Author Topic: Vegan diet advice  (Read 5453 times)

Offline Alias.Kn

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Vegan diet advice
« on: September 02, 2008, 07:33:21 PM »
Hi. Sorry for hijacking this thread, but I'm new to this site and, honestly, I dont know how to create my own thread :-[. But I recently changed my diet radically, and I want opinions from you reputable members to see whether these changes are wise or misguided.

To put it briefly, my diet is based on a pesco-ovo-vegan diet. Pesco, meaning I eat fish - just salmon probably once or twice a week due to their calcium/vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Ovo, meaning I eat eggs - organic omega-3-fortified eggs that I eat every day I dont eat salmon. And vegan meaning I eat everything thats not animal meat nor animal byproducts.

I chose veganism partly because of the animals (those poor things :(), and partly because of a thread I remember reading at parkour.net, where one poster said this:

Quote
Most cows of today are pumped up on IGF-1, and other growth hormones, to make them grow faster and enhance production so they can make more money. These drugs in turn make the cows quite sick, and susceptible to infection, so the farmers have to now pump them up on anti-biotics too. Traces of this crap gets passed down in cow products such as milk and cheese, and is consumed by us. There are some studies that suggest that consumption of cow products where the former scenario is true, have lead to several different diseases and ailiments-cancer being a prominent example.

Basically, its the hormones and antibiotics in both animal meat and animal byproducts. Organic products wont have these issues, which is why I am okay with eating organic meat/eggs but the organic meat cost far too much for me to sustain buying them throughout my life.

Now for the questions!

1. What are your thoughts on such a diet? Would you adjust it any other way? Would you vouch for it? Can this diet sustain a healthy functional life?

2. What are your thoughts on the excerpt from parkour.net? Is this a legitimately serious issue that should be addressed, or just some paranoid health nut warning us about something that wont affect our lives?

3. One of the concerns I have for this diet is calcium. How can I make sure I have adequate supply of calcium?

4. Other than calcium, what other essential macro/micronutrients should I be concerned with?

And of course, any other words/advice is always welcome :). Thanks for reading!

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Vegan diet advice
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 04:17:14 PM »
In terms of your diet's specifics, I'll leave that to Chris and Steve and others who know more of those details. But my opinion as an amateur health/fitness nerd, and major food geek/connoisseur, is this:

1. Any time you cut out a whole category of food, you have to make sure you are getting the nutrition provided by that food in some other way. Just looking at the surface, for instance, I am thinking about your iron and zinc levels. Granted, a person doesn't need huge amounts of these things, although zinc is helpful as a cold preventative (according to some studies), and if you are a woman of childbearing age, iron is very important, at least once a month. These minerals occur in high amounts in red meat, but you can also get iron in leafy greens (zinc I'm not sure). Zinc, I believe (but I could be wrong... Chris? Steve?) is also good for muscle fibers (or maybe it's the nervous system? Crap, I just shouldn't say anything about this, actually... nevermind). :P

Basically my point is that you should study carefully the nutritional content of all the things you are eliminating from your diet, to make sure that you are getting them in other ways. Overall we are so "over-nourished" in a sense, in the Western world that it's not like you will starve or die on your diet. But considering that traceurs are athletes who require optimized nutrition, you do need to examine what's missing and what you're taking in, and take steps to fill in the gaps.

2. You're right that organic food is better for you, and I completely understand the concern that organic meat is extremely expensive. I would be interested in seeing the studies that the .net person is mentioning about the link between "factory farm" hormones/antibiotics and cancer. I mean, pretty much anything can be shown to cause cancer these days. It sort of is at the point (at least for me) where I don't even worry about that. I try to live as clean as I can, but my feeling is that it's sort of like a lottery. If I followed every single study that said such-and-such causes cancer, I would have to live in a cave on a deserted island and drink only filtered rainwater and eat only organic plants and animals I raised myself on a similar diet to mine. I don't mean to belittle the concerns, but I am of the mind that I have heard SO many things that "cause cancer" that I sort of am numb to the warnings now. I mean, I use sunscreen and eat my vegetables and avoid processed foods, but that's pretty much it.

