Are vegan diets healthy?

vegan diet
Are vegan diets healthy over the long-term?

I’ve been chatting to a vegan on the Happy Guide blog for a few days, and as usual, the debate gets quite intense, vegans are certainly passionate about their choices.

Vegan diets untenable

I want to say something about this because basically, my view is that vegan diets are essentially dangerous. My reasons include “big picture” stuff like…

  • Homo genus has been eating animal foods for 2.5 MILLION YEARS.
  • Eating animal foods is what MADE US HUMAN, e.g. availability of long-chain omega-3 needed for our brain development.
  • Traditional cultures and hunter-gatherers highly valued certain animal foods and would often spend a huge time/effort to get them, especially known to be needed for healthy pregnancy. Tradition is not something to be sniffed at. Healthy behaviors get built into culture over thousands of generations based on observations about “what works.” Science can now dissect these behaviors to understand the mechanisms e.g. cooking with onions reduces formation of heterocyclic amines, cod liver oil, fish eggs, fermented foods and organ meats have micronutrients that are very healthy… omega-3 DHA, preformed vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K2… this is cutting edge science that was always there in healthy traditions.
  • Our gut physiology clearly shows adaptation to higher nutrient density foods available from animals.
  • Archaeological evidence from early humans that clearly show diets based primarily on hunting, e.g. cro-magnon in France.
  • Study of modern-day hunter gatherers and their diets.
  • There are no examples of vegan cultures where vegan diets maintained healthy populations over generations, not now, not ever in history.
  • Nutrition is an emerging science, and science is what you do when you don’t know what you’re doing. We don’t know it all yet.
  • Testimony of long-term health failure on vegan diets.

… as well as the micronutrient evidence like…

  • Our partial need for dietary taurine shows evidence of adaptation to animal foods.
  • Some people need dietary cholesterol and don’t make enough of their own.
  • Poor conversion in the body of plant-based omega-3 into DHA.
  • Healthy balance of omega-3 and 6, essential to prevent chronic inflammation is not possible on a vegan diet.
  • Poor conversion of carotenoids to retinoids (vitamin A).
  • B12 is only found in animal foods. Vegan B12 status has been found to be very poor in studies. B12 is essential for heart health, involved in pathways with homocysteine that is a risk factor for heart-disease. B12 also needed for healthy myelin sheath that protects nerves, and many other processes in the body. Inadequate dietary sulfur amino acids (methionine and cysteine), and glycine needed for methylation.
  • Thyroid problems from excess plant goitrogens including soy but also many other plant foods.
  • Inadequate zinc, B6, choline and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2
  • Selenocysteine, an animal-based form of selenium is safer at high levels than the plant form selenomethionine, which can cause selenium poisoning.

The poor conversion of plant forms of micronutrients is evidence of adaptation to animal sources of these nutrients that are in the form we need. Click here to read a nice article by Denise Minger about some of these poor conversion issues.

… as well as the macronutrient/food evidence like…

  • Lack of high quality, highly absorbable protein. This is one reason why sedentary women do best for longer on vegan diets, their protein needs are very low. Vegan men often use large amounts of protein powder, a highly industrialized process where the cost to nature is hidden. Protein powder is missing all the healthy cofactors found in natural protein sources. Protein is absorbed and utilized by the body depending on the source. Animal proteins have a higher biological value, more is absorbed, so grams of vegetable protein does not equal grams of animal protein.
  • Reliance on grains (unnatural for humans) which cause a whole cascade of problems in the long-term.
  • A high carbohydrate diet is a main factor in insulin resistance and inflammation, a primary cause of many diseases, including heart-disease.

… as well as insights into the real cost to nature of our diets…

  • A grain based diet is a tragedy for nature and the environment. If land is cleared for planting monocrops, then all the life, the complex ecosystem that was there, is gone forever, until it is returned to nature or a polyculture way of producing food crops that mimic nature. Harvesting grains kills mammals and nesting birds. These are just a couple of examples. There is no death-free food (see book recommendation below). If we care about LIFE, then we need to produce food in harmony with natural ecosystems. Permaculture is good to research. I remember chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall saying that when she first went to Africa, the rivers were overflowing with life, a situation that has sadly changed in such a short time. Abundant LIFE as natural ecology is the humane and sane future, not veganism.

Vegan pillars have shaky foundations

Two of the main arguments used by vegans are The China Study and Dean Ornish’s lifestyle intervention studies showing reversal of atherosclerosis of near vegan diets, very low fat.

China Study — fatally flawed

The China Study was a massive epidemiological i.e. observational study in China where people’s diets were analyzed against health outcomes. A book was written by lead author Colin Campbell based on his conclusions of the China Study, that animal protein causes disease.

This is not how science is done, this is not the scientific method, that has been developed so as to avoid wrong conclusions so easy to come to if we’re not careful.

Epidemiology is good for creating hypothesis, an idea of possible causation, but cannot show causation itself, further study involving ideally double-blind clinical trials are needed to attempt a first step in teasing out the cause-effect. Attempt is made to isolate a variable while keeping all others constant to test the effect of that single variable.

Clever science bods have recently looked at Campbell’s work and found it to be full of holes, bias, selective interpretation of data based of his personal agenda, and frankly, shoddy science. Here’s an enlightening chat between Dr. Mercola and Chris Masterjohn about how Campbell’s work is fatally flawed. It’s in 4 parts, I recommend watching the whole thing if you are a China Study believer…

The China Study, analyzed objectively actually shows meat consumption to be neutral for health outcomes, fish to be protective, but WHEAT to be incredibly strongly correlated with disease, the strongest correlation of all. If you’d like to dig deeper into the flawed science of The China Study, here’s some good places to start…

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cancer/the-china-study-vs-the-china-study/

http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

Dean Ornish lifestyle intervention

The other main pillar of veganism is Dean Ornish’s lifestyle intervention study which was the first to prove that lifestyle could reverse heart disease. I think in terms of understanding the power of lifestyle, Dean Ornish has us done a huge service, but in my view, a couple of things need to be clear…

  • A diet to reverse a certain condition is NOT necessarily a diet that will maintain health of a population over generations, or prevent the disease in the first place. Fasting also has a tremendous record of healing, but it won’t maintain your health for long :-)
  • The mechanism behind Ornish program was not understood, there were MANY factors in his study including smoking cessation, exercise, meditation etc. Until the mechanism, the causes are understood, it is not scientific or even humane, to recommend a diet without understanding the full implications. Since Ornish’s early work, atherosclerosis HAS been reversed on even HIGH FAT diets. So, it seems to be the process of weight normalization, insulin control etc that are the true causes, i.e. NOT vegan low fat.

So, the pillars of veganism are so shaky, and only hold up at all due to the momentum gained from popular exposure to flawed science like the China Study book, and EARLY intervention studies like the work of Dean Ornish. All in all, vegan diets in my view have no basis for recommendation whatsoever, and are frankly dangerous.

Vegan health failures

I regularly come across accounts of health failure on vegan diets. The book recommendation below “The Vegetarian Myth” (author 20 years vegan) is a detailed account, and I recently came across another book called “The Meat Fix” (author 26 years vegan) about long-term health failure and recovery by eating animal foods. Interestingly, the author reports being able to throw away his glasses after a while on his new carbohydrate-controlled, animal foods based diet.

Here’s a very interesting account by Dr. Chris Masterjohn about his journey into vegetarianism, and veganism spurred on by reading “A Diet for a New America” by John Robbins. Then his subsequent worsening dental problems, irregular heartbeats  and panic attacks, and finally his return to health using nutrient dense animal foods. Anxiety, panic attacks, poor libido, dry skin, tooth decay and digestive problems are the most common issues I see reported, and the length of time it takes for these to manifest varies depending on the health of the person in the beginning, and the choices made while vegan. Here’s Chris’s story:

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Vegetarianism.html

Here’s an excellent page of vegan failures (including Gandhi)  and reasons by the Natural Hygiene Society, previously advocates of veganism…

http://naturalhygienesociety.org/diet3.html

E.g…

Kevin Gianni, “Renegade Health”: What diet do you eat now Kevin?
“At one point I was taking 6-10 vegan supplements a day to attempt to override my deficiencies – B complex, DHA, Vitamin D, B12, a mineral supplement, protein powder, chlorella, and more. I also adjusted my diet to add more cooked foods to see if that would change the way I felt as well. This was over a 2 year period. ….. After the introduction of goat’s kefir and yogurt, I immediately felt an increase of energy, slept better and many issues started to clear up – my acne started to disappear, my knees stopped aching after a run, I gained back weight lost, I was able to retain muscle mass better, I could get out of bed in the morning, etc.”

Brain damage

“By far the most intractably damaged brains and nervous systems I have ever encountered have to the letter been vegetarians and especially vegans.” — Nora Gedgaudas, Primal Body, Primal Mind. Click for excellent video.

Vegetarianism is doable if you can tolerate dairy

(not recommended, but less damaging than veganism)

The compassion, desire for health, and to do the right thing for the planet are noble ideals, ones I can relate to (although I definitely question the idea that veganism, or vegetarianism are the best ways to achieve either goal).

Veganism is a bridge too far… but vegetarianism can support health as long as dairy foods can be tolerated. We do not recommend it, because it’s so hard to say who is affected by dairy, and who isn’t. The effects of unnatural foods can be insidious, doing damage over a long time frame. BUT if someone is not willing to eat animal foods that involve the death of the animal, then vegetarianism is an option to consider. Personally, I would say go for pescetarianism, which would allow fish. Adding this gives us fish, dairy, eggs, shellfish, and THAT is definitely doable for health over generations and we have models for it e.g. Kitavans.

So if you are vegan and unwilling to consider meat or fish, please consider some or all of the following that in my view will offer you some protection against the long-term damaging effects of vegan diets…

  1. Eat some cheese now and again if you can tolerate dairy, preferably made from raw whole milk, esp goat milk, but emmental is widely available and made from raw cow milk. Quality yogurt and kefir are also good, again if you can tolerate dairy.
  2. Eat fermented vegetables e.g. sauerkraut.
  3. Take a high-quality B12 supplement, it ain’t worth the risk.
  4. No gluten grains, stick with white rice, quinoa, millet, or learn to prepare whole grains in the traditional way that removes anti-nutrients… soaking, sprouting etc can ameliorate some of the damage of grains.
  5. Eat some eggs from happy free-range chickens that can eat wild greens with omega-3 in them.
  6. Take a DHA/EPA supplement derived from algae.
  7. Don’t eat vegetable oil high in omega-6, use macadamia oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. Butter/ghee if OK with dairy. Don’t cook with olive oil, use it for salads.
  8. Don’t overdose on nuts, and favor ones lower in omega-6 like macadamia, hazelnut, pistachios, almonds. Soak nuts overnight and be sure to dry them if you want to store them, I soak and eat the next day.
  9. Don’t eat soy apart from limited amounts of fermented soy products like tempeh.
  10. Favor roots/tubers over grains as a starch source… sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, taro, cassava, squash etc.

