On Wed, 05 Apr 2000, Carrie Rowland wrote:
> On the subject of nutrition and lifespan...
> Similar claims are made in the books by Dr. Neal Barnard...'Food for Life'
> and 'Eat Right, Live Longer'. Barnard advocates a vegan diet. In 'Food
> for Life' he is scientifically explicit about why a vegan diet prevents
> cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc. and includes references. 'Eat
> Right, Live Longer' is similar.
I'm not sure a vegan diet is suitable for many people, and quite frankly,
virtually everyone I know who is a vegan has their own different set of
medical issues. My own personal observations and experiences lead me to
believe that it would actually be less healthy for me.
My personal diet has been largely vegetarian (by accident, not design) for
many years now, eating rice, potatoes, beans, and lots of vegetables. I
rarely eat egg product (I don't like it), but I do eat a fair quantity of
dairy (milk and cottage cheese), and consume modest quantities of poultry
and fish on occasion.
I am by nature a physically active individual. When I am in "gym mode"
(i.e. I am lifting weights 3-4 times a week in addition to my usual
aerobic regimen), I have noticed that my consumption of meat and dairy
products increases dramatically. Not only that, but I've noticed that my
body recovers faster when I increase my consumption of animal products.
While a purely vegan diet works well enough for aerobic activities, in my
experience it really lags when I am doing heavy weight lifting no matter
how much plant protein I get. While I have no particular scientific
evidence, my own experience suggests that there is more to meat and dairy
products than amino acids/proteins and that these additional components are
fairly important for individuals who do heavy physical exercise on a
regular basis. I do know that there are important enzymes in dairy
products that improve the absorption and utilization of some important
nutrients, such as calcium.
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