Buying organic is expensive and toxins build up in animal tissue more than in plant tissue, so your best bet for buying organic (in terms of health value for the dollar) is to buy organic animal products instead of organic vegetables. Buying these from the supermarket is far more expensive than buying direct. If you live within reasonable driving distance from an organic cattle farm that is smaller/family-owned, I would encourage you to contact the farmer and see about purchasing a side of beef directly from the farm. A side of beef is a LOT of meat and you will need a large freezer to store it, but it will last you probably a whole year (if you live alone) and even though it will be a large cost up-front, it will be more cost-effective over time (assuming you already have the freezer, etc.) A local CSA farm may have a meat option too, or a local co-op.

If you are worried about toxins in your food, fish is totally the wrong way to go. There is so much lead and mercury in our water supply (by "our" I mean the Earth's) that most fish is totally contaminated. This is especially true for fatty fish like tuna and salmon (the kind with the Omega-3's that we all want) because toxins build up in fatty tissue. Obviously the level of contamination is low enough that people are still eating a ton of fish, and most doctors agree that the health benefits of fish far outweigh the statistical risk of contamination/poisoning from the amount of mercury in fish (assuming you're not eating it all day every day).

You hear a lot in the press about contaminated fish, not as much about beef (large-scale factory farms notwithstanding), and yet the fish is still all right for the most part. In my book this is a strong recommendation for continuing to eat beef in addition to the fish and eggs (and chicken too!), more so if you can find it local (even if it's not 100% organic, if you do your homework to find a good source you will likely be able to find less expensive beef that is still within reasonable bounds in terms of natural production, less chemicals, etc.

The only way to truly avoid that stuff is to grow all your own food, and I don't think any human in the Western world has the time or energy for that these days.

Again, my opinions only. I hope they're somehow useful to you.

Good luck!

PS: To start your own thread, on the upper right there is some white text that says "New Topic." Click on that. :) Hope it helps!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 04:21:28 PM by Muse_of_Fire »
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Vegan diet advice
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 05:17:28 PM »
No offense, but i don't really respect the vegan lifestyle or point of view...

Then again, i killed two hamsters today in the name of science, and finished my day by eating a whole chicken....so it is apparent that our ethical views are not aligned, as well :P

However, I can answer your questions unbiased...

1. What are your thoughts on such a diet? Would you adjust it any other way? Would you vouch for it? Can this diet sustain a healthy functional life?

You better be eating a damn ton of eggs.  Like, at least a dozen a day.  This is your only real source of protein.  That has the tendency to get boring very fast.  Not to mention, too much of anything isn't good.  The lack of your variety has the tendency to lead to nutritional (macro and micro) deficiency that has both foreseen and unforeseen consequences.

If you are going to stick with this type of diet you should be incorporating a ton of eggs and fish into the diet.  Just eggs won't be enough.

You will never in my life find me suggesting a diet of this type.  It is difficult to maintain and has unforeseen and foreseen consequences.

You will likely be thin on this diet, but i would not expect major mass gains.  Just can't keep your calories high enough while getting enough protein.

If you insist on this diet....start eating more soy, too.

2. What are your thoughts on the excerpt from parkour.net? Is this a legitimately serious issue that should be addressed, or just some paranoid health nut warning us about something that wont affect our lives?

I think its stupid.  I would want to read those studies.  Most of these cancer correlations are done on the general public through statistics.  Uhm....have you LOOKED at our general population lately?  We eat loads of calories with an extremely low quality of food.  You can't blame cancer on anything.

The amount of IGF-1 is something to consider but there is no evidence that i am aware of, conclusive or consequential, that proves this is actually bad for people.

Most people who go about preaching this crap read one article somewhere and got convinced. I personally think this is a very weak minded approach in that people of this type are easily swayed.  I also find these people to be lazy to not follow up on these claims by seeking out hard solid scientific evidence (or at least asking someone else who looked into it)

While I can't say that hormones are actually good for us, which would be pretty f#cking bold, I can say that I have not seen significant/convincing data showing that they are harmful.  If i were a rich man, i would live off of organic meat just for the peace of mind -- however I am a humble salesman and cannot be so bold in the grocery store.  I eat literally pounds of meat a day and at least a gallon of milk a day and notice no adverse effects. 

