T Nation

Vegan Diet Shown to Reverse Heart Disease

crazysexylife.com/2010/diabetes-our-plates/

My problem with this is probably not what the average poster on here is going to respond. I think a vegan diet is a good idea, when done with a lot of educational backing regarding missing nutrients and where to find them, along with a careful eye on macronutrient ratios.

Articles and websites like the one above lack a warning about how dangerous a vegan diet can be for the average person who doesn’t put in enough time learning how to do it.

On the other hand, it’s a common theme around here that there is NOTHING beneficial about cutting back on meat. That just isn’t true.

I really don’t like articles that compare vegan epidemiological studies to meat-eaters like this;

For all those people in developed countries who couldn’t give a shit about nutrition and health, which group do they belong to and, thus, skew the health perception of?

And an ADA diet against a vegan diet for diabetes? How many grains were prescribed for the ADA diet?

Well, that distance running freak back I guess in the late 70s had a book and a near-zero-fat diet that he claimed reversed heart disease (relative to quite bad diet and no exercise, it should be pointed out) and had evidence for it in his own case, but it certainly hasn’t panned out to be true in the decades since, and he himself died of a heart attack not so long after.

Can’t remember his name, just have a vague recollection of the chicken legs on the cover of his book. That is, not actual fowl, but his distance-running-emaciated limbs.

EDIT: Kenneth Cooper?

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Well, that distance running freak back I guess in the late 70s had a book and a near-zero-fat diet that he claimed reversed heart disease (relative to quite bad diet and no exercise, it should be pointed out) and had evidence for it in his own case, but it certainly hasn’t panned out to be true in the decades since, and he himself died of a heart attack not so long after.

Can’t remember his name, just have a vague recollection of the chicken legs on the cover of his book. That is, not actual fowl, but his distance-running-emaciated limbs.

EDIT: Kenneth Cooper? [/quote]

No. I can’t remember either but it’s not Kenneth Cooper. I’m thinking Jim Quick, not sure though.

[quote]Oleena wrote:
crazysexylife.com/2010/diabetes-our-plates/

My problem with this is probably not what the average poster on here is going to respond. I think a vegan diet is a good idea, when done with a lot of educational backing regarding missing nutrients and where to find them, along with a careful eye on macronutrient ratios.

Articles and websites like the one above lack a warning about how dangerous a vegan diet can be for the average person who doesn’t put in enough time learning how to do it.

On the other hand, it’s a common theme around here that there is NOTHING beneficial about cutting back on meat. That just isn’t true.[/quote]

It’s important to know exactly what diets are being compared. Comparing a very well planned vegan diet to the average American diet I can see vegan winning easily. Take that same vegan diet vs a similar diet but adding some quality meats to it and the vegan diet gets crushed.

Agreed: same sort of thing as an extreme low-fat diet.

Using some measurable parameters related to health, when compared to an awful diet it wins: but that doesn’t mean it’s the way to go.

I found this line especially interesting:

“Even those eating just a few servings of meat a month significantly raised their risk of disease.”

I completely agree with what many of you are saying about the quality of the meat-eater diets in these studies.

BTW, this has nothing to do with a low-fat diet.

Recently I’ve been eatting two vegetarian meals per day and I’ve found that this gives me more control over my fat intake. Because there is virtually no fat in lentils and many vegetarian protein sources, I can use coconut oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and olive oil for ALL of my fat needs. I make these the first two meals of my day and I’ve had SO much more energy ever since.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Well, that distance running freak back I guess in the late 70s had a book and a near-zero-fat diet that he claimed reversed heart disease (relative to quite bad diet and no exercise, it should be pointed out) and had evidence for it in his own case, but it certainly hasn’t panned out to be true in the decades since, and he himself died of a heart attack not so long after.

Can’t remember his name, just have a vague recollection of the chicken legs on the cover of his book. That is, not actual fowl, but his distance-running-emaciated limbs.

EDIT: Kenneth Cooper? [/quote]

Jim Fixx, The Complete Book of Running

The thing with extending your life through calorie reduction and vegetarianism is all those extra years come at the end.

[quote]Nards wrote:
The thing with extending your life through calorie reduction and vegetarianism is all those extra years come at the end.[/quote]

That was, surprisingly deep.

