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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 04:31
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default 'I gave up veganism and my health improved instantly'

'I gave up veganism and my health improved instantly'

Although many advocates of veganism remain healthy, after two years of health issues, I’m admitting defeat – and I’m not alone


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-...oved-instantly/

Quote:
A couple of years ago, veganism was booming. I was editing a glossy vegan food magazine and every day brought more plant-based product launches and glowing Instagram stars proffering raw Buddha bowls.

I too went vegan in the summer of 2016, aged 45 – after years as a vegetarian with an abiding love for animals, it seemed ridiculous to keep eating eggs and dairy when alternatives made from soy, pea protein and lentils were suddenly available. I had constant access to health information, and a cabinet rattling with supplements.

What I didn’t have, unfortunately, was any understanding of how veganism would affect my health. Despite reading glowing reports from other vegans of how their energy had increased, I was tired for hours every day after waking. My hair was dry and brittle. My gums bled, I caught colds and felt low much of the time.

Nickel allergy

It took two years of inexplicable skin rashes and pain before I was diagnosed with a severe nickel allergy – a mineral in abundant supply in soy, pulses, beans and wholegrains. My entire diet, effectively. I had no idea that nickel allergy existed, but the NHS dietician I was finally assigned told me that she was seeing increasing numbers of patients developing it after turning vegan. It’s hard to cut out nickel entirely – but meat, fish, eggs and dairy contain none.

Despite my moral reservations, the specialist told me that I had to stop being vegan. I braved a piece of fish, and was amazed by its deliciousness. I introduced prawns, salmon, tuna and mackerel to my diet, along with eggs and cheese. Within a few days, my low mood lifted and my energy returned. I felt like taking long walks again, and over the months, my hair was thicker, and my skin less rash-prone, too. Most importantly, I slept better.

Are we risking our wellbeing?

A few years into the vegan revolution, it seems, the uneaten chickens are coming home to roost. Increasingly, dieticians and GPs are expressing concern that in the stampede to save the planet, we may be risking our wellbeing. Last week, it was reported that Cheltenham Ladies’ College has taken the unprecedented step of giving regular blood tests to newly vegan pupils to maintain health and prevent eating disorders such as anorexia, often linked to highly restrictive diets.

And though many advocates remain healthy, others, like me, are admitting defeat. Singer Miley Cyrus recently revealed that she’d reverted to a less restricted diet.

“I’ve had to introduce fish and omegas into my life because my brain wasn’t functioning properly,” she said.

Despite following “the strictest [vegan diet] you’ve ever known” for six years, other health issues reared up, including hip pain and a feeling of malnourishment. She reluctantly gave in and ate fish, cooked by her ex-husband, actor Liam Hemsworth – also no longer vegan, after suffering agonising kidney stones from excess oxalates, found in beans and spinach.

Actress Anne Hathaway has also spoken about her change of heart after going vegan – she “just didn’t feel good or healthy”.


When people don’t listen to the experts

Dietician Jane Clarke accepts that cutting down on meat can be beneficial for health, but is concerned by veganism’s wholesale promotion by bloggers, rather than health experts.

“It’s great that there is now a much wider range of non-meat sources of protein, but the power of social media and supermarkets to influence our food choices needs to be combined with scientific evidence,” she warns, adding that the trend for highly processed vegan food with lots of sugar, fats and salt added to make them tasty shows “you can easily be unhealthy as a vegan”.

Clarke says the evidence still points to the health benefits of a balanced diet – including a limited amount of animal protein and dairy. Research recently published in the journal BMC Medicine found the lowest mortality rates in those eating up to 80g meat a day. “Calcium-rich foods including cow’s milk are proven to be beneficial to bone health and help produce anti-cancer substances such as butyrate. The fact is, meat is a great source of easily accessible protein.”

GP Noreen Nguru, founder of whatthedoctorrecommends.com, says deficiencies of nutrients and vitamins are “common among new and even established vegans, and include micronutrients deficiencies in vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc – all responsible for building strong immune systems and protecting against bone fractures, high blood pressure and fatigue.”

She adds: “Vegans are also at a much higher risk of developing a Vitamin-B12 deficiency which, if left untreated at a significant deficit for too long, can potentially cause irreversible neurological effects such as paresthesia (numbness or tingling in the hands and feet), co-ordination difficulties and even problems with memory.”

Such deficiencies can be prevented with careful supplementation – essential for healthy veganism – but some argue that nutrients and vitamins can be harder for the body to absorb this way. In one study by Oxford University published in 2010, half the vegans in the sample were B12 deficient.

“The implications of diving into a meat-free, egg-free and dairy-free diet without adequate preparation and research are likely to bring more harm than good,” says Nguru. And though she agrees that meat and dairy consumption have been linked to problems such as bowel cancer, “there are several less restrictive diets that offer heart-protective benefits and reduce the risk of cancer, such as low carb and Mediterranean diets rich in omega 3 and good fats.”

A return to meat

Life coach Bianca Reimer, 41, went vegan in 2011, having been largely vegetarian. Despite taking all the recommended supplements as a vegan, including omegas and B12, “I kept craving lamb and chicken,” she recalls. Though she initially felt better, “my energy was still very depleted and my acupuncturist suggested I should eat eggs and meat again. I added salmon, and then I got pregnant after two years of trying. I also started eating chicken and felt so much better for it.”

