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What is Angelina Jolie’s biggest beauty secret?
By her own admission, a thick, juicy steak!
In interviews prior to the release of her film Salt, Jolie says that she was vegan for a long time and that it “nearly killed” her.
“I found that I was not getting enough nutrition,” says Jolie.
Thankfully, Jolie wised up in time before her health and teeth were irreparably damaged. Many vegans are not as lucky. The fact is that some of the most critical nutrients for health, vitamins A, D,and B12 are simply not found in an exclusively plant based diet.
Vegans cite beta carotene as a plant based source of Vitamin A, but at best, human digestion can only convert a very small percentage of beta carotene into true vitamin A.
People with any sort of gut imbalance, which would be the vast majority of people today, generally cannot convert any beta carotene to true Vitamin A!
Vegans also claim that getting vitamin D from the sun or mushrooms is all that is necessary, but during winter months, it is crucial to be consuming animal based sources of vitamin D, else one is a sitting duck for flu and other wintertime illnesses.
Because the original source of B12 in nature is bacteria, some nutritional sources confuse the issue by maintaining that beneficial B12 is synthesized by gut flora in the colon of humans.
While this may be true, the B12 that is produced this way is not in a usable form as very little if any of this B12 is able to be absorbed across the walls of the large intestine or colon. The reason is that the bacteria produced B12 in the gut is not attached to the “intrinsic factor” (IF), a special protein that is secreted in the stomach.
B12 must attach to an intrinsic factor protein to be absorbed effectively. This happens when B12 that is consumed binds with the intrinsic factor that has been broken down by pancreatic enzymes in the small intestine. The tightly bound B12-intrinsic factor complex then moves through the gut to the Ileum or lower portion of the small intestine and attaches to cell receptors for absorption.
B12 Not Available in ANY Plant Foods
Contrary to claims by the vegan community, usable B12 is not available in algae like spirulina or tempeh (a fermented soy product). The B12 found in these foods is similar to true B12 but not exactly the same thing. The B12 in Brewer’s yeast is due to factory fortification, in other words, it is not naturally occurring in the food.
Studies have indicated that the B12 analogues in algae and tempeh are not bioavailable to the human body – blood levels of the nutrient did not change even after algae or tempeh were added to the diet.
Even worse, these B12 imposters can actually inhibit the absorption of true vitamin B12 as the result of a competitive situation in the digestive system. This puts those that avoid animal foods at an even greater risk for deficiency!
For these reasons, even die-hard vegans who are well researched admit that B12 supplements must be taken when one is on a vegan diet for an extended period of time.
How could a diet such as veganism possibly be a good idea if supplements are required to prevent serious deficiency?
The final nail in the coffin for the vegan diet is the travels of Dr. Weston A. Price back in the 1920’s and 1930’s. For over 10 years, Dr. Price traveled the globe only to discover absolutely no native vegan cultures whatsoever. Even the vegetarian cultures Dr. Price examined had poorer health compared to the meat and seafood eating cultures as evidenced by higher dental caries and lower immunity to degenerative disease.
No ancestral society ever ate vegan!
Why? The culture would have died out in a generation or two from lack of nutrients, low immunity to infectious disease as well as rampant infertility.
Even reviews of What The Health, the popular vegan documentary, point out that the film failed to cite a single healthy vegan population that has stood the test of time.
From Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s article Do Vegetarians Really Live Longer? on vegan tall tales of spry centenarians supposedly living on a plant based diet:
In reality, the Hunza and Vilcabambans consume some meat and raw dairy, and the Okinawans eat far more pork than soy. What’s more, there’s no anthropological evidence of healthy, happy fruitarians sunning in gardens of eden prior to the hunter gatherer eras. Indeed, leading anthropologists present convincing evidence that meat helped us evolve from big bellied, tiny-brained primates to big-brained humans able to leave all-day “grazing” behind and spend the time developing civilization. In other words, eating animal products made us human.
In truth, veganism is a modern phenomena – a political statement against animal abuse and confinement as practiced by CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).
Not that vegans do not have a good point – eating meat from CAFOs is not a good idea at all! The good news is that one can find humanely raised, antibiotic/steroid free, grassfed meat from locally based family farms. No need to reject meat and animal foods in their entirety by going vegan if you sympathize with the political arguments against eating animal foods!
