*Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

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blackbird
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*Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by blackbird »

I know you all have them, I've gone back and read some old threads where this was argued before. What I'm curious about is your current thought regarding Paleo, Low Carb, etc diets vs. Vegan, Vegetarian, or Whole Foods Plant Based diets (in the "stuff I eat" sense, not "I need to lose 10 lbs" sense).

What kind of diet do you practice?

Is it for health reasons, economic reasons, or convenience reasons (or a mixture)?

In all honesty, how much deliberate thought have you put into your day-to-day diet?

For background, I'm still working through my whole "self-evaluation-before-turning-40" arbitrary exercise, and on a whim I picked up "How Not to Die" by Michael Greger, MD because I've been doing a lot of mortality-related reading and the title caught my eye.

I'll admit I have been somewhat dumbfounded by many of the studies he references in the book, especially regarding diabetes. It seems like either the entire world is ignoring a wealth of scientific studies indicating that fatty diets, not high carb ones, are the primary driver of diabetes, OR a significant number of healthcare professionals have gone off the range.

I assumed (correctly) that an issue like this would have come up for debate here at the ERE forums. So where do you stand on all this currently? I tried to watch "What the Health?" but detested the way it was structured / narrated. I think the studies stand for themselves without the over-dramatization / attempts to 'GOTCHA' unsuspecting call center personnel.

The sections of "How Not to Die" I like much better (though he does occasionally drift into hyperbole a bit too far as well) and I'm actually taking notes on how to modify my diet based on a lot of the information.

What am I overlooking here?

wolf
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by wolf »

blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:31 pm
What kind of diet do you practice?

Is it for health reasons, economic reasons, or convenience reasons (or a mixture)?

In all honesty, how much deliberate thought have you put into your day-to-day diet?
Dr. Greger's Dozen + fasting (only lunch and dinner. No breakfast)

Reasons: health, economic, convenience. I find it very ERE friendly (system thinking...)

Since I found about it and do it I dont put much thought into it. I defined about 5 recipes. I eat a muesli for dinner with almost 6 of the dozen. I like it very much. I dont miss any cheese or meat. It is wholesome and plantbased. I dont know if I life longer due to this diet, but I am trying "How not to die" by unhealthy food. Of course it is a very subjective topic.

blackbird
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by blackbird »

MDFIRE2024 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:52 pm
Of course it is a very subjective topic.
This is the part that confuses / concerns me. Is it subjective? I mean, if several academically rigorous studies indicated behaviour X causes result Y, then would we portray that as subjective? I'm struggling with why that seems to be the case here but not in other areas requiring advanced degrees (such as physics or chemistry).

blackbird
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by blackbird »

And now I see the thread about what society will be embarrassed about in sixty years.... :(

(note to self: read ALL active topics before posting!)

wolf
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by wolf »

@blackbird
So true....I think the same. Why does someone eat unhealthy stuff if the facts show x and y? It is illogical, but it is human. Each human has other principles, priorities in life, needs, wants, ... Well I guess there are also papers and statistics which have different answers to same questions? E.g. coffee is sometimes healthy and sometimes unhealthy. People choose the answer who they want to hear and believe in.

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Ego
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by Ego »

@blackbird, as an example, most people are lactose intolerant. Some are not. It depends on the person. So, in the case of lactose, some people do better than others. Now consider that there are a many examples like lactose in any one food item. For instance, milk has more than a hundred other separate compounds in addition to lactose. Complexity.

It is one of the reason we use epidemiological studies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology

Cue brute.

blackbird
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by blackbird »

@Ego

I think my issue is that whenever the topic comes up about meat-eating / non-meat-eating (and I include myself in the first group) the default centers around lifestyle / ethical / political conversations. But (again, all new to me but starting to read into it more) it looks like several large scale (tens to hundreds of thousands) studies have linked meat consumption to statistically significant increases in occurrence of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, even adjusting for other factors.

