Plant based/ Vegan...

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by rk_sports, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. rk_sports

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    I know we've some vegans in the house...
    Those of you who became vegans or turned to plant based fully, how was your transition?

    Saw this TedTalk, where Rip mentioned that Serena and Venus are now plant based.. is this true?!
     
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  2. Posture Guy

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    speaking for myself, I did an experiment a few years ago where I went 100% plant based. Was 100% vegan for about a year, and probably 70% of that was raw. For me, it was horrible. It crashed my adrenals and my immune system, really wrecked my health in a serious way.

    I do much better on a diet high in saturated fats from clean sources (grassfed beef, grassfed butter, coconut oil, etc...), moderate amounts of protein and carbs with sufficient amounts of veggies, using fruits somewhat sparingly.

    My post is not intended to spark any debate about whether humans are designed to eat 100% plant based diets, just the input that when I tried it, for me it was a really, really bad thing.

    I get on average probably 6-10 servings of veggies and fruits a day, but my immune markers and the way I feel and function is radically better when I'm burning fat as my primary fuel source.
     
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  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Vegans/vegetarians can experience deficiencies if not conscientious about their nutrient intake. Some possbible deficiencies include vitamin B-12, iodine, calcium, DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids, as well as L-Lysine and other amino acids. There may be other as well. Note that kale is an excellent source of calcium whereas spinach might prevent the absorption of calcium.
     
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  4. AtomicForehand

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    I was vegan for nearly two years, lacto-ovo for another ten. I thought I was doing the right thing for my body, the animals, and the planet. Instead, it ruined my health.
     
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  5. Overdrive

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    Care to elaborate on this?
     
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  6. r2473

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    Exactly. The vegetarian / vegan lifestyle is very healthy, provided you supplement..........with bacon, pork chops, ham, steak, ribs,..........
     
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  7. Posture Guy

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    I would maintain that it is impossible for a vegetarian to get either enough healthy fats or other micronutrients critical for health.

    The Weston Price Foundation has some interesting data on their website showing studies that link significantly increased miscarriage rates to plant based diets, and health challenges to infants nursing off vegan mothers.

    Low fat diets are, in my opinion, insane. Our bodies are made of fat, our entire neural system is encased in fat and can only be nourished with fat-soluble nutrients. Every vegan I know has to subscribe to the "eat 5-7 small meals a day" style of eating because they no longer are programmed to burn fat for fuel, as we're designed to do. Instead they burn sugars and once they quickly exhaust their glycogen stores, they don't just want to eat, they NEED to eat. Ask a vegan to go 6-7 hours without eating. Few can do it without feeling really crappy. They're sugar adapted.

    If you're fat adapted, it's no problem.
     
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  8. AtomicForehand

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    I became obese, pimply, and chronically exhausted. I developed metabolic syndrome and was this close to full-blown diabetes. Ultimately I developed Celiac disease and lost a lot of hair. (I was once famed for my waist-length, thick curls and waves.) It's been a long road back to regain my health and stunning good looks. But look at me now.
     
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  9. Posture Guy

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    here's a really interesting podcast that Dave Aprey (The "Bulletproof" guy) did with someone who was formerly a prominent person in the vegan community, and who walked away from that and realized that her diet was not a healthful one. Some good info on here:

    http://podbay.fm/show/451295014/e/1375376400
     
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  10. Overdrive

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    Very informative post. I tried to tell a vegan that you're unconsciously damaging your health, but they didn't listen. Most times, I think people switch to vegetarianism for political reasons.

    Oh my goodness... You should post a testimonial in case an article on vegetarianism/veganism comes up.. A lot of people are misinformed that this diet plan is an ironic one.

    Anyways, I commend you for changing your ways. A lot of folks would not have the willpower to do it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
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  11. sureshs

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    There are tens of millions of vegetarians in India and of Indian-origin around the world who are strict vegetarians (they take dairy). Though the state of health varies from person to person, no doctor who sees them, anywhere in the world, finds that being vegetarian is the problem (the problem is usually taking too little vegetables and more fried stuff). The vegetarians you are talking about probably do not have the rich cooking traditions which have been historically developed to balance the food groups across meals.
     
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  12. AtomicForehand

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    Those vegetarian Indian populations tend to be quite rotund too. Been there, done that.
     