A full accounting

vegetarian mythI have one more strong recommendation for vegans and would-be vegans and that is to read “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith who was vegan for 20 years, a woman passionate about justice, compassion and equality.

It’s an impassioned, powerful read. Her health was destroyed by 20 years of veganism, a story I’ve heard over and over.

She calls for a “full accounting,” meaning the big picture of what has to die to feed you. Eye-opening, and a good start to explore the bigger picture of diet and how we live. See it on Amazon.com

Best wishes,
Michael Kinnaird

23 thoughts on “Are vegan diets healthy?

  1. I guess I’m the ‘passionate’ vegan you mentioned. You seem to be the one obsessed with my diet. I’m sorry to hear about the (claimed) poor health of the author, but as my own experience has been the complete opposite, and, although I have also heard many stories about people who have suffered terribly, even dying due to not eating meat, in 50 years I’ve yet to see one person become less healthy through not eating meat. So, what would you have me do? change my diet, even though I’m in top condition? I’m not a theory…I’m actually in my studio now, writing this. I live meat and dairy free, it’s a miracle! Do you work as a butcher by any chance?

    1. “my own experience has been the complete opposite,”

      You have been vegan for 6, Lierre for 20, the author of The Meat Fix, 26 years before he abandoned veganism. Already covered this.

      “I have also heard many stories about people who have suffered terribly, even dying due to not eating meat, in 50 years I’ve yet to see one person become less healthy through not eating meat.”

      Dying is definitely less healthy :-)

      “So, what would you have me do? change my diet, even though I’m in top condition?”

      Yes, of course I would, I think veganism is untenable. I think you are storing up trouble for the future, although you said you were going to be 60 at your next big birthday, so your stores of B12 and other essentials may get you through, I would worry about your lack of DHA for mental health as you age though. How much protein powder are you using? Protein from meat/fish etc comes with a lot of fat soluble vitamins and cofactors you won’t be getting.

  2. You’re obsessed with this China Study business. Forget it.Try to move on. I like the ‘experts’ in the film. So funny. I first started laughing when one explained how he went veg because he didn’t like animal abuse, but then decided he would support farmers who are more humane instead. Is there a humane way to raise an animal for killing, and then when in it’s most profitable condition, kill it? Watch it again, but this time imagine a laughing track. It could easily be a comedy sketch. I’m not saying this to be rude or aggressive, it’s just that they have zero credibility…a couple of buffoons. Even I could put a better argument than that for eating meat.

    1. The China Study is the great pillar of vegan dogma, it’s a sham, and so needs to be debunked, as it thoroughly has been.

      Dr. Chris Masterjohn is one of the most intelligent, articulate and respectful people involved in cutting edge science of nutrition, you’re very quick to pass judgement on someone you don’t know. He is highly respected, and incredibly knowledgable.

  3. “Some people need dietary cholesterol and don’t make enough of their own.”

    So easy to get cholesterol. The lauric acid in coconut oil increases cholesterol. Fructose REALLY increases cholesterol. Too much.

    “Poor conversion in the body of plant-based omega-3 into DHA.”

    There are plant based sources of DHA, micro algaes. No need to convert.

    “Healthy balance of omega-3 and 6, essential to prevent chronic inflammation is not possible on a vegan diet.”

    How so? Not possible is a strong statement. It’s just a balance. There are plenty of sources of plant based omega 3’s. And there are some vegans who don’t touch any grains or legumes.

    “Poor conversion of carotenoids to retinoids (vitamin A).”

    That only means people have to consume higher amounts of carotenes than they once thought, though doesn’t mean the amount needed is difficult to obtain. Quoted from a doctor:

    “This means that vegetarians are going to have to be careful to eat more carotene rich fruits and vegetables (generally, these are the most deeply colored fruits and vegetables) in order to get enough vitamin A. That said, if a person chooses the right fruits and vegetables, it is still quite easy to obtain the RDA for vitamin A. For example, it takes only half a cup of cooked carrots a day to meet the 900 micrograms per day of vitamin A that is recommended for an adult male.”

    “B12 is only found in animal foods. Vegan B12 status has been found to be very poor in studies.”

    It’s also found in cultured bacteria grown by lab coat farmers and found in the same grocery stores as the animal foods. :)

    The majority of people found to be b12 deficient are people that consume animal foods, so it’s obviously not that reliable of a source for them. Even they are better off supplementing.

    “Thyroid problems from excess plant goitrogens including soy but also many other plant foods.”

    Meat eaters eat plant foods also (I should hope).

    “Inadequate zinc, B6 and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2”

    Hemp, Pumpkin seeds and other seeds are high in zinc. Hemp seeds contain no phytic acid and only 2oz contain about 50% of the zinc and iron RDA.

    B6? Sweet potato, sunflower seeds, spinach.

    D? Sunshine

    K2? Nato has it. Don’t know much about that vitamin though.

    “Lack of high quality, highly absorbable protein.”

    Don’t need proteins. We need amino acids. Which are more efficient to get directly from plants and the body put together, than to break down from denatured proteins from animals into the amino acids and then put back together again. The amino acids in plants and seeds are very absorbable.

    “Reliance on grains (unnatural for humans) which cause a whole cascade of problems in the long-term.”

    Not all vegetarians rely on grains and there is no need to.

    “A high carbohydrate diet is a main factor in insulin resistance and inflammation, a primary cause of many diseases, including heart-disease.”

    High fat actually causes more insulin resistance. Especially is why it is bad to combine fat and carbs or fat and sugars! The body can deal much easier with the carbs or sugars as long as there are no fatty acids at the same time increasing insulin resistance.

    “A grain based diet is a tragedy for nature and the environment.”

    Though even more grains are grown to feed the animals anyways… that won’t stop. Cheap.

    “Epidemiology is good for creating hypothesis, an idea of possible causation, but cannot show causation itself, further study involving ideally double-blind clinical trials are needed to attempt a first step in teasing out the cause-effect. Attempt is made to isolate a variable while keeping all others constant to test the effect of that single variable.”

    And yet these stories of people’s health being destroyed because of their vegetarian diets are evidence of ‘causation’ from their vegetarian diet? Same problem with that.

  4. Hi J,

    First of all I will say that I’m in favor of vegan diets in principle, and if people want to try to make it work, who am I to interfere? I just don’t think they work in practice for the reasons in the article.

    That’s not to say they CAN’T work, just that they don’t, and until the mechanisms for failure are fully understood, I don’t think recommending them to the general public is a good idea.

    A lot of what you say there is nutritionism, trying to justify in terms of individual nutrients, and while that might seem okay, it’s really not, because making up a diet based on tiny pieces of ideas woven together does not equate to a diet that sustains health over generations.

    The fact that DHA comes from algae on vegan diets is just evidence it has no basis in nature. And nutrition is an emerging science… no B12, no DHA, no retinol and poor conversion, what’s next? The diet has too many red flags at the moment to recommend it. People in general do not take care, even with more robust diets and their health still fails, so a diet that needs such strict attention to detail is not a diet to recommend generally.

    Comparing iron from plant sources to iron from meat is not the same… as with DHA and retinol, many of these nutrients are going to suffer from poor conversion issues because we evolved eating animal foods, our bodies are therefore primed genetically to that diet, a diet in which a lot of the nutrients are already in their usable form. Same with amino acids… the biological value of animal protein is far higher than vegetable protein, you can’t just compare grams to grams in the food.

    The point about cholesterol is that some people don’t make enough, so increasing foods that normally raise cholesterol is not the point. My understanding is that some people need dietary sources of cholesterol. Also, although the body can make cholesterol, it doesn’t mean that’s optimal, just as the body can make glucose from protein, it doesn’t mean it’s optimal… nutritionism again.

    The DHA for vegans from algae is of course extracted, otherwise, one may encounter problems from unnatural food sources, like B12 analogs competing with useful B12 in the body and causing deficiency.

    Optimal omega-3 and -6 balance is estimated to be 1:1 to 1:4. Since vegan sources of omega-3 tend to come packaged with more omega-6, it makes the balance very hard to achieve. One could eat a ton of flax oil to do it, but you’d prob have to eat so much that it wouldn’t be healthy. Also, we have the conversion issue.

    “High fat actually causes more insulin resistance. Especially is why it is bad to combine fat and carbs or fat and sugars! The body can deal much easier with the carbs or sugars as long as there are no fatty acids at the same time increasing insulin resistance.”

    I think I know where you got this from, a well known vegan advocate who says sugar can’t get into cells in the presence of fat. I did a lot of asking around based on that remark, and very many clever science bods wet themselves laughing. Basically, they said “no, not true.” I’m not expert enough about IR to comment, but the general consensus is that it’s an energy overload issue, the cells block reception to insulin because they’re already full of energy, so we end up with too much insulin and too much sugar stuck in the blood, which of course, is terrible news for the body.

    “Though even more grains are grown to feed the animals anyways… that won’t stop. Cheap.”

    Well that is not reason to be vegan… better the cows eat grass and we eat the cows, then we have nature operating properly. Education is the right way to get consumers supporting grass-fed animals and there is a big movement towards that at the moment.

    “And yet these stories of people’s health being destroyed because of their vegetarian diets are evidence of ‘causation’ from their vegetarian diet? Same problem with that.”

    Not really… The China Study is epidemiology… hard to get cause and effect from that. But when Lierre Keith’s hair and teeth are falling out, she is crippled with osteoporosis, she has severe anxiety and anger issues, then eats meat again and begins to heal, it’s a different sort of evidence. And these stories are ten-a-penny. Veganism is promoted on flawed premises, if we only ever listen to a one sided argument it’s not surprising we will come away convinced. Even the vegan dream of no harm to animals is just that… fantasy. Grain harvesting is one example, but there are many. And I wish people would separate cruelty issues from health issues, the two are muddled. Herbivores in nature are killed by predators, and humans killing humanely is a lot better than their final fate would be in nature. I recommend Lierre Keith’s book for a broader view. Even if your views are firm and solid, what harm to see the other side if you feel so secure in your beliefs. But vegans are scared to look, would rather stick with the “truth” they have settled on, whether or not it really is true, or not.

    Truth requires an open and honest mind, a willingness to look at all sides, a willingness to be wrong. I always hope to be proved wrong… who wants to stick with wrong ideas?

