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Mar 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: I'm a big carnivore. But I watched "Forks over Knives" the other day - a documentary ...
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said:

I'm a big carnivore. But I watched "Forks over Knives" the other day - a documentary that talks about (and provides scientific research findings) eating a plant-based and whole grain diet with no meat, eggs or milk. The doctors in the documentary said that eating this way heals all sorts of diseases and gives you more energy. It sounds very appealing, but I imagine planning vegan meals will be very difficult, especially in the beginning. Any vegans out there who can attest to the health beneifts of such a diet? Do you really feel better or is this just a fad?

(If I try this, it would have to be a modified vegan diet that allows fish because life without sushi is just not worth living.)

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HI Lisa,

I'm going to answer this question from what I know of diet throughout time and our physiology and anatomy. We are omnivores. We have teeth for processing both meat and vegetable material. Our microbiomes are closer to carnivores than to herbivores on the whole. Our microbiomes are also amazing things that increase our ability to extract nutrients from our diets. For example, one of the things we have learned about the microbiome is that in those who carry more weight, they often have a greater number of bacteria whose function allows greater extraction of nutrients. This would have been wonderfully adaptive in times when food was scarce, sub-optimal or during feast and famine events. In our world, where food is available in great abundance so to speak, this becomes maladaptive leading to weight issues. Couple that with lots of processed and nutritionally devoid foods, it creates an issue. People who spend a long time eating a vegan diet often loose the ability to handle meat proteins and this can lead to health issues as well. Obtaining adequate nutrition froma vegan only meal can also be difficult, not impossible but difficult. I have over the years met a few students who were vegan, staunchly and they looked incredibly unhealthy. . .anemic, bleeding gums, poor hair, etc. They were failing to obtain all that they needed for their bodies. Not all vegans mind you but some, enough as a mother to be concerning.

Prior to hunting technologies, humans scavenged meat from the kills of other animals. Once hunting technology came along meat was obtainable, but with difficulty. Anyone who hunts knows that coming back everytime one goes out with something doesn't happen, some days nothing is bagged at all. Traditionally, young men and men in their prime hunted, everyone else gathered natural resources or were involved in small time horticulture, and hunting small game. This activity provides for the majority of the caloric intake of the group. Small game (meat) and gathered plant resources including nuts. Large game is generally shared throughout and is a minor contribution overall.

Those that hunted bison on the Plains opted for females and calves, which at first seems contrary to good maintenance of the herds, but, there is such a thing as protein toxicity -- too much lean meat causes health consequences. But, females and calves have a higher fat content, which is beneficial and add to that berries, wild vegetables etc provides a well balanced diet.

Once animal domestication occurred only about ten thousand years ago, meat became a far more reliable dietary element, and a broad, vegetable diet was replaced by a few domesticated varieties mostly grains. Many groups continued to supplement with gathered vegetables.

In the Americas we have what we call The Three sisters: corn, beans and cucurbits (squashes). Despite its popularity corn is not a good nutritional source unless it is combined with beans and squashes. All three planted together provide nutrients and protection for each other. Squash speads out along the ground protecting against soil erosion and moisture retention. Beans replace nitrogens in the soil and use the corn stalks to climb. The corn proveds some shade and an anchor.

Mutualistic relationships between hunters and farmers often develop in areas where humans have diverse environments, where hunters exchange meat for agricultural products.

Those who object to a meat based diet on the basis of cruelty may be disappointed in the future as some new research indicates plant likewise have some pretty intricate sensory systems and react to things that might "hurt" them. It will be interesting to see that research develop.