After returning to meat, she adds, “the impact on my mental and physical wellbeing was close to immediate. But I don’t think there’s a one-diet-fits-all approach. Each of us should eat whatever suits us at different stages of life.”

Currently, 87 per cent of the UK population still eats meat, while 7 per cent are vegetarian and 4 per cent are, like me, pescatarian; between 1 and 2 per cent are vegan. Many ex-vegans find vegetarianism a more successful refuge. Sophia Husbands had a failed attempt at veganism in 2018.

“I did Veganuary for my health,” says Husbands, 41, founder of wellbeing site LoveHappyBody, “but I started to get run down, and developed mouth ulcers in just a month. I felt dizzy and it turned out my iron levels were very low.”

Last year she went vegetarian, and says she’s found the diet much more sustainable. “I’ve lost weight and my skin has improved. But I try to keep a balance now, and I’m wary of totally eliminating anything, as I think that can spark intolerances. If I craved meat or fish, I would return to it.”
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 05:45
Benay's Avatar
Benay Benay is offline
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Plan: Protein Power/Atkins
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Demi, thanks for this post
You are well read and articulate to boot
Good informative read
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 07:38
BawdyWench's Avatar
BawdyWench BawdyWench is offline
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Plan: Keto
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Quote:
The fact is, meat is a great source of easily accessible protein

Well, there's a penetrating glimpse into the obvious.

Quote:
And though she agrees that meat and dairy consumption have been linked to problems such as bowel cancer ...

Operative word here is "linked." If meat caused bowel cancer, I don't believe we would have thrived (or even survived) as a species.

Our newspaper has a food section. It is 99% devoted to vegan and plant-based recipes, restaurants, and lifestyle. I was amazed this past weekend to see an article on the first page of that section highlighting a food truck that serves meat-filled meals. I don't expect to see another one like it for a very long time.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 08:53
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is online now
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Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BawdyWench
Well, there's a penetrating glimpse into the obvious.

Operative word here is "linked." If meat caused bowel cancer, I don't believe we would have thrived (or even survived) as a species.

Our newspaper has a food section. It is 99% devoted to vegan and plant-based recipes, restaurants, and lifestyle. I was amazed this past weekend to see an article on the first page of that section highlighting a food truck that serves meat-filled meals. I don't expect to see another one like it for a very long time.

Agreed, and I've put in bold the most important statement in the quote above. Most of these "findings" and "studies" are epidemiological which can merely associate the broad variety of foods eaten with the health issue; yet, meat (mostly red) is usually picked out of the lineup as the culprit. It's in vogue today to vilify meat and favor plant-based anything regardless of how unhealthy it might be to the individual. Unfortunately, some are learning that vegan, vegetarianism, and plant-based can be very damaging to health if certain measures aren't taken. Including meat as the primary protein source makes a diet much easier to manage without dependencies on the supplement science necessary to maintain one's trajectory toward a reasonably long life span.
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 09:43
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 11,615
 
Plan: P:E/DDF/LC-DrWestman
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Location: NC
Default

A favorite meme on meat:
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File Type: jpeg IMG_1002.jpeg (34.9 KB, 20 views)
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 11:23
Benay's Avatar
Benay Benay is offline
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Plan: Protein Power/Atkins
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Default

I went to our Natural Foods store to pick up my freshly ground almond butter
and was impressed again
that 90% of the store is vegan - mostly carbohydrates - protein source is chicken.
And they sincerely believe that they are a "health food" store.
Most of the customers would agree.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Oct-12-20, 19:06
Bob-a-rama's Avatar
Bob-a-rama Bob-a-rama is offline
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Plan: Keto (Atkins Induction)
Stats: 235/171/185 Male 5' 11"
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Default

Thanks Demi for all your informative posts.

I figure it this way:

1) I have the teeth of an omnivore

2) I have the digestive enzymes of an omnivore

3) I have the alimentary canal of an omnivore

4) There are 7 essential nutrients you can't get from plants

So why should I even consider being a vegan? I don't.

Plus this 'save the earth' is complete propagana.

There are zillions of acres of grassland on the planet. To grow vegetable crops on this land would necessitate exorbitantly huge amounts of fertilizer, herbicide, and water. And the fertilizer industry produces 100 times the methane than all the cow farts and burps on the planet combined (per the Environmental Defense Fund and a major university).

In contrast, grazing animals have prospored on these grasslands for millions of years with nothing but what mother nature provides. Example -- the North American Bison population was in the billions. The bisons ate the grass, and in turn fertilized the grass with their excrement.

Eating 100% grass-fed beef saves the planet. Eating corn fed beef is bad for the planet because of the growing of corn. The veggie propaganda mill won't point that out.

For lunch I had a 100% grass-fed in Florida (my home state) burger with Kerry Gold grass-fed cheese on a zero carb bagel. I helped the environment as I helped my health and my taste buds.

Bob
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Oct-13-20, 06:35
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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The link to bowel cancer......

I'm high risk and while some poo-poo this "link", we forget "meat" is not just animal protein but also everything else an animal is fed. Grasses have not changed much but the grains are another thing. Nearly all soybean is GMO. And corn.....and wheat.... neither is the same grain genetically as long ago. And the pesticides.... that gets eaten and absorbed into the fats.

Quality matters. Meats have become potential carcinogens all because of their feed.
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