal Vegan Nutrition" section of GoVeg.com.
Q: I read in Dr. Caldwell Esseistyn's book. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, that fish is bad for your health. Can
I get a second opinion?
A: Fish is not a health food by any stretch of the imagination. According to a study published in The New England
Journal of Medicine, people who followed a diet emphasizing poultry and fish, called the National Cholesterol
Education Program Step II Diet, found that their cholesterol levels changed very little.
Fish's selling point is omega-3 fatty acids. But the fact is, fish fat is a mixture of fats. Anywhere from 15% to 30% of
the fat in fish is plain old saturated ("bad") fat. That's somewhat lower than in beef and chicken but far higher than
in healthful vegetarian foods. And fish fat is every bit as fattening as lard or chicken fat. People adding salmon to
their diets in hopes of some vague benefit often find it hard to manage their weight, because of the load of fat they
are eating. Fish flesh contains plenty of cholesterol too. Ounce for ounce, shrimp and other mobile shellfish have
nearly twice the cholesterol of beef.
Fish often carry contaminants from polluted waterways. About 40% of fish samples have so much bacterial
contamination that they have already begun to spoil before they are sold. Fish are also often contaminated with
PCBs, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects. Consumer Reports found PCBs in 43% of salmon, 50%
of whitefish, and 25% of swordfish. The US Food and Drug Administration and the US Environmental Protection
Agency warned pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, breastfeeding women, and children to limit
their consumption of fatty fish because it contains mercury, which can also contribute to birth defects, kidney
damage, impaired mental development, and even cancer.
So where will we get our omegas-3s? Vegetables, fruits, and beans don't contain much fat, but what fat they do
have is relatively high in omega-3. A person aiming for a higher omega-3 intake, for whatever reason, will find it in
ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, soy products, and vegetarian omega-3 supplements, such as Sea Vegg.
If you really want to work on beating heart disease, forget the fish and try a vegetarian diet rich in fruits, vegetables,
whole grains, and beans and low in fats of any kind.
Were Humans Meant to Eat Meat?
Cardiologist William C. Roberts hails from the famed cattle state of Texas, but he says this without hesitation:
Humans aren't physiologically designed to eat meat. "I think the evidence is pretty clear. If you look at various
characteristics of carnivores versus herbivores, it doesn't take a genius to see where humans line up."
CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
|JUST FOR INFO AND THOSE WHO MAY BE CURIOUS:
Someone recently asked me about fruitarian diets, and I didn't know much about it, so I am going to detail what I
learned about it.
Most fruitarians will eat only what falls (or would fall) naturally from a plant, that is: foods that can be
harvested without killing the plant.
From the accumulation of my research, it seems there are a few clear guidelines. Basically, it goes back to foraging
for “nuts and berries” as from what I know most (?all?) fruitarians include non-fleshy fruits (nuts, beans, seeds,
possibly peas), and IMO to include these items is a good idea. There is some variation on fruitarianism the same as
different kinds of vegetarians (some do not eat grains, some do, etc.)
Like vegans who do not consume B12-fortified foods, fruitarians probably need to include a B12 supplement in their
diet. Some people say, "Aha! If you can’t get B12 naturally, it means humans weren't meant to be vegan/fruitarian,"
but the fact is all it proves is that this country needs to clean up and go organic!
B12 comes from bacteria that are found in two places – the soil, and the intestines of animals. Many years ago, we
were able to get all the B12 we needed from the soil and water (and this is still true in many “under-developed”
countries). But now, because our soil and water is so polluted by pesticides (and many, many other things) we need
to clean our veggies thoroughly, and we purify our water, removing many harmful bacteria – as well as all the B12.
And so every vegan/fruitarian should take some form of B12 supplement whether in a pill or in enriched foods like
CYANOCOBALAMIN is an animal-derived form of B12, so vegans supplement with METHYLCOBALAMIN, a type of
B12 derived naturally.
At least one site said it didn't recommend this diet for nursing moms & children, but I know what a beating vegans
still go through and how much bad info there is out there, so it is hard to scientifically determine, but I personally
don't believe that. Lots of diet lies out there!
As far as fruit, be sure to pay attention to variety and COLOR, eating a spectrum of colors throughout the day, as
that is a very basic (not foolproof) way to vary your nutrients for best possible combo.
One of the above sites had a list of nutrients to watch; just to be sure to get a source of all needed nutrients, for
As a last resort, people should go by how they feel. Doctors CAN do some basic labs to check for malnourishment,
but most deficiencies will show up in general physical status. As a vegan I do take some flaxseed and B12.
No matter what, one the whole, we should all be a little more aware of nutrition and "good" sources of essential
nutrients. Please do not take these subjects lightly, as lack of B12 can lead slow and insidious to pernicious
anemia, and that is related to your production of red blood cells, and lack of Omega has been linked to disorders
such as Alzheimers later in life.
Food is a serious issue in many ways. Trust me, I lived for years on MacDonald's cheeseburgers and was the last
person who thought it mattered. It took me a long time and a lot of research, along with schooling, to feel absolutely
assertive in my personal choices. That does not mean that a person has to go through that to just become
fruitarian, vegan, vegetarian. But, they should be aware of their needs. Just by switching to a veg/fruit diet, it kinda
shows the person is ready to take their food a little more seriously, anyways!
For ANYONE reading this: you can be unhealthy on ANY diet. Be aware of your body's needs. Nutrition and health
is a serious matter and should be taken as such.