is being vegan healthy?

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    Jul 29, 2008 9:48 PM GMT
    i was just wondering/ contemplating on becoming vegan, but all the vegans i know are skinny and pale and unhealthy looking. anyways is it healthyand if u do become vegan is it harder to keep uo a high performance body? ,
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    Jul 29, 2008 11:11 PM GMT
    I personally don't think Veganism is the healthiest life choice.

    But read up on it yourself just be prepared both sides are pretty hard core against each other be prepared for a lot of misrepresented and exaggerated information.

    The only thing I'll say is

    scarycemeteryall the vegans i know are skinny and pale and unhealthy looking


    Let the anecdotal evidence speak for it's self, it's a whole lot less tainted that the actual science. You already answered your own question
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    Jul 29, 2008 11:19 PM GMT
    I eat very little meat - maybe a couple times a month - mostly I eat lean chicken breasts or fish (salmon and tuna mostly). I have to say - the few guys I know of who are vegan don't look quite as healthy as they might - a bit of a yellow pallor. This isn't a big sample - I know only a few guys in this category.
  • fryblock

    Posts: 387

    Jul 29, 2008 11:26 PM GMT
    I hate that stereotype. I've been vegan for almost 3 years and I gained weight when I made the change and I keep up a nice tan. I took a foods and nutrition class this summer and we had to do a diet analysis. All my nutrients were at the right levels. You just have to know what you are doing.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 29, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    Why are you thinking of going vegan in the first place? Do you have trouble digesting certain types of foods?
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    Jul 29, 2008 11:31 PM GMT
    If someone is looking off-color it may be because they aren't keeping their body properly maintained. Being vegan isn't unhealthy...just when you don't make sure you have a balance of nutrients it is. You can take protein pills that will keep you having the nutrients that meat would have in it...or eat nuts in copious amounts and you'll be fine. You just have to make sure you know what you are and aren't putting into your body and make sure that everything stays maintained.

    Also consult a nutritionist about it and/or your doctor and they can give you a bit of information as well.
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    Jul 29, 2008 11:32 PM GMT
    scarycemetery saidi was just wondering/ contemplating on becoming vegan, but all the vegans i know are skinny and pale and unhealthy looking. anyways is it healthyand if u do become vegan is it harder to keep up a high performance body? ,


    icon_biggrin.gif
    How would a vegan diet make you pale? I think that has more to do with exposure to sunlight, which in moderation , is actually good for vegans who need vitamin D.
    If a high performance body is important to you, you can certainly maintain it on a vegan diet as long as you are thoughtful about what you are putting into your body.
    CarL Lewis was vegan when he competed in the Olympics.

    Like any lifestyle choice, approach it gradually and develop good, sustainable habbits and listen to your body. I have been vegetarian the last 15yrs and just in the last 9 months I am vegan 5 to 6 days a week and have one "cheat day" where I have cheese... and I am actually losing my taste for it. I have been cooking and improvising a lot so it doesn't even really feel that hard. I have discussed this with my doctor and didn't enter into it on a whim.
    The only real downside is that it costs a fortune at the grocery store and you really need to be a good cook if you want to keep on it. I would also avoid having soy products like tofu being the only 'meat" alternative in your diet.

    If your goal is to be a huge body builder than no, a vegan diet isn't the best idea. It would not be impossible, but it would be difficult.
    But if you want to bulk up a little and get good definition , you should not have a problem on an animal free diet.
    On a side note, I have noticed I can lift the same amount as guys who are much bigger than me, but I just can't get that bulky. But that isn't my main agenda, so it doesn't really bother me much.

  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jul 30, 2008 12:18 AM GMT
    I think it might depend on your blood type!!

    discuss:icon_idea.gif



    "Eat Right 4 Your Type" - Blood Type Diet



    The concept to "Eat Right For Your Type" - or "Blood Type Diet " is based on research conducted

    by Peter D'Adamo, ND, who claims that people fare better (including with weight management) when
    tailoring their diet to their specific blood types. He advises:



    Type A typesshould basically stick to fruits and vegetables (high carbs / low fat).

    They have thicker blood than other blood types, a sensitive immune system,

    and should not consume dairy products, animal fats and meats. They are at

    a heightened risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.



    Type B typesshould consume a balanced diet (fruits and vegetables, grains, fish, dairy, meat,

    but avoid chicken). They have the best chance of bypassing or overcoming

    everyday types of diseases, including heart disease and cancer.



    Type AB typesshould consume a mostly vegetarian diet, and only on rare occasions some

    fish, meat (no chicken), and dairy.



