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talk me out of going vegan

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I used to be semivegetarian and never felt well. A few years ago, I started converting to TF and have been feeling so much better with the extra fats. Tonight we are having moose steaks.

But a friend just lent me The China Study. I'm not sure if anyone has read the book - but he advocates a completely vegan diet. His research showed low protein and low fat reversed heart disease, cancer and many autoimmune diseases. He found that even if you ate more calories, you never got obese because your body converts plant proteins to heat rather than fat. He states animal protein, particulary casein, is the catalyst for cancer and all sorts of problems. He really bashes all forms of dairy. His diet is completely plant based with no animal products at all, very low fat (10-15%) and low protein (<10% and preferably more around 5%).

After reading with a skeptical mind, I am still feeling somewhat guilty. THe thought that I am setting up my children and/or my husband to have chronic conditions really scares me. There is so much heart disease and cancer in our genes and dh is already with borderline high cholesterol.

I do remember how yucky I felt when I ate high carb and low fat - all the blood sugar swings and depression - even ammennorea.
Can you guys give me some valid info agains vegan diets to stop the guilty feelings.
Thanks!!
post #2 of 41
http://feastingonfitness.blogspot.co...ut-part-1.html
http://feastingonfitness.blogspot.co...ut-part-2.html

hth
post #3 of 41
No, don't go completely vegan! You need at least small amounts of animal foods to make many more nutrients in plant foods more available. Even if it's just a tiny amount, that tiny amount makes a huge difference. If you feel led to cut back that is fine, but I wouldn't put so much pressure on yourself to cut it completely out of your life when really a little is vital.
post #4 of 41
No, I think you should! Hey! Who let me in here?!

You can get a lot of 'info' contradicting The China Study and advocating for a TF diet. But that doesn't mean The China Study is wrong (also doesn't necessarily mean TF is 'wrong'). There is simply a lot of contradictory evidence about what is the healthiest diet.

Personally I am veg*n. I would NEVER feel comfortable feeding my family high amounts of animal proteins, especially dairy. It's not about what may be healthiest - it's about what is definitely UNhealthiest.

I can cite study after study after study showing that a high protein, high animal-protein, or high dairy diet is detrimental to health in a hundred different ways. There just aren't studies showing the same things about plants!* Plant food is *definitely NOT* unhealthy! That combined with the mountain of evidence showing that a whole foods veg*n diet is optimal for health and well being, and that the ADA endorses a veg diet for all stages of life including pregnancy/lactation, childhood, and for athletes, is enough for me to be confident feeding my family veg.

Just my 0.02 cents. I know I'm about to get flamed in here but I mean no disrespect. I'm just stating my own point of view based on many years of research (and a degree in biology). I'm not interested in arguing on the internet and MDC wont allow us to anyway.

*(the exception MAY be soy, which is also controversial, but you can *easily* be a soy-free veg*n) (you can also be a low starch/simple carb veg*n if you desire)
post #5 of 41
But if you knew that something as tiny as a sardine or egg a day would make such a huge difference in health and nutrients, why completely cut it out?
Release the feelings of guilt--there is really no reason to title the way we eat and lock ourselves in a corner.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayward View Post
*(the exception MAY be soy, which is also controversial, but you can *easily* be a soy-free veg*n) (you can also be a low starch/simple carb veg*n if you desire)
You can also be a soy free Traditional Foods veg*n, encorporating the practices of fermentation, soaking etc into your diet.

Coconut milk and coconut oil can make all the difference to a veg*n diet imo. My sil is vegan and her health has been impacted so positively by adding CO and coconut milk on a daily basis. She's also starting to make kimchi and soak her beans/nuts/seeds. She's looking into making coconut milk kefir, and makes her own almond milk instead of drinking soy milk!