  5. “A lot of what you say there is nutritionism, trying to justify in terms of individual nutrients, and while that might seem okay, it’s really not, because making up a diet based on tiny pieces of ideas woven together does not equate to a diet that sustains health over generations.”

    You mentioned missing nutrients and that’s why people have problems on the diet. I only pointed out how it is possible to obtain those nutrients on the diet when you said it wasn’t.

    “The fact that DHA comes from algae on vegan diets is just evidence it has no basis in nature.”

    How so? Algae comes from nature. And who cares as long as you can purchase what you need, in the same supermarket that sells the same packaged refined rancid fish oil and other stuff you didn’t go get yourself. How is taking an algea pill anymore difficult than a fish pill?

    “And nutrition is an emerging science… no B12, no DHA, no retinol and poor conversion, what’s next? The diet has too many red flags at the moment to recommend it.”

    That problem goes for even people who eat animal sources and still have deficiencies. How do they have deficiencies when they consume sources of it?

    Clearly, the USDA is not a vegan biased source…

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm

    “Nearly two-fifths of the U.S. population may be flirting with marginal vitamin B12 status if the population of Framingham, Mass., is any indication.”

    “Oddly, the researchers found no association between plasma B12 levels and meat, poultry, and fish intake, even though these foods supply the bulk of B12 in the diet. “It’s not because people aren’t eating enough meat,” Tucker said. “The vitamin isn’t getting absorbed.””

    lol. So your solution for people to eat more meat for the B12 clearly is already not helping them.

    The vegans taking B12 supplements are getting better absorption than those trying to get it from animal sources.

    “People in general do not take care, even with more robust diets and their health still fails, so a diet that needs such strict attention to detail is not a diet to recommend generally.””

    If their diet is failing on an animal diet, than it doesn’t say much for animal diets. What it says is that no matter what the diet, everyone needs to pay strict attention to detail or it won’t be good.

    “The point about cholesterol is that some people don’t make enough, so increasing foods that normally raise cholesterol is not the point. My understanding is that some people need dietary sources of cholesterol. Also, although the body can make cholesterol, it doesn’t mean that’s optimal, just as the body can make glucose from protein, it doesn’t mean it’s optimal… nutritionism again.”

    lol. I’m sure that is very rare, and how would they know how much people’s bodies make on their own when 99% of people are getting theirs from dietary sources, and way too much of it. Bad argument for a general “need”, and the argument itself is “nutritionism”, so what is the point. Some people can’t make enough insulin on their own and have to take insulin shots. That proves… what? Proves people are unhealthy…

    “Optimal omega-3 and -6 balance is estimated to be 1:1 to 1:4. Since vegan sources of omega-3 tend to come packaged with more omega-6, it makes the balance very hard to achieve. One could eat a ton of flax oil to do it, but you’d prob have to eat so much that it wouldn’t be healthy. Also, we have the conversion issue.”

    Certainly worth paying careful attention to, though not impossible. Just avoid vegetable oils and grains. There are plenty of nuts and seeds with good ratios.

    “I think I know where you got this from, a well known vegan advocate who says sugar can’t get into cells in the presence of fat. I did a lot of asking around based on that remark, and very many clever science bods wet themselves laughing. Basically, they said “no, not true.” I’m not expert enough about IR to comment, but the general consensus is that it’s an energy overload issue, the cells block reception to insulin because they’re already full of energy, so we end up with too much insulin and too much sugar stuck in the blood, which of course, is terrible news for the body.”

    No, I don’t get my information from vegan advocates, I get it directly from scientific sources and studies.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23471217

    http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/54/12/3458.long

    “But when Lierre Keith’s hair and teeth are falling out, she is crippled with osteoporosis, she has severe anxiety and anger issues, then eats meat again and begins to heal, it’s a different sort of evidence. And these stories are ten-a-penny.”

    Really, I never heard of them. I hear and see plenty of ill health stories of meat eaters with diabetes and osteoporosis and obesity and other ailments thought. And plenty of stories of meat eaters healing their diabetes, weight problems and other ailments after going on a plant based diet. So what evidence is that? If so many meat eaters are not healthy, how is that a good argument to follow that diet?

    Perhaps the vegans with bad health didn’t look after themselves good or eat right for the diet, just like the majority of meat eaters don’t eat right. If I used the argument that because so many meat eaters are insanely unhealthy as proof that that diet is unsustainable, same thing.

  6. “I only pointed out how it is possible to obtain those nutrients on the diet when you said it wasn’t.”

    Nutrients in the diet and nutrients absorbed and utilized by the body are different things, as I mentioned with carotenoid conversion and linoleic acid conversion. Even if you look deeply into one nutrient like vitamin A, it’s extremely complex and vitamin A has many forms. Points is, we can’t just say we’re getting enough vitamin A because we eat plenty of carrots. It’s very complex. And so a diet needs a broader view to be viable, it needs to have a proven record for producing health over generations. I have given broader view arguments too, like the fact that eating animal foods is what made us human… fats from seafood, bone marrow and brains, providing ample DHA. I think it’s unwise to flirt with such big picture evidence, we don’t fully understand about nutrition yet, which is why we have all these diet wars. An evolutionary framework is valuable.

    “Algae comes from nature. And who cares as long as you can purchase what you need, in the same supermarket that sells the same packaged refined rancid fish oil and other stuff you didn’t go get yourself. How is taking an algae pill anymore difficult than a fish pill?”

    We didn’t evolve into big brained humans eating algae, but eating DHA from animal sources. Nutrients in nature are in a natural form, with cofactors, and our bodies evolved to handle natural foods, not extracted, isolated nutrients. The point is that the the vegan diet looks more and more untenable as technology is needed to provide vegans with nutrients normally found in animal foods… B12, DHA, retinoids. What’s next? It wasn’t long ago the vegan website assured people omega-3 was in vegan foods, now the picture is different as we understand more… and there is more to come.

    “That problem goes for even people who eat animal sources and still have deficiencies. How do they have deficiencies when they consume sources of it?”

    I really think that anti-nutrients in modern diets are causing major issues, particularly grains. The whole diet has to work. The USDA reliance on grains with no understanding of how to make those grains safe to eat… I think it’s a disaster.

    “If their diet is failing on an animal diet, then it doesn’t say much for animal diets. What it says is that no matter what the diet, everyone needs to pay strict attention to detail or it won’t be good.”

    The diet we evolved eating is a diet high in animal foods, we adapted to it, and when people return to such a diet, they heal from disease. A SAD diet with animals foods that fails does not mean animal foods are the cause. People won’t pay strict attention. A diet has to be robust and easy to implement, and have a sound rational basis, i.e. not veganism.

    “Optimal omega-3 and -6 balance is estimated to be 1:1 to 1:4. Since vegan sources of omega-3 tend to come packaged with more omega-6, it makes the balance very hard to achieve. One could eat a ton of flax oil to do it, but you’d prob have to eat so much that it wouldn’t be healthy. Also, we have the conversion issue.”

    “Certainly worth paying careful attention to, though not impossible. Just avoid vegetable oils and grains. There are plenty of nuts and seeds with good ratios.”

    Try tracking your diet on Cronometer for a week, then tell me even 1:4 is doable. It’s tough even when you can eat fish, and then, as I said, we have conversion issues.

    “Perhaps the vegans with bad health didn’t look after themselves good or eat right for the diet, just like the majority of meat eaters don’t eat right. If I used the argument that because so many meat eaters are insanely unhealthy as proof that that diet is unsustainable, same thing.”

    Nope, diets with animal foods produce healthy populations over generations. There’s no model for vegan diets achieving that. There are people like the Kitavans who eat only relatively small amounts of animal foods… mainly fish and they have outstanding health… and they eat no grains or dairy… it’s basically a low protein paleo diet. That works.

  7. “Points is, we can’t just say we’re getting enough vitamin A because we eat plenty of carrots. It’s very complex.”

    According to who? Show me which experts, scientists and doctors are saying that it is impossible to get enough vitamin A from plant foods, not just your opinion.

    “And so a diet needs a broader view to be viable, it needs to have a proven record for producing health over generations.”

    There are many types of diets, even among ones that include meat. Just because certain early humans survived, or even evolved, doesn’t mean they had optimal health or longevity on their diets? Not really. They just made do with what they had access to which was imperfect and and imperfect health, often starved.

    Evidence shows that early humans were also cannibals. So maybe cannibilism is our natural diet and we can’t be healthy without eating each other? Maybe we are deficient in things we don’t know about by not eating other humans anymore?

    Should we practice canibilism again and periods of starvation to make it the most genuine diet with a proven record for the the most amount of generations?

    ” I have given broader view arguments too, like the fact that eating animal foods is what made us human… fats from seafood, bone marrow and brains, providing ample DHA.”

    I don’t know any meat eaters that eat bone marrow or brains in their diets! There is also DHA in eggs. Though how does this argument support the need for pork and chicken etc? They don’t even have DHA! So far, all your arguments about specific nutrients like B12, iron, zinc, vitamin A and animal protein, can all be obtained from seafood. So how do you support the argument for a requirement for red meat and land animals?

    “We didn’t evolve into big brained humans eating algae, but eating DHA from animal sources. Nutrients in nature are in a natural form, with cofactors, and our bodies evolved to handle natural foods, not extracted, isolated nutrients.”

    Algae oil is not anymore extracted or unnatural than extracted fish oil is. It’s not extracting just the DHA, it’s extracting the OIL from the algae. Not much different than extracting oil from olives. Still has co factors etc just not fiber.

    Fish don’t naturally have DHA, they get their DHA from sea plants.

    When we evolved larger brains, there was not the issues that are present today. There was not the over fishing and pollution etc.

    “DHA from algae contains no heavy metals. Fish, shell fish, and fish oil often contain
    toxic metals including mercury.

    Algae make and maintain a consistently pure DHA. Fish don’t make DHA. They consume
    it from sea plants, so the concentration of DHA in fish varies. Also the condition and
    purity of fish oil can deteriorate during the time fish are stored and processed.

    Many people are allergic to fish protein, but not to algae.”

    Then there are the other issues we keep hearing more and more about with fish oils. Like them increasing prostate cancer.

    “A study by scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle linked eating a lot of oily fish or taking potent fish oil supplements to a 43% increased risk for prostate cancer overall, and a 71% increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer. Their report was published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”

    Major sustainability issues. Micro algae is much more sustainable for the planet for the demand:

    http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2012/algae-dha-healthy-as-fish-oil

    Then there is the case that the dha = brain growth is only one theory of it. There are other newer theories now. Who’s to say which ones are right.

    http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2012/01/humans-evolved-large-brains-science-front

    And other theories, such as “Big Brain Evolved Through Social Problem Solving”
    http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20040709013702data_trunc_sys.shtml

    I think it was the canibilism that really grew their brains so fast!