Can I say that this is going to be acceptable in the long term?  No -- but I can say that vegetarianism is not nearly as safe or ethical as people claim...and i enjoy me a good steak.

3. One of the concerns I have for this diet is calcium. How can I make sure I have adequate supply of calcium?

If you are that concerned, supplement your diet with calcium and vitamin D multiple times a day.

4. Other than calcium, what other essential macro/micronutrients should I be concerned with?

All of them.  But don't worry.  Multivitamin supplementation multiple times a day with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables should have you pretty well covered.  Don't forget to eat fat to make sure that you absorb Vit A, D, E & K.

And of course, any other words/advice is always welcome :). Thanks for reading!

Make a new thread next time, n00b ;)

Offline Andy Animus Tran

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Vegan diet advice
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 06:10:26 PM »
Chris, he can't eat eggs if he's going vegan, either.
Andy Tran, C.S.C.S.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Vegan diet advice
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 06:13:15 PM »
Chris, he can't eat eggs if he's going vegan, either.

Thanks for the correction Andy...

Oh wait...

Quote from:  Alias.Kn
To put it briefly, my diet is based on a pesco-ovo-vegan diet. Pesco, meaning I eat fish - just salmon probably once or twice a week due to their calcium/vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Ovo, meaning I eat eggs - organic omega-3-fortified eggs that I eat every day I dont eat salmon. And vegan meaning I eat everything thats not animal meat nor animal byproducts.

Read the posts :P

Offline Holland Wilson

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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 06:15:37 PM »
It was specified that eggs and fish are okay. Which makes it non-vegan, but that doesn't discourage some "vegans".
"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since." - Salvador Dali

Offline Alias.Kn

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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 06:32:24 PM »
Those poor, poor hamsters, what have they ever done to you :'(?

But thank you for the detailed responses, both of you. Muse, you bring up two interesting points that I have never thought of. The cost efficiency of buying organic meat definitely intrigues me, and I will prioritize hunting for meat products over vegetable products from now on whenever I go to an organic market. Also, I never really thought of the contamination of fish, so your point really surprised me. Add that with your "strong recommendation" for continuing to eat beef and other meat, well I guess I have to revamp my whole diet again. Maybe I should follow your grocery list from the thread "All About Food: How To Easily and Cheaply Shop, Cook, and Eat for Health"! With a few adjustments, of course.

Chris, when you said eggs were my only protein, my first response was that I made sure to have enough protein through fortified foods, lentils, and soy products, but then I read somewhere that not all proteins are created equal, and most of my protein were from plant and not animal. How would this have affected me (and is it in a good way, neutral, or bad way)?

And I will take into consideration your comment about the weak-minded approach; I should have researched more about the effects of hormone/antibiotic ingestion before believing such a claim. Its just that most scientific studys that I've read (which is not much other than the science classes I've taken) observed through a short term duration - a few years at most. What I worry about is the long term effects that may be problematic decades, maybe two-thirds of a century from now.

But does that mean I should believe in these claims? I dont know, maybe not. It does makes sense, but so far none of you guys have had any problems right? And you've been having your own diet for quite a while now I'm assuming.

I guess to wrap it up, I am thankful for both of you giving me insights to this diet. Your responses are greatly appreciated! ;D.

P.S: Haha, I couldn't find the "New Topic" button because the white text was camouflauged with the super light blue blackground. It took me about 10 minutes of searching for it until I accidentally highlighted all the text on this page and discovered such a button.

P.P.S: Yes, I know eating eggs contradict the vegan lifestyle, and I dont think of myself as a real vegan either. But I've seen people use "vegan" as just a diet excluding all animal meat and byproduct, so adding the prefixes "pesco" and "ovo" to "vegan" seems like the most accurate description to my diet. Well, ex-diet :P.

edit: Chris, from the 4th post of this thread, why do you recommend berry to be a staple to Deyxter's diet?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 06:41:42 PM by Alias.Kn »

Offline Holland Wilson

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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 06:48:48 PM »
Chris, when you said eggs were my only protein, my first response was that I made sure to have enough protein through fortified foods, lentils, and soy products, but then I read somewhere that not all proteins are created equal, and most of my protein were from plant and not animal. How would this have affected me (and is it in a good way, neutral, or bad way)?

