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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is an eleven minute video by Dr. Greger that you all MUST see if you want to live a healthy life as a vegan! I've been vegan for nine years and vegetarian before that for fifteen years and I didn't realize how important the amounts and kinds of omega 3's and omega 6's are! We 'brag' about having less incidence of heart disease and so on, but if our diet isn't 'balanced', we actually have a greater risk of heart attacks. And I just found out what actually constitutes a balanced diet with regards to the fats in our diets. I'm a healthy eater, really pay attention to it but I have some adjustments to make, so I'm sure there are others here who might find this as interesting as I.

I'm a healthy eater, really pay attention to it but I have some adjustments to make, so I'm sure there are others here who might find this as interesting as I.

I became a vegan for ethical reasons and did it over a weekend and I'm in it for the long haul so something that's important to me is that we share correct health/eating information wherever we are because we want every one to be totally successful as a vegan who is representative of the value of this lifestyle.

I'm sorry if that sounds over-zealous or fanatical, but that's the way I think of all of this food stuff. So here's the video link. Enjoy!
 

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I'm honestly not sure if you're for real since you have made more than one half-informed alarmist vegan post in approximately a week.

Harvard Medical School has confirmed that a plant-based diet can REVERSE heart disease, if it's oil free and contains B12 and flaxseeds.

Yes, vegans need B12 and omega 3s. Unless you're living under a rock or suffer from extreme ignorance, you should know to take B12.

Omega 3s can be found in flax, walnuts, hemp and fortified foods.
 

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I've been vegan for nine years and vegetarian before that for fifteen years and I didn't realize how important the amounts and kinds of omega 3's and omega 6's are! We 'brag' about having less incidence of heart disease and so on, but if our diet isn't 'balanced', we actually have a greater risk of heart attacks.

Hmm, wait a minute. I did hear Dr. Greger cite a study which showed that vegetarians had the same mortality rates as meat eaters. I didn't hear him say that vegetarians had a greater average risk of heart attacks.

Dr. Greger's recommendation to consume an appropriate ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is correct. Every mainstream vegetarian and vegan organization makes the same recommendation:

from the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue1/2007_issue1_omega_3.php
from the Vegan Society: https://www.vegansociety.com/resour...ns-minerals-and-nutrients/omega-3-and-omega-6
from the Vegetarian Society: https://www.vegsoc.org/fatscholesterolomegas


However, despite the variability of nutrition quality among individual vegetarians, no peer-reviewed study has ever shown that vegetarians or vegans have a higher all-cause mortality rate than meat-eaters.

There have been at least 3 very large peer-reviewed studies comparing the mortality rates of vegetarians, semi-vegetarians, and meat eaters. All of these studies either showed that (1) vegetarians have lower all-cause mortality rates than semi-vegetarians and meat eaters, or (2) vegetarians have the same all-cause mortality rates as semi-vegetarians and meat eaters. None of these studies showed that vegetarians have higher rates of all-cause mortality.

The 3 large peer-reviewed studies are:

1. The Adventist Health Study: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/06/04/ajcn.113.071233.full.pdf+html
2. The EPIC-Oxford Study: Cancer mortality: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1620S.full . Heart disease mortality: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/01/30/ajcn.112.044073.abstract
3. The Health Food Shopper Study: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/36/5/873.full.pdf+html


Based on these and other peer-reviewed studies, the American Heart Association makes this statement regarding the health of vegetarians:

“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”
Link to this statement: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp#
 
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It seems that some people need added supplemental Omega 3. For some reason they can't extract enough from walnuts, hemp, flax, etc. It might be age-related or as a result of some metabolic problem.
 

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I've been vegan for nine years and vegetarian before that for fifteen years and I didn't realize how important the amounts and kinds of omega 3's and omega 6's are! We 'brag' about having less incidence of heart disease and so on, but if our diet isn't 'balanced', we actually have a greater risk of heart attacks.
Please forgive me for repeating myself from the other thread.

I did hear Dr. Greger cite a study which showed that vegetarians had the same mortality rates as meat eaters. However, I didn't hear him say that vegetarians had a greater average risk of heart attacks.

