Real arguments against vegan diets - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-16-2015, 02:27 PM
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Real arguments against vegan diets

I was inspired to start this topic by the other thread. The idea behind this one is to find actual potential problems with a vegan diet and then hopefully provide solutions. It may not be as fun, but it might make us healthier. I will start with a couple I have heard of:


1) Vegans are more likely to have a bad omega 3:6 ratio which can significantly increase chance of death. The lowest ratio you should have is 1:4 for good health, though from my vague understanding 1:1 would be better.

If you're not taking in oils there is a good chance your ratio is fairly okay. Safflower and palm oil have terrible ratios, 1:infinity and 1:45 respectively. Olive oil has a more tame but still crappy 1:13 ratio, but canola oil has an impressive 1:2 ratio. Canola oil seems to be where it is at if you use oils.

That being said it was found the ratio was more important I believe so if you're going to be having some safflower oil make sure you are taking some ground flax with it which has a sweet sweet 4:1 ratio.

Flax might be a good idea to take regardless as the people in the study who were closer to 1:1 did better than those with higher ratios.

This is all based on what I've heard with a couple of the easier parts filled in by myself. If anyone has any corrections or additions please speak up.



2) Vegans are more likely to have a higher homocysteine level than omnis. Apparently B12 can fix this for vegans. You need more than what it takes to prevent nerve damage though. I have no idea how much you should take and I haven't seen a lot of information on this. My B12 levels are significantly higher than average and I plan on checking my homocysteine levels soon. Anyone have more information?
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#2 Old 07-18-2015, 11:42 PM
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biggest general problem is lack of nutrients if no proper guidelines aren't followed.

Vitamin D, Calcium, B12, Iron can all be deficient. If you are athletic, lack of protein can also become an issue.

But all these are managed if you eat the right food and not junk food.
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#3 Old 07-19-2015, 12:19 AM
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Iron is the opposite for me. If I get 150% of my daily iron it is a low day for me. It's not uncommon for me to be at over 400%. Yesterday I had about 430%
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#4 Old 07-19-2015, 11:53 AM
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If you already have deficiencies or absorption problems, it could be potentially dangerous to restrict your diet to only plant based produce. For example, I've got Crohn's disease and am unable to digest leafy greens and most hard fruits at the moment because of the location of my ulcers.

But that's not an argument as to why veganism isn't a good diet, it says nothing about veganism. It just says that I in my current condition am better off eating certain animal products in order to get enough nutrients.

So while this is no argument against veganism as a whole, it does mean it doesn't always work for everyone.
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#5 Old 08-11-2015, 04:23 AM
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Lack of nutrition so you need to take pills to make up for it.
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#6 Old 08-11-2015, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Windigo View Post
If you already have deficiencies or absorption problems, it could be potentially dangerous to restrict your diet to only plant based produce. For example, I've got Crohn's disease and am unable to digest leafy greens and most hard fruits at the moment because of the location of my ulcers.

But that's not an argument as to why veganism isn't a good diet, it says nothing about veganism. It just says that I in my current condition am better off eating certain animal products in order to get enough nutrients.

So while this is no argument against veganism as a whole, it does mean it doesn't always work for everyone.
hey my mum has crohn's disease, she has it pretty bad too. She doesn't follow a vegan diet like me though and tends to have a high meat/dairy intake and low plant-based intake. She says anything with fiber makes things worse for her. I have heard that plant-based diets can help with crohns, and kinda feel like suggesting it to her. How do you find your crohn's on a vegan diet? If you don't mind me asking?
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#7 Old 08-11-2015, 08:59 AM
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Lack of nutrition so you need to take pills to make up for it.

Not inherent lack of nutrition, just that it's harder (or you have to be mindful of how you get the required nutrients)
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#8 Old 08-11-2015, 09:16 AM
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Lack of nutrition so you need to take pills to make up for it.
Even B-12 can be obtained through plant/non-animal sources which is DIFFICULT but not impossible. All the others are relatively easy to obtain on a HEALTHY vegan diet. Many vegans do not eat a healthy diet though, just because it is plant based does not make it inherently healthy.

Supplements (outside people with medical conditions that cause issues with absorbing nutrients) are not essential if you eat healthy and the lazy way out of eating healthy.

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#9 Old 08-11-2015, 12:03 PM
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In regard to point 1), the thing you got to remember about omega 3 is that even though flax has a good 3/6 ration, the components in omega 3 aren't distributed well. The 3 components I'm talking about are ALA, EPA, DHA. EPA and DHA are more beneficial for body and, sadly, plant based sources contain an abundance of ALA and not a lot of the more beneficial EPA and DHA chains. The human body is capable of converting ALA to EPA and DHA but it is horribly inefficient at it; grams of ALA would need to be consumed in order to ingest enough to convert the ALA to the recommended 300 micro grams of EPA and DHA. So much in fact it wouldn't be healthy.

The reason why fish contain a good balance is that they derive their omega 3 from algae, and then convert the abundant ALA to EPA and DHA which in turn is where, sadly, people get their balance of omega 3 nutrients. Because of this I take algae based vegan capsule omega 3 supplements that are rich in EPA and DHA twice a day.
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#10 Old 08-13-2015, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by lookforstars View Post
hey my mum has crohn's disease, she has it pretty bad too. She doesn't follow a vegan diet like me though and tends to have a high meat/dairy intake and low plant-based intake. She says anything with fiber makes things worse for her. I have heard that plant-based diets can help with crohns, and kinda feel like suggesting it to her. How do you find your crohn's on a vegan diet? If you don't mind me asking?
I already said that above, for me a vegan diet is not appropriate because of Crohn's; I can't digest leafy greens well and have a problem with fibreous foods so I'm vegetarian at the moment.

You might've heard plant based diets work for Crohns, but there's also people swearing Paleo works for Crohns, or whatever diet you can think of. Problem is, Crohn's is an illness that manifests unique symptoms in each person, and so each person has different needs to cope with the illness. If your mom says she has a problem with fibre, she probably does. I can't tell what's best for her; she has to listen to her gut. Literally.
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