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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Dec-15-18, 02:04
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default A surge in the number of vegans is storing up health problems for the wealthy West

Quote:
From The Independent
London, UK
14 December, 2018


A surge in the number of vegans is storing up health problems for the wealthy West

Poorly-managed diets can leave some open to fractures and nutrient deficiencies with potentially severe consequences


The phenomenon of "hidden hunger" affects more than two billion people globally. It has been centered on developing countries, but is becoming a growing public health concern in the wealthy world. There are several factors behind the rise but we believe the surge of interest in veganism is likely to become another major contributor.

Hidden hunger boils down to a chronic lack of essential micronutrients in the diet, such as vitamins and minerals. The effects of this may not be seen immediately, but the consequences can be severe. They include lower resistance to disease, mental impairment and even death.

Evidence of its rise in developed countries is starting to build. For example, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental impairment and the UK ranks seventh among the ten most iodine-deficient nations.

Data from the US shows that more than one in four children lacks calcium, magnesium or vitamin A, and more than one in two children are deficient in vitamins D and E.

So why is this happening?

Well, the consumption of cheap, energy-dense, nutritionally poor and heavily processed foods, particularly by poorer people, is a major factor. Even when fresh produce is consumed, there appear to be fewer micronutrients available than was once the case. This is due to issues such as soil health, caused by poor agricultural management and climate change.

Now, the enthusiastic uptake of veganism can be added to that list. According to the Vegan Society, the number of people switching to a vegan diet in the UK has risen more than fourfold in the last decade. A study commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group revealed that nearly 5% of the US population are vegetarian and about half of these are vegan.

For the record, eating a plant-based diet may lower the risk of chronic disease and is good for the environment. However, poorly planned vegan diets, that do not replace the critical nutrients found in meat, can lead to serious micronutrient deficiencies.

Bone health is a concern for long-term vegans. Vegans are consistently reported to have lower intakes of calcium and vitamin D, with resultant lower blood levels of vitamin D and lower bone mineral density reported worldwide. Fracture rates are also nearly a third higher among vegans compared with the general population.

Omega 3 and iodine levels compare badly with meat eaters, as do vitamin B12 levels. Vitamin B12 is most often obtained from animal foods, and higher rates of deficiency have been found in vegans compared with other vegetarians and meat eaters.

The symptoms can be serious and include extreme tiredness and weakness, poor digestion and developmental delays in young children. Untreated, it can cause irreversible nerve damage and even a more modest lack of the vitamin may be bad for your health and increase your risk of heart disease.

B12 deficiency is quite common in pregnant women and in less-developed countries, but in terms of reported frequencies of deficiencies among vegetarians and vegans in developed countries, the data varies greatly in severity between age groups.

This is not an insoluble problem. Vegans can prevent micronutrient deficiency by taking care to consume fortified foods (food with added vitamins and minerals) and by taking supplements. But supplement use is often resisted by those on a plant-based diet and they have been reported to interfere with the absorption of other important nutrients.

Also, plant-derived vegan supplements tend to have low biological activity in humans. For example, studies show that vegan-friendly vitamin D2 supplements are less effective in raising blood vitamin D levels than the more widely used vitamin D3 supplements. Other supplements, such as vitamin B12, may be largely inactive in the body.

"Hidden hunger" is widely recognised in the developing world and is being addressed by well-organised and large-scale bio-fortification programmes. Hopefully the challenge offered by the rise of veganism will help drive a focus on hidden hunger in the West.



https://www.independent.co.uk/voice...n-a8682906.html
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Dec-15-18, 07:25
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Very interesting to read an article about the issues related to vegan diets despite some of the ill-informed claims:
Quote:
For the record, eating a plant-based diet may lower the risk of chronic disease and is good for the environment.

