So I went on a little rant.
I don’t normally leave comments on articles and blog posts unless it’s to say something positive but after stumbling upon this article, well, I just couldn’t help myself.
The article, found on Paleoplan.com basically says that eating a vegan diet is bad. Very bad. And proceeds to list 7 reasons why it is very bad.
The most blatantly un-researched, baseless reason was Number Four, which claims that eating a plant- based lifestyle is low in nutrients.
Say it with me, Folks: “WHAAAAAAT?”
The article states “Vegans are at increased risk for deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, and iron, as plant-based foods contain less of these nutrients which are also less bioavailable compared to animal-based foods.”
And I don’t know what came over me but all of a sudden my fingers were furiously typing.
Here’s what I said:
“How are vegan diets low in any one of those nutrients? Iron is found in most leafy greens like kale and spinach, as well as in beans, lentils, and other legumes. A single sweet potato has more than 100% of your daily vitamin A. Carrots and cantaloupe also contain tons of it. Vitamin B12 is found in almost every almond milk on the market as well as in nutritional yeast. Vitamin D comes from the SUN and also in a variety of mushrooms. Calcium is also found in leafy greens and a variety of other plant sources. This is nutrition 101. Please do not publish information as fact, especially if it’s deterring people from eating the most basic and nutritional form of food–plants–without doing a little research first. To anyone reading this, yes, a vegan lifestyle requires a bit of education. It’s easy to become deficient in certain areas if you do not have a basic understanding of nutrition. Lucky there are tons of books, websites, and YouTube videos that explain how to do it right and also provide great tips for easy meal ideas. Get informed and eat more plants! ”
I should point out that while fruits and vegetables are incredibly nutritionally dense, they are typically not calorie dense. So eating a whole foods, plant-based diet (which is what I currently practice and highly recommend) does require that you eat larger portions. Which, I mean, is awesome, right? I now eat salads out of large mixing bowls instead of small cereal bowls and huge portions of banana ice cream topped with an array of fruits, nuts, and granola for breakfast almost daily. You have to eat more in order to meet calorie requirements, NOT nutrition requirements.
I could have also addressed Number Five, that vegan diets are low in essential fats but I think all of the pictures of avocado toast and chia seed pudding circling Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and just about every other form of social media took care of that for me.
I could have also addressed the absurd notion that a plant-based lifestyle AS OPPOSED TO AN ANIMAL PROTEIN BASED DIET leads to, wait for it, heart disease (I’m not kidding, read for yourself) but common sense handles that blunder of a claim too. If not, perhaps this study from Harvard, or this one from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, or this one from the American Heart Association will help clarify.
What I wrote is “currently awaiting approval” and may not be published because of the admittedly snippy nature of the comment left by my fingers (yes, let’s blame my slightly over zealous fingers) but either way, I’m glad I wrote it. Even if their readers don’t see it. Hopefully the writer will see it and think twice about writing something as fact when it is so obviously not fact. Especially when their “facts” are turning people away from eating a diet rich in plant foods that are unprocessed, packed with nutrition, easily accessible, easily digestible, and pretty damn tasty too.
Let the record show, I do not want to recommend or promote being hostile or angry to anyone, under any circumstances. That is not the point of this comment or blog post. Instead, I am hoping that in sharing this comment, readers will see the importance of thinking critically. There is a lot of information out there, especially in relation to nutrition and “the right way” to eat healthy. This information has changed a lot over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is that fruits and veggies are good for you.
For more easy vegan recipes check out my Foodie Friday videos on my YouTube Channel.