So in the long and short of that, we are omnivores by physiology, anatomy and practice. I think it is too early to suggest that strict vegan diets are truly so dramatic at "fixing" health problems especially those that are autoimmune related. These are too complex for a simplistic fix. And, autoimmune things often respond initially to something but the benefits are not always maintained. Having said that in our Western world and especially in the US we eat way too much, we are decidedly meat heavy and should be consuming far more fruits and vegetables, in fact these should be probably 70-90% of our diet, add to that our propensity to over clean and have highly processed convenience foods and we are creating our own issues. Not only that but instead of working to obtain our food through hunting, gathering and farming by hand, we try to pack our hard work into an hour at the gym. So I plan on keeping meat as part of my diet along with fruits and vegetables. I would however if I weren't the black death to plants love to grow my own vegetables like my dad did when we were kiddos.

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Mar 10th 2013 new
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Mar 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Janet-62904 said: While I am not a vegan, or vegetarian, one of my best friends has lymphoma. Along with the regular medica...
(Quote) Janet-62904 said: While I am not a vegan, or vegetarian, one of my best friends has lymphoma. Along with the regular medical things you go through, one Doctor told her to eat vegan, and her blood counts would improve. He challenged her to try it for 3 months and then review the results. in that period of time, her blood counts improved incredbly.

So I would just say that in her situation, with her health issues, it will extend her life.

I do make vegan meals when I have a dinner party and she is there. Everyone else likes it too... maybe not all the time, but at least at my house.
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My doctor did a nutritional presentation for me during my first visit. Basically, we should eat like Asians (who have the lowest cancer experience), and not like the USA. Stay away from four legged animals. Out of economics, this fall I stopped eating eggs, cheese, and meat for the most part, and it resolved some of my medical problems completely. Again, now out of economics, I haven't started buying meat again, and am watching the processed foods that I eat. So far, I draw the line on ice cream, though! laughing

I do try to eat more nuts and beans, for the protein. I really should be eating more dark berries, fruits and vegetables, though.

I did a lot of traveling this fall after putting all of my stuff in storage. Now that I am back in an apartment, it makes me realize how much food that I ate with empty calories (starches, such as pasta) with no proteins.

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Mar 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Peter-793888 said: Personally, I've made the decision to become a vegetarian, but before I do that I'm waiting for ...
(Quote) Peter-793888 said: Personally, I've made the decision to become a vegetarian, but before I do that I'm waiting for beef, pork, and chicken to be declared as vegetables. Until then ... :)
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LOL!

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Mar 10th 2013 new

I describe myself as a "strict omnivore", and I think eating a variety of foods is the way to go. I like a couple of Michael Pollan's food rules:


Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.

Don't eat anything your great-grandmother would not recognize as food. [I guess you have to go that far back...]


I'm not sure I follow that second rule to the letter, but I agree with the sentiment.

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Mar 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: I'm a big carnivore. But I watched "Forks over Knives" the other day - a documentary ...
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said:

I'm a big carnivore. But I watched "Forks over Knives" the other day - a documentary that talks about (and provides scientific research findings) eating a plant-based and whole grain diet with no meat, eggs or milk. The doctors in the documentary said that eating this way heals all sorts of diseases and gives you more energy. It sounds very appealing, but I imagine planning vegan meals will be very difficult, especially in the beginning. Any vegans out there who can attest to the health beneifts of such a diet? Do you really feel better or is this just a fad?

(If I try this, it would have to be a modified vegan diet that allows fish because life without sushi is just not worth living.)

--hide--


Hi Lisa! Last year and this year for Lent, I went vegan-ish. I maintain a vegan diet all days besides Wednesdays, which are my dairy days, and Sundays, which are my meat (or anything else I want) days. I don't find it difficult to go without meat - I never really ate much anyway. However, I find it extremely difficult to go without dairy - it seems to be in or on everything!

Mostly, I'm eating this way for my health and to lose a little weight. Recently, as well, I heard on the news that maintaining a mediterranean (sp?) diet is the most healthful and weight-maintaining one of all! When I decided to lean into veganism, I also decided that when I wanted something that wasn't vegan, I would have it (in moderation!). Also, if I were at someone's house and they made something non-vegan, I would eat it.