    Though what we do know is that in todays time, fish stocks are greatly threatened and the ocean doesn’t have a very bright future at the rate we are exploiting it, not much time left!

    If the scientists and doctors and studies show that Algae oil is both as effective and a lot more sustainable and toxic free (can be grown easily in clean aquatic farms), then that is something to listen to.

    I’m not against others choosing to eat fish (from still sustainable stocks), though the increasing issues are only going to get worse.

    Everyone taking fish oil pills or eating a lot of fish = not sustainable. It’s already threatened now with the limited demand, we’re lucky health consciousness is limited.

    “People won’t pay strict attention. A diet has to be robust and easy to implement”

    The only diet robust and easy to implement is the SAD diet. The convenient, supermarket, conventional food, conventional meat, highly processed, high carb and bread, high dairy, high sugar diet that people can get anywhere, at any store or restaurant or cafe etc. This utopian “organic, small farmer neighbor, grass fed only freely frolicking cow diet” with no dairy or grains or bread etc. is NOT “easy to implement” or adhere to for most people, let alone have access to and afford etc. No more so than a carefully planned plant based diet is!

    “The diet we evolved eating is a diet high in animal foods, we adapted to it, and when people return to such a diet, they heal from disease.”

    There is no evidence that people evolved eating HIGH amounts of animal foods. Certainly no where near the access and excess of what they eat today.

    And when you talk about evolving to eat different things cause of ancestors doing so, they also started to evolve to eat grains and dairy etc. Adaptations have happened since the start of humans eating grains and dairy and they’ll continue to happen and adapt. What you can handle depends on your own particular ancestors, they already know this with dairy etc.

    “Nope, diets with animal foods produce healthy populations over generations. There’s no model for vegan diets achieving that. There are people like the Kitavans who eat only relatively small amounts of animal foods… mainly fish and they have outstanding health… and they eat no grains or dairy… it’s basically a low protein paleo diet. That works.”

    If that works, then why eat and promote heavy high protein red meat diets? Sounds like a pescatarian diet is the only one your arguments could possible support the possible need of.

    1. “Show me which experts, scientists and doctors are saying that it is impossible to get enough vitamin A from plant foods, not just your opinion.”

      Well, it’s pretty well established that some people don’t convert carotenoids to retinoids efficiently. My view is that because we evolved eating animal food, we are adapted to that. It’s not just preformed vitamin A alone. Taurine is another example I mentioned in the article.

      Here’s a very informative page about vitamin A. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=106. It states “If you are a person who avoids animal foods and you are trying to obtain more retinoid forms of vitamin A by consuming plant foods that are high in carotenoids, you might get a very large amount of carotenoids yet still be unable to convert these carotenoid forms of vitamin A into the retinoid form that is also required by the body for proper physiological functioning.”

      “There are many types of diets, even among ones that include meat. Just because certain early humans survived, or even evolved, doesn’t mean they had optimal health or longevity on their diets? Not really. They just made do with what they had access to which was imperfect and and imperfect health, often starved.”

      So perfect would be algae for DHA, some bacteria somehow for B12 but they got by eating fish and seafood? For 2 and a half millions years? Biology seeks an exquisite adaptation to environment, therefore we are adapted to eat fish, seafood, bone marrow, liver etc. Is it possible to thrive and survive taking a vegan nutritionism approach? Maybe, who knows really, but why do it? Mainly vegans do it because of some misguided ethic, because they don’t understand nature, because they hate cruelty. And I do too, so let’s end cruelty instead of trying to force ourselves into a niche we are not adapted to.

      “I don’t know any meat eaters that eat bone marrow or brains in their diets! There is also DHA in eggs. Though how does this argument support the need for pork and chicken etc? They don’t even have DHA! So far, all your arguments about specific nutrients like B12, iron, zinc, vitamin A and animal protein, can all be obtained from seafood. So how do you support the argument for a requirement for red meat and land animals?”

      There probably isn’t a specific need for land animals, but my aim is not to tell people what to eat on the basis of ethics, but simply to create a simple diet, robust, that will remove the dietary causes of disease and supply everything we need for health. Veganism doesn’t fit. It’s essentially unsound. Vast areas of the planet where people live are only suitable for obtaining food from herbivores grazing grass we can’t eat and turning it into meat we can eat. Go tell these people to eat natto, algae extracted DHA, and some bacteria producing B12.

      “When we evolved larger brains, there was not the issues that are present today. There was not the overfishing and pollution etc.”

      So resolve those issues. All the time, I see sticky plaster solutions instead of getting at the roots.

      “Though what we do know is that in todays time, fish stocks are greatly threatened and the ocean doesn’t have a very bright future at the rate we are exploiting it, not much time left!”

      The greater the crisis, the more attention to the solution. Madness is everywhere, but the true and real solutions exist now for how we can live in harmony with nature. The system must change where people need to hoard for themselves, that is the root of abuse to people and nature.

      “If the scientists and doctors and studies show that Algae oil is both as effective and a lot more sustainable and toxic free (can be grown easily in clean aquatic farms), then that is something to listen to.”

      Possibly, but what is declared awesome one minute is questioned later as new info comes to light. The answer to over-fishing and pollution is management, team-work, to stop pollution.

      “I’m not against others choosing to eat fish (from still sustainable stocks), though the increasing issues are only going to get worse.”

      Until they get better. These are strange times.

      “This utopian “organic, small farmer neighbor, grass fed only freely frolicking cow diet” with no dairy or grains or bread etc. is NOT “easy to implement” or adhere to for most people, let alone have access to and afford etc. No more so than a carefully planned plant based diet is!”

      The utopian version needs effort, but start with the supermarket version. Then go to farmer’s markets, plant a tree, find a farmer etc. Let’s move into it.

      “There is no evidence that people evolved eating HIGH amounts of animal foods. Certainly no where near the access and excess of what they eat today.”

      There is, scientists can tell by looking at carbon isotopes or some such thing. They know that early homo sapiens was basically a top level predator. There’s a lot of evidence.

      “And when you talk about evolving to eat different things cause of ancestors doing so, they also started to evolve to eat grains and dairy etc. Adaptations have happened since the start of humans eating grains and dairy and they’ll continue to happen and adapt. What you can handle depends on your own particular ancestors, they already know this with dairy etc.”

      We haven’t adapted much in 10,000 years. It can be fast where selective pressure is high. For example if there is only milk and nothing else, there would be an extreme selection pressure that could wipe out all the maladapted. So this is why we see Northern Europeans with dairy tolerance. Grains are another matter, very damaging they are and I doubt there is anyone who can eat grains without damage without first doing processing like soaking, sprouting, milling, fermentation and cooking, ideally all of these, then grains can be eaten but why bother, they are an ecological nightmare as well as a health nightmare.

  8. The more I look, the more negative evidence I find against Fish Oils and how harmful they are.

    Complicated and Confusing, to say the least.

    “In a recent study, the authors admitted that the effects of long-chain omega-3 oils on aging and lifespan are not well known. The authors fed male mice bred to get old more quickly (SAMP8 mice) one of two diets. The first diet was 5% fish oil and 5% safflower oil. The second diet was simply 10% safflower oil. They started the diets at 12 weeks of age.

    The results are worrisome for those who might be taking fish oil. The mice that were fed the fish oil had shorter life spans than the mice fed the safflower oil.

    The authors found that the mice fed fish oil for 28 weeks showed strong oxidative stress when compared to the mice eating safflower oil. This caused hyperoxidation of membrane phospholipids. But that’s not all. It also diminished their antioxidant defense system. This is probably due to a decrease in tocopherol.”

    Suppresses the immune system:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19549756
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1833105

    Linked to prostate cancer:

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/podcast/transcript090313.html

    Linked to pulmonary edema:

    http://www.menshealth.com/health/fish-oil-supplements

    Essential fatty acids: not so essential after all:

    http://chriskresser.com/essential-fatty-acids-not-so-essential-after-all

    http://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/conquering-cancer-with-parent-essential-oils/

    1. Thanks for the links, I’ve actually been doing a lot of research into this. Confusing is right. We’ve already pretty much decided to remove fish oil from out protocol. So many different opinions out there, and the issues of contamination don’t help matters.

  9. “Well, it’s pretty well established that some people don’t convert carotenoids to retinoids efficiently. My view is that because we evolved eating animal food, we are adapted to that. It’s not just preformed vitamin A alone. Taurine is another example I mentioned in the article.”

    I read something about that with retinoids before. Though it seems the main reason some don’t is because of other health issues. Though with the health issues that cause meat eaters to not absorb B12 from their food, you say they should just make themselves healthier so they can, not that there is something wrong with trying to get B12 from those sources because “some” can’t convert or absorb it due to bad health etc.

    “Mainly vegans do it because of some misguided ethic, because they don’t understand nature, because they hate cruelty. And I do too, so let’s end cruelty instead of trying to force ourselves into a niche we are not adapted to.”

    End cruelty by encouraging people to eat more animals and supermarket animals if easiest for them? Can’t have your cake and eat it too. You choose a hopeful “health” over lack of cruelty. It’s a choice you can make, though don’t be in denial of it. Everyone has their priorities.

    “Vast areas of the planet where people live are only suitable for obtaining food from herbivores grazing grass we can’t eat and turning it into meat we can eat. ”

    Sounds very healthy and nutritionally balanced. So cause they are unlucky, everyone else who isn’t, should follow their inferior diet?

    “So resolve those issues. All the time, I see sticky plaster solutions instead of getting at the roots.”

    lol. adding to the high demands is not helping to resolve those issues…

    Those issues are unlikely to get resolved enough.

    “The greater the crisis, the more attention to the solution. Madness is everywhere, but the true and real solutions exist now for how we can live in harmony with nature. The system must change where people need to hoard for themselves, that is the root of abuse to people and nature.”

    Solving human corruption and the side effects of advanced life and “intelligence” is more of the issue. Not going to change mass psychology and behavior or reverse the trends. These are just all the things and consequences of what ‘evolution’ and getting ‘bigger brains’ did…

    “The utopian version needs effort, but start with the supermarket version. Then go to farmer’s markets, plant a tree, find a farmer etc. Let’s move into it.”

    Can’t supply all demand from small time, inefficient and expensive farmers. Could only supply limited, expensive supplies to small groups of health conscious “elite”. And even the elite few who can afford and get access to all that, only can in limited capacities. They can’t while they’re traveling, dining out, socializing, and many other situations. So, conventional, hormone and steroid laden grain fed animals is what the majority will continue to consume and is possible.

    “There is, scientists can tell by looking at carbon isotopes or some such thing. They know that early homo sapiens was basically a top level predator. There’s a lot of evidence.”