Far preferable to the usual claims of farm animal flatulence ruining the climate, this quote is merely a naive, unfounded fantasy. What is purposely ignored are the farm practices that result in runoff choking our water systems, the leaching of soil at a major level requiring chemical treatment to replace soil nutrients, the energy required for preparing land for growing, maintaining, and harvesting, pest control measures, not to mention the severely nutrient-depleted produce that results. How can this type of system be sustained as a long-term productive, healthy solution for the masses??? It must be acknowledged that there are issues that must be resolved for feeding the world, and no dietary approach gets a pass without recognizing, confronting, and resolving the broad health and availability issues associated with it. Quotes like the one cited above can no longer be blindly accepted without vigorous challenge.

Last edited by GRB5111 : Sat, Dec-15-18 at 07:51.
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Dec-16-18, 06:55
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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I have a good response at last: “veganism does not match my enzyme pattern.”

But since there can’t be agriculture without animals, they are just playing a game of pretend.
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Dec-16-18, 09:48
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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THis lack of good nutrients is an over looked crisis. We appear to be a land of p lenty but in fact our plates are mutrient poor. Even the land is becoming depleted of minerals as farming is loosing land to development ( houses) and the same farm land is used over and over, and never replenished and rebuilt. THis is why I have become convinced that a multivitamin a day will fill the gaps in the food sources.

Our AMerican society has become a glut of poor food, at every turn my kids are handed crappy food because that has become the new normal. Start with school lunches, boy scout events, church suppers, candy bar fund raisers, spaghetti dinners at the fire house...... In any given month, the amount of crap my kids gobble up is disheartening.

As for:
Quote:
"Hidden hunger" is widely recognised in the developing world and is being addressed by well-organised and large-scale bio-fortification programmes. Hopefully the challenge offered by the rise of veganism will help drive a focus on hidden hunger in the West.


What does this all mean????????
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Dec-16-18, 10:29
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Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
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It's just beyond me why anyone would want to try and live on peanut butter and tofu
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Dec-16-18, 11:45
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teaser teaser is online now
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I can almost understand the peanut butter part. The only soy that doesn't taste awful to me is soy sauce.
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Dec-16-18, 13:18
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Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
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I like soy sauce too.
I had some prime rib for dinner last night and just can't imagine a hunk of tofu tasting good like that.
Yes peanut butter is good for a treat but i feel sorry that it's the only source of protein for a vegan. It would be like punishment after a while Why do vegans punish themselves when there is so much good protein out there that tastes good and provides the nutrition we need.
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Dec-16-18, 18:47
jschwab jschwab is offline
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Part of the problem is the deficiencies don't show up right away. It can be years before it all becomes really apparent and then it's too late. I shudder when I think about all the kids who've never had animal fat or protein ever in their lives.
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  #9   ^
Old Mon, Dec-17-18, 10:03
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meme#1
Why do vegans punish themselves when there is so much good protein out there that tastes good and provides the nutrition we need.


A) it has become “accepted wisdom” that a plant based diet is best for health. So skipping meat entirely must be the best!

B) Veganism is now the new religion. There are various well-funded sources pushing “meat is murder” and “pets are slaves.”

C) Nutrition science is in such a ditch that WE are the fringe with our fad diets.
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  #10   ^
Old Mon, Dec-17-18, 13:10
fred42 fred42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
There are various well-funded sources pushing “meat is murder” and “pets are slaves.”


Meat may be murder, but carbohydrates are slow suicide.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Dec-18-18, 03:30
M Levac M Levac is offline
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I wanted to be all sarcastic and stuff, but I remembered my decision to help them. The article includes basically all the help I thought of back then, which is mostly about deficiencies. I'm glad to see such an article instead of the usual dogmatic crap.

On the other hand, there's a clip ad for a movie that argues meat isn't necessary for health or fitness. I may not be a super genuises, but I think there's a clear disconnect here between the article and the ad which funds it.

Oh how I wish we'd settle this once and for all with a closed-ward experiment. A few willing human subjects. Plants (of their choice) as their only food source. No supplement of any kind. One year. See what happens.
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Dec-18-18, 08:01
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teaser teaser is online now
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I doubt that would get past an ethics board. B12 at the least--Neal Barnard's vegan diabetes study did include b12, but other than plants, that was it.