I may try calorie reduction in the future though, if I get tired of bodybuilding, I would like to extend my life as long as possible in hopes that one day, I will become an immortal cyborg through science :smiley:

[quote]concrete wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Well, that distance running freak back I guess in the late 70s had a book and a near-zero-fat diet that he claimed reversed heart disease (relative to quite bad diet and no exercise, it should be pointed out) and had evidence for it in his own case, but it certainly hasn’t panned out to be true in the decades since, and he himself died of a heart attack not so long after.

Can’t remember his name, just have a vague recollection of the chicken legs on the cover of his book. That is, not actual fowl, but his distance-running-emaciated limbs.

EDIT: Kenneth Cooper? [/quote]

Jim Fixx, The Complete Book of Running[/quote]

Thanks! :slight_smile:

[quote]Oleena wrote:
crazysexylife.com/2010/diabetes-our-plates/

My problem with this is probably not what the average poster on here is going to respond. I think a vegan diet is a good idea, when done with a lot of educational backing regarding missing nutrients and where to find them, along with a careful eye on macronutrient ratios.

Articles and websites like the one above lack a warning about how dangerous a vegan diet can be for the average person who doesn’t put in enough time learning how to do it.

On the other hand, it’s a common theme around here that there is NOTHING beneficial about cutting back on meat. That just isn’t true.[/quote]

Vegan diets are foolhardy. There’s almost no safe way to eat a vegan diet. Furthermore I want to see serious evidence before I buy into a vegan diet being able to reverse heart disease.

In short I think it’s crap and caution you not to believe everything that you read on the Internet.

Obviously I’m not going to get into a big debate with those believing in vegan diets regarding supposedly better morality of it. That is their call: all I would ever do is point out facts and/or thoughts.

I can completely appreciate not wanting animals to live in misery.

However, when it comes to chickens allowed to live free-range under good conditions, if no one buys the eggs, these chickens will not live at all (no farmer is going to spend the money to raise them and take care of them for no income in return.)

Is it morally better for the chickens to never live at all than to live free-range and have their eggs collected?

I know some would say yes, but this seems to me to be valuing one’s own ideas above the actual interests of animals.

There are other related cases of course, but this is one of the clearer-cut so let’s leave it at free-range eggs.

Bill Roberts- Don’t get me started on “free range” chickens. In order to be able to post that definition on eggs and chicken meat, all the farmer is required to do is A. Open one of the doors on the wire cage which all of the chickens are crammed into so tight they’re growing out the sides and thus can’t move or B. Put them all on the ground of the warehouse instead of in cages.

Putting them on the ground is actually less humane, because there is no grate keeping them away from their droppings, and the resulting air ammonia content is about 7 times what it is in the cages. Either way, their beaks are cut off with hot irons to keep them from eatting the chickens they spend their whole life growing against. How do I know this isn’t hype? I’ve worked with these chickens before. They couldn’t even walk and were scared of light (they’d been kept in the dark their whole life) when we first got them.

IMO, it would be indefinitely better if these animals had never been born.

If you’re going to eat meat, at least try to find a local farmer where you can see the animals and their conditions before they end up on your plate. That’s the real type of farming to support with your dollar. Don’t fall for this free range, grass fed hype.

The eggs I eat all come from a local girl who raises her own chickens and treats them like pets. The beef I eat comes from a local ranch that does grass-fed and finished beef. It’s not hard to find these things.

That being said, the only reason cattle and chickens are not on the endangered species list is because they’re a commodity. Maybe we ought to espouse the health benefits of Condor eggs; then maybe the Condors would man up and multiply like chickens. As long as they’re not profitable, though, they’ll continue to be endangered.

Right, wrong, or indifferent; animals that provide an economic incentive for their survival will flourish. Also, meat is tasty. I only support veganism because it leaves more meat for the rest of us.

[quote]concrete wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Well, that distance running freak back I guess in the late 70s had a book and a near-zero-fat diet that he claimed reversed heart disease (relative to quite bad diet and no exercise, it should be pointed out) and had evidence for it in his own case, but it certainly hasn’t panned out to be true in the decades since, and he himself died of a heart attack not so long after.

Can’t remember his name, just have a vague recollection of the chicken legs on the cover of his book. That is, not actual fowl, but his distance-running-emaciated limbs.

