Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is one of the best podcast I ever listened to on veganism and nutrition in general. Much of the disinformation is discussed by a vegan dietician who is absolutely unbiased in her judgments. Too often nutrition sounds more like politics, different groups clinging to ideologies and not evidence. A refreshing insight.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meh, even vegans outperform vegetarians on all-cause-mortality




4.2. Long Term Health Outcomes

Estimating the long-term health outcomes of eating certain things is difficult because food is highly bound up in the culture we live in and culture correlates to just about every health outcome you could possibly imagine. Even less conveniently, nutritional science is highly anti-inductive; if a particular food group is identified as being healthy people with an interest in being healthy flock to that food group, and people with an interest in being healthy are likely to be healthy for a bunch of reasons regardless of diet.

So here’s a nice headline result: vegetarians have less heart disease with extremely high certainty, and probably less cardiovascular disease and cancer too. Most of the studies in that meta-analysis have had some of the really obvious stuff adjusted away (race, income, etc.) but not all studies adjust for all confounders, and we should be cautious about trusting studies that ‘adjust for confounders’. If you ignore confounders then the answer is clear; eating vegetarian is good for you in every single way we can measure (including, possibly, circulating testosterone in defiance of stereotypes about meat eaters!).


If you are interested in confounders: There are a handful of cool natural experiments, taking groups with reasons to eat certain food but not bother with the associated healthy lifestyles, which are the closest we are likely to come to a true experiment in this area. In particular, the American Adventist Health Studies are pretty much state of the art in the field from what we can see. Adventists have quite unique dietary habits, brought about by religious prohibitions on certain foodstuffs which some Adventist churches follow and some don’t. Consequently, if you are an Adventist you are functionally ‘randomized’ into different food-eating conditions depending on which church you attend, and this randomization can be exploited by researchers.

Based on the Adventist Health Studies, a vegetarian diet increases life expectancy by around 3.6 years. The less meat you eat, the healthier your BMI and the less likely you are to get diabetes.

Overall we might expect lacto-ovo vegetarians to have a health related quality of life around 10% better than a meat eater, with most of this benefit being apparent 20 years after making the switch to a vegetarian diet.

You could complicate this picture a lot (especially by introducing future discounting) but we think the general principle that if you value life-years towards the end of your life you should likely go vegetarian is well demonstrated by the data:


One final point on how meat might affect your lifespan; there is a growing awareness of the fact that industrially produced meat is an ideal breeding ground for zoonotic disease, and that those diseases can mutate and jump to humans very quickly. Previous pandemics such as H1N1 (‘swine flu’) and H5N1 (‘bird flu’) may have originated with farmed animals, and were rapidly spread by the close contact of unhealthy animals and global nature of the meat supply chain. At the margin, eating meat probably increases the probability of a global pandemic but there isn’t good evidence on how much your individual consumption affects things at the margin.

In the model we take the Adventist study result at almost face value, estimating that eating vegetarian will increase your lifespan by 3 years, and include constant low costs due to possible nutritional deficiency and moderate benefits to health that appear later in life.



Edited by InquilineKea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm interested in the dairy products issue, since I've seen a lot of sh1t thrown at this food group, even by allegedly respected doctors like Neal Barnard. Some members in this forum also tend to reject this food group as unhealthy, adhering to the prevailing vegan narrative.

The vegan nutritionist Jenny Messina is far more balanced, she makes it clear that vegans should not eat dairy because of ethical, not nutritional issues. Dairy products are sometimes associated to cancer protection, like in colo-rectal cancer (strong suggestions of decreased prevalence), even though there are weak suggestions of higher prevalence in prostate cancer. More myths like Barnard's caseomorphins are discussed and dispelled.

Dairy products, the lowfat or nonfat variety, in my opinion are among some of the best choice for CR-ON, since a small amount with modest energy input will provide a host of nutrients, especially so calcium and hi-DIAAS EAAs. Soy products come next, but to some people like myself dairy products are more digestible.

Issues like that are discussed in another Simon hill podcast, dispelling a few negative myths and I respect this vegan guy for being so objective.

Again, I totally respect those who make the ethical choice of being vegan, I do not respect those who disseminate disinformation to make their vegan religion seem the best religion in the world.


Edited by mccoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hm, there are niche dairy products that could be very useful as an addition to the plants-only diet outside of vegan ideology, especially for older people who need more protein of higher availability, if I will not become vegan by ethic in the future probably this will be a small part of my diet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harzer

other options are just protein powder of different origins. Such cheese, if not too salty (in 20-30g even salty should not be too problematic) cancels out a question about fats and chole, so the only protein is in the focus. AFAIR this is EU-only option, and not everywhere easily available(


Edited by IgorF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Harzer cheese: very interesting with its 1% fat but never heard of it previously, here in Italy it's not apparently commercialized. I've been trying whey protein for some time but in my case it didn't have the effect to boost muscular hypertrophy, at least not differently than fresh products.

Nonfat yogurt (both casein and whey fraction) and nonfat greek yogurt (prevailing casein fraction) are almost pure protein, with a fermented matrix which is reputedly bowels-friendly.

Edited by mccoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...