    Type O typesshould basically stick to a high protein diet (including red meat), low carbs, and

    enriched with fruits and vegetables. They should limit the intake of wheat germ,

    whole wheat products, corn, and avoid dairy products and most nuts.

    Type O types are commonly affected with hypothyroidism, high stomach acid

    (leading to ulcers), and thinner blood with greater resistance to blood clotting.



    Additional research on blood types beyond the basic ABO group may be forthcoming in the future.

    In support of his theories, P. D'Adamo proposes that lectins cause agglutination (clotting) of blood cells
    in an individual with the wrong blood type, and which in turn may create serious liver or kidney problems
    as visible under a microscope (lectins are sugar-containing proteins found on the surface of some
    foods that may cause various molecules and some types of cells to stick together).



    He theorizes further that elevated urine indican levels - prevalent in many gastrointestinal diseases such

    as celiac disease, diverticulitis, pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel diseases and others - can

    also be attributed to specific blood types affecting the interactions of foods with intestinal bacteria, and

    creating polyamine abnormalities.



    In addition, different blood types - according to P. D'Adamo - affect the body's secretory performance

    in respect to digestive juices, whereby a blood Type O for instance is capable of producing higher than

    average stomach acid levels, which could lead to a greater incidence of gastric ulcers.



    How do different Blood Types compare to various medical conditions?



    There are some known blood type / disease-risk associations, such as pernicious anemia, diabetes,

    or certain types of cancer being slightly more prevalent with Type A compared to Type O individuals,

    while in contrast to Type A, Type O individuals have a marginally higher incidence of ulcers / H. Pylori
    infections. Types O and B also have greater susceptibility to infectious diseases such as scarlet fever,

    cholera, typhoid, or the bubonic plague, while Type A shows greater susceptibility to the smallpox virus,
    and it is more prone to blood clotting. Blood-sucking insects (that carry diseases) prefer Type O blood.



    How does that help doctors and their patients?



    Unfortunately, it doesn't. For instance, gastritis modestly prevails in blood groups A and O, so with

    more than 80% of the world population being part of the A or O group, not only would it be impractical

    or pointless to suggest dietary changes for preventative or therapeutic purposes, but what should the
    recommendations be? Since there is such a wide variety of possible causes for gastritis, there are

    no universal therapeutic or dietary solutions that can be safely applied to such a large percentage of

    the population. The same circumstances apply when trying to formulate diets around blood types for
    any other medical disorders, as not one single disease is exclusive to one particular blood type.



    Ever since first becoming aware of the "eat-right-for-your-type" proposition, I was as curious and

    intrigued as many other researchers and practitioners to clinically apply those theories by comparing

    patients' blood types to their medical disorders - looking for trends or a pattern.



    It quickly became apparent that high blood sugar, high blood pressure, or high stomach acid types

    shared the same blood groups with those exhibiting low blood sugar, low blood pressure, or low

    stomach acid. As expected, the same applied to people with a lifelong tendency for weight gain,
    weight loss, nearsightedness, farsightedness..., as well as other "hyper" versus "hypo" conditions.

    So the verdict on a blood type / disease connection hasn't changed from a "reduced resistance"

    to some diseases noted by the scientific community all along.



    How do different Blood Types compare to a patient's chemical / nutritional profile?



    Since the "eat-right-4-your-type" concept mainly focuses on dietary lifestyles being matched to blood
    groups, it would stand to reason that blood types should match the chemical and nutritional profiles of

    an individual - sort of like the Metabolic Typing of patients - where diets are adjusted according to
    someone's biochemical or genetic make-up.



    Unfortunately, there is no practical or clinical match whatsoever - just like eye color and hair color

    are not a practical or clinical indication of a person's present or future medical risks (other than those

    with blue eyes or red hair being more prone for sun damage). Years ago, plotting the Biorhythm of an

    individual was another popular concept that had its followers track someone's physical, intellectual and
    emotional well-being (to identify critical days), although this method equally lacked scientific support.