I wouldn't know much about the equality of protein, but a great many proteins are different, if equal. Specifically, the proteins that fall into the category of amino acid. Now, our bodies can manufacture some of these on their own, but others (the ones labeled "essential") have to be ingested. This isn't a problem if you eat meat, because other animals have most of the same needs and so the same proteins will be found in their bodies as what we need. However, plants have very different physiologies from us, and so don't have as much of what we need. Vegetarians can get by somewhat on byproducts, but vegans have to make very sure that what they eat contains a wide variety of essential amino acids.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Vegan diet advice
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 06:57:55 PM »
Those poor, poor hamsters, what have they ever done to you :'(?

Killing those hamsters is why you have drugs that help your heart.  Without animal research, there is no advancement in human medicine....but i digress.

Chris, when you said eggs were my only protein, my first response was that I made sure to have enough protein through fortified foods, lentils, and soy products, but then I read somewhere that not all proteins are created equal, and most of my protein were from plant and not animal. How would this have affected me (and is it in a good way, neutral, or bad way)?

Bad way.  Soy and beans will not provide a complete protein profile.  Eggs, ironically, will.  However, like I said earlier, too much of a good thing can be bad -- too many eggs for years and years will likely have adverse effects of its own.

Plant proteins are not a source of protein.  Their amino profile is horridly lacking.  Not to mention, the rate of absorption of plant proteins is ridiculously low (between 20-50% of ingested quantities) whereas meat s upwards of 80-90%, fish upwards of 90% and eggs at around 99-100%.

And I will take into consideration your comment about the weak-minded approach; I should have researched more about the effects of hormone/antibiotic ingestion before believing such a claim. Its just that most scientific studys that I've read (which is not much other than the science classes I've taken) observed through a short term duration - a few years at most. What I worry about is the long term effects that may be problematic decades, maybe two-thirds of a century from now.

If you find studies promoting vegan/vegetarian diets and their applications towards a healthier lifestyle, then I will read them and consider them...and likely find them filled with flaws or conclusions that are inconsistent with our goals as athletes and as a general population.

The only real reason I will accept for someone being vegan/vegetarian is ethics -- and even then, thats kind of pushing it.

Aside from that, i don't push meat on anyone, i just personally think being a vegetarian/vegan is stupid.

A few years, btw, is actually a really good study for diet.  Most dietary studies are a couple of weeks (and therefore, useless).

There are no long term effects of eating meat that I am aware of, aside from positive ones such as increased muscle mass.

But does that mean I should believe in these claims? I dont know, maybe not. It does makes sense, but so far none of you guys have had any problems right? And you've been having your own diet for quite a while now I'm assuming.

Diet is highly individualized and personal.  With that said, believe what you want to believe -- depending on your goals, being vegan might be just fine....but those would be some pretty low goals as far as human performance and size.

edit: Chris, from the 4th post of this thread, why do you recommend berry to be a staple to Deyxter's diet?

Berries have a lot of positive qualities and almost no negative qualities:
1) Low Caloric Density (ie High food volume per calorie.)
2) High in micronutrient content
3) High in antioxidants
4) Tasty!

Edit:  BTW...

Vegetarians can get by somewhat on byproducts, but vegans have to make very sure that what they eat contains a wide variety of essential amino acids.

Yup.  It is nearly impossible for a true vegan to get the protein their bodies need.  This is why they usually look skinny and sickly.

Hey, maybe this lack of protein and fats is the reason for their brains malfunctioning and thinking veganism is actually healthy? ???

