Number 10: Iceberg Lettuce

“Lettuce has so few calories, around 15 calories a leaf, so someone would need to eat two whole iceberg lettuces to even get close to the equivalent calorie intake of two rations of smoked bacon around two hundred calories.”

Nutrition

Right off the bat this video starts off with the “the least healthy plant food”. My wife and I have been vegan since 2010. In the last 7 years we have never purchased iceberg lettuce. Like the many vegans we know, nutrition is something we take serious and the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce is basically equivalent to just drinking water.

Plant foods average OVER 1,000 units of antioxidants. Iceberg lettuce has a mere 17. While this is perhaps the least nutritious thing vegans could eat it still has 3 times more antioxidants than chicken. Fish averages 11, salmon only has 7. An egg only has 2. While plant foods average over 1,000, the best animal foods can do, in the meat category, is a serving of ox liver at 71. (s)

Energy Density

Iceberg lettuce isn’t bad though, it’s just that it is about equivalent to drinking water. However bacon, their suggested alternative, is what’s called a “high energy density food”. “The CDC offers some examples. High energy density foods are like bacon lots of calories in a small package. A medium energy density food is like a bagel, and low density foods are typified by fruits and vegetables. In general, the lower the better.

“Consuming diets lower in energy density may be an effective strategy for weight control. This is because people tend to eat a consistent weight of food. So, when there are fewer calories per pound, caloric intake is reduced.”

“A small drop in energy density can lead to a small drop in weight and the greater the decrease in energy density, the greater the weight loss.”

“Putting  people on a traditional Hawaiian diet with all the plant foods they could eat. They lost an average of 17 pounds in just 21 days, resulting in better cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugars, and blood pressure.” (s)

“Reductions in energy density are associated with improved diet quality. For example, lower energy dense diets are associated with lower risk of pancreatic cancer. Lower energy dense diets tend to be of healthier foods; so, we get the best of both worlds.” (s)

Obesity

As of 2013, the American Medical Association officially declared obesity a disease, by identifying the enormous humanitarian impact of obesity as requiring the medical care and attention of other diseases. But the way we treat diseases these days involves drugs and surgery. Anti-obesity drugs have been pulled from the market again and again, after they started killing people: this unrelenting fall of the pharmacological treatment of obesity. (s)

Despite growing recognition of the problem, the obesity epidemic continues in the U.S., and obesity rates are increasing around the world. The latest estimates are that approximately 34% of adults and 20% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. Obesity affects every segment of the U.S. population. Obesity increases the risk of many chronic diseases in children and adults. The epidemic of obesity arose gradually over time, apparently from a small, consistent degree of positive energy balance. Substantial public health efforts are being directed toward addressing obesity, but there is not yet clear evidence of success. Because of the complexity of obesity, it is likely to be one of the most difficult public health issues our society has faced.(s)

Obesity isn’t just a problem in the US though. In China, transition away from the country’s traditional, plant-based diet was accompanied by a sharp rise in diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. (s)

The reason obesity is associated with increased risk of many cancers may be because of obesity-associated inflammation.” And “the reason why meat is associated with inflammation may be because of both the animal protein and the animal fat.” (s)

In short, obesity is an issue all around the world today. When switching to a whole-food, plant based diet you’ll probably be inclined to eat just as much food with less calories resulting healthy and sustainable weight loss while eating the healthiest foods on the planet. There’s definitely plenty of high calorie food to turn to if that’s what you’re after like:

  • Almonds 160 per ounce
  • Brown rice 218 per cup
  • Chia seeds 70 per tbsp
  • Chickpeas 270 per cup
  • Cashews 150 per ounce
  • Coconut milk 552
  • Dark Chocolate bar 600
  • Dates 23 each
  • Flax seeds 50 tbsp
  • Granola 597 per cup
  • Guacamole 360 per cup
  • Lentils 230 per cup
  • Rolled Oats 600 per cup
  • Peanut Butter 100 per tbsp
  • Pecans 196 per ounce
  • Quinoa 222 per cup cooked
  • Raisins 129 in a small 1.5-ounce box
  • Refried beans 237 per cup
  • Rice Crackers
  • Sunflower Seeds 160 per ounce
  • Tahini 89 and 8 grams of fat per tbsp
  • Tofu Baked Teriyaki 140 per 3 ounces
  • Trail Mix 700 per cup
  • Walnuts 183 per ounce
  • Pumpkin Seeds & Squash seeds 164 per ounce

Like I was saying though, we don’t eat iceberg lettuce. Instead we eat from the enormous plethora of options. On my site VeganWalk.com I share that we have 17 beans, 12 berries, 28 fruits, 13 cruciferous vegetables, 10 greens, 18 other vegetables, 13 nuts, flaxseeds, 32 spices, and 11 whole-grains to choose from. And from this thousands of recipes can be made.