    Until they found out they measured it completely wrong. We’re not even built anything like a “top level predator” lol! We could build tools to make up for our lack of natural bodily weapons, though could not make tools to make up for our lack of natural bodily physiology for processing it the same way real “top level predators” in nature could. Cooking helped a little, not totally. We are still closer to other great apes in our physiology. We didn’t evolve into a lion physiology.

    Caveman Diet Secret: Less Red Meat, More Plants
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/caveman-diet-secret

    Then there are the studies that show what animal protein heavy diets Actually do to us:

    Meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304125639.htm

    1. “I read something about that with retinoids before. Though it seems the main reason some don’t is because of other health issues. Though with the health issues that cause meat eaters to not absorb B12 from their food, you say they should just make themselves healthier so they can, not that there is something wrong with trying to get B12 from those sources because “some” can’t convert or absorb it due to bad health etc.”

      Actually I didn’t respond to your link about B12 deficiency in meat eaters, although I did look, and they weren’t deficient, there were some borderline people. I think our guts are in a mess generally because of many issues… imbalance of gut flora, and a wide range of issues caused by grains and other foods causing leaky guts and therefore immune problems. The dots are hard to connect but they all have their roots in unnatural foods. You simply can’t compare issues of absorption with issues of adaptability to animal foods meaning low conversion of carotenoids and plant based omega-3, one is a health issue, the other is a genetic issue… humans are adapted to forms of nutrients obtainable from animal foods.

      “End cruelty by encouraging people to eat more animals and supermarket animals if easiest for them? Can’t have your cake and eat it too. You choose a hopeful “health” over lack of cruelty. It’s a choice you can make, though don’t be in denial of it. Everyone has their priorities.”

      Eh? I said plant a tree and find a farmer. Education is the greatest catalyst for change, envision awesomeness and move into it. Check out Joel Salatin.

      “Vast areas of the planet where people live are only suitable for obtaining food from herbivores grazing grass we can’t eat and turning it into meat we can eat.”

      “Sounds very healthy and nutritionally balanced. So cause they are unlucky, everyone else who isn’t, should follow their inferior diet?”

      The Masai eat blood, milk and meat mainly, they are in excellent health. Veganism is the inferior diet, so many issues with it.

      “Solving human corruption and the side effects of advanced life and “intelligence” is more of the issue. Not going to change mass psychology and behavior or reverse the trends. These are just all the things and consequences of what ‘evolution’ and getting ‘bigger brains’ did…”

      The system rewards sociopathic behavior. It puts psychopaths at the top… the people who will gladly tread on their brother to get ahead. System needs to change.

      “Can’t supply all demand from small time, inefficient and expensive farmers. Could only supply limited, expensive supplies to small groups of health conscious “elite”. And even the elite few who can afford and get access to all that, only can in limited capacities. They can’t while they’re traveling, dining out, socializing, and many other situations. So, conventional, hormone and steroid laden grain fed animals is what the majority will continue to consume and is possible.”

      Money, money, money. In Africa, permaculture is being rolled out, small scale, community based. There’s no money, there’s land, people, food. You are trapped in a paradigm… think what could be instead.

      “There is, scientists can tell by looking at carbon isotopes or some such thing. They know that early homo sapiens was basically a top level predator. There’s a lot of evidence.”

      “Until they found out they measured it completely wrong.”

      Clutching at straws now.

      “We’re not even built anything like a “top level predator” lol! We could build tools to make up for our lack of natural bodily weapons, though could not make tools to make up for our lack of natural bodily physiology for processing it the same way real “top level predators” in nature could. Cooking helped a little, not totally. We are still closer to other great apes in our physiology. We didn’t evolve into a lion physiology.”

      Our digestion has evolved for high nutrient density from animal foods and cooking. Be careful of physiology, there are baboons with massive fangs that eat grass. If man can make a big pointy stick, there’s no selective pressure to change. We never killed by biting and clawing, so no evolution needed to optimize those those things. Chimps hunt and eat meat, bonobos eat mammals, eggs, insects, gorillas ferment vegetation and live off the resulting short-chain fats. We can’t do that. They also have to spend all day eating.

      “Meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking”

      Be careful of media hype. That study was thoroughly debunked by the ancestral health community. You can cherry pick studies to show anything, because most studies are not fit to be called science, but the media creates a drama and twists everything that is published to generate sales. Money again. The system, again. People do all sorts of insane things for money. There are few real truth-seekers. Everyone wants to get ahead, to write a book, to make a million, to be famous, remembered, important, to be somebody. Carve out a niche for ME. The system creates endless madness.

  10. “Thanks for the links, I’ve actually been doing a lot of research into this. Confusing is right. We’ve already pretty much decided to remove fish oil from out protocol. So many different opinions out there, and the issues of contamination don’t help matters.”

    What do you think of whole oily fish? Wouldn’t they have the same issues of long chain polyunsaturated oils?

    1. I’m not sure the mechanism is fully understood although the most likely issue is peroxidation. Biochemistry is not my thing, so I look to experts who I think are talking sense for stuff like this. PUFAs are easily oxidized and so with fish, the handling is such that they are quickly frozen or kept on ice, whereas quality of fish oil is subject to so many factors it’s hard to know what you’re getting, or what state those fats are in, or how long they’ve been hanging around. Another issue could be co-factors, nutrients present in natural foods that work synergistically. Probably both these things. Fish is reported to do better in studies than oil. Again, nature is the guiding principle.

  11. “You simply can’t compare issues of absorption with issues of adaptability to animal foods meaning low conversion of carotenoids and plant based omega-3, one is a health issue, the other is a genetic issue… humans are adapted to forms of nutrients obtainable from animal foods.”

    I have seen no proof that the inefficiency of “some” people to be able to convert carotenoids or omega’s is caused by genetics or adapting away from that ability. They are likely from the same causes and issues of bad health.

    Technically, there is nothing that humans can only get from animal food that can’t (across the board) be synthesized or converted from something else from plants or within the body.

    On the other hand, there are things that can ONLY be gotten in sufficient enough amounts from plants and can’t be synthesized or converted from eating animals, such as vitamin C.

    All TRUE carnivores, synthesize their own vitamin C…

    “Eh? I said plant a tree and find a farmer.”

    And this is going to help people’s dietary choices at their school, work, restaurants, on the airplane, at the sports event, at their friends house etc…. how? Carry around heavy slabs of “organic” raw meat in large ice chests from their local farmer everywhere they go and ask the restaurant chefs to use their meat? Or are they supposed to become housebound to be able to practice a “non-toxic” “paleo” diet?

    It’s one thing to occasionally eat conventional fruits and vegetables, they just have some extra pesticides. Though conventional meat is full of synthetic hormones, steroids, antibiotics, corn fed, diseased, and on and on, in addition to the pesticides and toxins concentrated in the flesh.

    “The Masai eat blood, milk and meat mainly, they are in excellent health.”

    And the fast racing Tarahumara lived off mainly corn and legumes with very little animal food at all and were also in excellent health. So, does that prove grains and legumes are good?

    “The system rewards sociopathic behavior. It puts psychopaths at the top… the people who will gladly tread on their brother to get ahead. System needs to change.”

    Sounds like that is not sociopathic behavior, though rather just nature and natural selection…

    “Clutching at straws now.”

    Quite the opposite actually. I was pointing out that the argument that it’s been “scientifically proven” and that these flawed “studies” of carbon isotopes etc supposedly “proving man is a top level predator” is what is clutching at straws… and in a major way!

    Though instead of trying to explain it, I’ll just let the scientists explain it for me…

  12. “I have seen no proof that the inefficiency of “some” people to be able to convert carotenoids or omega’s is caused by genetics or adapting away from that ability. They are likely from the same causes and issues of bad health.”

    Unless you understand the science of vitamin A, it’s unwise to make such assumptions. I haven’t delved deep into conversion issues because I don’t need to, I am happy to get retinol from animal foods because there are so many red flags with veganism I’m not trying to be one. Common dietary beta-carotene has a retinol equivalent of 12:1. Whatever the mechanism, it’s not wise to rely on it for vitamin A.

    “Technically, there is nothing that humans can only get from animal food that can’t (across the board) be synthesized or converted from something else from plants or within the body.”

    Enough retinol for one. This is such a specious argument. It seems groovy, until you look into the reality of actually getting the nutrition you need, e.g. retinol, DHA etc. I have covered issues with these… we know fish oils are causing issues, how do you know the same is not true for extracted algae oils? We need a ROBUST dietary model, and veganism isn’t it.

    “On the other hand, there are things that can ONLY be gotten in sufficient enough amounts from plants and can’t be synthesized or converted from eating animals, such as vitamin C.”

    Raw animals foods have small amounts of vitamin C, that’s how the inuit diet was able to maintain healthy populations over generations. And who said not to eat fruit and veg? Not me. This is not a valid argument for veganism.

    “All TRUE carnivores, synthesize their own vitamin C…”

    Who said humans are carnivores? We are omnivores. Comparison to carnivores as evidence that we should eat only plants is the most ridiculous argument ever. Bonobos and chimps both eat animal foods.

    “It’s one thing to occasionally eat conventional fruits and vegetables, they just have some extra pesticides. Though conventional meat is full of synthetic hormones, steroids, antibiotics, corn fed, diseased, and on and on, in addition to the pesticides and toxins concentrated in the flesh.”

    Consumers drive the market, consumers choosing lowest price drives abuse of people and nature.

    “Quite the opposite actually. I was pointing out that the argument that it’s been “scientifically proven” and that these flawed “studies” of carbon isotopes etc supposedly “proving man is a top level predator” is what is clutching at straws… and in a major way! Though instead of trying to explain it, I’ll just let the scientists explain it for me…”

    Hmmm yeah your scientist who is supposedly debunking paleo does nothing of the sort. Carbon isotopes are not what the paleo idea is hanging on. She says that the amount of animal foods depends on location… wow, what a revelation!! Some barley was found in a Neanderthals teeth… stop press!!! ahahah. Broccoli is not wild broccoli!!! Let’s all be vegan then? Paleolithic man overwhelmingly ate fruits/roots/tubers/meat-nose to tail, fish, eggs. I’m sure there were many humans who occasionally ate grains and they figured out how to make them edible due to their intelligent brains which evolved because of good animal fat sources. Aborigines have figured out how to make all sorts of toxic wild plants edible… something that I always find amazing, the cultural wisdom. Some foods need complex processing… soaking, sprouting, cooking etc but they figured it out.

    The Tarahumara Indians are not vegan. Corn and beans are Mexican staples, who knows what genetic adaptations they have, as Northern Europeans can digest lactose, most cannot.