So find a local farmer you trust and eat your meat, eggs, and dairy with the confidence that humans are omnivores not herbivores and that animal foods are clearly necessary to achieve your best health!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Iron Deficiency Anemia is not solely caused by veganism. Many women, carnivores included, suffer from anemia due to monthly blood loss. I experienced this myself (in my carnivore years 30+ years ago, and more recently as a vegan) After a doctor prescribed iron supplementation 2 days per month, my iron levels stabliized.
Sarah Pope MGA
This is true, but the risk is MUCH higher for vegans.
It is imprudent for you to knock a whole plant based diet. As for the societies you are looking for look up the blue zones. They may not be entirely vegan but they get pretty close, especially compared to proteinaholic Americans. Also, let’s get real about how many people can actually go to their local humane organic farms to buy meat. Have you been to Walmart lately? Seen the people who shop there? Not everyone can afford what you are proposing. Beans are cheap and healthy! Americans eat way to much meat and dairy because of articles like yours. Please everyone stop freaking out over the term “vegan.” It’s not a cult. Vegans won’t come in your house and steal the bacon off your plate. A diet rooted in whole healthy plant based eating is the way to go. Let’s all evolve please and push the plants.
Sorry friend. Not going to “push the plants” when it steals your health! Many of the vegans I know definitely act like they are in a cult, by the way. It’s like a religion to some of them.
There wasn’t a single healthy traditional culture that ate vegan. And the Jains if India (frequently called vegan by misinformed vegans) eat dairy. Eating a plant based diet is agreeing to be a guinea pig for the human race. If that’s your calling, then go for it.
OMG, why are mentally insane vegans so butthurt about facts and reality? Wait, I think I just answered my own question. Seriously though, veganism is NOT a healthy diet. It didn’t work for me or several of my friends who tried it. In fact, it gave me nutritional absorption issues. I don’t understand why vegans insist on having such a fanatical devotion to their diet which has been proven to not work for most people. I am really grateful for you writing articles like this Sarah, because people need to know the truth and it is easy to get sucked into the vegan mindset especially by frauds like Doug Graham, Harley, Freelee, and the rest of the vegan lunatics out there looking to make a buck all while seriously damaging people’s health or in Doug Graham’s case killing a person, and almost killing another because of their harmful, dangerous advice.
Did you even look up the nutritional facts about veganism before writing this? There are so much misinformation in the article I don’t even know where to begin so I’m just not going to. Shame on you.
Actually, I’ve studied veganism extensively for almost 20 years. Here’s one factoid most vegans don’t know. Did you know not a single population group ever ate vegan? Except for a few scattered, tiny enclaves of religious cults over the centuries, veganism as an extended lifestyle has never been done before! Happy guinea-pigging!
You say B12 supplements aren’t natural. I see your point, but a genetic modified chicken that can be killed for consumption within a few weeks is not so natural either, right? The industry does all sorts of unnatural things to maximize its profits. Unfortunately, we do not live in a world where everyone can have access to organic animal products from animals raised without suffering in small farms (these kind of products represent an almost insignificant percentage of the animal products consumed by people nowadays). Nobody eats natural food anymore (at least not the majority of people) and it is ridiculous for vegans and for meat eaters to use that argument! The reality in which we live is of an industry that is absolutely cruel with animals. So veganism strikes me as a protest against the cruel treatment given to animals by the industry. Of course, if you eat a well planned vegan diet and it does not work for you, that’s ok, your health in the first place, so go back to the animal products – not meat of course – with responsibility. But if you are perfectly capable of eating a proper vegan diet, even if you have to take supplements or eat fortified food, why won’t you do your part in minimizing animal suffering as best as you can? Both vegans and meat eaters have to stop with the fallacious arguments and face reality with sanity – we know about the cruelty of the industry and of our responsibility towards it and we know about the possible deficiencies of a vegan diet, so we have to find the best and most ethical way to deal with it.