“The leafy vegetable is also far more like to parish before it reaches the dinner table with the food waste further increasing its emissions footprint”

Not only is this a very presumptuous statement to make they’re contradicting themselves. First they say we’re not going to get enough calories from leafy vegetables so we’re going to eat more of them. Now they’re saying we’re going to let it go to waste? Anyways, I address the footprint point more in Number 7 and a lot more in Number 3.

Number 9: Soymilk and the “Manboobs”

“most westerners consume unfermented soy mostly in the form of soymilk, tofu, and soy infant formula. So, people are consuming soy with high levels of anti-nutrients. And this can have very harmful consequences. For instance, phytoestrogens can mimic estrogen in the body, causing a chain reaction of hormone imbalances in males and females. But what happens when things get out of balance? Well, too much soy in a man’s diet has been linked to Gynecomastia “male breast enlargement“ and has been known to cause a loss of sexual desire.”

The best thing I could find about manboobs is from a website called ManBoobsHelp.net. There they cited one case where a man was drinking 3 quarts of Soy Milk every day. One serving is only 1 cup. So this guy, for some reason, was drinking 12 servings a day! MonBoobsHelp.net also goes on to explain that cow milk consumption comes with similar problems.

As for sexual desire, the real culprit in men’s ability to maintain an erection is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is “a systemic disorder that uniformly affects all major [blood vessels in the body.]”  Hardening of the arteries can lead to softening of the penis, because stiffened arteries can’t relax normally, open wide, and let the blood flow.” “In two-thirds of men showing up to emergency rooms for the first time with crushing chest pain, their penis had been trying to warn them for years that something was wrong with their circulation.” “A man with erectile dysfunction (even if he has no cardiac symptoms) should be considered a cardiac patient until proved otherwise.” “The reason that even young men should care about their cholesterol is because it predicts erectile dysfunction later in life.” (s)

Our bodies make all the cholesterol it needs, just like the animals people eat. So, the best and only way to rid yourself of dietary cholesterol is to not eat animals. Before I was vegan my cholesterol was 168 and my LDL was 107. Seven years of being a vegan later and my cholesterol is now 121 with an LDL of 60!

Nonetheless, my wife and I have been vegan 7 years now and we never buy soymilk. I used to drink soymilk prior to becoming vegan but I never achieved manboob status. So again, this video is presumptuously wrong because we are vegan and don’t drink soymilk at all.

Estrogen can have positive and negative effects. What’s amazing about the phytoestrogens though is that they have “what’s called a selective estrogen receptor modulator, something that has pro-estrogenic effects in some tissues (like bone), but anti-estrogenic effects in other tissues (like the breast)”. So, you get the best of both worlds!

We do on a rare occasion eat tempeh or edamame or use silken tofu for a recipe here and there. Personally however, I’ll most likely never drink soy milk again because it’s been show to increase IGF-1. This isn’t because of phytoestrogens but because of the isolated soy protein in soymilk. Maybe that’s what they should have been picking on instead. But, cow milk presents this problem as well, so they probably were in a bit of a dilemma there trying to pick sides when there isn’t one. (s)

As for infertility, again, I haven’t seen anything to back this up. Really though, the only milk we need is human breast milk when we’re infants.

In short, as they stated, there are all sorts of pros with soy consumption. However, their claimed cons are totally debunkable. And like I said I actually only drank soymilk prior to becoming vegan so soymilk consumption isn’t even a vegan thing. If anything is a worldwide lactose intolerance thing.

Graphic by https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5972404

Number 8: Almond Milk

“on average it takes 5 liters of water to grow one almond, and thanks to the huge profits they bring in, almond orchards continue to be planted. California produces 82% of the world’s almonds, and this all year round crop guzzles close to 10% of the area’s agricultural water supply. But as the state suffers from annual droughts, the finger of blame is being pointed at the almond. The drought killed around 62 million trees in 2016 alone and yet the demand for almond milk is still on the rise around the globe.”

At least trees produce oxygen and rich soil unlike animal agriculture which destroys the soil and emits toxic levels of methane into the air while also contaminating streams and oceans.

