In the Belly of the Beast

It is fortunate to be alive in this information age, where everything you could ever want to know is just a google search away. However, many are not equipped to analyze and understand science. For every believe there seems to be some scientific study to prove it, and a population of people to believe it. There is a wealth of studies stating that evolution is impossible, global warming is a myth, and milk does the body good. However, it is important to criticize scientific studies and ask is it peer reviewed, what is the design of the study (double-blind, controlled, etc.), what sample size is used, what is the duration of study. Consider the journal of publication, replication of results, and funding sources.

It can seem like too much just to find an answer to a simple curiosity. However, in the case of understanding whether to jump on board the veganism train, these things should be considered when doing your searches. Veganism is gaining a lot of buzz as a way life meant for all humanity. There is a lot of debate on whether we should be eating meat as more than just a question of moral and ethical standards. The vegan diet is supported by science in that you can survive without consuming animal products. A healthy individual can synthesize their own cholesterol and ingest an adequate amount of protein by consuming a variety of plants daily. However, a vegan diet often results in vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 is a product of microorganisms, some animals (i.e. cows and sheep) absorb B12 from bacteria in their gut. Hence, why it is less likely for meat eaters to suffer from B12 deficiency. It is found to a lesser extent in soil and plants. So unless you are keen on eating your fruits and veggies straight from the ground, supplements of B12 will be required following a strict vegan diet.

The documentary on Netflix What the Health and The New York Times bestseller Eat Right for Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo are popular sources that have shed different lights on this subject. Both have their criticisms, being debunked in one way or another.  The film and the book have a lot of facts, opinions, anecdotes, unsubstantiated claims, misleading statements, a few falsehoods. Remember that an MD or PhD after someone’s name does not guarantee that everything they say is reliable.

I encourage you to check out both sources for yourself as well as see what the critiques have to say. You may be surprised what you uncover about your own misconceptions about healthy dietary practices. There is also a disconnect between industry and government, pharmaceutical and health organizations. It is best to focus on trying to understand what your body is telling YOU. Health and what that looks like is unique to the individual. Learn how to accurately read the signs, your body is telling you when and what it needs or if it cannot tolerate something. While making the best dietary decisions for you, incorporating fresh foods that are grown as organically as possible is always one of the best options for yourself.

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