  13. “Common dietary beta-carotene has a retinol equivalent of 12:1”

    Fortunately, we don’t need that much retinol, only small quantities of it and even with a 12:1 conversion, it does not equal that much beta carotene foods in practicality. In other words, it is still very easy and practical to consume enough beta carotene foods to get enough retinol even with a 12:1 conversion. That is not no conversion. On the other hand, getting TOO much vitamin A is well known to be extremely toxic! So at least you’d be safe from getting a toxic dose of vitamin A from consuming too much of it. It might be claimed among various highly biased people and sources that it is too difficult or unreliable to convert beta carotene. Though I still have not seen any reliable studies or non biased sources suggest or prove that. They say the opposite. You say you haven’t delved deep into the issue cause it is not relevant to you, though you claim to know as a fact that it is a certain way for those who it is relevant to…

    “Enough retinol for one. This is such a specious argument. It seems groovy, until you look into the reality of actually getting the nutrition you need, e.g. retinol, DHA etc.”

    Neither proven… even DHA is converted in the body from parent EFA’s, which by some are claimed to be the only truly “essential” FA’s, since the rest can be synthesized from them.

    “We need a ROBUST dietary model, and veganism isn’t it.”

    Maybe you do. Others just need one that works for them and that they feel good with and believe in. You can’t speak for everyone.

    “Bonobos and chimps both eat animal foods.”

    Very small quantities and infrequently. Nothing that could be compared to the excessive amounts eaten by “paleoists”, and no argument for the need of large portions of animals in the diet.

    “Consumers drive the market, consumers choosing lowest price drives abuse of people and nature.”

    And understanding that helps people’s practical options… how? They still only have the options of conventional meats in 99% of the places they go and when they need to eat or order food. They still only have the option right now in all those situations of no meat or hormone injected poisoned and abused meat. And everytime they choose that, they are resupporting that market. It’s not just about lowest prices, it’s about access. I’m sure if some health conscious “paleo” diet person had the option of the types of “free range” healthier meats every where they went and dinned at they would choose that even if it were twice the cost. Though the fact is, it’s not even an option at 99% of places and occasions (even for the less educated or cheaper people). So their options are either support that terrible abusive and unhealthy market all those times, or to abstain from meat those meals all together, which they’re unwilling to do cause they think they’ll get deficient and die if they miss a meal of meat and eat an evil carb!

    “Hmmm yeah your scientist who is supposedly debunking paleo does nothing of the sort.”

    She was not arguing veganism vs meat eating at all. She was arguing that the specific types of foods, fruits, vegetables and meats etc. touted by the majority of the fad “paleo” diet books are actually “farmer’s foods”. Her argument had nothing to do with health or meat vs veg. Only that they are calling these foods “paleo” foods (as in pre agriculture foods) and then bashing farmer agriculture foods as unnatural and terrible foods for humans, so they should go back to the pre agriculture foods. Though the foods they are eating and promoting ARE FARMER FOODS from the agriculture era. They are not all foraging wild plants and hunting rabbits and eating insects. Instead they are going to the supermarket and buying big slabs of cattle, and all these new agriculture farmers vegetables, fruits and almonds and oils etc and saying they are eating a natural pre farmer “wild” diet! They’re not. They’re eating a farmer diet. That was her point.

    “Carbon isotopes are not what the paleo idea is hanging on.”

    I don’t know what the paleo diet is hanging on, though you made the claim about the studies of carbon isotopes saying that those studies had “proven that man is a top level predator”. And many other paleo people use those studies to make the same claim. She pointed out that they are unreliable and don’t prove what these people are claiming that they prove at all. If they are not handing on to those studies to base their arguments on then they should stop claiming that those studies mean or prove anything. Certainly they don’t prove quantities of consumptions.

    “She says that the amount of animal foods depends on location… wow, what a revelation!!”

    Well it should be considering how such a common sense fact is overlooked and misunderstood by most paleo people who promote such heavy meat based diets as the ultimate ideal and the most natural and the most needed etc. etc. They overlook this simple fact…

    It shows that people (hunters and gatherers) only really ate animals in their diet (as needed) for survival when their options were more limited in plant choices or abundance. And when plant choices and abundance was high, that was their preference of diet (when they had a choice) and made up the majority of their diets.

    In todays modern agriculture world, plant choice, variety and abundance IS available! Though they still want to believe they should act as though they are living in plant scarcity and need to eat the majority of their diet as animal foods! Wrong!

    If man needs any animal foods at all, it’s only in small quantities, not the MAJORITY of their diet. That is only true when it’s the only choice. We have other choices. And as far as any adaptability if applicable, it would vary depending on one’s own individual ancestry. Not the claimed “this is what everyone is adapted to and needs” type of claims they give.

    “Some barley was found in a Neanderthals teeth… stop press!!!”

    I’ve heard many “paleoist” claim that all grains are unnatural, can only be eaten cooked, and pre agriculture man didn’t eat them. Maybe not all claim that, though many do. We don’t even know how “occasional” or not it was. Various cultures had diets heavily based on things like that, it depends on what was available to them in their region at the time.

    “Some foods need complex processing… soaking, sprouting, cooking etc but they figured it out.”

    Yeh, so… man has always been processing foods in some way, fermenting etc. All that shows is it’s not so unnatural or that big of a deal to do and doesn’t mean things should never be eaten just cause they require different processing first. Nuts need to be soaked etc.

    No is arguing that “hunter and gatherers” didn’t actually hunt or eat animals. The argument is actually about “how much so” what types of animals. What portion of the diet really? It’s not an either/or thing. These fad books are promoting LARGE portions of the diet be predominately based on animal foods, and from these fattened domesticated Farmer animals no less! That is a big difference from a plant based diet that has ‘some’ animal foods or only occasionally etc.

    My only argument about a vegan diet is that it is possible and can be completely healthy if the correct foods are selected on one. It might not be as easy to get a few specific nutrients on the diet in large quantities, though still possible to get enough with a little more effort. And if those are the only arguments against the health of a vegan diet, if for arguments sake they were even correct, then such an argument would still not support a heavy meat based diet! It would only at most support the need to “supplement” the diet with small quantities of certain types of animal foods, as needed. Which would still be a plant ‘based’ diet. Which many “paleo” diets were… in the ‘good’ regions. I’d even go as far to say our natural climate supported mostly plant food! It was only going to unnatural climates people needed to change their natural diet.

  14. “You say you haven’t delved deep into the issue cause it is not relevant to you, though you claim to know as a fact that it is a certain way for those who it is relevant to…”

    I don’t need to delve deep because it’s just ANOTHER red flag, another potential risk for veganism. And it fits with the big picture, that humans evolved eating animals, it’s what made us human, and like nature always does, we adapted to it. As you say, we are omnivores. Our bodies are resilient, we can go a long time without eating animal source foods but problems show up. The body can store B12 for example and people can feel fine but when B12 becomes deficient, then irreversible damage can happen. And we’ve not even talked about taurine and choline yet, or protein, the list gets longer and longer and nutritional science moves on.

    “Neither proven”

    And you would risk your health on an unproven diet? Even though every piece of the puzzle points to the inadequacy of vegan diets? When people’s health is destroyed despite the best intentions? And for what? Some misplaced ethic? Vegans think they are saving animals but mammals and nesting birds are killed by harvesting grain. Just a tiny example. So I see no good reason to risk health. I spend a lot of time using nutrient analysis software. And I can tell you that getting enough choline, D, A etc is tough enough when choices are not limited. The check list of daily dos for veganism is not going to happen in the real world, in people’s busy lives, even if it was technically doable, which it isn’t.

    “Maybe you do. Others just need one that works for them and that they feel good with and believe in. You can’t speak for everyone.”

    Specious again… where are these mythical people whose bodies are different to mine and can eat a vegan diet? Do their bodies make B12 where mine doesn’t? Are they super converters of beta-carotene and omega-3? Have they lower needs for choline, zinc, iron, B6 and taurine? Can they somehow cope with high levels of omega-6 and still ward off long-term disease? Where are these humans? Maybe we need to reclassify them as a different species so we don’t get confused about what is natural for each.

    “She was arguing that the specific types of foods, fruits, vegetables and meats etc. touted by the majority of the fad “paleo” diet books are actually “farmer’s foods”. ”

    The paleo template is valid, and gets real results, people heal. We approximate what we can using the choices we have, absolutely nothing invalid about that, in the same way as in the paleo era, some had access to mango, some to oranges. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about modern fruits and such, that they are unnaturally sweet, but this isn’t true, as most African native fruits have a similar profile.

    “It shows that people (hunters and gatherers) only really ate animals in their diet (as needed) for survival when their options were more limited in plant choices or abundance. And when plant choices and abundance was high, that was their preference of diet (when they had a choice) and made up the majority of their diets.”

    Animal foods are prized by hunter-gatherers. And for good reason, they are highly nutritious. Following quote from Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets.

    “Our analysis showed that whenever and wherever it was ecologically possible, hunter-gatherers consumed high amounts (45–65% of energy) of animal food. Most (73%) of the worldwide hunter-gatherer societies derived >50% (≥56–65% of energy) of their subsistence from animal foods, whereas only 14% of these societies derived >50% (≥56–65% of energy) of their subsistence from gathered plant foods. This high reliance on animal-based foods coupled with the relatively low carbohydrate content of wild plant foods produces universally characteristic macronutrient consumption ratios in which protein is elevated (19–35% of energy) at the expense of carbohydrates (22–40% of energy).”

    “If man needs any animal foods at all, it’s only in small quantities, not the MAJORITY of their diet. That is only true when it’s the only choice. We have other choices. And as far as any adaptability if applicable, it would vary depending on one’s own individual ancestry. Not the claimed “this is what everyone is adapted to and needs” type of claims they give.”

    The amount depends on protein and other needs. If one has good natural muscle mass and is active, that pretty much sets the level of protein needed. At that level, and choosing a variety, many other nutrients automatically are eaten in sufficient amounts like A and choline etc. For example I need about 100g a day, if that we’re to be only from plant protein, 120g because it’s not absorbed as well. This isn’t doable, which is why vegan men eat protein powder.

    “Some barley was found in a Neanderthals teeth… stop press!!!”

    “I’ve heard many “paleoist” claim that all grains are unnatural, can only be eaten cooked, and pre agriculture man didn’t eat them. Maybe not all claim that, though many do. We don’t even know how “occasional” or not it was. Various cultures had diets heavily based on things like that, it depends on what was available to them in their region at the time.”

    The further you go back, the less likely grains to be eaten at all. Grass seeds might have been eaten seasonally but it’s a once a year deal, and in recent paleo, some people clearly knew how to get grains to be edible. Remove husk, soak for a few days, maybe sprout or ferment, mash and cook. The same process works for pretty much all toxic seeds, grains, nuts.

