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From: temp (
Subject:         Re: Eat raw, keep your brain, grow your heart
Date: April 14, 2015 at 9:36 am PST

In Reply to: Re: Eat raw, keep your brain, grow your heart posted by Dr Gosia O'Reilly on April 14, 2015 at 5:21 am:

Hey Dr.Gosia,

The second part of the post. Sorry for the long post lol.

"Should we go by dietary recommendations that are numerical estimates, or by how one feels? For example, some long term raw vegans do not take B12 supplements, yet they experience no symptoms of deficiency, though a test could show that their levels are low. How accurate are dietary recommendations?"

I think a combination of both is a good way to keep as safe as possible, especially when one is experimenting with experimental diets such as vegan, paleo, all-raw etc that have little to no research validating safety or efficiency. The more food groups you remove, the more potential for developing some serious deficiencies.

If one judges a diet solely how they temporarily feel eating such way, then they may be in for a big shock in the long term.

The latest diet fad that seems to have replaced vegan is the Paleo/Primal diet. Paleo dieters don't typically end up in much trouble because the only food groups they remove is grains and beans, legume and pulses. Grains are a fairly dominant food group in the average diet, however they don't supply any nutrients that can't be sourced easily from a diet dense in fruits, vegetables and various plant foods.

However vegan and raw vegan diets are a completely different kettle of fish.

Eliminating most animal foods from the diet and wanting to go vegetarian is one thing, eliminating lots of even healthy plant food groups like most raw vegans do is cause for concern in my opinion.

It just simply isn't possible to live on such few food groups and remain healthy in the long term. Which is why we have seen raw vegan diets aren't even sustainable for the hardcore and guru's who try to follow them.

As to the numerical side of nutrition. The RDA for example, gets a lot of flack from certain vegans, but thats often because their diet isn't even capable of achieving the lowly set RDA's.

I always say that if your diet isn't capable of even hitting 100% or close to the RDA for the basic essential nutrients without supplements, then something is most likely majorly wrong with the structure of your diet and/or the foods it contains.

About the last part of long term raw vegans claiming to not supplement and having normal B12 levels.

Can you trust these individuals is the main question ?

I have learned in my time not to put much stock or faith into what any of these raw vegan guru's claim.

Far too many of these individuals are swayed by vegan bias for whatever reason and will say anything to support their belief systems.

In the end you find out that most of these "staunch" raw vegans chEAT with animal foods, cooked foods and a much wider range of foods than they typically let on. Then its not so surprising how they manage to maintain a healthy vitamin B12 status, when every other raw vegan runs into trouble.

The liver can store years + worth of vitamin B12, so if you are "occasionally" eating some salmon sushi, fillets of fish or the occasional goats milk then you can keep boosting your B12 levels without the need for B12 supplementation at all.

When designing any diet, we need to first make sure that the diet supplies all the basic essential nutrients we need in order to be healthy.

Can a vegan diet ever achieve that, let alone all-raw vegan ?

The answer in my opinion is no, i don't believe its possible, let alone without supplements as mandatory.

A strict vegan diet is simply incapable of supplying all the basic essential nutrients we need to survive, because many of these nutrients are unfortunately derived only reliably from animal foods.

I won't list the typical nutrient deficiencies because we've all heard them a hundred times before.

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