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  13. sureshs

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    That is a big problem. But the meat-eating Indian populations are also equally rotund or even rotunder. Apart from what I mentioned (they believe that being vegetarian means not eating meat, but consider it OK to gorge on fried and creamy stuff with no vegetables), there is also the genetic disposition to fat storage (some people think there is starvation gene which showed up when there were lots of famines). Lack of exercise and desk work and recreation time consisting of eating more fried snacks with friends and family adds to the rotundness.

    But vegetarianism is not the issue and is probably life saving for them due to the other factors.

    I am not a vegetarian, BTW. But the studies out there on the benefits of vegetarianism is very hard to ignore.
     
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  14. ollinger

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    ...but they take dairy, which is very different from what a vegan does to his body, the dairy helping to prevent a variety of deficiencies.
     
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  15. AtomicForehand

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    That's what I thought, too, 25 years ago.
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I mentioned that in my first post for that very reason.

    My wife and father and (late) mother are strict vegetarians. I have found that giving them a multi-vitamin a few times a week "rounds" off everything. That is because the cooking patterns of the past where the women knew what foods to rotate in a 48-hour period due to traditional wisdom are disappearing now.
     
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  17. sureshs

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    For my son, I have been giving him protein shakes two times a week since he was a child. That is because I believed that vegetarians cannot get all the essential amino acids to make proteins since many plant foods are not "complete." (unless they know how to rotate foods in a 48 hr period like the ancients knew).

    Let me tell you what I believe today. Even for a growing kid, it is possible to be a vegetarian with the following caveats:

    1. Drink milk
    2. Add to the milk Ovaltine or equivalent health formula which rounds off most of the amino acids and vitamin deficiencies.
    3. If you don't see all the minerals/vitamins in the health formula, add a mutivitamin

    In other words, just gulp down a glass of milk with Ovaltine/other formula every day and add a multi a few days a week.

    I think this takes care of everything.

    It is not a coincidence that whenever I am in India (I was there last week), I see the number of ads for Ovaltine/Bournvita/Horlicks/Complan/Boost growing by the day. It is pretty much a standard routine in all vegetarian middle-class urban families now. They have all figured out that the old traditions of cooking are not practical anymore and they have to take a supplement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
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  18. sureshs

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    I have one at home right now. My wife got a WebMD mag from the doc's office recently and I was reading it yesterday and it had all kinds of studies for women on vegetarian diets.

    Also, see the thread on the dangers of processed meats like bacon in another thread now.
     
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  19. Posture Guy

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    First, I don't care what country you're from or how you rotate your foods or cook them. There are some nutrients you simply cannot get from plants that the body needs to thrive.

    Second, Ovaltine? Really? That stuff is pure garbage. Anyone who recommends that as a "supplement" instantly loses all nutritional credibility in my eyes.
     
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  20. sureshs

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    Well, that is not really popular in India - used to be at one time I think. It is from the UK. The others I mentioned are the ones that are common. I mentioned Ovaltine because I have seen it in grocery stores here.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Also, the notion of health as promoted today is itself suspect. It emphasizes lots of exercise and then lots of stuff to do so as not to gorge on food after the exercise.

    It benefits the shoes, rackets, sports drinks and other businesses.

    The other way is just to do some moderate walking and stretching/yoga and leave it at that. Then, you don't need to be paranoid about nutrition.
     
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  22. WildVolley

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    Vegan diets have always struck me as being a bad idea, especially for children.

    Vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs have a much better chance of getting the proteins and fats needed for muscular development and growth.

    Also, vegetarians who are serious about their diet and eat a variety of vegetables and fruit rather than just grains, pasta, and pastries cooked in vegetable based transfats are going to have more success.

    I am highly suspicious about professional athletes claiming to be vegans. Not that it is impossible, I would just guess that a lot of them are supplementing protein powders that are not truly vegan.
     
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  23. rk_sports

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    ah! how did the crazy dave asprey make it to this thread? ;)
    so that podcast seems really damning of the vegan-ism... then I started looking up for what it could really be :confused: .. this lady was Vegan for "7" years before switching! ...
    thanks to internet :) found a couple of video's ...
    keeping the spirit of vegan-ism (hurting animals etc) aside, this lady mentions that the her approach itself was flawed... ie., high fat raw diet
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGy6AP37ELs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmALBjQT_hU
     
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  24. rk_sports

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    wow! so what was your diet like? was it grain based?

    p.s.. lol so you regained 'stunning' good looks too ha? ;)
     
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  25. bluetrain4

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    I agree with this, but I also think nutrient decifiencies happen to many people.

