Vegans may increase heart disease risk
Have you noticed how people always assume that vegan=super healthy?
Frankly, I've encountered many vegans who are just downright smug. They think they are healthier than everyone else is. But I disagree. I think veganism is a serious mistake. In fact, a new study found that eliminating meat from your diet could harm your health.
Scientists recently analyzed dozens of vegan studies from the last 30 years. They found that men and women who follow a strict vegan diet (no meat, poultry, fish, or animal by-products) tend to have elevated homocysteine levels. And that's not good. Too much of this amino acid in your blood greatly increases your risk for heart attack or stroke.
But that's not all the scientists discovered...
They also found that vegans seem to run a greater risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis. They also tend to have lower HDL (or "good") cholesterol.
I really don't have anything against vegans. It's just that I'm an omnivore. Specifically, I make sure to eat a few servings of organic chicken and wild-caught fish each week. I'm not even opposed to eating lean organic red meat (that's been grass-fed) occasionally.
Simply put, we need the protein and the saturated fats. We also need vital nutrients like CLA, l- carnitine, iron, zinc, B12, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids. But the only place most of us get these nutrients is through meat, fish, and fowl.
Plus, vegans tend to rely on lots of TVP (textured vegetable protein). This is fancy term for non- fermented soy, which is loaded with phyto-estrogens and phytate. These compounds block your absorption of nutrients and disrupt your hormones. Some scientists also link them with cancer.
In addition, if you look at the intestinal tracts of pure carnivores and pure herbivores, humans are somewhere in the middle. We were designed to eat some meat.
I don't recommend you go out and treat yourself to a rack of greasy ribs every night. But you can -- and should -- enjoy salmon, chicken, and even flank steak on a weekly basis. You need the protein and the nutrients these foods deliver.
About the author
Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.
In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as our Chief Research Advisor.
Dr. Spreen also writes the Guide to Good Health.