Not just Veganism, but all totalitarian diet concepts including Ketogenic and Carnivore are a terrible long term solution for health.
By this I mean ideologies that deliberately denounce and reject all other competing fads of all merit.
First let me contextualise this is the framework of health and well-being, as I’m aware that the choice to engage in a fully vegan diet is largely predicated on the ethics of the food industry, which I will not dispute.
However, as a holistic healthcare practitioner, my concern here is to create a dialogue on the potential effects a very restrictive diet has on the human body and psyche.
Firstly, as a scientist the strongest foundation of knowledge I have on diet selection follows the principle of metabolic typing. The rule of metabolic typing follows an evolutionary diet, in that you will have more success following the diet your ancestors survived on.
Simple put, if you look at the globe, the further away from the equator your family originated from, dictates that they would of had to survive more on animal flesh as plants don’t grow on ice. However the nearer the equator, the more access to grain and plant foods would have been available to your ancestors.
This is a very strong argument, as there have been notable publications in the media of illness/sickness, particularly amongst the Vegan community, as a result of prolonged periods of rejecting foods that built their physiology and pertain to their biological diet.
If you’re interested in an example, I would invite you to look into Tim Shieff, a Vegan, English Free runner who recently reintroduced animal foods back into his diet after suffering health complications from a prolonged Vegan diet.
Intuition & Experience.
Putting to one side the scientific dogma, I always make an effort to touch on both sides of the coin; and although you could presuppose from the title that I am anti-vegan, I can assure you that is not the reality.
I am simply, anti-ideology.
By that I mean I do not subscribe to a reductionist rubric, view or set a beliefs regarding a way of living. It makes you inflexible, close-minded and unwilling to learn from others and most importantly yourself.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my body.
First off, I engage in a lot of physical activity, including heavy weight-lifting, running and a myriad of other resistance focused movements. I’ve noticed my performance and muscle recovery is heavily dependent on the availability of animal fat and proteins. Sadly, plant sources such as lentils and chickpeas, just aren’t dense enough in proteins and fats in order for me to recover as effectively.
However, when I am not training on the weekend or deloading, I take enormous amounts of pleasure exploring vegetarian options to great effect – especially with my digestion. The inclusion of raw, whole vegetables has worked wonders for me, I also feel very satiated as organic plant foods are highly nutritionally dense in vitamins and minerals.
Here in lies the crux of my point. We need both ends of the spectrum. There is just too many gaps that veganism can’t fill and likewise for the carnivores.
I really believe mindful eating can be of huge utility when considering which new fad diet to prescribe towards.
Ask yourself what do you need in the moment. What do you need at this time in your life?
The lesson here is that the answer to these questions will change throughout time. We can get injured, contract illnesses, join a sports team, start a more physically demanding job.
Life is fluid and unpredictable, so allow for this flexibility in your diet and widen your vocabulary in food choices.
Don’t limit them.
The only ideology I subscribe to is balance between opposites.
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Grateful for you presence,