    Let's face it, a lot of non-vegans/vegetarians aren't exactly subustiting on a diet of good, lean protein, plentiful fresh vegetables, "good" fats, and moderate whole grains. Many are often suffing processed junk in their face.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
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  26. AtomicForehand

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    Yes, all grains (the Food Pyramid said ELEVEN servings a day!) and vegetables. A little fruit. Some dairy and eggs. I used to eat vast amounts of cereal or muesli for breakfast each day--like three bowlsful--because I was *always* hungry and if I didn't stuff myself, my blood sugar with crash through the floor within 45 minutes instead of within two hours. :( It was a miserable way to live. I snacked all the time and put away vast quantities at meals because of the constant hunger. In retrospect I think I was severely protein-deprived as well as suffering from the metabolic syndrome caused by all the carbs. Meanwhile, the lining of my intestines was becoming compromised by the Celiac that was developing, meaning my body could no longer absorb sufficient nutrients from my food. A vicious, vicious cycle. People did not evolve to be vegetarian and I would not recommend following this diet for any length of time.
     
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  27. rdis10093

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    I did it for one semester. I always felt lethargic, so I just went back to plain vegetarian.

    also it can mess up your diet. my current lady is vegan and she has some blood problems. she tried to do a blood drive and the said her iron was bad or something.
     
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  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    And that was just breakfast..give me the night
     
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  29. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Apparently this nutritionist agrees with your supplementation regimen:

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Iron (Fe) deficiencies are often an issue with vegans. Vegetable sources of iron, are usually not assimilated very well. While spinach is supposed to be very high in Fe, it might not considered a great source of iron. OJ or tomatoes make increase the availability of the (non-heme) Fe in spinach. Kale is probably a better source of iron than spinach since it has much lower iron absorption-inhibiting substances such as oxalic acid.

    http://vegan.com/ultimate-vegan-guide/chap5/
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/hq01596/nsectiongroup=2
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/533800-does-the-oxalic-acid-in-spinach-inhibit-the-absorption-of-iron
     
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  31. Sentinel

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    Vegetarians in India eat very unhealthy food -- a lot of deep-fried food. And usually no exercise at all.

    Regarding the comment suresh made on Ovaltine and Boost etc. I've seen these from childhood and I think (my opinion) is that they sell a lot due to ads/marketing and not a real need. Also, once the child starts adding taste enhancers to milk I don't think he can enjoy milk as it is. Then you are caught in the chocolate milk trap. Nowadays the ads on telly suggest that your parents are skimping on you if they don't give you some Boost/Ovaltine or whatever.

    About vegans. My impression is that the vegan diet is quite extreme, esp all that raw food stuff people are mentioning. Also some of you in America who have eaten meat for decades suddenly go vegan cold-turkey.

    In India, most vegetarians have milk or curd/yogurt. Many of them also have egg. If Americans wish to go veg, I'd suggest slowly reducing your intake of meat and seeing how it goes.

    Someone suggested iron or haemoglobin. When i turned veg 15 years back, my haemoglobin actually went up 1.5 points from 14.5 to 16. It still is about 15 to 15.5 which is high by Indian standards.

    Personally, I am not sure a vegetarian diet is suitable for athletes/sportspersons. During day to day activities or even brisk walking for an hour I do not feel any difference. But when i start regular running I don't feel the same energy. However, this could be age related too. However, I too used to hear of vegetarian athletes in the US once (body builders who had a lot of milk products and whey protein.) Not sure if that was only to sell whey protein or was really true.
     
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  32. Sentinel

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    When i was running in the 80's I did check around some material regarding iron. From what i remember the only real good source was pork liver. Even the others (chicken liver, calf liver) did not compare. Vegetarian sources were very very low in comparison. However, even for non-veg sources, it seemed that cooking destroys quite a bit of iron.

    I remember reading that tannin (found in tea) reduces iron absorption and that Vitamin C increases absorption.
     
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  33. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ However, according to the 3rd link I provided, as well as other sources, 100 mg of boiled spinach contains more Fe than 100 mg of raw spinach. And, yes, the vitamin C in OJ, tomatoes and other sources improves the availability of Fe in vegetable sources. Citric, malic & lactic acid can also improve the absorption of Fe.

    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
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  34. WildVolley

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    From what I've read, Iron needs are highly dependent upon age.

    Too little iron as you grow can lead to a number of development and health problems. Too much Iron after about the age of 35 seems correlated with a bunch of negative health outcomes such as cancer, infections, and heart disease.
     