Dr. Greger's recommendation to consume an appropriate ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is correct. Every mainstream vegetarian and vegan organization makes the same recommendation:

from the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue1/2007_issue1_omega_3.php
from the Vegan Society: https://www.vegansociety.com/resour...ns-minerals-and-nutrients/omega-3-and-omega-6
from the Vegetarian Society: https://www.vegsoc.org/fatscholesterolomegas


However, despite the variability of nutrition quality among individual vegetarians, no peer-reviewed study has ever shown that vegetarians or vegans have a higher all-cause mortality rate than meat-eaters.

There have been at least 3 very large peer-reviewed studies comparing the mortality rates of vegetarians, semi-vegetarians, and meat eaters. All of these studies either showed that (1) vegetarians have lower all-cause mortality rates than semi-vegetarians and meat eaters, or (2) vegetarians have the same all-cause mortality rates as semi-vegetarians and meat eaters. None of these studies showed that vegetarians have higher rates of all-cause mortality.

The 3 large peer-reviewed studies are:

1. The Adventist Health Study: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/06/04/ajcn.113.071233.full.pdf+html
2. The EPIC-Oxford Study: Cancer mortality: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1620S.full . Heart disease mortality: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/01/30/ajcn.112.044073.abstract
3. The Health Food Shopper Study: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/36/5/873.full.pdf+html


Based on these and other peer-reviewed studies, the American Heart Association makes this statement regarding the health of vegetarians:

“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”
Link to this statement: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp#
 
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Thanks for this article and your comments David. For those that don't watch the video, the short version is that carelessly planned vegan diets with little thought about nutrition are no better for one's health than diets with meat but with some nutrition planning we get the health advantage.

And that you should take Omega 3s (e.g. in flax seeds) and vitamin B12.
 

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Hmm, wait a minute. I did hear Dr. Greger cite a study which showed that vegetarians had the same mortality rates as meat eaters. I didn't hear him say that vegetarians had a greater average risk of heart attacks.

Dr. Greger's recommendation to consume an appropriate ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is correct. Every mainstream vegetarian and vegan organization makes the same recommendation:

from the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue1/2007_issue1_omega_3.php
from the Vegan Society: https://www.vegansociety.com/resour...ns-minerals-and-nutrients/omega-3-and-omega-6
from the Vegetarian Society: https://www.vegsoc.org/fatscholesterolomegas


However, despite the variability of nutrition quality among individual vegetarians, no peer-reviewed study has ever shown that vegetarians or vegans have a higher all-cause mortality rate than meat-eaters.

There have been at least 3 very large peer-reviewed studies comparing the mortality rates of vegetarians, semi-vegetarians, and meat eaters. All of these studies either showed that (1) vegetarians have lower all-cause mortality rates than semi-vegetarians and meat eaters, or (2) vegetarians have the same all-cause mortality rates as semi-vegetarians and meat eaters. None of these studies showed that vegetarians have higher rates of all-cause mortality.

The 3 large peer-reviewed studies are:

1. The Adventist Health Study: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/06/04/ajcn.113.071233.full.pdf+html
2. The EPIC-Oxford Study: Cancer mortality: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1620S.full . Heart disease mortality: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/01/30/ajcn.112.044073.abstract
3. The Health Food Shopper Study: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/36/5/873.full.pdf+html


Based on these and other peer-reviewed studies, the American Heart Association makes this statement regarding the health of vegetarians:

“Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.”
Link to this statement: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp#
From what I have read, vegans sometimes actually have more DHA in their blood than meat eaters, because of increased ability to make it from ALA and less consumption of Omega 6. Any studies I've observed that said vegans are in worse shape date back to the early 1980s, which is practically the dark ages when it comes to vegan diets.

In any event, it appears to be older vegans who have more issues which require supplements, and the problem is cognitive decline or stroke, NOT heart disease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for this article and your comments David. For those that don't watch the video, the short version is that carelessly planned vegan diets with little thought about nutrition are no better for one's health than diets with meat but with some nutrition planning we get the health advantage.