I have known of cases where vegans would feed their very young children a vegan diet and their doctors would damn near confiscate their children.  Kids need protein and fat...HELLO.  If you don't give ample protein and fat to children they tend to...not develop :P
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 07:01:32 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Vegan diet advice
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 07:08:24 PM »
As I understand it, there are certain aminos that can *only* be gotten from meat (and I believe some are only in certain kinds of meat, although if I start shooting off my mouth any more, without certainty, Chris will give me the beat-down) :P

So those who choose a vegetarian lifestyle/diet are, from the get-go, condemning themselves to a lifetime of lacking certain aminos no matter how well they supplement. It won't kill them necessarily, but there is no way around the fact that there will be a lack there. And for an athlete (e.g. traceur) that lack will be more readily felt.

I can't say how this would have affected you because there are plenty of vegetarians out there who do just fine, but when I experimented with vegetarianism for a few months in my late 20s, I ended up developing serious allergies to soy and peanuts, and I was miserable and sick and extremely tired all the time. The fatigue and sickness may have had more to do with the fact that I wasn't very smart about how I constructed my vegetarian diet (it was pretty carb-tacular, but I used soy and nuts as my primary protein sources, and replaced meat with them pretty much ounce-for-ounce), but even so... developing the allergies sucked. No more Thai food, or ma-po tofu, for me.  :'(

I must say, I'm with Chris on this one: with the exception of those who choose vegetarianism for bedrock, bona-fide religious reasons (which puts it into the realm of religion which I view as a deeply personal thing that needs no justification as long as it doesn't encroach on anyone else), I have a hard time understanding/respecting the vegetarian point-of-view.

(Oh man Chris you type too fast... your post went up as I was typing this one!)

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Offline Chris Salvato

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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 07:20:03 PM »
I think i spend too much time on this forum :P

As I understand it, there are certain aminos that can *only* be gotten from meat (and I believe some are only in certain kinds of meat, although if I start shooting off my mouth any more, without certainty, Chris will give me the beat-down) :P

Well, yes and no.  If you search high and wide, you will find a vegetable or fruit with an essential amino and you can eat foods with all of your essential aminos.  That's pretty much worthless, though.

There is a wide spread belief that you can complete a full amino profile by mixing and matching vegetables.  This really is not true.  Zac posted up links to this a while back where the person who FORMULATED the theory was trying to tell people it was crap...but people don't want to listen...only want to hear what they want to hear!  Zac probably has more resources on this...but I do not at this time.

I can say, however, that proteins from fruits/veggies are not absorbed with a high enough frequency that this mix-and-match protein profiling method would be remotely effective.


So those who choose a vegetarian lifestyle/diet are, from the get-go, condemning themselves to a lifetime of lacking certain aminos no matter how well they supplement. It won't kill them necessarily, but there is no way around the fact that there will be a lack there. And for an athlete (e.g. traceur) that lack will be more readily felt.

I agree.

I can't say how this would have affected you because there are plenty of vegetarians out there who do just fine...

IMHO they THINK they are doing fine.  Push them to their human performance limits and they will suffer greatly.  They will stall very early on strength goals and lack the ability to put on muscle mass while reducing BF%.  Their diets are just too carb-rich.

While there are counterexamples to this, these people have gone through meticulous planning of every meal to maintain vegetarianism and put on mass and increase strength -- not to mention genetics playing their part.  Any counterexamples would be anecdotal, at best.

I must say, I'm with Chris on this one: with the exception of those who choose vegetarianism for bedrock, bona-fide religious reasons (which puts it into the realm of religion which I view as a deeply personal thing that needs no justification as long as it doesn't encroach on anyone else), I have a hard time understanding/respecting the vegetarian point-of-view.

<3 Muse

(Oh man Chris you type too fast... your post went up as I was typing this one!)

My undergrad is in Computer Engineering :P  I type like 90 WPM, minimum :P

[/quote]

Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2008, 07:34:52 AM »
(I'm the Zac that Chris was talking about.)

