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Thread: What to tell those who claim being vegan is "heart healthy"?

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  1. #1
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    What to tell those who claim being vegan is "heart healthy"?

    Many people tend to argue that being vegan is "heart healthy" because it is generally very low in fat. But we all know dietary fat does not equal body fat. Vegan diets, however, also tend to be pretty high carb, which is not favorable at all. So what is the argument against "low-fat vegan = heart healthy"?
    22 year old male in Pittsburgh. Primal since 9/12.

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    As a recovering vegan, I will tell you that for most vegans, veganism is an ideology. By nature, ideologies are not based on common sense, rationality, etc. Therefore a rational discussion about the science of nutrition is highly unlikely to occur. This isn't all vegans of course, but I would bet the majority near your age. You will most likely offend them. Best bet it is to get them asking you questions when they notice how (truly) healthy you are living a Primal lifestyle. (For many vegans in their early 20's veganism is just a phase/attempt to be cool and/or an attempt to cast a veil of legitimacy over an eating disorder.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackmormon View Post
    As a recovering vegan, I will tell you that for most vegans, veganism is an ideology. By nature, ideologies are not based on common sense, rationality, etc. Therefore a rational discussion about the science of nutrition is highly unlikely to occur. This isn't all vegans of course, but I would bet the majority near your age. You will most likely offend them. Best bet it is to get them asking you questions when they notice how (truly) healthy you are living a Primal lifestyle. (For many vegans in their early 20's veganism is just a phase/attempt to be cool and/or an attempt to cast a veil of legitimacy over an eating disorder.)
    You are 100% correct. Food lifestyles are like politics - you'll never get anywhere arguing logic (primal) vs. emotion (vegan). I'd just say that you disagree, it works for you, and people are free to eat what they want.

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    tell them that they're wrong about thinking that (healthy) animal products are bad for your heart.

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    Tell them that St. T. Colin Campbell deliberately misinterpreted the data he used to write The China Study, and give them this link full of analysis debunking it.

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    Barnard, Essylstyn and Ornish have had success reversing heart disease and diabetes. I think Ornish uses fish oil though, the first 2 are vegan but they're very very strict and compltely free of all oils and refined carbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
    Barnard, Essylstyn and Ornish have had success reversing heart disease and diabetes. I think Ornish uses fish oil though, the first 2 are vegan but they're very very strict and compltely free of all oils and refined carbs.
    Most of the numbers I've seen don't support that they have reversed diabetes. While I think most will see improved numbers by taking any path outside of sad, particularily if it results in weight loss, the numbers I have seen don't reflect anything close to diabetic reversal. I see a lot of a1c's in the 6's which to the ADA is great but to most its a failure.

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    Essylstyn's study on heart disease showed reversal with all that stuck with it. Same with Ornish's. Only a few of them used statins when they couldn't get their Ldl below 70 or total below 150.

    Nathan pritikin suffered heart disease on the SAD diet of the 50's and reversed it with his low fat diet. His autopsy showed he had clean arteries by the time he died.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
    Essylstyn's study on heart disease showed reversal with all that stuck with it. Same with Ornish's. Only a few of them used statins when they couldn't get their Ldl below 70 or total below 150.
    Not everyone would agree with you that study is quite so conclusive.

    Dr. Esselstyn published the results of a five-year intervention with a low-fat vegetarian diet combined with the individualized use of cholesterol-lowering drugs to bring cholesterol down to 150 mg/dL.16 Since Esselstyn considered it unethical to allow patients under his supervision to eat a standard diet, there was no control group. Twenty-two percent of those who began the intervention dropped out of the study within the first two years; thirty-five percent of those who completed it did not submit to the follow-up analysis of their cardiovascular health; of the twenty-two patients who began the trial, only eleven remained in the final analysis. Of these eleven, occlusion of the blood vessels became better in five, stayed the same in one, and became worse in four.

    Despite the inconsistent results, the average change in the width of the blood vessels was an increase in 0.08 millimeters. This represents a reversal of atherosclerosis - on average. Likewise, on average, the degree to which blood vessels were constricted decreased by seven percentage points. Six of the eleven dropped out of the study after the first five years; in the following five years, there were ten heart attacks among the six that dropped out while there were none among the five who remained on the program.

    Since there was no control group and there was such a high drop-out rate, it is difficult to make much sense of the study. Did the people drop out because their health was not important to them? Or did they drop out because the vegetarian diet made them feel fatigued, unsatisfied, and even less healthy than their original diet full of meat and junk food? Were the people who completed the study but did not submit to the final measurements of their blood vessels reluctant for no reason, or were they reluctant because they were afraid of the results they would obtain based on how the diet made them feel?

    Despite the lack of high-quality evidence, I have little doubt that many people would improve their health on Esselstyn's plan, and especially on Fuhrman's plan, which emphasizes nutrient density to a greater degree than does Esselstyn's. To the extent that the oxidation of lipoproteins such as LDL within the blood would accelerate the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque, I would expect these plans to be beneficial in two respects: they are so low in added fats and oils that the subjects eat very little polyunsaturated fat, and the small amount of polyunsaturated fat that the patients do obtain from whole foods are accompanied by a rich array of antioxidants that protect them from oxidation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
    Essylstyn's study on heart disease showed reversal with all that stuck with it. Same with Ornish's. Only a few of them used statins when they couldn't get their Ldl below 70 or total below 150.

    Nathan pritikin suffered heart disease on the SAD diet of the 50's and reversed it with his low fat diet. His autopsy showed he had clean arteries by the time he died.
    Nathan Pritikin commited suicide and there has been evidence that his low/no fat diet could be a major source of brain dysfunction including depression, among many other neurological problems. Other people who followed the Pritikin diet also felt severely depressed on it as well.
    "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

    People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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