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Korn
Jan 14th, 2007, 05:08 PM
Again, I should probably have stressed that the intention with the poll was to emphasize the difference between worrying about getting enough nutrients on a vegan diet as opposed to focusing if vegans actually need to be more concerned about nutrients - based on real, scientific studies. I'll set up a new poll when I find a better way to phrase that myth. vs. science-question.

Don't worry, pavotrouge, I don't think anyone believes you are secretly against veganism or are arrogant. :)

Mahk
Jan 14th, 2007, 09:03 PM
Korn, I don't know how to answer the poll question because I feel very differently depending on the specific nutrient. Also the question doesn't state whether the vegan consumes "fortified" foods, which is equivalent to taking supplements in pill form, in my opinion. For what it's worth, here is how I would vote, by nutrient, assuming no fortified foods or supplements are allowed:

Vitamin A, B's (excluding B12), C, E, (most) Minerals, Protein - No.

Iodine, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D - Maybe, depends on the conditions.

Weird ones that are rarely discussed (Folate, Biotin, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc) - Um...er...I guess not?:confused:

VITAMIN B12 - YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I recently discovered that the only established vegan form of vitamin B12, nutritional yeast, contains substantial amounts of B12 only because it is fortified with it! Source:http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/vegansources

Korn
Jan 14th, 2007, 09:29 PM
Korn, I don't know how to answer the poll question because I feel very differently depending on the specific nutrient.

That makes totally sense, but instead of having a poll for each nutrient, the poll/thread was meant as a comment to the feeling some people seem to have, namely that they are safe (or more safe) regarding nutrients in general if they eat meat than if they eat vegan food.


Also the question doesn't state whether the vegan consumes "fortified" foods I agree that fortified food = food + supplements, and I don't think it makes sense to include supplements or fortified food into this - although, meat IS already fortified food, because today, animals eat grass from fortified fields and eat fortified food as well.




Weird ones that are rarely discussed (Folate, Biotin, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc) - Um...er...I guess not?:confused: When looking at all these nutrients, the big question IMO is (in this context) if there's any reason to believe that vegans should have more deficiencies than meat eaters. Of course the poll is silly and totally unscientific, because there isn't one vegan diet or one meat based diet - the thread/poll is very general. Letting go of the B12-obsession :) for a moment, and including important stuff like the antioxidants/B6/vitaminC/phytosterol/fiber/mangnesium, it seems that the more or less common belief (among meat eaters) that they'd have to become generally more worried about nutrients if they would go vegan is only a myth. (and: not only are they often low in a number of nutrients, they have high levels of other stuff that one doesn't want to have high levels of.)





I recently discovered that the only established vegan form of vitamin B12, nutritional yeast, contains substantial amounts of B12 only because it is fortified with it! Source: http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/vegansources There are several ways to cultivate B12 (not using nutritional yeast). Whatever kind of B12 nutritional yeast is fortified with, it's not animal based, and therefor vegan, and thirdly, if you read through the pseudo-scientific and very unbalanced B12 stuff at veganhealth, and check other sources (that they either don't mention, or if they mention them, they do it with a more or less hidden non-vegan bias), you'll see that B12 can and has been found in many non-animal based sources. Not enough few studies have focused on the bio-availability of B12 - you know, the whole thing about plants (and animal products, multivitamins etc) containing B12 analogues etc., which we have discussed in the B12 sections for a few years. By the way, I believe lots of meat eaters who take multivitamins take vegan B12 as well, because the B12 they take is probably synthesized, and not animal based.

Unfortunately, veganhealth (a sub-site of Vegan Outreach) has a genuine lack of interest in showing balanced information about B12, or providing scientific, real life-based comparisons between nutrient levels in vegans and meat eaters.

mjj48
May 1st, 2007, 07:02 AM
Years ago, when I ate meat, my diet was terrible - I didn't give nutrients etc a second thought. When I went vegetarian the foods I ate improved a little, although still I didn't pay much attention to what I was eating.