And that you should take Omega 3s (e.g. in flax seeds) and vitamin B12.
I think you boiled down the purpose of the video by Dr. Greger very nicely Jamie. I know that personally, I'm going to make an even greater effort to get flax seed into my diet. The flax is going to be the hard one because I don't do much cooking the includes loafs and patties and don't like the texture when you add flax to curries and such. I find it a little 'slippery' but I'm going to work on it anyway. Maybe I'll get used to it after I adjust my recipes a bit. Or maybe chia will be good in my cereal as I think it also has omega 3's and it doesn't need to be ground. Got a bit of research to do I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Please forgive me for repeating myself from the other thread.

I did hear Dr. Greger cite a study which showed that vegetarians had the same mortality rates as meat eaters. However, I didn't hear him say that vegetarians had a greater average risk of heart attacks.

Dr. Greger's recommendation to consume an appropriate ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is correct. Every mainstream vegetarian and vegan organization makes the same recommendation:...........



I think the problem that Dr. Greger is highlighting is that in our culture, our consumption of processed foods and Omega-6 sources has been rising while our consumption of the Omega-3 sources has been falling. The result is a reduction in the manufacture of EPA to DHA which are heart protective while there has been a corresponding increase in the manufacture of AA (from the 'bad' oils in processed foods) which produces inflammation.

And he goes on to say that the ideal ratio of omega 6’s to omega 3’s should be 4-1. Meat eaters have been found to consume a ratio (normally) of 7-1 while vegetarians were found to consume 10-1 and vegans 15-1

With those kinds of ratios, actually building up inflammation which is a major cause of illness of all sorts, is it any surprise if we might have more heart disease, etc?

He also is encouraging veg’s to eat more sources of Omega 3’s and specifically mentions 1-2 tbsp ground flax seed per day. And he tells us to throw out corn oils, safflower or sunflower oils.

The next issue he references is the homocysteine levels that are in our bodies and while he says that a homocysteine level under 10 is best because it is a vascular toxin (meaning it damages our blood vessels and anything over 10 is a set up for heart disease) he continues with the following data, that shows that in the study he looked at, the homocysteine levels are thus:

ideal 10
meat eaters level 12
vegetarians 16
vegans 19

He goes on to say that if you have a homocysteine level of 16, you have a three fold risk of dying of heart attack. Interestingly, his chart shows the above to be from 2001 data but follow up data (according to him) showed our veg’n levels to have risen to 17 and 27. Apparently, and according to Dr. Greger, we are going in the wrong direction. Could that be from increased reliance on processed foods as more and more are coming into existence? As an ex-Adventist, I know that the cooking that I did as well as that of the other ladies in my church had very little reliance on any processed foods.

If the studies that you are pointing to were done prior to the sudden surge and availability of vegan processed foods, that would mean that the veg’s involved were eating a more whole food diet as opposed to the fake meats, nut and bean milks, vegan cheeses, ice creams, cookies, biscuits, etc. Could that be where the cause for change has occurred?

He goes on to finish with the statement that we are just not getting enough B12 in our diets to protect us from the homocysteine in our systems.
 

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Thanks for this article and your comments David. For those that don't watch the video, the short version is that carelessly planned vegan diets with little thought about nutrition are no better for one's health than diets with meat but with some nutrition planning we get the health advantage.

And that you should take Omega 3s (e.g. in flax seeds) and vitamin B12.

Dr. Greger's emphasis on omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 are appropriate. All mainstream vegetarian and vegan organzations make the same emphasis.

In my previous post, what I wanted to firmly correct was the original post's implication (incorrectly assumed that the by me) that the average vegan's diet was less healthy that the average omnivore's diet. My cited studies show this to be unlikely.
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I don't think I said anywhere that we have a greater chance of heart attack .

I'm sure you didn't intend to say this, but please reread your words below:

We 'brag' about having less incidence of heart disease and so on, but if our diet isn't 'balanced', we actually have a greater risk of heart attacks.
 

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I understand that the intent of this thread is to emphasize that a vegan diet is not automatically healthy. A very important point.

All mainstream vegan organizations instruct us to pay attention to protein, iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. These nutrients are also important for omnivores.