Amanda, I respect and am happy that you are thriving on the vegan diet. I have vegan friends just like you who have vibrant health. However, my experience was not anything like that. I’m beginning to think that some people’s biology doesn’t fit this lifestyle. First my mom tried to be a vegan and in less than a year she ended up in the hospital with anemia and needed 4 pints of blood. The doctors could find no cause, and said she was perfectly healthy otherwise. She has since switched to a vegetarian diet and is doing well. My friends encouraged me to give it a try and I did on two different occasions 2 years apart. I was eating very well, no sugar, no processed food, whole grains, vegetables and fruit (little fat). I went about 4 months, and never felt great. The last week I experienced unbelievable fatigue, tried to tough it out but I was sleeping 16 hours and could barely move. I broke the diet at this point and after a few days felt my energy start to return. I tried it again 2 years later, this time I supplemented B12 and about three months in I noticed my energy was really low. I just gave up, not wanting a repeat of the first try. Now I just incorporate vegan meals as part of my menu, but still eat animal products every other day or so. I cannot rack up medical expenses to try and figure it out, nobody really has any ideas for me. Maybe there’s something with my biology that does not lend itself to veganism.
Hi Sarah I don’t think Angelina said that her secret comes from a steak haha. Veganism is definitely deficient in nutrition which you can take vitamins for but it has also the biggest upside of having high alkaline in it. People who eat just meat and some veggies will definitely age pretty fast and is prone to cancer much more.
I agree very much with this article. I’m a big fan of Weston Price and the research their foundation has done. My grandmother is a strict vegan and has been for more than 40 years. She has horrible teeth all of which are capped, terrible osteoperosis, and even bone cancer. She claims she hasn’t been sick in 40 years which is obviously not true. She slumps and is so frail and thin, she looks like death. My mother was also a vegan for most of my childhood and suffered greatly from B12 deficiency. She nearly died and went to 15 different doctors who told her obscene things, all of which were untrue. She eventually came across a list of B12 deficiency symptoms and had 9 out of 10. She eats meat and healthy fats now and has never felt better. She rarely if ever gets sick.
I agree it’s impossible that humans were fruitarians or strictly plant eaters long ago. This would have been impossible in cold winter months where the only food to be found available would have been meat products and maybe a few roots. How else would they keep warm without proper fat and hides to cover themselves? This might only work in a tropical climate where fruits and veggies grow abundantly. Where in the wilderness do you find an abundance of wild fruits and nuts more plentiful than animals except in tropical climates? You don’t, therefore most civilizations would have died off quickly in most places. It’s common sense!
No ancestral society ever ate vegan? What about the Incas? Veganism goes back to the Bible… “And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” —Genesis 1:30. I admit that is not a rational statement, but just to demonstrate how old these principles are, also every indian Yogi will tell you the same story as well. Now eating vegan properly is not a simple quest, we all have different genetcs and need to find out what is an vegan diet adapted to our bodies, you cannot just improvise that. I would also just say that becoming a vegan has to do with a spiritual choice, so not anybody can become a vegan, not anybody can open up to higher vibrations and get rid of the pre-fabricated substances like meat and eggs or cheese. There is addiction here. As well as you have adiction to vegan foods like wheat or refined sugar (most addictive drug in the world, more addictive than cocaine…) Remember that here the animal has already transformed the energy of the plant which in fact is a spiritual job. If you stop thinking that we eat to survive but rather to transform the energy of the plants into higher vibrations instead (and gettting every reward of it) you really start to hit the mark. But well no anybody can or needs to agree on this to be my friend or to have my esteem.
Sorry but the Incas weren’t vegan .. and that is an inappropriate interpretation of Genesis.
And God showed favor to Abel (the herder) for his offerings (meat). After which, Cain (the vegan/vegetarian) flew into a rage and killed Abel. This argument over diet has been going on since civilization started.
I am vegan, and I follow a whole food plant based diet, and I have never felt better. But thank you for this article, I got to do tons of research on how to combat topics that you mentioned, because if you feel this way I am sure other people do, and now I have more articles I can get them to read.
My guess is that you haven’t been vegan very long. Give it time. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/most-vegetarians-return-to-eating-meat/
Oh I absolutely will do it the rest of my life. I have never been healthier in my entire life. It is just like any other way of eating you can do it right and wrong. I have seen many people fail from being vegan and from being “paleo” but just eating processed junk. It is so sad to see. When the answer is right in front of us all, just stick to whole natural foods. Thanks so much for the article, it really did give me a chance to look into many topics. I love learning, never stop learning 🙂
Never say never! The vast majority of vegans who went back to meat because of the health problems that started to develop would have said the same thing early on.