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  35. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ This is particularly true for males. Excess Fe for males can cause/contribute to cancer & heart disease. This is why male mutivitamins have much less Fe than female formulations. Iron deficiencies are much more common
    in females than males.
     
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  36. Shroud

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    This is a funny thread. Lots of myths in this thread.

    Vegan/ vegetarian diets are healthy. Just because people don't know what they are doing with them and eat all the wrong stuff just speaks to the execution of the diet, not the diet themselves.

    From the ADA:

    It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

    http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8357

    Look at the paper, there are so many benefits from going veg, like lower cancer rates, obesity rates, and heart disease rates. Much better than the typical american diet:

    Health Implications of Vegetarian Diets
    Vegetarian diets are often associated
    with a number of health advantages,
    including lower blood cholesterol levels,
    lower risk of heart disease, lower blood
    pressure levels, and lower risk of hypertension
    and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians
    tend to have a lower body mass
    index (BMI) and lower overall cancer
    rates. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower
    in saturated fat and cholesterol, and
    have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium
    and potassium, vitamins C and
    E, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids, and
    other phytochemicals. These nutritional
    differences may explain some of
    the health advantages of those following
    a varied, balanced vegetarian diet.

    Is it hard? Yep. Do most people mess it up? Yep. Also it is much harder in most of the country to even find the right products to buy. You really have to be in a city. FOr instance, I just cant roll into the Safeway and get any kind of good options there....

    Oh, and it works. When I applied for life insurance the guy said that my blood work was fantastic and qualified me for the best rate they had.
     
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  37. Posture Guy

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    is the typical vegetarian diet much more healthful than the typical american diet? of course. the typical american diet is woeful.

    Do many vegetarians screw up being vegetarian? Yep. the guy above who gained weight and whose skin got messed up is a prime example. Lots of junk food vegetarians out there who load up on grains, which are in my opinion fundamentally unhealthful.

    That said, there is no conclusive evidence to demonstrate that saturated fat is a health risk, or that reducing it is correlated with lowered risks of heart disease and cancer.

    re blood work being "fantastic", they probably loved the lipid panel, and that is one of the least relevant markers for heart disease in existence. With every passing year we are finding that cholesterol is not particularly important, but inflammatory markers are MUCH more important.

    Many have made saturated fat the enemy. This, in my opinion, is a very misguided belief that has caused much damage.
     
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  38. Shroud

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    I tend to believe you on this that fat gets a bad wrap. It is needed. I definitely gets some with lots of olive oil, coconut oil, avacados, and nuts. Though your posts remind me that I should be a bit more diverse.

    Also I am not strictly vegan or veg for that matter and would like to think I eat smartly :). about 70% of my meals are vegan, 20% veg, and 10% include meat. I usually will pick wild salmon or organic chicken, or eggs.

    Anyhow I am not saying it is easy but as you say the typical american diet is woeful. We would all do some good to eat more vegetables and fruits and less processed foods. Thats the problem. You can't go to Applebees and eat healthy IMHO on ANY diet, and as Americans no one wants to cook EVERY meal.

    I pretty much avoid grains and pasta these days. Though it is a nice treat.

    Oh and I just got my scapular/ shoulder system you recommended. I have to tell you it looks daunting with the 3 vids I have to watch. yikes I just want some instructions not some movie :)
     
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  39. rk_sports

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  40. Shroud

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    Thanks for the link. It was an hour+ but I enjoyed it.

    First off...why the hell does this veghead have to be the MOST ANNOYING speaker ever?? Man it was hard to listen to.

    The content though made up for the annoying delivery.

    I have a huge problem with a ton of these studies. Almost by default they feature 7th day adventists. I am not sure I would categorize them as vegetarian. Let me explain. IMHO a vegetarian or vegan really shouldn't be eating processed food and should eat only organic natural food. For instance no self respecting vegetarian should be eating a PB&J sandwich with wonderbread, jiff and some smuckers. This is one example. I am just not sure that 7th Day adventists think like that. Maybe they do, but I just dont know and really doubt it.

    Its funny because I knew almost all of this stuff though he explained the WHY which was great. Like that part about Omega 6s and the corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower, and sunflower oil. I have known that those oils should be avoided for at least 10 years now. That is just one of the reasons I mentioned not being able to walk into Safeway and get anything. Cottonseed oil, etc are in EVERYTHING. And I love that line where they say "Cottonseed or Safflower oil". Like they dont know?? I kid you not I eat NONE of that stuff.