Now I've gone vegan I've become more aware of what I eat, and to be honest nearly all of it is so healthy I don't worry too much about whether it contains the right amount of vitamins etc. As long as I feel good and look good, I figure I must be doing something right :).

subversa
May 1st, 2007, 07:37 AM
But as you say Korn, there don't seem to be any studies to back up the idea that meat-eaters have less to worry about than vegans. I guess it is all the conditioning I have received over the years that "meat and dairy are healthy and you'll get sick if you don't consume them" :D

I think that conditioning plays into this on more than one level.
I think it is fair to say that almost all omnis were raised choking down meat. They are therefore conditioned to regularly eat this source of protein.
Vegetarians/Vegans were often raised as meat-eaters, as well, so it is not as natural (or we are not as conditioned) to eat a handful of nuts here... sprinkle seeds on our salad there, etc. So it becomes something we must keep track of and eventually condition ourselves to do.
Once we begin to track our protein intake, we become aware of our iron intake... and calcium.. then B12.. and so on...

So it may /seem/ like we need to be more aware of it simply because we are.
:confused: (Does that even make sense to anyone other than me?)

I know so many meat-eaters that do not get veggies or fruits on a daily basis. My little brother has refused to eat any fruit at all, since he was a toddler, and rarely ever eats any veggies! I would hate to think of all the deficiencies he must have. (-_-)
----

Korn
May 1st, 2007, 08:07 AM
So it may /seem/ like we need to be more aware of it simply because we are.
I think anyone who goes through changes - moves to a new country, starts to be more aware of the impact his lifestyle has on the environment, or makes major changes in his diet (etc) will have to 'pay extra attention' for a while - because we are so controlled by old habits.

The problem with meat eaters - and I'm referring to those who both eat meat and vegetables here - is that they are deficient in many nutrients even when living on a diet they know well and have had their whole life to adjust to.

Part of the problem isn't even the meat itself, but that the fact that they eat something which is not rich in antioxidants, folate, phytochemicals, fiber, vitamin C etc. means that they will eat less plants. Plants are best source for lots of stuff we need to eat.

Meat = actually plants that already have been eaten and digested once, so it doesn't surprise me that eating meat is associated with a lot of deficiencies (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24).

onebigvegan
Jun 12th, 2007, 12:04 AM
do they need to compared to meat eaters. No!
(i had a rant going then reread the question:)
i've noted in my time as a herbivore that unless there is external pressures on a vegan (drugs/ booze/ psychological stress/ physical illness/ physical trauma)
then a vegan will naturally eat the right stuff or even crave the right foods, being vegan makes your body more self aware of what it needs. i'm sure this is true. but if the any of the above list of distractions is in place then this self awareness can become very thin and then a price higher than an omni will be paid. only through the fact junk/crap/meaty shit is much more available/accessible then wholesome vegan food( how many places sell a range of preprepared vegan food, wholesome or not?)

i believe that being vegan and still maintaining the diet and self awareness will see you through the above much better than if you were an omni...

the exception is the transition period, the time between omni and vegan, the brain and the body are in a state of flux and unless guidance is available then deficiencies could occur, this these days is inconsiderably less that it used to be with much more information being available to the prospective vegan!

AliBlack
Oct 16th, 2008, 08:12 PM
I've had fatigue for a few months, I don't think it's diet related, (more likely anxiety related) my blood tests were clear, B12 is fine, calcium and iron fine, my diet isn't perfect by any means so I feel happy there's no deficiencies, I think your diet would have to be pretty poor for you to have these deficiencies if I'm ok! I eat too much sweet stuff and not enough fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds, I'm not sure if I'm lacking other vits and as I don't think you can be tested for them.

aktraveler
Oct 20th, 2008, 01:46 AM
i feel that meat eaters are more nutrient deficient than vegans...i know for me, i try to be aware (still learning) of my nutrient intake & how much is needed....as someone who is VERY interested in nutrition, i am always reading articles about the vegan lifestyle...meat eaters, on the other hand, do not (for the most part) keep track of their eating...just because they eat meat, does not mean they consume they correct amount of vegetables, fruits, and grains

Pilaf
Oct 25th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Yes, we are at a higher statistical risk to be deficient from nutrients like iron, vitamin D and the B vitamins. However most of us are very clever people, especially the informed ones who use resources like this site to research this stuff, so I'd say that while my risk is higher the reality is I am getting more of my nutrients than I ever did as an omni.

hiddenfromview
Oct 25th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Yes, we are at a higher statistical risk to be deficient from nutrients like iron, vitamin D and the B vitamins. However most of us are very clever people, especially the informed ones who use resources like this site to research this stuff, so I'd say that while my risk is higher the reality is I am getting more of my nutrients than I ever did as an omni.