    “Yeh, so… man has always been processing foods in some way, fermenting etc. All that shows is it’s not so unnatural or that big of a deal to do and doesn’t mean things should never be eaten just cause they require different processing first. Nuts need to be soaked etc.”

    Not always, agriculture is around 10,000 years but it depends, I mean there are still hunter-gatherers today. Foods can be processed sure, but people won’t, they are too busy, not enough time or inclination. Easier, AND healthier to have roots/tubers instead. And more natural actually, the digging stick goes a lot further back than the milling stone.

  15. “And we’ve not even talked about taurine”

    Redbull

    “and choline yet, or protein”

    Eggs

    “the list gets longer and longer and nutritional science moves on.”

    Knowledge hasn’t changed that much nutritionally in a long time. Though “naturalism” isn’t really even anything most vegans hang their diet on anyways or reasons for it. Strict vegans likely should take certain supplements and multivitamin.

    “And you would risk your health on an unproven diet?”

    Animal foods have a lot of their own risks. Scary ones.

    “Even though every piece of the puzzle points to the inadequacy of vegan diets?”

    I’m not even vegan anymore, I’m vegetarian. Though from the 18 years that I was strictly vegan I didn’t experience any bad symptoms or health problems from the diet. In fact I never even got sick, common colds etc more than once about every 5 years. No aches or pains, no drugs, no issues I ever needed to see a doctor for. I felt fine and normal. Normal weight, recovered quickly from the gym, put on muscle easily, etc. Most people I meet even still assume my age to be 10 years younger despite completely neglecting any skin care.

    How many omnivores can say those things? Majority struggle with weight, diabetes, aches and pains, acidity, constantly getting sick, endless medications etc. Sure they eat a standard diet that isn’t that healthy, though I ate a lot of carbs and grains and legumes and felt fine.

    “When people’s health is destroyed despite the best intentions? And for what? Some misplaced ethic?”

    My health was never destroyed because of my ethics. In fact it’s been at least above average!

    “The check list of daily dos for veganism is not going to happen in the real world, in people’s busy lives, even if it was technically doable, which it isn’t.”

    Same could be said for a specialized “paleo organic grass fed” diet with all it’s speciality foods and resourcing rare supplies of those special types of foods. I mean you’re asking people to give up breads, sandwiches and pizzas! Plus all their fast packaged processed foods etc.

    “Vegans think they are saving animals but mammals and nesting birds are killed by harvesting grain. Just a tiny example.”

    So that’s an excuse to enslave and torture billions of animals?

    “And I can tell you that getting enough choline, D, A etc is tough enough when choices are not limited.”

    Not that tuff. A few egg yolks, a tsp of cod liver oil. Done!

    “The paleo template is valid, and gets real results, people heal.”

    Why even call it paleo then? Just call it what it is, an organic whole food domesticated diet. It eliminates only 1 type of farmed food only, that doesn’t change that what is still in it is all domesticated foods. The whole “paleo” thing is all only a gimmick…

    “There’s a lot of misunderstanding about modern fruits and such, that they are unnaturally sweet, but this isn’t true, as most African native fruits have a similar profile.”

    Interesting. Definitely a lot more appetizing looking than roadkill.

    “Animal foods are prized by hunter-gatherers. And for good reason, they are highly nutritious. Following quote from Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets”

    Oh god, not that again! It’s already been updated that they don’t really know what made up their diets and their past methods at trying to hypnotize completely unreliable and inaccurate.

    “The amount depends on protein and other needs. If one has good natural muscle mass and is active, that pretty much sets the level of protein needed. At that level, and choosing a variety, many other nutrients automatically are eaten in sufficient amounts like A and choline etc. For example I need about 100g a day, if that we’re to be only from plant protein, 120g because it’s not absorbed as well. This isn’t doable, which is why vegan men eat protein powder.”

    It is doable. Some vegan men eat protein powder for the same reason meat eating men eat protein powder despite the whole food protein sources in their diet. Though the actual amount of protein optimal in the diet is still of much debate anyways.

    “The further you go back, the less likely grains to be eaten at all.”

    And the further you go back, the less likely animals to be eaten! Only fruits and leaves etc like the other primates. Though we’re talking about evolution and adaptation here…

    “Foods can be processed sure, but people won’t, they are too busy, not enough time or inclination. Easier, AND healthier to have roots/tubers instead. And more natural actually, the digging stick goes a lot further back than the milling stone.”

    Lol. That’s no reason to tell people they ‘shouldn’t’ at all, even processed correctly. Paleo people seem to think nuts and seeds are totally alright and ‘Paleo’ foods. Though then when it is pointed out that nuts have as much and sometimes more phytic acid and anti nutrients than various grains, they say “oh yeh maybe we should process and sprout these nuts first and limit them in the diet”. So, why wouldn’t the same be true for certain whole grains instead of just saying they are bad in any amount or any type of processing and to stay away? Think people are going to take the time to sprout their almonds? Though most food is highly processed anyways and not much phytic acid left in the cooked white flours etc. Even the animal foods have to be processed to be safe. They have to be throughly cooked to kill all the pathogens. Though not cooked too much or certain ways or else they are the food with the highest AGEs.

    Personally, it’s not just the ethical issues for me. It’s how disgusting those ‘foods’ are…

    1. “Redbull”

      Only trace amounts there, and hardly a good argument, yet another supplement sticky plaster for a poor diet.

      “Eggs”

      Not vegan, you are arguing a case for veganism, which is what this post is about.

      “Knowledge hasn’t changed that much nutritionally in a long time. Though “naturalism” isn’t really even anything most vegans hang their diet on anyways or reasons for it. Strict vegans likely should take certain supplements and multivitamin.”

      We are in the midst of the collapse of The Lipid Hypothesis. Much research into all kinds of things…. essential fats, K2 etc. Plus we have the rise of the Ancestral Health movement, and continuing discussion about healthy diets, a much needed conversation, since our diets have major consequences for health and happiness. If you need a supplement, then the diet is flawed in its basic concept.

      “Animal foods have a lot of their own risks. Scary ones.”

      There are issues with modern farming, but we should address the true cause of problems. The answer is not veganism, but education so that consumers choose healthier foods. That then drives the market for those healthier foods. Consumers choosing lowest price, drives abuse.

      “I’m not even vegan anymore, I’m vegetarian.”

      If veganism is so great, why the shift? I said in the article that vegetarianism is doable, but that’s a different debate, this one is about veganism.

      “Though from the 18 years that I was strictly vegan I didn’t experience any bad symptoms or health problems from the diet.”

      I don’t think you’re being entirely honest about your health status. Also, deficiencies can take a long time to manifest into disease. The body is resilient and has many coping mechanisms. A diet must be judged on its performance over generations, its ability to continue the species, healthy babies, over 100 years. Veganism will fail badly.

      “How many omnivores can say those things?”

      Paleo and SAD are both omnivorous diets, chalk and cheese though. Paleo REVERSES disease, and so a diet has to be exceptionally robust to do that.

      “So that’s an excuse to enslave and torture billions of animals?”

      No, it’s a reason to look at how we produce foods in a sustainable and ethical way. Combine- harvesting rodents and birds doesn’t feel good to me, nor killing insects with chemicals, or putting mineral chelators onto “weeds”to kill them, nor extermination of ecosystems to grow endless miles of monocrops, nor using carbon inputs into a a high energy system. Insanity of the system of $$$.

      “And I can tell you that getting enough choline, D, A etc is tough enough when choices are not limited.”

      “Not that tuff. A few egg yolks, a tsp of cod liver oil. Done!”

      Not vegan, not even vegetarian.

      “Why even call it paleo then? Just call it what it is, an organic whole food domesticated diet. It eliminates only 1 type of farmed food only, that doesn’t change that what is still in it is all domesticated foods. The whole “paleo” thing is all only a gimmick…”

      Not a gimmick at all, it’s a concept… to eat the types of foods we are genetically adapted to, just as any animal. Where to look? The paleolithic era is a good place, and to modern-day hunter-gatherers. If you want to feed any animal its natural diet, look at what it eats in the wild. Flawless concept. Can’t argue with it, very enlightening, and most importantly IT WORKS, people heal from all manner of diseases. That’s the true test… does it get results. What are the results of veganism? Dry skin, anxiety, osteoporosis, anger issues, cavities and rotting teeth, etc. These are typical… Google “failure on vegan diet testimonials” or something, seek and ye will certainly find no end of examples.

      Here’s a good start from the Natural Hygiene movement, who were inclined towards veganism originally…

      http://naturalhygienesociety.org/diet3.html

      “Interesting. Definitely a lot more appetizing looking than roadkill.”

      A feral child found in France lived on frogs, berries, insects and such… you might be amazed what you would eat in the wild… not much quinoa or algae derived DHA capsules or B12 tablets there.

      “Oh god, not that again! It’s already been updated that they don’t really know what made up their diets and their past methods at trying to hypnotize completely unreliable and inaccurate.”

      Doesn’t need to be accurate… we have Innuit at one end, Kitavans at the other. We only need to look at modern-day hunter-gatherers to see that on average, they get over 50% of calories from animal foods. It’s a no brainer, no need to split hairs about it.

      “It is doable. Some vegan men eat protein powder for the same reason meat eating men eat protein powder despite the whole food protein sources in their diet. Though the actual amount of protein optimal in the diet is still of much debate anyways.”

      The same reason? purlease! Vegan men are eating powder despite adequate protein in a vegan diet?… you must be joking. Bodybuilders are the most obsessed people on the planet when it comes to nutrition and vegan bodybuilders will be top on that pile I guarantee it.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8700446

      Try getting that from your quinoa.

      “And the further you go back, the less likely animals to be eaten! Only fruits and leaves etc like the other primates. Though we’re talking about evolution and adaptation here…”

      You are delusional… already mentioned bonobos and chimps. And yeah, we can’t eat like a gorilla, already covered that.

      “Lol. That’s no reason to tell people they ‘shouldn’t’ at all, even processed correctly. ”

      I consider it a very good reason. We don’t know what health challenges a reader has. We want to present a diet that will WORK, and that is EASY. I see no good reason to include grains that need heavy processing. If people want to do it, they can, but we won’t be recommending it for the excellent reasons stated.

      “Paleo people seem to think nuts and seeds are totally alright and ‘Paleo’ foods. Though then when it is pointed out that nuts have as much and sometimes more phytic acid and anti nutrients than various grains, they say “oh yeah maybe we should process and sprout these nuts first and limit them in the diet”. So, why wouldn’t the same be true for certain whole grains instead of just saying they are bad in any amount or any type of processing and to stay away?”

      Nuts/seeds are very easy to process compared to grains.