In the US 55% of water use is for animal agriculture. And “Raising animals for food is responsible for 30% of the worlds’ water consumption; occupies up to 45% of the earth’s land; is responsible for up to 91% of Brazilian Amazon destruction; is the leading cause of ocean dead zones; the leading cause of habitat destruction, and the leading cause of species extinction.” (s)

Again though, milk is not at all necessary, only human milk when you’re an infant. On my site, VeganWalk.com, there’s no soymilk or almond milk! I don’t even suggest any milk! So, this clearly isn’t even a vegan thing. Anyone vegan or not can drink soymilk or almond milk.

Although veganism is considered the fastest growing lifestyle movement in history we’re still an extremely small percentage of the population. Estimates are all over the place but in the US alone less than 1 percent of the population is vegan. So who’s drinking all of these cow milk alternatives like soy and almond milk? Maybe it’s the 65 percent of the human population that’s lactose intolerant, the overwhelming majority of which isn’t even vegetarian much less vegan!

And since water is such an issue we should be looking at countries like the Netherlands where their farmers there have “reduced dependence on water for key crops by as much as 90 percent.”

Number 7: Blood Guacamole

“much of it is controlled by a drug cartel”

Are those steaks in the photo? I thought they were bashing vegans! Anyways, Happy Healthy Vegan does an awesome job debunking this video as well. And like they said, they don’t even get their avocados from California and this just goes to show you should consider the source of your foods, no matter what they are! And you know, as much as I hate to ask, isn’t the US government pretty much worse than a drug cartel as they force subsidizing and pushing animal agriculture that results in pharmaceutical profits while destroying people” lives, the world, and contributing to over 57 billion animals being slaughtered every year? Moving on…

Number 6: Cancer and Heart Disease

“consuming a plant based diet has been widely considered to be healthier than a traditional meat and two veg diet, as it has been show to ward off chronic diseases.”

Again, they got part of it right. Evidence clearly shows that those on a “whole-food, plant based diet” may in fact prevent, treat, and even reverse the leading causes of death like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and many more of the top 15 leading causes of death. (s)

“however scientist in the US have turned this assumption on its head, claiming that a long-term vegetarian diet can alter human DNA, raising the risk of cancer and heart disease.”

Maybe those particular scientists are working for some of the most profitable industries. But, like Happy Healthy Vegan said “you said vegetarian” which IS NOT VEGAN. Vegetarians consume dairy.

In regard to dairy “there is a global scientific consensus to limit saturated fat intake with most authoritative bodies recommending getting saturated fat at least under 10% of calories, with the prestigious U.S. Institute of Medicine and the European Food Safety Authority recommending to push saturated fat consumption down as low as possible.” And “The top contributors of cholesterol-raising saturated fat are cheese, ice cream,” and other animal products. (s)

“The most likely reason most of our loved ones will die is heart disease.” “There are all these fancy, new, anti-angina, anti-chest pain drugs out now”. “Plant-based diets aren’t just safer and cheaper. They can work better, because you’re treating the actual cause of the disease.” (s)

As for cancer, the “one unifying diet found to best prevent and treat many of these chronic diseases is a whole-food, plant-based diet, defined as an eating pattern that encourages the consumption of unrefined plant foods and discourages meats, dairy products, eggs, and processed foods.” (s)

“They (scientists) found that populations who have had a primarily vegetarian diet for generations were far more likely to carry DNA which makes them susceptible to inflammation.”

First, notice the part where they say “primarily vegetarian”? This is not only not vegan, it doesn’t even sound like it was vegetarian.

I have heard that our bodies can adjust to more easily convert ALA to long chain fatty acids when going on a vegan diet. But this is actually a good thing.

For scientist to be able to deduce somehow that mutations occur throughout generations would be a massive undertaking. First, they would have to have generation after generation of vegans to study. Being that vegans currently represent such a small population I am confident no such study has occurred.

But significant studies have been conducted. In fact the “the largest prospective studies on diet and cancer found the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among those eating more plant-based may be because they’re eating less animal protein, less meat, egg white, and dairy protein”so, end up with less IGF-1, which means less cancer growth.” (s) and (s)

“How much less cancer? Middle-aged men and women with high protein intakes had a 75% increase in overall mortality, and a four-fold increase in the risk of dying specifically from cancer. But, not all proteins “specifically animal protein; which makes sense, given the higher IGF-1 levels.” (s) and (s)

The largest study ever showed that “dietary fat of animal origin was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk.” (s)

In regard to inflammation “high antioxidant fruits and vegetables, like berries and greens, had a significantly better impact on reducing systemic inflammation”

“The mutations occurred, according to the scientists, to make it easier for vegetarians to absorb essential fatty acids from plants. However this has the knock on effect of boosting the production of — acid, which is linked to cancer.”

