Veganism is on the rise in recent years, with vegan food blogs and documentaries like What the Health being on the fingertips of almost every food blogger out there, the carnivore community is growing restless.
We are a very fact-based bunch of people. Sadly, in contrast to this, the vegan community relies on scare-mongering, guilt-tripping and outright lies to draw people in and get you to convert to the Cult of Veganism.
There is a reason that almost 80% of people who dive into veganism quit within the first year. It’s unhealthy, and unsustainable. Before you convert, or even if you’re a recent convert, read these five ways that veganism will hurt your body. It won’t happen immediately, but eventually most vegans find (yet gleefully ignore) the warning signs.
1. Vitamin/Nutrient Deficiencies
I’m sure you’ve heard all this before, and there’s a tonne of conflicting information out there about whether we actually require all of these animal-only vitamins that people say our bodies need. After all, you’ve been vegan for a whole month and you’re not dead yet, so surely you don’t need B12, right?
It isn’t just B12 that your body will lack (absolutely vital to stay alive, regardless of your personal morals or beliefs). Vitamins like B1 (important for healthy skin, low cortisol levels, sleep regularity and such), Vitamin A (for a healthy immune system, eyesight and cell reproduction) not to mention things like collagen (vital for glowing, healthy skin that doesn’t shrivel up and sag prematurely) and, perhaps most importantly, good old saturated animal fat, which is simply required in order to absorb all of those wonderful vitamins.
Eating as a “healthy” vegan often means eating low fat. You can eat all of the β-carotene you like (carrots, sweet potatoes, etc), but it will never become Vitamin A, nor give you the benefits of it. You can eat all the supplements your body can handle, but without a large enough dose of healthy saturated fat, your body will never absorb them.
2. Muscle Wastage
It is a fact that plant protein doesn’t provide the strength and repair capabilities as animal protein. The reason is: humans are not plants, but we are animals. Before you toss your laptop out of the window thinking I am being sarcastic, the reason that animal protein works best for humans, is because animal protein is very similar to human protein, so it is used up quicker and more efficiently.
Not to mention that a good chunk of what a vegan eats ends up in the toilet, since it’s a largely indigestible diet.
Of course, if you’re a more reasonable vegan, you might take certain protein supplements to negate the inevitable muscle wastage that almost all vegans suffer with. But my golden rule is: if you need to take a supplement, you’re not eating the right food.
Naturade wrote a fantastic article on the differences between animal and plant protein. Definitely worth a read.
The average long-term vegan is often very slim in build, but a slim body is not necessarily a healthy one. Whilst you will still have muscle (otherwise you wouldn’t be able to stand up!), you will have wasted, unhealthy muscles. When you see a vegan who is bulky from weight-lifting, I assure you that either non-vegan supplements, actual non-vegan food or steroids are going to be involved. Don’t do that to yourself.
3. Dangerous Cholesterol Deficiency
I am planning to write a full, in-depth article about cholesterol at another time, but for now, the basics, and an informative video by Dr. Eric Berg:
Your entire body relies on cholesterol to survive. Your brain, cells, reproductive system, you name it. You’d be totally forgiven for freaking out over the idea of eating a high-cholesterol diet, given all the scaremongering in the news about heart attacks and such. But it’s all wrong. It’s so wrong it makes me quite angry that I have to sit here typing this out. Doctors should be advising this, not bloggers without medical degrees.
Your body makes approximately 3000mg of cholesterol by itself every day. It is almost impossible to out-eat your body’s requirement for it. Let me give you an example:
- One large egg contains 145mg of cholesterol
- One slice of bacon contains 9mg of cholesterol
- One 200g steak contains 196g of cholesterol
Let’s say a standard carnivorous day consists of 4 x bacon and 2 x eggs for breakfast. Then for dinner later you eat three 200g steaks at some point. That’s 914mg of cholesterol. Now here’s the fun part. Your body runs on something called a feedback system. If you eat 914mg of cholesterol, your body will deduct that from its self-made serving, and only produce 2086mg of cholesterol for the day.
I say again: it is physically impossible to out-eat your body’s cholesterol requirements. It is impossible to kill yourself from a cholesterol overdose.
The problem vegans have is that their diet is almost void of cholesterol entirely. Over time, your body will begin to malfunction. Your periods may stop, you may become sterile, over-tired and develop heart disease. Plants contain some cholesterol, but as goes with protein, it’s specifically PLANT cholesterol and serves no purpose to the human body.
4. Tooth Decay
We all know that sugar causes tooth decay. When you’re a vegan, your diet is all sugar, all the time. Couple that with the fact that you have no choice but to eat obscene amounts of food on a regular basis just to stay remotely functional, and you’re asking for cavities.
When you eat carbs of any kind, the process that converts the food into sugar begins in the mouth. If you’re like most people, you don’t brush your teeth every time you nibble on a strawberry or snack on a carrot stick.
Eating a vegan diet is not only bad for your body as a whole, but it’s an awful diet for your teeth. Remember, something doesn’t have to contain added sugar to be tooth-rotting, it just needs to contain carbohydrates!
5. Insulin Resistance
Again, this needs a more in-depth explanation at a later time, but Insulin Resistance is this quiet little disease that most of us are afflicted with but don’t even know it. This is the more formal name for “pre-diabetes”.
Insulin resistance is that pesky demon that causes obesity and, later, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s (Type 3 Diabetes). Anyone who eats a high-carb diet is at risk. Fat people, skinny people, muscular gym rats, world-record-holding athletes. Nobody is safe as long as they eat carbohydrates in high volumes. For some people, they can’t eat them at all without detrimental effects.
I am going to extend on insulin resistance in other articles, but Dr Jason Fung wrote a great little piece explaining why insulin doesn’t solve the problem of T2 Diabetes, cutting out carbohydrates does.
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