My issue is this: When we emphasize the importance of these nutrients, we must not make the mistake of implying that we vegans are always the precipice of malnutrition, or that omnivorous diets are generally superior to vegan diets; neither of these claims are true. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a public relations battle between plant-based nutrition advocates and meat-centered nutrition advocates. Because many people are easily persuaded by blogs, forums, and YouTube (rather than by actual, well-designed, peer-reviewed studies), we must be accurate in our statements. That's why I avoid offering opinions - instead, I provide links to peer-reviewed studies, nutrition databases, and statements made by reputable health organizations.

If I sound a bit paranoid and critical, I really do apologize. I'm reacting (badly) to the unfathomable popularity of certain recent diet books, which claim that legumes and whole grains are bad for us, and that vegetarian diets are inherently unhealthy. Every. single. mainstream health organization says just the opposite, and yet these diet books are prominently displayed in health food stores! It's apparent that a substantial percentage of the population lacks critical thinking skills. I personally know individuals - educated people working in technical fields - who believe the most ridiculous crap - incredible superstition.
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Agreed. Junk food (vegan or otherwise) is not good for us. These foods degrade everyone's health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm honestly not sure if you're for real since you have made more than one half-informed alarmist vegan post in approximately a week.

Harvard Medical School has confirmed that a plant-based diet can REVERSE heart disease, if it's oil free and contains B12 and flaxseeds.

Yes, vegans need B12 and omega 3s. Unless you're living under a rock or suffer from extreme ignorance, you should know to take B12.

Omega 3s can be found in flax, walnuts, hemp and fortified foods.
Did you watch the video or are you just jumping right in there to blast me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'm sure you didn't intend to say this, but please reread your words below:
You're right, I did say that and can I ask, did you read my most recent post? I wrote it as I listened to the video (which maybe you didn't get a chance to listen to yet???) and I stand by what I said as a result. When you consider the dangerous numbers that Dr. Greger cited (not me making them up), it seems reasonable to conclude that it is entirely possible that we can be eating ourselves into a greater possibility of running into trouble.

And David, like you, I NEVER OFFER OPINIONS, but always back up what I glean from reading that I do from CREDIBLE SOURCES, with the links so that people can check them out for themselves if they feel so inclined which is why the opening post has a video where you can listen to Dr. Greger himself, talking about the results HE FOUND after looking at a study which found that our EPA and DHA levels and homocysteine levels were not optimum for heart and brain health. You are arguing with him, not me, I am only a messenger.

Having said that, I'd be interested to hear your opinion on the numbers that he mentioned in his video.
 

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You're right, I did say that and can I ask, did you read my most recent post? I wrote it as I listened to the video (which maybe you didn't get a chance to listen to yet???) and I stand by what I said as a result. When you consider the dangerous numbers that Dr. Greger cited (not me making them up), it seems reasonable to conclude that it is entirely possible that we can be eating ourselves into a greater possibility of running into trouble.

And David, like you, I NEVER OFFER OPINIONS, but always back up what I glean from reading that I do from CREDIBLE SOURCES, with the links so that people can check them out for themselves if they feel so inclined which is why the opening post has a video where you can listen to Dr. Greger himself, talking about the results HE FOUND after looking at a study which found that our EPA and DHA levels and homocysteine levels were not optimum for heart and brain health. You are arguing with him, not me, I am only a messenger.

Having said that, I'd be interested to hear your opinion on the numbers that he mentioned in his video.

All mainstream vegetarian and vegan organizations agree with Dr. Greger's recommendations to consume adequate omega 3 fatty acids, and to take vitamin B12 supplements (to prevent high homocysteine levels).

Vegetarian Resource Group on vitamin B12: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/b12.php

Vegetarian Resource Group on omega 3, DHA, and EPA fatty acids: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue1/2007_issue1_omega_3.php

My only intended correction was to the implication that vegans have a higher risk of fatal heart disease than omnivores. Yes, Dr. Greger selectively-presented one study which showed that vegetarians and omnivores have the same all-cause mortality rate. However, other studies (which I presented above) say differently.