      “Think people are going to take the time to sprout their almonds?”

      Sure, it’s so easy… put a handful in some water in the morning, eat the next morning, while eating, put another handful in water. Pretty easy.

      “Personally, it’s not just the ethical issues for me. It’s how disgusting those ‘foods’ are…”

      It’s a mental thing, our world is so sanitized and fluffy, we are never exposed to nature. I saw a Maori catch an octopus and eat it on the spot… it’s about culture, and modern life, and being hypnotized by Bambi and friends with overly big eye and human emotions. I’ve seen Maori children catch lobster and cook them on open fires in their lunch break, Different world.

  16. “Only trace amounts there, and hardly a good argument, yet another supplement sticky plaster for a poor diet.”

    It was a joke…

    Though it’s never been known as an essential amino anyways cause it’s synthesized from methionine, cysteine and B6.

    “Not vegan, you are arguing a case for veganism, which is what this post is about.”

    I know they’re not vegan. Though not sure why I’m arguing a case for veganism when it’s really vegetarianism and plant based diets that I believe in and follow.

    Which is still Extremely different than heavy meat based paleo diets. I guess what I’m really arguing against is the paleo meat centered diets.

    Though there are plant based sources for choline…

    “We are in the midst of the collapse of The Lipid Hypothesis. Much research into all kinds of things…. essential fats, K2 etc. Plus we have the rise of the Ancestral Health movement, and continuing discussion about healthy diets, a much needed conversation, since our diets have major consequences for health and happiness. If you need a supplement, then the diet is flawed in its basic concept.”

    There will always be constant debates over diet and foods, lifestyles, everything. Forget the meat vs veg argument. Just take almost any food specifically and it’ll be heavily debated if it is healthy or not by the obsessive geeks within whatever diet trend. Vinegar, Juices (unnatural), Oils (unnatural), spices, herbs, nightshades, spinach and kale (cook, don’t cook, don’t eat it at all), fermented foods, soy, dairy, organic (essential or overhyped waste of money), fruit (natural most perfect food or too much sugar), fats (10% of the diet or 50% of the diet), nuts and seeds, cooked vs raw foods, types of cooking, and on and on forever…

    From the data I have seen, most meat eaters would do much better if they supplemented some B12 and vitamin D etc. They are coming up deficient even though they think they’re covered.

    “There are issues with modern farming, but we should address the true cause of problems.”

    I wasn’t referring to modern farming, though any meat. Actually modern meat is often safer and less contaminated than wild meat. There is a reason it has to be throughly cooked…

    If you need to cook a food for it to be safe, maybe that is flawed in its basic concept.

    “The answer is not veganism, but education so that consumers choose healthier foods. That then drives the market for those healthier foods. Consumers choosing lowest price, drives abuse.”

    Education is not the same as choice. People can only choose among what is available as choices and what they can afford also. Think everyone lives a few blocks away from a Whole Foods store or farmers market? Access is not as easy as you think it is to “organic” meats.

    As far as the negatives of modern farmed animal foods, I do think those are terrible and much worse than conventional produce. Conventional produce is not good and I don’t think all of the pesticides etc are any good or safe. Though I also don’t think they are that unsafe or unhealthy that consuming conventional produce in moderation is anything to be concerned about. I used to be obsessive about organic food and fearful of conventional produce though I’m not now. If it is the only choice as it often is many places cause of access or traveling or eating out etc. then it’s not so bad as long as you choose and eat organic produce as much as possible whenever it is a choice. Though I wouldn’t say the same thing about conventional meat. That is really bad!

    Not only health wise and all the injections and hormones and antibiotics and concentration of toxins etc. though also ethically it is the worst.

    So, what do people do and choose when conventional meats are their only option as it often is?

    I have heard quite a few paleo people say that when they are out and their only options are conventional animal foods, they will either fast or only eat vegetables until they can get organic grass fed free range animal food again. That is pretty extreme and difficult though.

    Notice how they say they will eat only vegetables until then…

    Which goes to show, conventional vegetables are safer than conventional animal foods, and also more convenient with easier access. So, it’s even more difficult for people with busy lives to be fussy enough to follow such a strict “organic paleo diet”, esp with it’s lack of grains, dairy.

    I rather agree with them though. I won’t conventional eggs that I don’t know anything about. Not unless it’s only occasionally or in small amounts like a little mayo or something.

    “If veganism is so great, why the shift? I said in the article that vegetarianism is doable, but that’s a different debate, this one is about veganism.”

    Because I started out vegetarian since the start of my life. Lacto vegetarian, no eggs. Though later I gave up dairy for ethical reasons (along with leather and fur etc.) and went vegan. After I gave up the dairy my health really improved dramatically, very quickly. Within only a couple of weeks. Now it’s pretty funny to me that it was such a mystery, pretty obvious. I didn’t just eat a little dairy growing up, I always had several glasses of full fat milk a day and tons of cheese, tons of ice cream etc. I was very addicted to it. Now I know I was always intolerant and didn’t know it. My skin had cleared up and my throat and sinuses cleared up. Whenever I accidentally drank anything with milk again I could immediately feel it coat my throat and feel congested. It’s like giving up smoking and then finally noticing how much it burns your throat and is disgusting.

    So even though my reasons for giving it up were ethical, it had turned out to be the best health change I had ever made. I can’t even say the same for wheat and gluten etc. I gave up gluten and almost all grains for 1 1/2 years once and still never noticed any difference. Maybe there was a difference in my body, though it never translated to anything even noticeable at all. I was rather surprised and disappointed that nothing improved. Though maybe I tolerate it alright.

    Anyways, the reason I had decided to include eggs in my diet is because of the increased availability of more natural and humane free range eggs. I know some of them are false advertising, though there are sources that are alright and small farms etc. So if that is the case, then it is not really an unethical food to me anymore. They are not fertilized and never would be, nothing was ever even alive in them, nothing was even killed. They seem pretty natural to the diet also, foraging etc. Not unnatural like dairy is. Other animals eat eggs, not dairy. So to me, truly free range eggs meet my ethical beliefs, I don’t care about labels and rules etc. As far as health goes, eggs do seem to be superfoods and full of many things that are often missing or low on a strict vegan diet, so I didn’t see any reason not to include them. Though like the gluten elimination thing, I still haven’t noticed any difference in how I feel or anything else. So it’s mostly an intellectual thing that I think and believe it’s better for me, maybe time will tell.

    “I don’t think you’re being entirely honest about your health status.”

    I’m not a dishonest person. Though I can only go off symptoms etc. Any symptoms or things I’ve had that the MAJORITY of others who also have are meat eaters, I’m not going to count as anything relating to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Yeh, I might of had ADHD my entire life, though the majority of others with it are meat eaters, so there is no correlation there. If there was then meat eaters wouldn’t have ADHD, the majority of vegans WOULD have it, and it would heal by stop being vegan. None of those things are true, so what does it have to do with veganism?

    As far as the types of symptoms though that you said other people struggled with that they specifically blamed on their vegan diet and deficiencies of it like dry skin, lethargy, hair loss, etc. I didn’t experience any of those type of symptoms personally. There are many other vegans that don’t experience those types of symptoms either.

    Besides for my ADHD and OCD, the only other chronic thing I’ve struggled with has been blood sugar issues. When I was younger I was told I was borderline hyperglycemic and then later wondered if it swung in the opposite direction sometimes more instead. It stabilizes when I fast.

    I was never overly concerned about my health though and wasn’t a health ‘freak’ or anything. I often struggled with and went back and forth between wanting to eat healthier though not ever having the discipline to, and wanting to just eat for the best culinary experiences. You know like chefs, to them food is about the culinary art and what tastes best, looks best etc. That often is in direct opposition of what is ‘healthiest’. The healthiest version of anything won’t get people gushing over the food and your culinary skills! I was very addicted to sugar and sweets and at one time became very good at creating ‘healthier’ deserts and dishes. Though only healthier cause of no dairy or grains or white sugar or being raw etc. Though still full of fat and sugar.

    “Paleo and SAD are both omnivorous diets, chalk and cheese though. Paleo REVERSES disease, and so a diet has to be exceptionally robust to do that.”

    So… then wouldn’t that show that it is not the meat that is healing (cause SAD eaters eat tons of that). Though instead it is what Paleo eaters DON’T eat that is healing for them. When they stop eating all the processed refined grains and sugars, artificial foods, preservatives and bad oils, fast food, dairy, junk, candy etc. All things we already know are bad and junk and return to a whole food diet. That is what is really happening, and then you say “see, meat heals them”.

    The difference between SAD eaters and them is not the meat, as you say they are both omnivorous diets. So, it’s not the meat healing them, it’s all the other junk they’re not eating.

    “Not a gimmick at all, it’s a concept… to eat the types of foods we are genetically adapted to, just as any animal. Where to look? The paleolithic era is a good place, and to modern-day hunter-gatherers. If you want to feed any animal its natural diet, look at what it eats in the wild. Flawless concept.”

    Not exactly flawless…

    Most animals in the wild also live in their natural environments that they are naturally made for. Gorillas didn’t go migrate to the Arctic etc like the (brilliant) humans…

    And so animals in the wild eat pretty similar diets to each other. It’s easy to see what they should eat cause they stick to the environments and diets they are built for.

    Humans don’t do that and haven’t done that. We think we’re above all that and can do whatever we want. Humans thumb their nose up at nature and go to cold climates and just cover themselves in animal fur or now days indoor heating etc.

    Humans also eat a wide variety of things out of necessity of the region or out of habit. Can’t really be compared to other more natural animals…

    So, following a Paleolithic diet? Which one? Eskimo?

    Which Paleolithic diet consisted of mainly chicken, cow and pigs?

    Why not include all the insects and reptiles and other small animals like real Paleo diets? Why don’t Paleo people eat lizards and insects etc. instead huge plates of cow? There are plenty of free birds they can also grab around… little lizards etc. and all FREE! Though no, they go to the store and buy ready made slabs of cow. So paleo of them…

    “Google “failure on vegan diet testimonials” or something, seek and ye will certainly find no end of examples.”

    You can’t compare a standard vegan diet to a healthy whole food vegan diet anymore than a SAD diet to a paleo diet. There are also examples of people saying they failed on a Paleo diet.

    You might have a few examples of people that had bad symptoms or looked unhealthy, though there are still tons of other vegans that don’t have those symptoms and are glowing and healthy looking and strong etc.

    “Sure, it’s so easy… put a handful in some water in the morning, eat the next morning, while eating, put another handful in water. Pretty easy.”

    Hah, coming from a health nut. What is easy to the majority of people is buying something packaged, walking out of the store and shoving it in their mouth as they drive. No kitchens!

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