I personally don't believe that animal protein/fat is bad for you, but if it will help you stress less, give it a try for a couple of months. If TF veg*n doesn't make you feel healthier, than it's not for you. Simple as that.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_earthmomma View Post
You can also be a soy free Traditional Foods veg*n, encorporating the practices of fermentation, soaking etc into your diet.

Coconut milk and coconut oil can make all the difference to a veg*n diet imo. My sil is vegan and her health has been impacted so positively by adding CO and coconut milk on a daily basis. She's also starting to make kimchi and soak her beans/nuts/seeds. She's looking into making coconut milk kefir, and makes her own almond milk instead of drinking soy milk!

I personally don't believe that animal protein/fat is bad for you, but if it will help you stress less, give it a try for a couple of months. If TF veg*n doesn't make you feel healthier, than it's not for you. Simple as that.
Oh I totally agree! That's why I hang out here in this forum. I love many of the techniques of nutrition-enhancement associated with TF, and I believe that at least for me, right now (I'm breastfeeding), a diet high in healthy fats is ideal. I love coconut oil and milk and will be making my own coconut yogurt and kefir. I soak my grains and brew kombucha and just bought Wild Fermentation - I can't wait to begin fermenting veggies!

I think it's totally possible to be a [little t, little f] traditional foods veg*n. =)
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Can you guys give me some valid info agains vegan diets to stop the guilty feelings.
I'm not a research/information guru, but how about these:

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlight mom View Post
I used to be semivegetarian and never felt well. A few years ago, I started converting to TF and have been feeling so much better with the extra fats.
Quote:
I do remember how yucky I felt when I ate high carb and low fat - all the blood sugar swings and depression - even ammennorea.
I'm not going to argue for or against TV or vegetarian/vegan...but it sounds as though veg isn't the right answer for you.
post #9 of 41
Just slightly off topic here, but someone please explain to me-- what's the deal with writing the word vegan as "veg*n" ? It reminds me of how orthodox Jews will not write out the word "God" because it somehow defiles it, it is so holy they write "G-d".

Please don't tell me most vegans consider even the name for their lifestyle so holy that it cannot be fully written. I've never seen any other group do that unless they are looking to get around spam filters in my e-mail. Looking to learn something new here, honest.

Thanks, and have a good night.
post #10 of 41
veg*n is shorthand for vegetarian or vegan.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagewinna View Post
veg*n is shorthand for vegetarian or vegan.
But how is that any shorter than just writing out "vegan"? Still five letters or spaces.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by snguyen View Post
But how is that any shorter than just writing out "vegan"? Still five letters or spaces.
It encompasses both groups, so you don't have to write "Vegetarians and vegans ..."
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post
It encompasses both groups, so you don't have to write "Vegetarians and vegans ..."
Ah. So I am guessing you still say it "vegan" and not "vehjan" to make it sound more vegetarian inclusive?
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by snguyen View Post
Ah. So I am guessing you still say it "vegan" and not "vehjan" to make it sound more vegetarian inclusive?
I don't think you say it. The same way you'd never say "my dd", but you write it on here all the time...it's just a shorthand thing.
post #15 of 41
All animal products are not created equal. There is a world of difference between a diseased, malnourished, corn-fed feedlot cow and a grass-fed, healthy, outdoor cow. Likewise eggs; a battery hen crammed in a cage being fed GM corn and feedlot cow poop isn't going to produce as nutritious an egg as a hen eating a healthy omnivore's diet in your backyard.

A lot of the problems that modern vegans ascribe to meat are related to industrial meat production. If you're getting your meat/eggs/dairy from a reliable farmer who treats his animals well and feeds them whatever nature designed them to eat, then you're going to get nutrition and other benefits. If you're getting diseased feedlot products, then you're going to wind up with disease and toxic chemicals promoting cancer, heart disease, etc.