I don't have time to read the whole thread right now, but:

A) I was a vegetarian for 8 years.
B) Chris - nice job being unbiased in that post. :p

I'll try to read and post tonight.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2008, 10:59:53 AM »
hahaha <3 meat

thats like being unbiased when someone is arguing against your own mother :P

i apologize for the misleading claim that i could remain unbiased :P

Offline ScuffUp

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2008, 05:35:15 PM »
I understand that I'm four days late. I was actually looking for some posts with vegan freerunning shoes and came across this. I didn't read it all, I skimmed a lot, but I just have to say (because I think a lot of the posts in this thread are hilarious) that I've been vegan for more than five years. I'm vegan for the animals and the environment. And I'm not sickly or skinny, I'm pretty fit. And I haven't had any health problems.
I think it's pretty safe to say I'm not going to just fall over from any meat-related deficiencies tomorrow.
That's my ten cents.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2008, 05:44:20 PM »
I understand that I'm four days late. I was actually looking for some posts with vegan freerunning shoes and came across this. I didn't read it all, I skimmed a lot, but I just have to say (because I think a lot of the posts in this thread are hilarious) that I've been vegan for more than five years. I'm vegan for the animals and the environment. And I'm not sickly or skinny, I'm pretty fit. And I haven't had any health problems.
I think it's pretty safe to say I'm not going to just fall over from any meat-related deficiencies tomorrow.
That's my ten cents.

OK?

What was hilarious exactly?

How are you fit?  What is your weight and BF%?  How long have you been training?

How many pullups can you do?  Whats your best 100m, 400m, 1600m? 

Maybe you are a distance runner?  Thats not fit exactly...but then again whats ur 5k and 10k times if thats the case?

Maybe you like BW skills?  How far along are you in the planche progression?  Back and Front lever?

Maybe these aren't the fitness benchmarks you use?  What benchmarks do YOU use?  Could you explain your latest personal records?

Refuting a point like ours is going to take more than an "LOL you are SOOO WRONG!"....

Offline Alias.Kn

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2008, 06:24:11 PM »
Chris, I would like to make some things clear, so that I can understand your perspective better.

Is the main drawback of veganism/vegetarianism the ratio of macronutrients, and nothing else? I mean, iron, zinc, calcium, and other micronutrients can be obtained artificially through supplementary pills and such, so once those issues are dealt with, its just the ratio that you disapprove right?

And also, it seems the main limitation of veganism is athletic performance. Is there any other limitations? Also, if one lives a sedentary life with a vegan diet, I know one wont thrive with this diet, but will one at least be able to survive beyond average human life expectancy (70 years, I think?)? I mean, I know sedentism is already a poor lifestyle and all, but still... I'm curious  :P.

I'm also interested in hearing what Zachary has to say about vegetarianism. It seems he would disagree with Chris on how poor the diet is to athletically active people, and civil debates are always healthy because of the knowledge one gains from participating/spectating  :).
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 06:26:50 PM by Alias.Kn »

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2008, 06:39:53 PM »
Chris, I would like to make some things clear, so that I can understand your perspective better.

Is the main drawback of veganism/vegetarianism the ratio of macronutrients, and nothing else? I mean, iron, zinc, calcium, and other micronutrients can be obtained artificially through supplementary pills and such, so once those issues are dealt with, its just the ratio that you disapprove right?

No.  The main problem with veganism/vegetarianism is the lack of good protein sources.  Basing a diet off of one solid source of protein (soy) is silly.  Not to mention that most vegans don't take the measures they need to in order to get the protein they need. 

Protein is required for every cell in your body.  Everything from action potential propagation to cell replication is caused by proteins and their reactions.  Every cell in your body is supported by a protein cytoskeleton (or scaffolding).  Without adequate and diverse protein sources, the ability for recovery and repair is hindered - a basic understanding of biology should make this really apparent.


And also, it seems the main limitation of veganism is athletic performance. Is there any other limitations? Also, if one lives a sedentary life with a vegan diet, I know one wont thrive with this diet, but will one at least be able to survive beyond average human life expectancy (70 years, I think?)? I mean, I know sedentism is already a poor lifestyle and all, but still... I'm curious  :P.

The effects arent related to human performance.  Human performance just accentuates how the diet is limiting.  Disregarding the hormonal effects of high carbs, such as increased insulin (higher subcutaneous and visceral fat) and cortisol (breakdown of most tissues in the body) there simply is not enough protein to go around.

