How healthy is veganism? Just as with omnivorous and vegetarian diets, ensuring a balanced diet is a key. There are plenty of advantages, but there are some higher risks too. Some people actually choose to go vegan exactly because of health reasons. But to blindly follow a vegan doctrine can have sad consequences too, therefore a well-planned diet supplemented by some nutrients is recommended.
World renowned cardiologist shatters human omnivore myth in one sentence:
William C. Roberts MD has five decades of experience in the field of cardiology, written over 1300 scientific publications, a dozen cardiology textbooks, and has been editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology for a quarter of a century. He is arguably the most highly regarded cardiologist in the world today.
In his 2008 editorial "The Cause of Atherosclerosis", published in the peer reviewed journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Roberts states that there is a single, sole cause to heart disease: cholesterol. If your total cholesterol is below 150 and LDL is below 70, you are essentially heart attack proof. What is the cause of high cholesterol? Saturated fat and animal products:
Atherosclerosis is easily produced in nonhuman herbivores (eg, rabbits, monkeys) by feeding them a high cholesterol (eg, egg yolks) or high saturated fat (eg, animal fat) diet… And atherosclerosis was not produced in a minority of rats fed these diets, it was produced in 100% of the animals! Indeed, atherosclerosis is one of the easiest diseases to produce experimentally, but the experimental animal must be an herbivore. It is not possible to produce atherosclerosis in a carnivore…"
He elaborates in an earlier editorial:
It is virtually impossible, for example, to produce atherosclerosis in a dog even when 100 grams of cholesterol and 120 grams of butter fat are added to its meat ration. (This amount of cholesterol is approximately 200 times the average amount that human beings in the USA eat each day!). (The American Journal of Cardiology, 1990, vol. 66,896.)
He then utterly annihilates the human omnivore myth in a single sentence. here it is:
- Because humans get atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis is a disease only of herbivores, humans also must be herbivores.
At once the insanity of our times comes into razor sharp relief.
Some may debate whether cholesterol is the sole cause of heart disease. It does not matter, the fact remains that atherosclerosis occurs only in herbivores.
If humans were physiological omnivores, heart disease would not exist, let alone be America's #1 killer for over a hundred years.
It may not be the least bit hyperbolic to say that the existence of heart disease in humans is proof that we, as a species, are vegans.
In any case, a low fat vegan diet has been proven again and again to be the cure for heart disease. A mountain of clinical evidence supports this.
According to Roberts, those who are utterly immune to heart disease without the use of statin drugs are pure vegetarian fruit eaters. His own exact words. fruit eaters.
...The seemingly never ending question vegans have to answer is: Where do you get your protein? The common question belies much ignorance regarding protein and our needs for it.
The World Health Organization recommendation is minimum 0.8 grams of protein per day per kilo of body weight. For example a woman who weighs 94 lbs = 43 kg needs 43 x 0.8g = 34 grams protein. This amount can easily be met on a vegan diet that adequately meets the persons caloric needs. A general recommendation for women is 2500 calories per day and for men 3000 calories per day. These will of course vary depending upon amount of physical activity. It should also be noted that an argument can be made in favor of the natural, easily digestible amino acids found in raw fruits and vegetables which provide higher quality protein than that found in cooked foods because the cooking process has rendered some of the proteins in the food unusable or actually converted them into toxic substances that the body will have to eliminate. In addition there are a variety of problems which arise when too much protein is ingested in the diet.
- Extra proteins can cause kidney problems in people. A diet with too much protein stresses the kidneys. This can also result in the development of kidney stones.
- Another important side effect of too much protein is the accumulation of ketones in the blood, a condition that is known as ketosis. The kidneys flush out excess proteins along with water, which can lead to dehydration, thus making you feel weak and tired.
- The amount of calcium required by the body increases with the amount of protein consumed. If your body in unable to get the minimum required calcium, it will start leeching out calcium from the body. This condition can become worse and lead to osteoporosis, where the bones tend to become brittle and break easily. While handling excess protein, kidneys become unable to process uric acid quickly, thus leading to gout, a type of arthritis. Uric acid accumulates in the joints, hence causing pain and tenderness.
- High protein foods that come from animal sources are very high in fats. Excess fat can lead to a rise in cholesterol, eventually putting you at a greater risk of developing heart disease. In case the high protein foods are high in calories, you are likely to gain weight easily.
- Studies show that women who consume excess proteins are more likely to have broken wrists, as compared to women who eat less protein. Other side effects of too much protein include hypertension, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, diabetes, cataracts, arteriosclerosis, different kinds of allergies and increase in the acid content in the blood.
Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin for our nervous system. There are varying opinions about whether vegans (and non-vegans) need to take supplements. If you're vegan and you have your blood tested it's good to tell the medical personal to also check for B12 levels. Check our detailed article about B12 for more information.
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