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« My Scrumptious Vegan Kosher Real Food Sausage Basil "Cheese" Pizza | Main | We Fought Cancer....And Cancer Won. What Does Dr. Anthony L. Back Have to Say? »

February 11, 2009

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D

Vegan diets are an interesting, albeit somewhat radical, experiment--there are few known precedents in human history of vegan diets that produced robust health.
In one study of 229 hunter-gatherer societies,* not one subsisted on an exclusively non-animal-based diet (and it has been well-documented that these peoples tend not to have diseases of civilization, so if it is meats that are causing diseases, it's not the meats themselves but something that we moderns are doing to the meats. But there's pretty good reason to believe that it's not the meats in the first place.).
On a vegan diet: Where does the vitamin K2-MK4 come from? How about the vitamin D3 (sun, if you can get it, but where else)? What about the vitamin A (some from beta carotene, but the conversion rate is low)? And the omega-3s (you can get some from the ALA in flaxseed, but the conversion rate to EPA and DHA is low)?

Also, as a diabetic, I feel compelled to note that this diet will, in most cases, cause blood glucose levels to rise. Grains and legumes will cause elevated glucose levels, as will fruits. What is there left to eat? One can only eat so many vegetables.

* http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/71/3/682?ijkey=KPJ8NPKvC6lVQ

Beverly

I read the book by Dr. Esselstyn. The book was persuasive, but it was the recipes that clinched the deal for me.

A year ago, I could not walk around the block - BAD knee pain. I was 5 foot 1 inch and weighed over 180 pounds. As of that time, I had a "healthy" diet: whole grain bread, brown rice, rarely ate meat, had salmon once or twice a week, used only olive oil. Switched to a more plant based diet and doing Pilates three times a week, but after 6 months started gaining again. Read Dr. E's book, and started using his diet - but sometimes eat nuts or avocado. Kept doing Pilates. Lost more weight. I have now lost over 35 pounds and last weekend walked 2 - 3 miles!

I'm a believer.

joann

the first comment mentioned grains and legumes caused sugar elevations in diabetics...that is simply not true...i am also a diabetic and on this diet, immediately, my sugars lowered and i am only on a third of the diabetic pills i was on originally, my dr says eventually, i wont be on any diabetic medication....my diabetic dr. is extremely impressed with this diet and the weight i have lost being on it......i love it.......unfortunately , i fall off it ever so often and i really feel the difference in how i feel and how much energy i have....but then i get right back on it..a nd feel better....

Brenda

Reading the post by D, I felt compelled to comment and correct the information being presented.

There is nothing experimental about vegan diets. Read the book "The China Study" or "The Blue Zones" and you will see that not only have there always been societies that ate vegan, but that they were free of our Western diseases that are do prevalanet today (diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, etc). In the US the 7th Day Adventists have been researched for decades now because they live longer than other Americans and are much healthier and they do not eat meat.

Secondly as far as diabetes, Dr Neal Barnard wrote the book, literally on reversing diabetes with a vegan diet. Not only will it reverse diabetes, but also prevent it.

If you have rice with vegetables or lentils or even a little lemon juice, the GI is lowered quite a lot. Enough to prevent disease.

Vitmain K is in leafy greens. Vitamin D hopefully you are getting some sun or take a D2 supplement (which works just as well as D3 if you take it at a normal dose regularly). Vitamin A - there is a ton of it in sweet potatoes, carrots, I mean come on. You need to educate yourself a little better.

Omega 3's are available in nuts and seeds and even spinach and kale. And as long as you are not eating saturated fat, it converts easily to DHA.

If you get your nutritional information from front people for the meat and dairy lobby, then you get the kind of info you are presenting here.

Otherwise you can look at who is actually treating all the diseases caused by eating animals and see that not only is a vegan diet healthy, it is super healthy.

Check out the work of Dr's Dean Ornish, Neil Nedley, Joel Fuhrman, John McDougall, Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn - they have shown how effective and healthy eating a plant based diet actually it and documented their patients recoveries.

yona sternheim

Hi
I just signed in as a subscriber. I totally believe in this way of eating for health. The only thing that I feel these vegan diets do not address is - quantities. How much should we eat? I feel I need guidance in that, because I could easily overeat, I am somewhat of a food addict, and I need more structure in my eating habits then just which foods to eat and which to stay away from. Any reaction to my question?
Thanks,
Yona

Thehealthyhorseman.blogspot.com

I just wanted to say I appreciate this article/blog and to reaffirm that the first commenter appears to be in error from beginning to end of their comment. Nothing experimental about the diet, been proven for thousands of years. Also, wanted to give Yona, above, a piece of advice... typically you cannot really overeat on this diet, it will fill you long before you get too much... generally. If you have a real problem eating too much food when you eat, I would suggest stating away from the plan-based foods that are pretty easy to consume quickly... like nuts and seeds...
Thanks for the post... the more people to read about these folks and the other leaders, like Fuhrman and Barnard, the better off we all are.
Dachia

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