Most studies that study veganism are attributing veganism/vegetarianism to the increased health of the participants.  However, they totally neglect the fact that the participants are, for the first time, on a caorically restrictive diet with a high quality of food (vegan food sources are very high quality).  Logical reason and understanding of the human biological system only holds to reason that introduction of high quality protein would enhance these positive effects further -- but no one investigates that because its not easy to explore like an extreme scenario such as veganism.

I'm also interested in hearing what Zachary has to say about vegetarianism. It seems he would disagree with Chris on how poor the diet is to athletically active people, and civil debates are always healthy because of the knowledge one gains from participating/spectating  :).

Zac eats meat now....would need to get his opinions from him, though.


Offline Alias.Kn

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2008, 07:23:01 PM »
Forgive me for not majoring in human physiology, but I would like to prod further into the subject of quality protein sources. If I recall correctly, the human body can create its own amino acids and form them into proteins. At least most amino acids... There are I think 8? or 10? essential amino acid that must be supplied in ones diet in order to develp the full protein profile. So if your food sources contain these essential amino acid, as well as a surplus of nonessential acids, would that be considered a satisfactory protein source?

If so, is there a list of what common foods contain what essential amino acid? one that is preferably open to the public and/or free to view, of course  :P. I would like to mold my protein intake based on this essential amino acid sources.

Has there every been supplements of these essential amino acids for vegans to use, and how effective were they?

And to ask something completely unrelated - multivitamin pills. I remember reading somewhere (but I forgot the source =\) that a large amount of vitamins/minerals (large relative to RDA's percent daily value, say around 300% daily) can disrupt the homeostasis of your biological processes. The processes then get used to this large intake, and when one normalize his/her diet to just 100% of the daily value, the processes function as if it had a smaller intake (say around 50% as an example) due to the disrupted homeostasis. I think I read this on a textbook that is far more advanced in the medical field than I am, so I may recall some parts uncorrectly. But what are your thoughts on this? It came into mind because of the "Not getting my diet" thread, where your recommendation of an already balanced diet is combined with multivitamin pills. I mean, the diets themselves can probably give you 100% of certain vitamins/minerals, maybe more, but some MV pills give you 100% these vitamin/mineral a pop, so daily you are intaking 300% of these vitamins, right?

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2008, 05:31:56 AM »
Forgive me for not majoring in human physiology, but I would like to prod further into the subject of quality protein sources. If I recall correctly, the human body can create its own amino acids and form them into proteins. At least most amino acids... There are I think 8? or 10? essential amino acid that must be supplied in ones diet in order to develp the full protein profile. So if your food sources contain these essential amino acid, as well as a surplus of nonessential acids, would that be considered a satisfactory protein source?

If so, is there a list of what common foods contain what essential amino acid? one that is preferably open to the public and/or free to view, of course  :P. I would like to mold my protein intake based on this essential amino acid sources.

I think you're missing the point. 

The problem with these diets is that there isn't enough protein, period.  It doesn't matter where Vegan's claim to get their essential amino acids or whatever.  Just getting an amount of what is essential is pretty much garbage.

Of course our own bodies can make protein.  Everything in our body is protein!  If our bodies could not make certain proteins, we would lack things like hormones and Sodium-Ion Pumps that keep our body functioning even during the "worst of times" when no protein sources are available.

An athlete requires growth.  For growth you need an abundance of protein that can be formed into contractile proteins used for muscle contraction and function.  Small amounts of protein just do not allow this.  Even if you are a vegan who goes overboard with soy, you are still depriving your body of necessary variety.  Without going into physiology, its just an example of "too much of anything is bad".

Has there every been supplements of these essential amino acids for vegans to use, and how effective were they?

Protein supplementation is one of the least efficient forms of dietary supplementation that exists.  Relying on supplements is going to make your life difficult and hinder your progress.

I am tired of vegans coming in here and claiming they are "fit".  First off, can you define "fit" please?  Does that just mean you are under 180 lbs?  Or do you have some fitness benchmarks that you can throw up here for our assessment?  Even if they are, they are a counterexample to the norm.  To quote Steve from a discussion we had yesterday:

Quote from: Steve Low
show me a fit vegan and ill show u 100 non-vegans who are fitter

Now I am not here to hate on your way of life.  That's not really my business.  What is my business (mostly because I make it my business...) is the propagation of fact and the debunking of falsehoods in training.  This claim that vegans can be top notch performance athletes is crazy.  They may be healthier than the general population -- but anyone who doesn't eat the pure shit the general population eats will share the same experience.

