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#1 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!!
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#2 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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http://feastingonfitness.blogspot.co...ut-part-1.html
http://feastingonfitness.blogspot.co...ut-part-2.html

hth

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#3 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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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.
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#4 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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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)

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#5 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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*(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.

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
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#7 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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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. =)

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#8 of 41 Old 05-29-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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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:

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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.

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#9 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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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.
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#10 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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veg*n is shorthand for vegetarian or vegan.

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#11 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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veg*n is shorthand for vegetarian or vegan.
But how is that any shorter than just writing out "vegan"? Still five letters or spaces.
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#12 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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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 ..."
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#13 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 01:13 AM
 
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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?
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#14 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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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.

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#15 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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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!
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#16 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!!
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#17 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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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!
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#18 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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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.

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#20 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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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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#21 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I need this thread as it is very helpful to me. I usually say go for what makes you feel best, but do look at all symptoms. Going TF, and eating meat again after 8 years was good/bad for me. I am one to take things to the extreme. I ate tons of meat and dairy and felt terrible. I also felt terrible on vegan diet. I am now coming to the balance of some of each. I am also not eating alot of meat now that the warm weather is here and I am just not craving it.

I also read too many books and am totally convinced by the author and feel I am doomed if I don't follow. I read that soy is good for you and ate tons of soy and developed thyroid problems. Then I read about raw milk and drank gallons to wrap around the globe and learned I am very allergic to dairy, and my kids are suffering from it. Why oh why can't I just trust my body and the signs it is telling me?

I agree that meat that is raised right is the only way to go, but that is just way too expensive for me, and we are allergic to eggs. So I have had to learn how to eat healthy as a vegan and really appreciate the small amount of animal products I consume.
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#22 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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The book Real Food by Nina Planck talks a lot about what the literature says about the importance (or lack of importance) of blood cholesterol levels, in addition to lots of other great info about nutrition. Just as in childbirth, the common wisdom regarding nutrition is not necessarily supported by the scientific studies.

I'd highly recommend the book. It's well researched and includes some surprising conclusions.

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#23 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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...and it is always important to remember that genetics DO play a part in your health.

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#24 of 41 Old 05-30-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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What I like about TF isn't necessarily that it encourages eating meat and animal products (although a good steak has tasted great lately ). My favorite element is that it's about eating food that's made from food. Not from additives, or preservatives, or who knows what else. Just food, the way our great-great-grandparents made and ate it. Food that has the most nutrients possible to help you maintain your health. I do think there is a different balance for everyone and that the balance can change based on where in life you are at the time and what types of nutrients your body needs. So, really, I think as long as your food is FOOD and you feel good eating it then it's right for you .

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#25 of 41 Old 05-31-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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Please don't tell me most vegans consider even the name for their lifestyle so holy that it cannot be fully written.
For some reason this made me laugh. I remembering briefly wondering the same thing the first time I saw it.
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#26 of 41 Old 05-31-2010, 07:46 AM
 
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You could also as over in the veg*n forum ans see what kind of responses you get there as you will surely get alot of meat eating advisers here.
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#27 of 41 Old 05-31-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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What I like about TF isn't necessarily that it encourages eating meat and animal products (although a good steak has tasted great lately ). My favorite element is that it's about eating food that's made from food. Not from additives, or preservatives, or who knows what else. Just food, the way our great-great-grandparents made and ate it. Food that has the most nutrients possible to help you maintain your health. I do think there is a different balance for everyone and that the balance can change based on where in life you are at the time and what types of nutrients your body needs. So, really, I think as long as your food is FOOD and you feel good eating it then it's right for you .
Very true! The Nourishing Traditions book is very animal-food heavy, but that doesn't mean that every person eating from a TF perspective must have a heavy emphasis animal foods. I do think that some animal foods are necessary for most people, but how much is widely varying across the population.
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#28 of 41 Old 05-31-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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What I like about TF isn't necessarily that it encourages eating meat and animal products (although a good steak has tasted great lately ). My favorite element is that it's about eating food that's made from food. Not from additives, or preservatives, or who knows what else. Just food, the way our great-great-grandparents made and ate it. Food that has the most nutrients possible to help you maintain your health. I do think there is a different balance for everyone and that the balance can change based on where in life you are at the time and what types of nutrients your body needs. So, really, I think as long as your food is FOOD and you feel good eating it then it's right for you .
This is the most important thing! Actual food, with no chemicals in or on it. Animals on pasture, veggies organic. That, and listening to your body. I've been vegetarian and a traditional foodie as my body changes. I've learned I can't be healthy on idealism, I have to listen to my body. I think offering your kids a variety of healthy foods and making sure they get a lot of exercise is the best we can do as parents. Their bodies and needs will change as they grow too, we just need to respond to that.
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#29 of 41 Old 05-31-2010, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Absolutely great advice. I am going to focus on REAL food and listen to what everyone in my family wants. If ds wants meat - then he will have it. It is certainly better than giving him processed food. I read so much about nutrition and it can really get overwhelming. I start to wonder if I am doing the right thing. I think balance, moderation and real food is all I need to focus on.
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#30 of 41 Old 05-31-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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It's all about the nutrients.