    ===================================================================



    Blood Groups:Type OType AType BType AB



    Global Distribution: 62 % 21 % 16 % 1 %



    Europe: 45 % 42 % 10 % 3 %



    Africa: 68 % 17 % 12 % 3 %

    Arabia: 34 % 31 % 29 % 6 %

    East Asia: 32 % 30 % 28 % 10 %

    India: 37 % 22 % 33 % 8 %



    America (US): 46 % 40 % 10 % 4 %

    American Natives: 98 % 1.7 % 0.3 % 0 %

    Australian Aboriginals: 69 % 30 % 1.0 % 0 %



    ===================================================================



    Of course there are people who claim that since following the "eat-right-4-your-type'' recommendations

    they had lost some weight, or otherwise felt better, however when asked about any specific changes
    made, they invariably consisted of lifestyle changes that are universally considered to be beneficial -
    regardless of someone's blood type - such as cutting out junk food, and/or eliminating foods which

    either cause, or have an unfavorable impact on specific medical problems one is suffering from.



    The decision to increase certain foods, or to eliminate food sources that someone has an intolerance

    or allergy to (dairy, wheat, eggs, meat, nuts, seafood, certain fruits or vegetables...) will definitely have

    a positive impact on someone's health and is clinically necessary and important, but the need to do so

    has mostly a genetic basis and has nothing to do with blood types A, AB, B, or O.



    Some patients' medical complaints improve, or completely clear up after avoiding dairy products, or

    other suspect foods such as wheat, shellfish, nuts, etc., however this happens with all blood types -
    not just certain blo
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:19 AM GMT
    I'm vegan; well, 99% vegan since I have pizza with cheese once in a blue moon.

    Some vegans look weak because they don't workout or they don't know how to eat properly. Other vegans who workout and know how to eat properly, look buff, like me icon_wink.gif Vegans can be great athletes, Carl Lewis being the most famous.

    If you're protein-conscious, vegans can get their protein from various plant foods. For example soy products are comparable to meat in terms of protein content and quality.

    Not to mention, veganism is kind to animals ("I love animals but I eat them", wtf?), and is the single biggest effect a person can have against global warming.

    That said, what you eat is a very personal thing. Do what you think is best.

    Check out www.veganfitness.net for more info
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 30, 2008 1:12 AM GMT
    Newsflash, - a 'doctor' of Naturopathy is not a doctor.
  • metlboy

    Posts: 105

    Jul 30, 2008 2:03 AM GMT
    This could have to do with the type of vegans you know as well. If they're vegan hipsters, then they may well just be skinny and pale because they're hipsters.

    Most of the vegans I know are pretty outdoorsy. I would refer to many of them as "lean" but most aren't pale or weak looking.
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    Jul 30, 2008 5:21 AM GMT
    I have been mostly vegetarian for two years. I say mostly because I still eat cheese. It is the hardest thing to give up.

    After I stop eating meat and becoming health conscious of my diet, I lost tremendous weight.

    I recommend it.
  • metalxracr

    Posts: 761

    Jul 30, 2008 5:30 AM GMT
    There are people who eat meat and other animal producuts who are far from healthy too. It's like any other way of eating. You just gotta know how to eat right.
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    Jul 30, 2008 1:10 PM GMT
    I'm vegan. (...and before someone decides to point it out, yes, once in a blue moon I too will allow myself some sort of dairy product...typically cheese)...most people who meet me seem surprised when I tell them I am....because I'm not pale white and pencil thin.icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 31, 2008 1:44 AM GMT
    To reiterate what some people have said, why do you want to become a vegan? I have nothing against a romantic stint as a vegan, just chalk it up to youthful indiscretion. But if you are in this for the long haul you need to have some pretty good reasons to do it as it is a complete pain in the ass.

    Vegans that are pale, scrawny, and unhealthy looking - that is, vegans who are not in it for the long haul - look so because they have no idea what they are doing. Learning how to combine plants to create a complete protein will dominate your life. Vegans who do this as a hobby usually have no idea how to do this. I would do some research on nutrition and spend a few days both during the week and the weekend to see if you like it.
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    Jul 31, 2008 2:11 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidTo reiterate what some people have said, why do you want to become a vegan? I have nothing against a romantic stint as a vegan, just chalk it up to youthful indiscretion. But if you are in this for the long haul you need to have some pretty good reasons to do it as it is a complete pain in the ass.

    Vegans that are pale, scrawny, and unhealthy looking - that is, vegans who are not in it for the long haul - look so because they have no idea what they are doing. Learning how to combine plants to create a complete protein will dominate your life. Vegans who do this as a hobby usually have no idea how to do this. I would do some research on nutrition and spend a few days both during the week and the weekend to see if you like it.


    In my experience, I don't think it's a pain in the ass, and learning how to combine plants certainly doesn't dominate my life! icon_lol.gif Last time I was in the US, the local grocery stores had LOTS of vegan-friendly foods.

    Even if it were very inconvenient, so what: being sane in an insane world is not always easy.

