Everyone has a story to tell when they finally ditch their fast-food lifestyle.
Over the past week we've come up against the statement " animal fat kills" which can't be backed up with any statistically significant evidence. The whole plant based diet vs. animal food diet is more often than not based on a faulty argument. Their is no doubt that a diet of whole, unprocessed plant foods (natural foods) are far more nutritious than the typical a low-nutrient standard UK or American diet (SAD). The argument that animal fat (or even meat) kills wilts (plant based pun) when you consider that they usually base their argument on a SAD diet and not an unprocessed diet of natural animal products mixed with plant based foods.
Testing plant diet” against the “Standard American diet” and coming to the conclusion "animal fat kills" isn't really fair is it? Is it fair to consider steak in the same class as cake? So it seems that a great deal of the research out their that is used to demonize animal fat is actually refering to the SAD. Kind of SAD that they interchange things to suit the research. Our industrialised nation does consume meat, but we also eat a lot of toast, teacakes and hoover down crisps like they are some sort of legal high. Non industrialised nations such as the Masai, traditional Inuit (not the ones who have adopted western diets), and many others, are free from disease despite consuming animal products. Seems to me that the smoking gun is more likely to be held by the SAD.
Another popular vegan source of evidence is Dr Caldwell Esselstyn and his heart-disease-reversal diet. However, he recommends a massive reduction in all fat, not just animal fat. Wow, that means eliminating nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, and many other plant fats. Wow, he thinks that any dietary fat damages the endothelial cells and promotes heart disease so its an ultra low fat diet. Holy cow, what can a vegan eat then? Surely a tomato is ok???
Esselstyn advocates a diet that eliminates:
- Anything with a “mother or a face,” including meat, fish, and poultry
- All dairy
- All nuts and avocados
- All oils, such as soybean oil, olive oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and anything else with “oil” in the name
- All solid fats like margarine and butter
- All foods—whether pre-made or prepared at home—that contain even a drop of added fat
- Any grains that aren’t 100% whole. According to Esselstyn, this includes eliminating “multigrain, cracked wheat, seven-grain, stone-ground, 100 percent wheat, enriched flour, or degerminated cornmeal”
The "C" word is a popular swear word with plant food fans...I've been called it this week so I should know, damn me and my inability to fall in line. Luckily their is another "C" word that we can discuss.
Yep Cholesterol, nasty nasty natural cholesterol the natural and essential substance that is essential for human survival (oh yes it is) due to its important biological functions.
In the 80's we were told that dietary cholesterol from animal foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products, tended to stay in the bloodstream and collect as plaque on the inside of our blood vessels to cause of coronary artery disease. That was the 80's though so research has moved on and so have we, oh wait some people are still stuck in the 80's.
Cholesterol in our body is regulated in relation to what we ingest from food. If we ingest too much (pretty hard to do) then our body slows down its cholesterol production, equally if we don't consume enough the body will manufacture more. Yes you read that right, our bodies naturally produce this so called "toxic" substance. Weird how our own body would try and poison us!! Unless its all a myth and cholesterol is actually essential to life. Check out this paper if you still believe dietary cholesterol is harmful.
I saw a great quote earlier in the week, sorry I can't reference it (I just can't remember whose blog I saw it on. It went something like this;
"A vegan lifestyle involves continuous animal abuse and cruelty. One has to ignore and override the 911 calls from the animal most intimate to us, our own body. Eating the nutrient dense red meat of ruminants is what made us large brained humans. Eating a diet that is contrary to our biochemistry and evolutionary history, is loaded with toxins anti nutrients for some generally abstract concepts leads me to regard the vegan lifestlye as a mental illness."
While the quote is very strongly worded from the opposite camp, (team paelo) it does have a point. Even a tomato eats bugs which means to be truly vegan you need to avoid tomatoes as well as a host of other plants that need some protein. With no evidence to back up the "meat is bad" argument it seems that they only case for veganism is personal choice (which we all should have), and because we don't like cruelty to animals. I hate animal cruelty but I'd like to point out a few factors;
Vegan's that buy vegan dog and cat food are being cruel to animals that need their natural diet.
If your deliberatly cutting something from your diet on a belief basis, surely that may count as cruelty, especially if you push it on others such as the case of this little ex vegan, or these shocking cases.
We have the freedom to follow whatever diet or beliefs we want, (and so we should) however, the moment we start preaching (and for my old mate Gazza, preaching doesn't just have religious meaning) we either need to back it up with "statistically significant" data or get the best indemnity insurance you can.
To conclude, eat whatever you want, its your choice. Just don't push your views on others without being asked. I'm sure most of you would be disgusted if I tried to push my views on the benefits of Hagen Daz Vanilla Ice Cream onto you wouldn't you??