It's impossible to be vegan and get enough of the extremely important fat soluble vitamins: A, D and K2 that are the keys to mineral absorption. You can eat plants with lots of minerals all day and you simply will not absorb them if you don't have these key fat soluble vitamins. Just like you can drink skim milk all day and won't absorb calcium well without the saturated fat and natural A and D vitamins in the milkfat.

And for example, true Vitamin A found only in animal foods is not beta carotene found only in plants. According to the Institute of Medicine conversion of beta carotene to true vitamin A, a medium carrot will not even give you 1/5th the daily RDA for vitamin A. And Weston Price's research reveals the RDA to be a joke.

To compare with the one China Study, Weston Price visited over 40 traditional populations eating extensively varied foods across the globe. Yet the healthy, perfectly formed humans (no cavities, straight teeth, wide faces) all ate pretty much the same in terms of nutrients: 10x the amount of fat soluble vitamins and 5x the amount of minerals and water soluble vits b/c animal foods were heavily eaten. I find his research much more convincing.

When I was veg*n (mostly vegan sometimes vegetarian) I collected tons of cavities despite eating very healthy lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, soy and nuts. It ruined my health in other ways.

If you read Weston Price's book, he tried hard to find a healthy vegan traditional population, because he inherently thought plant eating was healthiest, but he couldn't do it. The ones he found were all sick. And the healthy vegetarian populations were ones that ate lots of pastured dairy including lots of butterfat, and pastured eggs. Or people who went out of their way, travelling great distances to get seafood/fish eggs but otherwise ate veg*n b/c of where they lived inland.

The biggest glaring error The China Study missed either intentionally or not in the traditional Okinawan diet: lard. It was not low fat or low animal!

The instinctive nature of eating present in all these populations really spoke to me, even though their foods were so different they just knew what was most nutritious (such as super high nutrient dense organ meats which we modern humans with our worship of cakes, cookies, donuts, etc. turn our noses up at).

When Price asked why they ate certain foods (such as fish eggs or up to a dozen egg yolks a day to prepare for pregnancy) several populations answered in a way that was deeply moving to me: "So we can have healthy babies".

We are having less and less healthy babies these days with the shocking amount of children today suffering from autism, asthma, allergies, etc. more than ever in our recent history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelilah View Post
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
This is true, most populations Weston Price studied ate little meat... but what they did eat daily from animals is lots of fat which supplied the important fat soluble vits. And high mineral content from bone broths and/or raw milk which provided amino acids in abundance which reduced the body's need for a lot of protein.

I think today people read Nourishing Traditions and mistakenly conclude one has to eat a lot of meat, that's not true for most people... it's the animal fat that's most important. Organ meats, egg yolks, cheese, butter, cream, lard, tallow, fatty shellfish, fish eggs: these are the most nutritionally dense foods in our food chain and what traditional people across the globe used to stock their bodies with the nutrition it naturally is meant to run on.

As far as heart disease and cholesterol goes, high omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) oils such as corn, cottonseed, canola, safflower, sunflower and soy are the true culprits. The PUFAs are unnaturally incorporated into the cells and make the cell walls "flabby". We human animals are meant to eat saturated fats, most especially children with developing brains... the brain is comprised of mostly saturated fats.

And also the elephant in the room is sugar and processed foods.
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