EDIT: Kenneth Cooper? [/quote]

Jim Fixx, The Complete Book of Running[/quote]

Yup, that’s the guy that died of a heart attack, while running…

Didn’t come home, one day so they went looking for him… Found him lying in a ditch…

I don’t think that book made it to the best sellers list after that…

I’m not sure why people keep bringing up the point that meat is tasty. If taste was a decent argument for a food, we should throw pizza and donuts in the mix as well.

[quote]Oleena wrote:
Bill Roberts- Don’t get me started on “free range” chickens. In order to be able to post that definition on eggs and chicken meat, all the farmer is required to do is A. Open one of the doors on the wire cage which all of the chickens are crammed into so tight they’re growing out the sides and thus can’t move or B. Put them all on the ground of the warehouse instead of in cages.

Putting them on the ground is actually less humane, because there is no grate keeping them away from their droppings, and the resulting air ammonia content is about 7 times what it is in the cages. Either way, their beaks are cut off with hot irons to keep them from eatting the chickens they spend their whole life growing against. How do I know this isn’t hype? I’ve worked with these chickens before. They couldn’t even walk and were scared of light (they’d been kept in the dark their whole life) when we first got them.

IMO, it would be indefinitely better if these animals had never been born.

If you’re going to eat meat, at least try to find a local farmer where you can see the animals and their conditions before they end up on your plate. That’s the real type of farming to support with your dollar. Don’t fall for this free range, grass fed hype.

[/quote]

You are using a false argumentation method. Showing that some things claimed to be cage-free are in fact bad conditions does not mean that there is no such thing as good conditions.

As Zandar said, though not in these words, any vegan that really cared about the animals first rather than their philosophy first could easily find eggs produced by chickens raised in good conditions. Either by seeing for themselves at suitable farms, or buying a product such as: http://www.bornfreeeggs.com/cage-free-eggs.php

Not buying these eggs results in fewer chickens being able to live at all, and to live under these good conditions. It isn’t really for the sake of the animals that vegans don’t consume eggs, for example, produced under good conditions. Except under the “I’d rather they not live at all, for their own good” argument which personally I don’t find applicable for these conditions.

Ha, I think the argument that vegetarianism is inhumane because it doesn’t allow animals to be born is insane.

I think the meat eating side in these arguments always gets overly defensive and tries all kinds of rhetorical gymnastics to justify eating meat and eggs. Personally, I can play high school debate club or smoky dorm room argument all day, but when it comes right down to it, this is what I say: I eat animal products and am painfully aware of the fucked up situation that surrounds their production, and because of this I try my best to buy animal products that were produced in a way that isn’t fucked up and is longterm sustainable.

It’s impossible to say that meat and eggs and milk and most other animal products are mostly produced in a safe, healthy, sustainable way, and I think that those that choose to eat them have an imperative to seek out animal products produced in the best circumstances possible. If you don’t, I think you’re saying that you don’t give a fuck about screwing up human health and the planet. Bottom line, I’ma eat the fuck outta some steak, but I’m going to have some idea of where it came from-- it’s basic but it’s important, I think.

On the diet itself, vegan diets, whatever… the idea that eating lots of fruits and vegetables and unprocessed grains is healthier than most diets is all right with me. But I worry that casual dieters will read a study or an article about a study and come away with the idea that meat is killing them, which it probably isn’t.

Name-calling with terms such as “insane” and claiming being “defensive” doesn’t change a single fact.

If people don’t buy foods such as meat, eggs, or milk, those animals won’t live at all. If you think there would be millions of cattle in the US with no one buying the meat, you are wrong. It actually is a matter – if actually claiming that the reason is caring about the animals – of many vegans preferring for example the cows to never live than to be alive in the pasture, but killed someday to be eaten.

If the real matter were concern for the animals, then the efforts would be against inhumane treatment, which does occur (especially with poultry and veal for example) and in SUPPORT of humanely produced meat, milk, and eggs. Which requires people purchasing them.

Not wanting to eat them oneself for differing reasons is one thing of course. What I’m pointing out is that claiming, even in cases of humane agriculture, that the opposition is out of care for the animals really does not follow. It’s a nice sounding back-up justification but nothing more than that. Rather, it’s less than that.