Arachidonic acid is an essential omega 6 fatty acid. But, it is important to maintain as close to a 1:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 as possible. “An unbalanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio in favor of omega-6 PUFAs is highly prothrombotic and proinflammatory, which contributes to the prevalence of atherosclerosis, obesity, and diabetes. In fact, regular consumption of diets rich in omega-3 PUFAs have been associated with low incidence of these diseases”. (s) This is why many health conscious vegans consume ground flaxseed every day.

“In the past three decades, total fat and saturated fat intake as a percentage of total calories has continuously decreased in Western diets, while the intake of omega-6 fatty acid increased and the omega-3 fatty acid decreased, resulting in a large increase in the omega-6/omega-3 ratio from 1:1 during evolution to 20:1 today or even higher. This change in the composition of fatty acids parallels a significant increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity.” (s)

“Arachidonic acid is found in animal products, like poultry and eggs. The amount of arachidonic acid found in just one egg a day elevated arachidonic acid levels in the bloodstream”. (s) “The pro-inflammatory metabolites of arachidonic acid from animal products are involved in more than just neuroinflammation. They also appear to play a role in cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.” (s)

Number 5: B12 Deficiency and Weak Vegans

“Vegans are deficient in B12” and “Vegans are less strong than meat eaters”

It is true that B12 is important. It is also true that vegans consume fortified foods and take supplements. And it is also true that meat eaters need to consume fortified foods as well otherwise they would be deficient.

B12 comes from the bacteria that blanket everything. We can also get it from insects. Because we don’t drink dirty water anymore and we live in such sterile environments we need to supplement. So, this need for supplementation has nothing to do with a vegan diet. This only has to do with our modern lifestyle.

Like B12, Vitamin D also is important to supplement. But they didn’t mention that for some reason. Like B12, vitamin D is an issue because of our lifestyle. D comes from exposing our skin to the sun during certain times of day and seasons when the UVB rays are available. Vitamin D may be more of an issue for everyone than B12.

The bottom line is not made by plants or animals. It’s made by bacteria. By eating another animal you may be able to get all the B12 you need. But, getting it from an animal is a package deal meaning you would have to consume too much heme-iron, cholesterol, hormones, dioxin, putrefying protein, and saturated fat. So, the safest is through “fortified foods and supplements. Not only the safest, but also the most effective.” (s)

Weak Vegans?

Obesity is by far a strong quality much less a healthy one. And vegans on a whole-food, plant based diet absolutely are more trim and fit. Just do a simple search on YouTube and you’ll find thousands of results for vegan weightlifters, athlete’s, heavy weight world champions, Mr. Universe, and to top it off last year the only American male weightlifter to compete at the Rio Olympics was vegan!

Number 4: Mental Health

“Those who adopted a vegan diet are ill more often, more susceptible to physical and mental disorders, and generally had a lower quality of life than people who eat meat.”

It’s as easy to be an unhealthy vegan, just eat a bunch of processed, oily, salty foods. But those on a whole-food, plant based vegan diet more than any other diet will notice massive improvements in their mood, weight, immune system, and quality of life.

Over the last 7 years of being vegan I have been sick significantly less, I get less infections, and I can’t even remember the last time I had to go to the doctor. I actually started my vegan diet after visiting the doctor because of a sinus infection and to lose visceral fat. Merely changing my diet resulted in less frequent illness over the years and because I’ve lost that fat I feel extremely better about my image. While this is merely anecdotal all vegan friends have noticed the same thing in their life, especially those on a whole-food, plant based diet.

Of course obesity comes with more sickness, lower esteem, and depression. So logically a healthy diet would resolve that resulting in higher esteem. And if you’re no longer on your Statins, insulin, or some new weight loss drug you’re most likely going to feel better. But that’s just logic talking, we’re about to look at what real science says.

More importantly the study they cited sounds like a very weak one, if it even was one at all. A mere interview is not considered very significant or near as rigorous or valid as a something like a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study. Let’s see what real science has to say:

“The most comprehensive controlled trial of diet and mood finds that a plant-based nutrition program in a workplace setting across ten corporate sites significantly improves depression, anxiety, and productivity.” “Improving Mood Through Diet, in which removing meat, fish, poultry and eggs improved several mood scores in just two weeks”

“Consumption of even a single carbohydrate-rich meal can improve depression, tension, anger, confusion, sadness, fatigue, alertness, and calmness scores among patients with PMS”

“Arachidonic acid is an inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid that can adversely impact mental health via a cascade of neuroinflammation.” “High blood levels in the bloodstream have been associated with a greater likelihood of suicide risk, for example, and major depressive episodes. How can we stay away from the stuff?”