Well if this is true, then I would like to believe it is not because we are vegans, but because we are in a minority. Let me explain. The eating patterns of majority groups will always have public nutritional advice tailored to their needs and common deficiences. Deficiences change with communities for a variety of reasons, not necessarily ethics/food. For example the Muslim community has a high rate of Vitamin D deficiency due to women covering, the South Asian community has a higher chances of diabeties due to high sugar foods.
Also, skin colour affects the ability to absorb Vitamin D. A person of European skin tone needs 15 minutes of sunlight daily for sufficient Vitamin D, but for an Afro-Carribbean person living in the same country (same amount of sunlight), nearly 6 times more time is needed.
So my point is: deficiences are merely circumstantial.
If the whole of society had been Vegan for centuries then the role of B12 in the body would change naturally with evolution. Look at Vitamin K and the mineral Boron. We only need small amounts of these, but what happens when we get none? I believe that these trace minerals and vitamins must have had more importance in the body at one point in history, but due to a significant food source being lost, the body progressively changed/adapted.

Pilaf
Oct 29th, 2008, 12:17 PM
Well if this is true, then I would like to believe it is not because we are vegans, but because we are in a minority. Let me explain. The eating patterns of majority groups will always have public nutritional advice tailored to their needs and common deficiences. Deficiences change with communities for a variety of reasons, not necessarily ethics/food. For example the Muslim community has a high rate of Vitamin D deficiency due to women covering, the South Asian community has a higher chances of diabeties due to high sugar foods.
Also, skin colour affects the ability to absorb Vitamin D. A person of European skin tone needs 15 minutes of sunlight daily for sufficient Vitamin D, but for an Afro-Carribbean person living in the same country (same amount of sunlight), nearly 6 times more time is needed.
So my point is: deficiences are merely circumstantial.
If the whole of society had been Vegan for centuries then the role of B12 in the body would change naturally with evolution. Look at Vitamin K and the mineral Boron. We only need small amounts of these, but what happens when we get none? I believe that these trace minerals and vitamins must have had more importance in the body at one point in history, but due to a significant food source being lost, the body progressively changed/adapted.

Evolution needs a catalyst to occur. A species as huge and thriving as Humanity which fills every corner of the Earth and isn't struggling to survive simply has no biological incentive to evolve. I've studied the topic of human evolution in my free time very often since I was a very young boy and I'd like to think I know how this stuff works. Our bodies will logically remain mostly the same until we begin venturing into space, colonizing other planets. Only then, with different groups of humans spread out millions of miles from each other, would beneficial mutations theoretically arise. Such as, for instance, humans living farther from the Sun on planets like Mars, perhaps the people whose bodies need less Vitamin D would be most successful there and their offspring would have a higher survival rate, etc.


Anyway, my point is that since our bodies have no catalyst to adopt and evolve, even over a long period of time, we must assume the basic nutritional needs of most humans fall within a certain range. We must also realize that in our modern society, the way it's structured and the diet that's promoted by the status quo, that there are one or two vitamins and minerals vegans should watch.

Does that mean we're probably gonna be deficient? No...because as is discussed elsewhere on this forum, due to an overall healthier diet and a more balanced intake of certain nutrients, a vegan's body may hold onto minerals like calcium more efficiently than a heavy meat eater's body would. But the need for the calcium is still there, of course. Always. It's simply essential. It's just not something most vegans will ever have to worry about, much.

I think that by checking blood levels of vitamins and minerals periodically and making sure we get enough of everything in the diet there really isn't a problem. I wouldn't count on us to evolve to thrive on less of any certain vitamin or mineral though, at least not anytime soon.

genisis
Oct 30th, 2008, 08:17 PM
I voted no.

As an omni I always suffered from small problems related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and also was overweight because of how much extra non-essential things I was eating.

