Is Veganism Healthy? (Part 1 of 3)
So lately I have seen a lot of BS on the internets about veganism being unhealthy, and you not being able to get enough nutrients on a vegan diet.
I thought I would make a blog series about why veganism is perfectly healthy, sustainable and can actually help you become the healthiest, happiest version of yourself.
So let's bust some common myths and I'll show you how you can be perfectly healthy on a vegan diet.
1. Veganism Isn't Healthy Because You Need To Take A Lot Of Supplements
Need and want are two very different things.
The supplement industry is a MULTI-BILLION dollar industry, and the vegan market makes up but a very small portion of people buying supplements.
These days MOST people take supplements... whether they actually need to or not, well that is another story.
I'm a firm believer in getting as many vitamins and nutrients from whole foods.
I don't take a lot of supplements and I tend to recommend that unless you are suffering from a specific deficiency or have unique needs, then you don't waste your money on expensive supplements.
Food is always FIRST.
There is one exception to this... B12.
A lot of people have a misconception that B12 comes from animal products, and therefore vegans MUST be deficient in it.
B12 actually is a microbe that lives in dirt, fecal matter and in our very own digestive tracts.
Yes, we can make our own, but it isn't always a good idea to rely on your body making enough as most of the B12 microbes live below the section of the digestive tract where they are actually needed.
So that leaves dirt, and fecal matter as other 'natural sources'.
No thank you!
I'd rather not risk getting ecoli poisoning or typhoid just to get some B12!
Sanitation and farming practices mean we aren't exposed to B12 like we used to be... which, when it comes to sanitation is definitely a good thing.
If you eat animal products, especially since the introduction of large scale agricultural farming and animals not being given natural conditions to live in, or natural foods to eat... animals are given B12 shots to ensure that their flesh contains B12 for when people eat it.
Me, I prefer to cut out the middleman and the cruelty and just give myself a shot (or get my hubby to do it) every few months.
You can also get sprays, sublingual drops or dissolvable tablets instead of doing the shots.
It's easy and cheap to supplement with.
So now we have covered B12, is there anything else to be worried about?
Some people get concerned about DHA and EPA, however our body is able to convert DHA and EPA from ALA.
I know more non-vegans who take fish oil supplements than vegans who take a DHA supplement.
And just as a FYI if you do take fish oil... if not stored properly it turns rancid. When it is being trucked from manufacturing plant to health food shop or supermarket, and sitting on loading docks in the sun, quite often it is not kept in cool enough conditions which leads to rancid fish oil... and you wasting your $$$ and risking your health.
You are better off which a much more stable algae DHA supplement.
Vegans don't need a multivitamin, they don't need b complex supplements, they don't need a protein powder.
They can choose to have those things if they like. But again, this is a choice and not mandatory for optimum health if you are eating a balanced whole foods diet.
2. Vegans Eat A Lot Of Processed Foods
Yes, there are vegans that eat a lot of processed foods.
Just like there is a large proportion of society that eats a lot of processed foods.
But being vegan doesn't mean you have to rely on processed foods to get enough calories.
In fact, up until about 4/5 years ago the pickings were slim when it came to delicious vegan processed foods. So most vegans would just eat a whole food plant based diet... very unprocessed and all natural.
Trust me, you are lucky these days with the choices of vegan cheese and veggie patties.
The vegan cheese used to taste like old socks!
I see processed foods though as treats, just like non-vegan processed foods.
If you want to stay in optimum health, feel and look good then you shouldn't be relying on junk foods, packaged items, high fat and high sugar snacks. This goes for everyone.
Veganism does not mean relying on a whole bunch of processed foods to have an interesting or healthy diet.
There are some really cool 'mock' versions of things now.. but again personally I feel they are sometimes foods, rather than every day foods.
A lot of people comment 'well why do you make it look like the non-vegan item' - some people like that food, they just don't want the cruelty that comes with it.
Also meat items don't exactly look like the animal they came from?? A sausage doesn't look like a pig's anus and offcuts. It's all packaged up 'nicely' so that people don't think about where it came from. So I'll take my veggie sausage when I do want to eat processed foods thanks.
Also, mock meats have been around for 1000's of years and are apart of Chinese and Buddhist culture, so it's really not a new thing.
I eat a lot of whole food, minimally processed items and that's what I recommend for optimum health for all vegans.
You don't have to eat a lot of processed food items as a vegan, you CAN but it isn't necessary.
It is actually much cheaper and healthier to stick to minimally processed and whole food items like beans, rice, fruit, vegetables, lentils, oats, tofu and tempeh.
3. But Veganism Isn't Recommended By Dieticians
I don't know what dietician you are speaking with, but they need to get re-educated. They are giving outdated advice that isn't in line with the association they are a member of.
All of the Dietetics Associations in Australia, The UK, Canada and the USA advise that a well planned vegan diet is appropriate for all stages of life including pregnancy, infancy, childhood and old age.
There are even vegan dieticians!
Further to that, there are plenty of plant based cardiologists, GP's, gastroenterologists and clinicians that advocate for a plant based diet. Just last month at the PCRM conference a group of over 1000 doctors marched to the white house with a 'Go Vegan' message.
If you are worried about following a vegan diet, you just have to look no further than this list of amazing vegan Dr's who are working hard to change the current 'sick care' model back to health care. By prioritising lifestyle changes, over medical interventions like pills and surgery.
- Dr Joel Kahn
- Dr Michael Greger
- Dr T Colin Campbell (whose Plant Based Nutrition Course I did)
- Dr Caldwell Essylstyn
- Dr Anthony Hadj
- Dr Michael Klaper (I had the pleasure of presenting with Dr Klaper last year)
- Dr Pam Popper
- Dr Kim Williams
- Dr Alan Goldhammer
- Dr Neil Barnard
- Dr John McDougall
- Dr Joel Fuhrman
- Dr Doug Lisle
- Dr Garth Davis
- Dr Angie Sadeghi
And I'm just scratching the surface... there are literally hundreds more currently, with more graduating each and every year.
All of them will admit, that nutrition forms the smallest part of their medical education. However, years of practice, study and research in their respective fields has shown just how important and vital plant based diet is to the health, longevity and reversal of many medical conditions.
I am lucky enough to have met a few of these Dr's, talk to a few regularly (Dr Kahn and I have a humorous Twitter friendship after I shared some content of his and was dragged into a three day debate on vegan diet) and respect them all. I have learned a lot from them in furtherance of my own nutrition education.
If you need help going vegan, or are already vegan and want to make sure you are doing it right... I can help!
So there you have it, three myths dispelled about veganism and whether it is healthy or not.
If you have any questions or would like to suggest more plant based Dr's to add to my list please leave a comment!
Part 2 is live now.... check it out >> https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/is-veganism-healthy-part-2-of-3
If you have a question or myth you would like me to answer or bust... let me know in the comments below too!
P.S. Have you checked out my latest Youtube video? You can do that by CLICKING HERE.
P.P.S. Also, if you need extra help and motivation you can join my FREE Facebook group by CLICKING HERE.
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