It's possible for a vegan diet to be not the worst diet in the world. Damning with faint praise...

So I work at a fast food restaurant. People come in and ask for vegetarian options. Vegetarians might go away with cheese nachos. Vegans? Plain baked potato, french fries... one problem for some people on a "plant-based" diet is that they just end up with a plant-based SAD. It's possible for a plant-based diet, at least with supplements, to be better than a standard American diet that includes meat, but SAD without meat is probably worse, not better.
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Dec-18-18, 08:30
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser
It's possible for a vegan diet to be not the worst diet in the world. Damning with faint praise...

... one problem for some people on a "plant-based" diet is that they just end up with a plant-based SAD. It's possible for a plant-based diet, at least with supplements, to be better than a standard American diet that includes meat, but SAD without meat is probably worse, not better.


I have thought about what I'd have to do to my WOE if I were to go vegan. It's a lot of work. Supplements are essential and the consumption of the vegetable protein that can be readily used to preserve or create lean mass is a very important choice. I understand the ethical concerns and respect those who choose any WOE as an overall health objective. However, and my view only, those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan solely due to ethical concerns must work hard and research how to stay healthy, as being what one considers to be "ethical" without understanding how to eat correctly is hardly a ticket to good health and may very well be a ticket to chronic disease and a short lifespan.
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Dec-18-18, 09:07
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teaser teaser is online now
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Default

I remember years ago on the board we discussed an essay looking at whether carnivores in the wild should be somehow separated from innocent herbivores.

As far as the ethics goes--I think they're just wrong. I don't really respect those ethics, although I do respect the attempt to be ethical itself.

Should I compromise my health, and those of others, to keep human babies off the diet? I'd say yes. Lets go way down, to clams and shrimp. Should I compromise any human's health so that these animals can live to a healthy old age? Not likely. I can see at some point saying, I don't want to eat the fluffy bunny, or the pig or something, at some point saying, this animal just seems too aware. Not saying I agree, but at least the argument can be made. The only reason I can see for drawing a solid line at such an extreme point that even the smallest, least likely to have any semblance of sentience animal is protected is the slippery slope argument. Sometimes lines are inescapably fuzzy. What should the legal drinking age be? Clearly wine cooler sippy cups are a bad idea. At what point are you needlessly encroaching on the freedom of an adult? 19? 21? 25?
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Dec-18-18, 09:16
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cotonpal cotonpal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRB5111
I have thought about what I'd have to do to my WOE if I were to go vegan. It's a lot of work. Supplements are essential and the consumption of the vegetable protein that can be readily used to preserve or create lean mass is a very important choice. I understand the ethical concerns and respect those who choose any WOE as an overall health objective. However, and my view only, those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan solely due to ethical concerns must work hard and research how to stay healthy, as being what one considers to be "ethical" without understanding how to eat correctly is hardly a ticket to good health and may very well be a ticket to chronic disease and a short lifespan.


I also believe that people who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet out of ethical concerns should expand their view of ethics to include all the animals who are killed or whose habitats are destroyed by large scale agriculture. We all live on this planet earth and are complicit in the destruction of our habitat (there are many human practices that either presently or ultimately harm humans or both) and the habitat of the many other creatures who inhabit this planet. Ethical concern for all living beings must include all our practices. There is not any way we can't leave some foot print but we can be mindful of the foot print we leave. I eat meat but I am mindful of the practices used to raise and slaughter the animals I eat. I have multiple food sensitivities and can't eat legumes. Getting sufficient protein on a plant based diet would be impossible for me yet I see the way I eat as ethical in light of my circumstances. A tunnel vision view of ethics that included simply avoiding meat (especially if it also includes disparaging people who eat meat and engaging in other harmful practices) reflects a very limited view of ethics. By thinking carefully of how we each live our lives, we can each determine how to live ethically that is suitable for our circumstances and also take in the needs of other beings on this planet.
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