And to ask something completely unrelated - multivitamin pills. I remember reading somewhere (but I forgot the source =\) that a large amount of vitamins/minerals (large relative to RDA's percent daily value, say around 300% daily) can disrupt the homeostasis of your biological processes. The processes then get used to this large intake, and when one normalize his/her diet to just 100% of the daily value, the processes function as if it had a smaller intake (say around 50% as an example) due to the disrupted homeostasis. I think I read this on a textbook that is far more advanced in the medical field than I am, so I may recall some parts uncorrectly. But what are your thoughts on this? It came into mind because of the "Not getting my diet" thread, where your recommendation of an already balanced diet is combined with multivitamin pills. I mean, the diets themselves can probably give you 100% of certain vitamins/minerals, maybe more, but some MV pills give you 100% these vitamin/mineral a pop, so daily you are intaking 300% of these vitamins, right?

I have never heard that before in my life.  Most vitamins are impossible to overdose on.  For example, there are no cases of Vitamin C overdose that I am aware of.  The only cases of Vitamin A overdose are in Antarctic explorers who were living off of Polar Bear Liver for months that has something like 90,000% the RDA % DV of Vitamin A.  There are some vitamins that you can OD on, but you really need to try....very hard.

However, there is an awful abundant population that has vitamin deficiencies, which is insanity in our country of plenty.  Taking multi-vitamins each day with a diet rich in fruits, veggies, nuts and lean meats (chicken, fish, lean beef, etc) you will have a full vitamin profile.  The beautiful thing about "excess" vitamins is that once your body absorbs enough of a particular vitamin, it usually stops absorption until it needs more resulting in the excretion of the excess.

If you have sources/citations on this 300%+ crap, let me know...but i have read a few books on this and nothing I have read has even come close to mentioning that.

And....just for your information on what some more involved fitness/nutrition experts feel on vegan diets, I have put up some quotes and links below.

Here's another small anecdote from the Forum of Lyle McDonald:
http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?t=206&highlight=vegan

In case you don't know who Lyle is, he is widely considered one of the nutrition gurus among the fitness world.  Coaches across the country defer to his nutritional advice as he has read and analyzed every nutrition book out there and has also performed extensive nutrititional and training literature reviews.  Full bio can be found at:
http://bodyrecomposition.com/lylemcdonald-abo.html

Here's another anecdote from Robb Wolf, another dieting guru in the fitness world...
Quote from: Robb Wolf
A key feature that is continuously overlooked by mainstream medicine, especially the clueless vegan docs, is the complete lack of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disease in hunter gatherer cultures. The immediate argument is “hunter gatherers did not live very long…” Oy vey! They need to read the common counter arguments rebuttal. These folks just do not get it but there are some people who still believe in a flat earth…go figure!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 05:35:31 AM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Steve Low

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Re: Vegan diet advice
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2008, 08:05:44 AM »
Re: protein sources.

NITROGEN. All amino acids have nitrogen in them and they must have nitrogen in them to make peptide bonds. Nitrogen is highly toxic to our bodies (like most other things), so we have a pathway called the urea cycle which processes amino acids into urea which our body excretes into urine.

UNFORTUNATELY, since nitrogen is toxic, there are pretty much no other biological sources of nitrogen that we can intake besides proteins that our body can process. Therefore, if you have no extra nitrogen sources, your body cannot make amino acids which is the take 99% of the time (the few exceptions are DNA which have nitrogenous bases.. but this is very, very, very small amount compared to how much you get from meat, fish, eggs, etc.). Thus, these protein metabolism pathways are mainly for getting rid of nitrogen OR if you have too much of say one amino acid it can convert it into another non-essential amino acid.

All humans MUST have adequate protein intake... not just essential amino acid intake. You can't just randomly "create" amino acids like you're thinking of because the parts are scarce (nitrogen) and only really abundant in meat, fish, eggs, etc.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 08:07:52 AM by Steve Low »
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