Since going Vegan I feel really well most of the time. My immune system is much stronger and I feel like I've had a body upgrade.
I agree with you aubergine,since going vegan I feel so much healthier than when I was an omni.:bigsmile:

Jippia
Oct 31st, 2008, 10:10 PM
I am not worrying more about my nutrient intake than I was as an omni or a vegetarian. I always tried to plan my diet in such a way that I would get enough nutrients and I took a multivitamin just to be sure that I was not missing out on something. I even think I am eating better now than when I was an omni. I think one only should wonder about being deficient if the diet is ill-planned. Also, some people, vegan or not, may not be able to absorb certain vitamins very well. Maybe these need to worry a bit more about getting all the nutrients they need. But in general I say that perhaps omnis need to worry more than vegans, because vegans are more aware of what they are eating and really plan a balanced diet. Omni simply assume they get everything they need because they are eating meat, having their glass of milk and their apple or orange every day.

clueless
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:35 AM
I voted no. Ever since I've became veggie then vegan, I've felt healthier in general and I've been able to maintain a healthier body weight. But the main thing I want to say is, vegans are generally more passionate about what they eat and their food. I mean, consider this forum. Is there a forum out there for people who eat meat? Maybe there is, but we are certainly much more involved with what we eat and what our general attitude towards food is healthier. Because of that reason, we will be healthier. I know vegetarians but I don't know any vegans except me, and all of my meat-eating family and friends couldn't give a crap what they put in their bodies. I see it every day. Now all of my friends are taking bloodtests because they claim they're malnourished. Hate to say I told them so, but seriously, maybe if they changed their attitude towards food, they wouldn't be in that position.

My conclusion: I voted no because being vegan means you are proud of your food, and if you are proud of what you are eating then chances are you KNOW what you are eating, whereas meat-eaters who cram their bodies with fat, meat and fast food simply take the easy and fast way out - and their health is the sacrifice.

songlife
Jan 20th, 2009, 10:33 AM
The whole B12 thing is so irrelevant now that we have nutritional yeast, and can synthesize it in a lab (and it's EXACTLY the same substance as found in nature) very easily. Take a vitamin B12 supplement. There is no need to torture and kill innocent sentient beings for it. I can't stand it when people tell me vegans have smaller brains. I just want to cry out about all the false indoctrination sometimes, I don't know what to do. But at the same time, being nice to people and calmly explaining about the B12 situation will help more than getting mad. So, I hold my tongue and try to explain patiently :)

ellaminnowpea
Jan 20th, 2009, 03:23 PM
be that the definition of 'deficient' needs to be re-evaluated, or that 'low levels' are mixed up with 'deficient'?

If these studies are based on US values, they are based on the RDAs and AIs. In the US, deficient is defined by a specific number. Usually 'marginally deficient' and 'low' are not.

Anyway...
I've heard some of these statistics before when researching for classes at uni. I think this a really good point to help support veganism. There are also studies indicating that dairy milk or animal protein inhibits the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

I usually supplement with iron, but I was iron deficient before I became vegan (as a vegetarian, and I don't remember before I vegetarian). I also take B12. But I am definitely healthier in many ways; I get less colds/ flus, respiratory infections, digestive problems, headaches, etc. I'm also much more interested in eating healthily, so I'm more careful about my diet and lifestyle choices.

Sarabi
Jan 21st, 2009, 01:00 AM
Do we? Yes. By very much? No. Should we? No.
We live in a society that teaches us how to eat meat.
We do not live in a society that teaches us how to eat animal product-free. It's very, very simple: just make sure you get B12! If people actually did their research, I should think it would be pretty obvious that all you have to do is look for B12-fortified foods. It's not much more difficult than looking for animal products. The only difference is that you need a label and need to educate yourself about what society didn't, which foods it's in, etc.

Fuhzy
Jan 21st, 2009, 01:11 AM
81% of this forum is goofy.


The more foods you eliminate from your diet the more you need to make sure you are getting your nutrients. So a fruitarian really needs to worry, a raw vegan should worry quite a bit, a vegan should worry some, a veggie shouldn't worry as much, and an omni should worry the least....

Sarabi
Jan 21st, 2009, 02:06 AM
81% of this forum is goofy.


The more foods you eliminate from your diet the more you need to make sure you are getting your nutrients. So a fruitarian really needs to worry, a raw vegan should worry quite a bit, a vegan should worry some, a veggie shouldn't worry as much, and an omni should worry the least....
Well-said.