Why is that not the origin in a discussion about diet? I have given my in-laws grief (in a kidding sense) for years about their vegan diets and at no point did they reference any of this. They approached it from a personal preference standpoint (which I think they did so as not to offend me) but I almost want to say "Why didn't you mention this?", because when I discussed this with them recently they were well aware of the research.

At day's end I almost feel like I've failed myself for not seeking a better understanding of diet /nutrition earlier, but I also think there's a deeper issue where the things I think about and the way I think about them are manipulated by larger (not intentionally malignant) forces that go mostly unnoticed. And if that is true, it seems like a real breakdown in society somewhere. I dunno. I'm gonna make a coffee and feel better :)

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Ego
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by Ego »

blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:23 pm
They approached it from a personal preference standpoint (which I think they did so as not to offend me) but I almost want to say "Why didn't you mention this?", because when I discussed this with them recently they were well aware of the research.
Hah. They were walking the tightrope.

I just looked at the wikipedia entry on vegan to see why people become vegan. I knew about the ethical vegans and the environmental vegans and the health-nut WFPB vegans. I didn't know about this one...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism# ... t_veganism

Wouldn't it be great if brute fell in love with one of those.

oldbeyond
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by oldbeyond »

I think the inherent flaws in epidemiological studies produces a lot of uncertainty and weird effects(like total abstinence from alcohol increasing mortality because a lot of former alcoholics abstain completely). This leaves plenty of fuel for ideologically driven warfare - just cherry pick the right studies and you're golden. The ideological warfare is most intense concerning stuff like carbs vs fat or meat vs soy, while the most obvious takeaways seem to be avoiding junk. Half the world is fat because twinkies, fries, soda and lunch meat. Not because wrong macronutrient or protein source.

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Bankai
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by Bankai »

blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:31 pm
What kind of diet do you practice?
Greger's Daily Dozen with a small tweak: +1 portion of whole grains, -1 portion of beans.

Occasionaly sweets when on holiday or meeting friends. Occasional beer.
blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:31 pm
Is it for health reasons, economic reasons, or convenience reasons (or a mixture)?
Mainly health with low cost and time requirements being a bonus.
blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:31 pm
In all honesty, how much deliberate thought have you put into your day-to-day diet?
Between reading, watching and thinking - probably few hundred hours by now over the last 2.5 years. I consider it fairly well optimised now, and further improvements would not justify time and effort required (i.e. preparing foods in a way that preserves the most antioxidants is a step too far for me as this would require using microwave, oven, and pot instead of just putting everything into a pot for an hour and forgetting about it).

I get regular blood checkups and I've seen significant improvements with each change (stopped eating meat 7.5y ago, dairy 2.5y ago and fish over 1y ago). Subjectively, I feel much better eating this way and my energy level is much higher than it used to be. However, I don't quite buy the argument that feeling good = being healthy [i.e. many heart attack victims self-describe as feeling good and being healthy until they get first (and also last) symptom of heart disease].
blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:31 pm
What am I overlooking here?
Diet is as much a part of most people's identity, as their political or religious beliefs. For some people, even the very fact that one can voluntarily refuse to consume dead animal's flesh is an attack on them personally. I don't think there's a way around it seeing how many otherwise rational people go to great lengths to justify their eating habits.

blackbird
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by blackbird »

Thanks for the replies folks.

@Bankai

Out of curiosity, what are you having measured with the bloodwork? Cholesterol? Iron? (I ask b/c I love me some personal metrics)

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JWJones
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by JWJones »

I'm probably in the minority here, as I follow a paleo diet. Having said that, I have also followed vegetarian, macrobiotic, and vegan diets in the past. For a little background, I also spent 12 years working in the natural foods retail industry.

My reasons for following a paleo diet are entirely health related: a vegetarian, macrobiotic, or vegan diet left me with unresolved health issues, namely seasonal allergies (a.k.a. "hayfever"), and digestive issues.

Ideally, I would be a vegan, because it aligns well with my beliefs, and also it's cheaper. Good quality meat is expensive!