Of course everyone's nutritional needs are different too. Some people thrive on a vegetarian diet, some people need a lot of meat, and some people do best with a mix. Personally I like Thomas Jefferson's description of meat as "a condiment for the vegetables" - small amounts of meat rounding out a lot of veg is what works best for me (and I was a very strict vegetarian for 12 years). Your needs will also adapt with time and that's okay too. Just eat whatever you feel compelled to eat at any time, as long as it's real food!
post #16 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the awesome advice. I do think I need meat in my diet. Last night I had a small moose steak - caught by a hunter friend and immediately felt good. I have been a little run down and sometimes a good steak is what gets me going again. I

know that this diet may be best for me - I have always had low cholesterol and blood pressure, but I worry that because it may be best for me, it is not best for my family. My husband does have borderline high cholesterol. Everyone loved the steak last night -even my 15 mo daughter so I can't see cooking myself a steak while everyone else eats veggies and grains. DS loves meat and most of the time will eat only meat/veggies for a meal. He is not a big fan of brown rice or whole grains. Ahhh... I guess limit portions and buy only grassfed/organic meats is the answer. The only dairy we consume is butter/ghee, organic cream for coffee and milk kefir for the kiddos.
OK - I am going to let go of the guilt. Thanks for all the good advice and extra links!!
post #17 of 41
I really like what Michael Pollan said: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Note, not *all* plants, just mostly. I think it really depends what works for your body, and your needs over time may change. For every China Study out there, there's another book that says something different. Again, going back to Michael Pollan, he talks in the Omnivore's Dilemma about how North Americans are particularly susceptible to fad dieting and looking for some sort of ultimate food solution, the magic bullet if you will of diets that will fix everything wrong with us because we don't have any strong food traditions. We don't have a food culture to fall back on. We don't automatically eat what our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents ate, and so we look instead to the so-called experts for dietary guidance. And there are a lot of "experts" out there, all talking in contradictory absolutes (and hoping you will financially enrich them by buying their books, following their diet plans and/or consuming their supplements). I think the real expert is your body. If you feel better incorporating meat and dairy into your diet, eat them!
post #18 of 41
After much research and years of being a vegetarian and vegan I have come t the light! I have converted to nourishing quality animal foods Hence the QUALITY animal products!

If you feel horrible eating a vegetarian/ vegan diet isnt your body trying to tell you something? Your body was telling you it needed animal foods and ignoring it trust me I did it for years!

Read the book A Vegetarian Myth and Real Food!

I personally dont feel a Vegan diet is healthy for you! However that is just my opinion. What really made me questions my veganism was this. What have man and woman been eating and surviving on since the beginning of time?

I would read more books and do your own research and make a decision based on what you feel. However if your body does not agree with the diet the answer is right there.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelilah View Post
A lot of the problems that modern vegans ascribe to meat are related to industrial meat production. If you're getting your meat/eggs/dairy from a reliable farmer who treats his animals well and feeds them whatever nature designed them to eat, then you're going to get nutrition and other benefits. If you're getting diseased feedlot products, then you're going to wind up with disease and toxic chemicals promoting cancer, heart disease, etc.

The fat from a feed-lot cow is entirely, entirely different from the fat of a grass-fed animal! A serving of grass-fed beef has more omega-3's than a serving of farm-raised SALMON. You simply can't apply those studies from the book you read to the food you're eating; it's not the same food.

And the best indicator of what you need is your own body. When I had my first medium-rare steak, my body reacted like a pregnant woman in a craving fit. I had to keep eating it, long after I was full. It was the oddest thing. And I trust those really strong body signals. There are plenty of studies to support the health of traditionally raised and traditionally processed animal fats. I think Real Food has the best, most accessible and compelling summary.

All that said, do what feels best for you -- there's nothing wrong with experimenting.
post #20 of 41
I don't think you can go wrong by eating more plant foods, esp. green veggies. For some people, lots of meat/dairy is a good diet, for others, meat/dairy should be a condiment. For all of us, however, I think more plant-based food is a good idea. Go with what makes you feel good.
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