    I do get some flaxseeds but after this I will increase the amount and I know about B12 and have periodically taken supplements, but need to be a bit more diligent. But I have to say that I think I have it easier than most americans who think lettuce is a great healthy vegetable...

    Thanks again for the link.
     
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  41. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I'm interested in hearing from Vegans and their experiences with that diet. I've loved being a vegetarian my whole life and just absolutely love my diet and my health. I'm more fit now at 45 than I was at 18. I do eat dairy products, but not eggs. My diet has been absolutely central to that.
     
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  42. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I've been a vegetarian all my life, but this is a good post Shroud from someone that switched to a vegetarian diet. Here's a link to some athletes that are vegan or vegetarian. Year by year, you hear of more and more elite athletes that make an effort to reduce intake of meat in their diets, some do that more than others. I do drink protein shakes with whey protein/milk, eat dairy products and also take a multi-vitamin daily with my diet. I love the food I eat lol.
     
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  43. Sentinel

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    Good Lordy! The only oil we have been using at my place has been sunflower and earlier safflower for decades believing it was good. Which oil should one use ?

    (sorry but i can't go through some one hour video).
     
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  44. Shroud

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    In a nutshell, olive oil, Canola Oil, flax seed oil, avocado oil are all good oils.

    He says coconut oil is bad too. I am not sure I buy this myself but I do probably 80% olive oil, 15% coconut oil, and 5% sesame oil. Maybe I should change to more canola oil or flax seed.
     
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  45. Posture Guy

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    Avoid canola oil, for sure. In my opinion it's a bad oil. Why, almost all canola oil is GMO, and all of it whether it's GMO or not is partially hydrogenated.

    Flax seed oil is good in theory but oxidizes so quickly when exposed to oxygen that a good portion of it on the market is rancid.

    I think coconut oil is excellent, as are avocado and olive oils, and sesame oil.
     
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  46. borg number one

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    I think coconut oil IN MODERATION is just fine. It does contain saturated fat, but a little, like butter once in a while, I think should be fine. I do agree that some other oils are a better option for daily/frequent consumption. I forgot to post the links earlier, but see these for examples of athletes that have gone vegan or vegetarian.


    Joe Namath, Arian Foster, Hank Aaron, Prince Fielder, and Robert Parrish are discussed.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/...other-successful-vegan-or-vegetarian-athletes


    Also see this clip from Ms. Martina Navratilova:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiCgh0sw4vU

    9 Superstar Athletes Who Don't Eat Meat

    http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eat...thletes-who-dont-eat-meat/martina-navratilova
     
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  47. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ interesting list; the only two athletes on either of your lists who are STILL ACTIVE are Prince Fielder, known for his being overweight, easily injured and easily fatigued, and Tony Gonzalez, who only omitted red meat but eats chicken and fish. All the others seem to have eliminated meat after they retired from playing a sport, all well and good but hardly a testimony to veganism for an active athlete.
     
    #47
  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Some cricket players whose families are strict vegetarians admitted later in their career that they started eating meat to cope with the demands.

    I don't think even in India which is the only country in the world (maybe apart from Nepal) which has a true vegetarian culture, professional athletes can be vegetarian. The only exceptions I know of are the Krishnan father and son and there may be a few odd ones here and there.

    In the military, I know many civilian-cadre officers are vegetarian but not the men who are actually deployed. In fact, survival in the jungle by killing and eating small animals is part of their training due to the presence of forests in the border areas.
     
    #48
  49. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Robert Parrish was even while he was playing El Diablo. Plus, there are body builders, runners, ultra runners, track and field athletes etc. that are currently vegan or vegetarian. Even if an athlete has retired, many stay VERY active, so it is still telling. At the very least, many athletes gain many benefits by reducing meat intake and weight quite simply. Some more names: Ricky Williams, Carl Lewis, Mike Tyson, Carmelo Anthony, Billie Jean King,and Desmond Howard. These guys know a lot about health and fitness and have lived it.

    See: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/s...way-into-bodybuilding.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&

     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
    #49
  50. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    There are so many problems in India that we could discuss diet problems there all day. Basically, I think many are utterly confused as they try and come up with a good diet for an athlete while also being cognizant of vegetarianism while juggling modern life and seeing the growing influence of western diets/fast food as well. A lot of cricket players are extremely out of shape, just as many baseball players are. It's so different than competitive tennis in many respects. It's not easy at all, but you can absolutely craft a wonderful vegetarian diet in today's world, while still being extremely active as an athlete. I have no doubt about that.
     
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