Is Veganism Healthy (Part 2 of 3)
Part 2 of my "Is Veganism Healthy?" series is here to drop some more truth bombs on you.
If you haven't checked out part 1 - I suggest you do that before you read through part 2.
You can check out part 1 by CLICKING HERE.
So let's get on to part 2....
4. But There Are Certain Properties That Only Meat Has
Yeah like cholesterol... which has strong links to heart disease in excess and our body is perfectly capable of making the right amount on its own.
Oh and parasites, microplastics and mercury which can be found in fish.
Yes that's right... we have messed up our oceans so much that now with each bit of fish you are getting a dose of microplastic.
There are no magical properties you get from meat that you can't get from plants.
As I mention in part 1, due to intensive animal agriculture B12 supplements are given to livestock to make sure that there is 'enough' in their flesh for when you eat it... and even then people who eat meat can and still do develop deficiencies.
So in fact, meat eaters are supplementing via a third party.
Plus, these days there have been a couple of vegan B12 sources discovered such as nutritional yeast, vegemite, certain types of mushrooms and some seaweed.
If you are worried about DHA & EPA you can choose to consume a DHA algae supplement that doesn't go rancid like fish oil does. BUT our body can convert DHA & EPA from ALA if you eat good plant based sources of fat such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, pepitas, coconut yoghurt, nuts, sunflower seeds and avocado.
Vitamin D can be found in meat, but we also get vitamin D from sunlight. Depending on your skin and where you live, you might be worried about sun exposure, which is understandable. However this fear should be balanced out with the risk of getting diseases like osteoporosis and rickets. A small amount of sun exposure out of peak times will allow vitamin D to be produced.
Heme iron was once declared the 'better source of iron' and a reason why we must eat meat.
But how many meat eaters do you see with iron deficiency these days, when most people are eating meat two or three meals per day?
Iron deficiency is on the rise, despite consumption of meat... so what is going on?
There can be a lot of factors that impact iron absorption including poor gut health, stress, and consuming coffee or tea with meals.
Dairy is another big blocker of iron absorption.
Yes heme iron is better absorbed by your body than the iron found in plants... but at what cost?
Recent studies have shown an increase in heme iron and links to cancer, heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome! (Information on this study can be found by clicking here), and another study linked it to esophageal cancer (click here).
To improve the absorption of iron from plant foods it is advised to have it with a high vitamin c food. Like squeezing some lemon juice on your salad.
It really is as simple as that.
So while yes there are some 'properties' that only meat has... they tend to come with some dramatic down sides.
5. But There Are No Fully Vegan Civilisations
While this may be true (for now... watch this space), there have been no civilisations that eat a diet like what ours has evolved to in the last 50 years either.
Most people rely on a lot of processed and packaged foods.
And our health is suffering for it.
Convenience and taste are people's top priorities when it comes to food. When they should be health and function.
It is true that there haven't been any fully vegan civilisations but there have been some that have come pretty close.
If you look at the Blue Zones, those areas with the highest average living age... they predominantly eat a plant based diet.
The Okinawans ate a primarily plant based diet, they did consume small amounts of fish from time to time. But now our oceans have been degraded and polluted so much that fish isn't a wise choice.
Loma Linda in California is a Seventh Day Adventist city and the highest ranked city for longevity in the USA. They predominantly have a fully plant based diet.
Sardinia, Nicoya Peninsula and Icaria in Greece also make the list and they all have a predominantly plant based diet.
This Venn diagram shows the overlap in the similarities of three of the Blue Zones.
So while there hasn't been any 100% vegan civilizations, we seem to do a lot better when we consume a lot less animal products.
Obesity rates drop, our health improves, we live longer and are healthier and more able bodied into old age.
6. You Have To Eat A Lot Of Soy On A Vegan Diet... And It Is Full Of Hormones
I'm sorry but this is a load of crap.
If you are currently eating animal products, but are worried about phytoestrogens in soy... well I have news for you.
Dairy - think about it - is breast milk from a cow. She has just given birth to her calf and her milk will be full of hormones designed to give her baby calf the nutrition it needs to survive after birth and grow into a 400 pound cow.
You do not want to grow into a 400 pound cow.
We are the only species on earth that consumes the milk of another species, long after we should have weaned.
And this is messing us up!
PCOS and endometriosis risk both have been linked to dairy consumption (more information here), along with increased incidence of acne, cancer (specifically breast and prostate cancer) risk due to high levels of IGF1 growth factor (study here).
And don't even get me started on the links between dairy and autoimmune disease. As a vegetarian of 10 years, my health was in the toilet. I went whole food plant based vegan and ditched dairy and have never felt better in my life!
Then there are all the hormones given to animals to get them to grow quicker....
When you consume their flesh and fat, you take those hormones in.
But here you are worrying about some phytoestrogen in soy??
If you have a soy allergy, by all means avoid soy. There are plenty of vegans who do.
There is no 'you have to eat soy' rule when you become vegan.
I might have some tofu like once or twice per week, and a little bit of soy milk in my coffee (but I haven't even been having that lately cause coffee has made me feel sick during my pregnancy).
Obviously if you sit there and eat a kilo of tofu and drink a litre of soy milk that would be a bit silly. But no one bats an eyelid when people sit there and have a whole cheese and chocolate platter, some ice cream and a big glass of milk, which would give you way more hormones... just sayin'
Plus, if you are eating a lot of processed foods.... guess what?
Read the ingredients...
A lot, and I mean a lot of chips, bars, sauces, packet meals all contain SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE.
So it seems a little bit naive to stress over a little bit of tofu or a small amount of soy milk, when the standard diet literally will have way more hormone exposure through dietary intakes then a sensible vegan diet.
I also made this video a little while ago about why people should stop hating on soy. It is worth checking out....
If you need help planning a well rounded vegan diet, I can help you! Be sure to check out my Transition & 28 Day Vegan Shred programs... or if you want extra one on one support, and a personalised meal plan... then private coaching might be for you.
Also... I'm currently having a 35% off sale on Transition, the 28 Day Vegan Shred and my recipe books until Saturday the 8th of September only. Simply use the code YAYSPRING at the checkout!
So there you have it, three myths dispelled about veganism and whether it is healthy or not.
Part 3 is live now... you can check it out here >> https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/is-veganism-healthy-part-3-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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