Dr. Greger is occasionally guilty of selectively-presenting peer-reviewed studies that don't accurately represent the overall weight of evidence on a given topic. For instance, in this video, Dr. Greger presents a study which found that vegans and omnivores have the same bone mineral density (a predictor of bone fracture risk).


If a person watched only this video (without consulting other studies), they might incorrectly conclude that vegans don't need to pay much attention to calcium and vitamin D (important nutrients for bone health). To Dr. Greger's credit, his website does include a webpage that discusses vegan bone health more thoroughly: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/bone-health/ Here is the Vegetarian Resource Group's webpage regarding vegan bone health: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php

This is why I don't accept Dr. Greger at face value. The various "YoutTube vegan doctors" (McDougall, Klaper, Fuhrman, etc.) sometimes make recommendations that conflict with those of mainstream vegan and/or health organizations. Also, some of these YouTube vegan physicians don't even agree with each other! For instance, Dr. McDougall recommends eating grains abundantly, while Dr. Fuhrman recommends limiting grains: http://lanimuelrath.com/mcdougall-v...ou-from-the-great-plant-based-doctors-debate/
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I think you are reading something into that for the purpose of an argument. He didn't say you don't need to worry about calcium or Vitamin D. He referenced milk consumption specifically. He was ONLY refuting the notion that milk is required for strong bones. Now granted, the failure (if there is one) in this video is that he should have gone on to discuss how vegans can and do get their calcium and vitamin D needs met. I would think he did the video the way he did to answer one simple question: Do I need to drink milk for strong bones?
 

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I think you are reading something into that for the purpose of an argument. He didn't say you don't need to worry about calcium or Vitamin D. He referenced milk consumption specifically. He was ONLY refuting the notion that milk is required for strong bones. Now granted, the failure (if there is one) in this video is that he should have gone on to discuss how vegans can and do get their calcium and vitamin D needs met. I would think he did the video the way he did to answer one simple question: Do I need to drink milk for strong bones?
Please watch the video. Dr. Greger's summary says that the omnivores in the study were consuming twice as much calcium as the vegans, yet the two groups had the same bone mineral density. This implies that vegans don't need to worry about calcium, which is not true.
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I know how I read the numbers that he presents regarding AA and EPA/DHA levels and Homocysteine levels as they pertain to the likelihood of diseases. Do you read those numbers differently and if so why? And what do you think the correlation might be between increased consumption of the vegan 'substitutes' that are showing up in our supermarkets more and more and the potential for disease?

I'm reluctant to interpret the numbers, because I'm not a dietitian or physician. However, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, heightened homocysteine levels (caused by B12 deficiency), are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0301/p979.html ). For this reason, mainstream vegetarian and vegan organizations (and Dr. Greger) instruct people to take B12 supplements, or to consume B12-supplemented foods. Same with EPA/DHA.

I'm not qualified to speculate on any correlation (or lack thereof) between vegan substitutes and disease potential. Please present peer-reviewed studies on vegans and disease risk, with weblinks.

Some vegan "meats" are fortified with vitamin B12: http://beyondmeat.com/products/view/the-beast-burger . "Silk" brand soymilk is fortified with B12 and DHA: https://silk.com/products/dha-omega-3-soymilk

Other vegan substitutes, like vegan "butter", contribute lots of calories and few nutrients:

 

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Thalassa did pretty well in outlining the video!
That Greger is sure hard to listen to- if you put a laugh track to it I'd feel I just didn't get the joke!
Anyway, the whole WFPB diet, Dr. Esselstyns diet, which I have been witness to seeing heart disease reversal in test results of a co worker, are by far the healthiest way to eat. Eat to Live.

I think the rub here is from so many pushing the health aspect of veganism in light of the vast majority of people who eat so far from healthy on omni diets. To me, being an ethical vegan in the same way as the person ate as an omni is more important than chasing optimal health.

I am aware that wasn't worded well and sounds terrible, but honestly, most people won't go vegan because they don't want to eat all healthy foods. They like bad foods, and if we don't encourage things like vegan options at drive through joints it's going to be a long long time before animal liberation
 
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