If you'd like to see an interesting documentary on fast food, watch Super Size Me. It's about a man who ate nothing but McDonald's for 30 days. Also, you do have to "work" a little harder to make vegan food interesting. I use the website allrecipies.com for just about everything - carnivore or herbivore. All you have to do is type in an ingredient and it will give you 5-10 different ways to use it. It's a great source! Chelle

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Mar 10th 2013 new

(Quote) Susan-940526 said: Hi all. I have lots I could say on this topic....but I will be brief. First..it would be great if...
(Quote) Susan-940526 said:

Hi all. I have lots I could say on this topic....but I will be brief. First..it would be great if people knew where their food came from. I grew up in the city and to me it came wrapped in plastic from the grocery. I've lived in the country and have a whole new understanding.


Second people could then shop accordingly. Factory farms have all but put most of the local dairy farmers out of business. People want "cheap". We get what we pay for.


Last, gluttony drives it all. Moderation (or for me with certain foods elimination) is key. Many animals are killed just to fill those huge plates in the restaurant. I've changed my whole life...kept 110# off over 6 years. Yes I still eat meat. But in moderation.


Have blessed day

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I agree with your thoughts about the subject. I feel kind of blessed growing up in the country and eating a lot of natural grown food and next to a farm where we got milk direct from the cow not pasteurized. Also a lot of exercise helps in being healthy.

I think that for some people it is healthier for them not to eat meat, so we can't say that everyone should eat meat or not eat meat. I know someone personally that cured himself of colon cancer without chemo by changing to a plant based diet. I don't think that God discriminates against some religions related to getting cancer...any denomination can get it and anyone can die of it or be cured of it regardless of race or religion.

I have read about blood types related to the food that a person should be eating. Since I am type O+, meat is good for me. If you are type A, I think it's recommended that you be a vegetarian.

I don't think diet is the only thing that makes a person healthy; I think that it's still true that single people don't live as long as happily married people. I know that my grandmother lived until 93 and she was single over 30 years, but had 10 children, about 25 grandchildren and probably over 50 great grandchildren when she died.

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Mar 11th 2013 new

Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm doing this diet change not for myself but for my son who already needs a heart-healthy diet at his age. I will have to do some research on soy products - I didn't realize they were not healthy. Maybe just cutting meat down significantly and eliminating red meat (or like one of you said, the four-legged animals) is more realistic. Giving up dairy would certainly be harder than giving up meat. I tried almond milk once, and it was naaasty. I couldn't stomach it.

I like the idea of eating like Asians eat - the research presented in Forks over Knives was primarily done with asian populations. They were saying that the amount of meat an American eats at one meal would feed the entire family in an Asian culture because they use meat more for taste than for substance.

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Mar 11th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: I tried almond milk once, and it was naaasty. I couldn't stomach it.
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said:

I tried almond milk once, and it was naaasty. I couldn't stomach it.

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You may want to try rice milk. You can even get it in chocolate.

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Mar 11th 2013 new

(Quote) Ronald-937125 said:I know someone personally that cured himself of colon cancer without chemo by changing t...
(Quote) Ronald-937125 said:

I know someone personally that cured himself of colon cancer without chemo by changing to a plant based diet.

...I think that it's still true that single people don't live as long as happily married people. I know that my grandmother lived until 93 and she was single over 30 years, but had 10 children, about 25 grandchildren and probably over 50 great grandchildren when she died.

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See, these are the kind of stories that make me wonder what is it about the plant based diets that's such a miracle cure.

My grandmother had one child and two grandchildren. She fought with her husband (my grandfather) throughout their entire marriage, until he passed away in '95 (so you couldn't call her marriage happy). She doesn't believe is low fat anything. She was diagnosed with diabetes many years ago, but continued to eat sugar anyway. She is turning 95 this week, and just now moved in with my parents because living on her own got to be too much. So I suppose stats are not predictors of health or how long we will live after all. Being single is a lot less stress than being married. I wonder what it is about marriage that prolongs people's lives? scratchchin

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