    Just my P.O.V.
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    Jul 31, 2008 2:20 AM GMT
    Coolrabbit said
    MunchingZombie saidTo reiterate what some people have said, why do you want to become a vegan? I have nothing against a romantic stint as a vegan, just chalk it up to youthful indiscretion. But if you are in this for the long haul you need to have some pretty good reasons to do it as it is a complete pain in the ass.

    Vegans that are pale, scrawny, and unhealthy looking - that is, vegans who are not in it for the long haul - look so because they have no idea what they are doing. Learning how to combine plants to create a complete protein will dominate your life. Vegans who do this as a hobby usually have no idea how to do this. I would do some research on nutrition and spend a few days both during the week and the weekend to see if you like it.


    In my experience, I don't think it's a pain in the ass, and learning how to combine plants certainly doesn't dominate my life! icon_lol.gif Last time I was in the US, the local grocery stores had LOTS of vegan-friendly foods.

    Even if it were very inconvenient, so what: being sane in an insane world is not always easy.

    Just my P.O.V.


    The products, and therefore the effort needed, depend on where you live. Consider yourself lucky that you're not in France.

    Here taking the ham off a ham pizza after it's been cooked is considered turning it into a vegetarian pizza, so you can imagine what it's like for vegans.
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    Jul 31, 2008 2:24 AM GMT
    You know, its not really been as difficult as I had been warned it would be...I didn't do this because I woke up one day and decided to save all the animals in the world or anything like that...I just went from meat eater, to lacto-ovo-vegetarian to vegan.

    I guess since I don't have that "Save the Animals" mentality (though I am a animal lover) I don't have anxiety attacks when I consume dairy or an egg on rare occasions...no flesh in quite awhile though.

    There are two really good vegan cafes within 5 miles of where I live (Cosmic Cafe & Spiral Diner) and between Whole Foods and even Kroger, I can eat really well...

    I'm a personal trainer and teach a Boot Camp 3 times a week and from a fitness point of view, I can keep up with the best of them that eat meat and are half my age...I don't even take alot of supplements and I certainly don't obsess on my protein intake...but yeah, its certainly easier not to be vegan or vegetarian for that matter....free choice, free will, I'm all about it.
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    Jul 31, 2008 3:29 AM GMT
    Quote: "Here taking the ham off a ham pizza after it's been cooked is considered turning it into a vegetarian pizza"

    That's funny. Kinda like, the health-conscious who considers the tomato sauce to be a serving a vegetables.
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    Jul 31, 2008 3:52 AM GMT
    Coolrabbit said
    That's funny. Kinda like, the health-conscious who considers the tomato sauce to be a serving a vegetables.

    Wasn't that the Reagan administration? No wait, they classified ketchup as a vegetable.
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    Jul 31, 2008 3:52 AM GMT
    chicken.jpg

    Murder!!!!! Tasty Tasty Murder!!!!!!
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    Aug 01, 2008 2:58 AM GMT
    Coolrabbit saidIn my experience, I don't think it's a pain in the ass, and learning how to combine plants certainly doesn't dominate my life! icon_lol.gif Last time I was in the US, the local grocery stores had LOTS of vegan-friendly foods.


    It isn't a pain in the ass if you know what you are doing, which was my point. I hope scarycemetery does his research before diving into this.
  • joggerva

    Posts: 731

    Aug 01, 2008 3:14 AM GMT
    scarycemeteryis being vegan healthy?


    It is if you eat healthy vegan food.
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    Aug 01, 2008 11:04 PM GMT
    I think the blood type diet is a load of bollocks. My blood type is A+, and I do terribly on a high-carb diet. The more paleo my diet, the better I feel.

    As for vegan diets, they certainly can be healthy. Just make sure to supplement with Vit B12. Vegans and vegetarians generally have higher levels of serum homocysteine, and it's due to reduced intake of B12, which is a keystone of the folate metabolism that keeps homocysteine levels low. Vegan activist types, in their zeal to portray the vegan diet as the natural and ideal human diet, tend to downplay or dismiss the importance of Vit B12 and the need to supplement with it. Just because acute B12 deficiency is relatively rare doesn't mean mild deficiency can be ignored.

    It's also possible to eat an unhealthy vegan diet of fattening junk food. I know some obese vegans like that, and it is sad to see them destroy themselves like that.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 06, 2008 10:52 AM GMT
    The short answer is yes.. it can be

    But it's more difficult to get the right amt of essential vitamins and amino acids you body requires
    it'll just take some extra planning and preparation