“Americans are exposed to arachidonic acid primarily through chicken and eggs. But when we remove chicken and eggs, and other meat, we can eliminate preformed arachidonic acid from our diet.” (s)

Number 3: Starving South America

“Between 2000 and it’s peak in 2014, the average price of quinoa exports from Peru and Bolivia more than tripled, to $6-7 a kilogram. And now people who have eaten quinoa for the best part of seven centuries are finding that imported junk food is cheaper to eat.”

Implementing the most innovative and sustainable farming practices right now are extremely important more than ever. “By 2050, the Earth will be home to as many as 10 billion people, up from today’s 7.5 billion. If massive increases in agricultural yield are not achieved, matched by massive decreases in the use of water and fossil fuels, a billion or more people may face starvation.”

The Netherlands is the leader in horticultural innovation. “The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, with more than 1,300 inhabitants per square mile. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States, which has 270 times its landmass.”

The “global average yield of potatoes per acre is about nine tons.” Yet their “fields reliably produce more than 20.” Since 2000, farmers there have “reduced dependence on water for key crops by as much as 90 percent.”

“Each acre in the greenhouses yields as much lettuce as 10 outdoor acres and cuts the need for chemicals by 97 percent.”

“These climate-controlled farms enable a country located a scant thousand miles from the Arctic Circle to be a global leader in exports of a fair-weather fruit: the tomato. The Dutch are also the world’s top exporter of potatoes and onions and the second largest exporter of vegetables overall in terms of value. More than a third of all global trade in vegetable seeds originates in the Netherlands.” “Utilizing innovations on a large scale, like hydroponic farming”growing plants without soil in nutrient-rich solutions”reduces runoff, saving both water and money.” “Drones and other tools assess the health of individual plants and determine exactly how much water and nutrients they need to thrive.”

“Each kilogram of tomatoes from his fiber-rooted plants requires less than four gallons of water, compared with 16 gallons for plants in open fields. Once each year the entire crop is regrown from seeds, and the old vines are processed to make packaging crates.”

The managing director of the world’s top agricultural research institute, Ernst van den Ende, has hope. His “optimism rests on feedback from more than a thousand WUR projects in more than 140 countries and on its formal pacts with governments and universities on six continents to share advances and implement them.” “The future of sustainable agriculture is taking shape”not in the boardrooms of big corporations but on thousands of modest family farms.” They are “exporting their innovative approach around the globe.” (s)

Number 2: Children’s Health

“Nutritionist have warned that infants who follow a vegan diet are often leaner and smaller than those who eat meat.”

Where are these meat eating infants? Children on the other hand that eat meat, eggs, and dairy are more likely to be obese. Obesity in children causes depression, eating disorders, and other mental health issues.

“Vegetarian children grow up not only thinner, but taller. Vegetarian kids grow to be about an inch taller than other kids. Apparently meat intake is somehow negatively associated with height.” “Meat intake is apparently associated with growing wider. Getting diabetes in childhood cuts nearly 20 years of their life.” (s) “As diets become increasingly plant-based, there appears to be a stepwise drop in diabetes rates” (s)

As if obesity and diabetes aren’t enough for our precious little ones; “Fatty streaks, the first stage of atherosclerosis, were found in the arteries of nearly 100% of kids by age 10, raised on the Standard American Diet”. “The current generation of US children and adolescents”our children “may be one of the first generations to be less healthy, and have a shorter [lifespan] than their parents.”(s)

As for calcium that’s in leafy greens, zinc is in beans, nuts, seeds, and oats, and high quality proteins are found in countless plant based foods.

Number 1: Cashew Burn

Again, we should consider the sources of all —our food when we can. But to say that vegans are destroying the world because of what workers are exposed seems a little odd considering how much this pales in comparison to what animal agriculture workers have to deal with.

“Excess mortality in poultry workers associated with these wart-causing chicken cancer viruses that may be transmitted to those in the general population handling fresh or frozen chicken. Last year, I talked about the largest study to date at the time, confirming “the findings of three other” studies that workers in poultry slaughtering and processing plants have increased risk of dying from certain cancers,” and adding death from penis cancer to the risks linked to poultry exposure.”

Be sure to check out nutritionfacts.org for tons of facts about nutrition and all the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet!

This video about “10 ways vegans are ruining the world” is completely debunked. They mentioned some good points about the pros and then followed them up with false information. What’s troubling is that these distortions are perpetuating ignorance and deadly behaviors.

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