But in reality, I think just about all of us could be more conscious of our nutrient intake. So a vegan having to worry "some" may be actually only slightly more than the "some" of a meat-eater. It also depends on circumstance. Having plenty of access to B12-fortified milks, I don't worry very much about getting sufficient nutrients. If didn't have access to these, I'd be very worried. How worried I should be I'm not sure, but I would be.

Korn
Jan 21st, 2009, 04:54 AM
...a an omni should worry the least....

I'm afraid you'll have a hard time even finding an omni being able to back that up with any scientific documentation. Omnis are constantly told to change their diet (eliminate certain food stuff, eat more of what vegans eat all the time) - both as a general advice and as advice given when they become sick. And I'm not thinking of advice given to these people my vegan enthusiasts, but plain, common-sense advice given by nutritionists and doctors who know what they are talking about.



The more foods you eliminate from your diet the more you need to make sure you are getting your nutrients.
If you eat less of what's bad for you, you'll eat something else instead (unless you simply eat less). If you replace what's bad for you with something that's good for you, that elimination will mean that you will get more of the good stuff: more anti-oxidants, more phyto-chemicals/flavonoids; all that stuff that animal products are known to have close to zero % of. The problem with the typical omni isn't only that so many people living on an omnivorous diet are deficient in a number of important nutrients (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24), but that they consume too much of things that even most omnis know isn't good for them...

Knowing all the stories about people who feel better and are more healthy after going vegan (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=376), and knowing that meat and milk technically are made out of plants that already have been eaten once, I think it's time to let go of the blind faith in the diet we were raised on,and stop assuming that it's the least worrisome in terms of nutrients. After all, it seems to be well documented - by 'omnis' - that their diet isn't as healthy is they thought it was a couple of generations ago.

Sorry for having one of those 'I couldn't disagree more'-moments... :)

kriz
Jan 21st, 2009, 08:02 AM
Knowing all stories about people who feel better and are more healthy after going vegan, and knowing that meat and milk technically are made it of plants that already have been eaten once, I think it's time to let go of the blind faith in the diet we were raised on, and stop assuming that it's the least worrisome in terms of nutrients.


That's actually another point for going vegan; why use a 'middleman' (the dead animal) when one can get the nutrients directly from the source: the PLANTS! Humans seem to have always preferred eating herbivore animals throughout history. And it's probably the herbivore part of that which benefited us the most.

ellaminnowpea
Jan 21st, 2009, 02:36 PM
The more foods you eliminate from your diet the more you need to make sure you are getting your nutrients.

What makes you think we've all eliminated things from our diets? I've only eliminated four things: meat, cheese, eggs, and yogurt/icecream. I can easily replace these four things with a vegan version, if I so chose. In addition, I've added legumes as a part of my daily diet and doubled the amount and types of vegetables I consume. I actually eat MORE variety as a vegan than I did as a vegetarian/ omni.

Fuhzy
Jan 22nd, 2009, 07:21 AM
Being vegan eliminates over 1/2 of the products in a grocery store, if not more. So the '4 eliminated foods' is BS.

There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong (nutritionally) with eating wild salmon or truly free range chicken. It's actually quite healthy. And who says meat doesn't have nutrients?

3oz wild salmon:
Thiamin 16%
Riboflavin 24%
Niacin 43%
B6 40%
B12 43%
Pantothenic 16%
Phosphorous 22%
Potassium 16%
Copper 14%
Selenium 67%
Plus 2g of omega-3's and a protein score of 148.

Now I'm not advocating eating meat, but anyone who says meat is inherently unhealthy is off their rocker.

Also, omni and vegan diets both have chances to be unhealthy, and equal chances. Omni's can eat Skittles, vegans can eat Oreos. A vegan diet isn't necessarily healthier than an omni diet, but it usually is simply because most vegans care more about their intake and their health than most omni's. The healthiest diet of all is obviously one that includes small amounts of animal products. I mean, B12 is the most obvious example of this...

sandra
Jan 22nd, 2009, 09:26 AM
I disagree with you Fuhzy, meat is unhealthy by it's very nature. Not only is it full of hormones and drugs that the poor animal has been given during it's short life but it also contains cholesterol.
Cholesterol blocks arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes............our bodies make enough cholesterol already without adding to it by eating extra cholesterol that some poor animal has already made!