Campitor
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by Campitor »

I prefer a whole food plant based diet myself whenever it's possible but will cheat from time to time - for convenience or politeness - if my aunt invites me over and cooks me a 3 course meal, I will eat it out of respect and appreciation; she took time out of her day to cook me something in order to spend some time with me so I at least try to honor her effort. When convenient, I will explain my food preferences and the science behind it.

Now to the logic of my plant based choice. Whenever I try to decipher the function of a device, I look at its hardware and software to deduce what it can do and what are the optimal applications based on the limitation of its design. In that spirit, I look at human anatomy to deduce the optimal behaviors and limitations of the human diet in regards to our biology without the augmentation of any outside technology, i.e., vitamin pills, cooking, etc. I do this to establish a baseline in regards to what our digestive tract was designed to do. We are mostly designed to be frugivores. Our dentition, the enzymes produced in our mouths, the length of our digestive tracts, etc. indicate we are meant to eat starchy foods (fruits/tubers) with some limited leaf/flower grazing abilities (lettuce, broccoli, etc.). We are unsuited to eating grains without the benefit of cooking (wheat, barley, beans, etc.) and we are certainly not optimized for eating raw meat - we lack the suitable acidity, dentition, and short intestinal length to make it an optimal diet.

Cooking revolutionized our diet - it made previously undigestible food (grains/legumes) accessible, and it made meat eating more efficient and safer (reduction in bacteria count via cooking, and the softening of the dense muscular tissues and bone marrow). Can humans eat meat/grains? Certainly! But does this mean that our anatomy is suited to gorging down the volumes of meat/grains at the levels we consume today? Certainly not. The science and our biology confirms it. And the franken-food we eat today is certainly far removed from what was eaten in paleo human era when temperatures were colder and food scarcity forced us into adopting a meat eating pattern far down into our evolutionary development.

I sometimes use the butt of my screwdriver as a hammer but it would be unwise to argue that I should use it as a hammer 100% of the time. It would be unwise to say that my cat, an obligate carnivore, can thrive on a plant based diet since she loves eating bananas. It would be unwise to say that humans are optimized for a meat or grain diet especially at today's current consumption levels.
Last edited by Campitor on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Bankai
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by Bankai »

@blackbird

Earlier this year, I had the following checked:

complete blood count (CBC)
erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
glucose
lipid profile
calcium
magnesium
iron
testosterone

In the past, I also checked various other, "niche", markers, i.e. C-reactive protein (CRP) or Prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

GandK
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by GandK »

blackbird wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:57 pm
This is the part that confuses / concerns me. Is it subjective? I mean, if several academically rigorous studies indicated behaviour X causes result Y, then would we portray that as subjective? I'm struggling with why that seems to be the case here but not in other areas requiring advanced degrees (such as physics or chemistry).
I don't think it's subjective, but still, how could it be the same for everyone? To contrast: Earth climate science is about one environment. Nutrition is about billions of environments, each in some ways naturally different. Are those differences of a sort to cause different people to require different types of fuel?

BRUTE
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by BRUTE »

ketogenic, sometimes zero-carb. basically meat + dairy + vegetables for flavor.

slowtraveler
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Re: *Pokes Vegan / Vegetarian / WFPB-Diet Bear* Interested to see current opinions on this topic

Post by slowtraveler »

Omnivore. For health reasons.

Too much animal products or not enough and I feel sick. Every time I go vegan or even vegetarian, my body gets weak. And trust me, I have B12, protein, etc. Animals are healthy to eat. But only eating lean muscle tissue probably isn't the ideal. Organ meats are highly nutritious. Bone marrow is one of the easiest things for humans to digest.

Vegan/vegetarian is not natural. 20-100% animal products is natural. In Sapiens, Harrari talks about how our niche was likely eating bone marrow. Our digestive tracks are nothing like a cow or true herbivore. Too much fiber isn't all that good, neither is not enough.

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