In this case I will say NEVER. I completely understand why you would think what you think. But maybe if you hung out with some Plant based eaters you would understand how healthy we are. Oh and I read one of your comments that said you can spot I vegan. That made me laugh so hard, because us vegans do the same thing but in reverse, we always say I could stop a meat eater.
Oh, and thank you for the link. I read the entire article, what a great read. I however, know that I will never go back to my old diet. I felt awful! I follow a Whole Food Plant based diet. It is talked about in The China Study, The Starch Solution, and Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease among many more. I am fine with anyones diet, because its their own personal choice. I however choose to eat this way, because it agrees with me so much.
The reality is that some people’s genetics may allow them to tolerate nutritional deficiencies longer than others. Secondly, veganism is the least sustainable of all diets. Consider this – if the most sustainable is eating locally grown foods, whether meat or plants, then the opposite means that it is the least sustainable.
For example, is importing out of season fruits and veggies more sustainable than eating locally grown meat which can be produced year round? Think about it, not every state can produce enough food year round to feed its population. It has to import foods from all over the country and internationally. Yes, CAFO production can be cruel, but agriculture is also cruel. It is one of the most destructive forces on the planet. Environments are destroyed, animals are destroyed or displaced, heavy amounts of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers are used.
There is more land on this planet suitable for grazing animals than growing crops.
I actually eat the majority of my foods from my local famers market. Also, eating a plant based diet does not make you deficient in anything if you eat a range of fruits,veggies, grains, lentils, beans and all the other good stuff. All my labs are always perfect, and when I was eating meat and dairy, my labs were never good. So it works for my family and plenty others. And I would have to disagree about your statement, “Consider this – if the most sustainable is eating locally grown foods, whether meat or plants, then the opposite means that it is the least sustainable.” However thats whats great about America, we can all do our own thing, if we choose.
No B12, true vitamin A or Vitamin D in plant foods. If you think it is or read that there is on a vegan website, it is wrong. Beta carotene is not Vitamin A nor is very much converted in the body and those with any sort of autoimmune issue probably don’t convert any at all. Vitamin D is not in any plant foods either .. except minute amounts in mushrooms grown in the sun. Certainly not enough for health. And no B12 either .. the B12 in kelp is a B12 analog that the body can’t use. If you think supplements will help … they are synthetic versions of the real thing. Oh and no vegan cultures ever existed on earth. Ever. If you think the Hunza were vegan (like vegan propaganda websites claim), oops, they weren’t.
Have fun … check in with us in a few years. By the way, the first sign of problems for vegans is rampant tooth decay.
Seeing as it won’t let me respond to your last comment, I will just do it here. Vitamin A is 100% found on plant foods. Just one cup of spinach has 2813.1 IU of it, and one cup of kale has 1598.4 IU. So I don’t understand why you would think plants don’t have vitamin A, that was a new one for me. Also vitamin D comes from the sun. However it is also found for one example in Maitake mushrooms, 1 cup is 393% of your recommended daily IU coming in at 786.1 Also vitamin B-12 is bacteria, simple as that. We live in a super clean world now a days, so heavy meat eaters can also be lacking vitamin B-12. Just like I use to be deficient in it when I was eating loads of meats. Also to talk about teeth, I recently just had my yearly check up, and they didn’t even have to clean my teeth, they said they were in perfect condition. So, It looks like my dental health is A OK. I seriously can’t believe that you come off so bashing against a vegan diet. Did you know that the World Health Organization and the UN both say that a Vegan diet, of a whole food plant based diet is completely healthy. Hummm… So maybe just maybe, the human body can thrive on different types of diets. I will check back in with you 30 years down the road. 😉
Oh dear, Amanda. You have been totally sucked in haven’t you. There is no vitamin A in plant foods! It is labeled as vitamin A which the FDA allows but it is all as carotenes which must be converted by the body to true Vitamin A. And, guess what? The conversion doesn’t happen very efficiently even with the best digestion in the world. And, for many people, it doesn’t happen at all. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/beta-carotene-vitamin-a-myth/