Tag: vegetarian

Does Veganism Cause Colon Cancer?

As you, dear reader, might have probably guessed from my past diet mythbusting post, I’m a fan of bacon and butter. So imagine by glee I have when ResearchGate, EurekaAlert,  Telegraph, and RT news, all excellent source of credible information mind you, claims on their headline that having a vegetarian diet will cause you to get colon cancer.

After all, the vegans and vegetarians including some respected respected UFC fighters like Nate Diaz and his big brother Nick Diaz has been touting abandoning meat and dairy has help them get stronger. Which is strange since if you think about it, the canine and molar teeth in our jaws proved that we evolved as omnivores.

Of course, sometimes the good things in life must end once you do enough reading on the underlying research. Lets get through them one at a time:

What is PUFA and LCPUFA

fish steakHuman body needs Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) to function properly from conception to aging. However, LCPUFA are mainly found in fish, along with grass fed mammals and eggs.

What the research actually shows

indian

Based on research done at Cornell University, approximately 70% of South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese), 53% of Africans, 29% East Asians, and 17% Europeans have a very specific genetic variations that could convert plant based Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) into the said essential LCPUFA. There is nothing magical here. Merely the fact that unlike what Paleo nuts insisted, humans do adapt, in this case via genetic mutation, to what they eat. The vegetarians simply become adapted to plant based diet.

So if you are one of these individuals with this genetic variation, you don’t need to eat animal sourced calorie to supply you with LCPUFA.

Where it became a problem

Crude sunflower oil unrefined

Now what happens in adaptation, borrowing the words of Dr. McGill, is that you usually “rob Peter to pay Paul.” In this case one of the LCPUFA is Omega 6 Fatty Acids is a pro-inflammatory and pro-blood clotting agent that cannot be taken at excessive level and need to be balanced with the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 Fatty acids. Since modern processed sunflower, safflower, corn, soy and peanut oil are especially high in Omega 6 and low in Omega 3 (not an issue with traditional sources like virgin coconut oil and nuts and avocado eaten directly), then in this case, the majority of Indians simply became more vulnerable to inflammation when they consume modern diets (think of chicken deep fried with canola oil) because not only are their body also producing sufficient Omega 6 on their own (unlike majority of Europeans), they also need to cope with additional Omega 6 from their food. Hence, chronic low level inflammation that leads to elevated risk of colon cancer, heart disease and a host of other nasty stuff.

Conclusion

nate diaz

Just putting it out there, the brothers I mentioned early in the article actually eats seafood as they definitely have at least partial European ancestry hence they need the aforementioned LCPUFA from their diet. My advice as usual is the same, first try to eat what your ancestors ate,  and as a lot of people (including this article writer) have a mix ancestor here and there, try to experiment a little bit and see what works best for you.

If you are an African Massai herdsman or pure blooded Mongolian and you try to be a vegan without taking appropriate supplements, your children will have higher chance of becoming idiots and you will have higher chance of severe dementia in your old age.

Diet Myths that has Nothing to do with Reality

We get it, you are trying to loose weight and get your swagger back but there’s just so many conflicting advice out there on the wild internet. So we decided to list 4 Myths that you should completely ignore coz they were never based on science.

1. Eating Fat makes you Fat (or gives you high cholesterol)

bacon

This is probably one of the biggest misconception out there. You are what you eat they say so eating fat will put layers of fat on you. Although fat is a very nutrient dense type of food, it suppress later food intake when present in the small intestine of both humans and animals on multiple study, i.e. fat helps makes you feel fuller longer. Not only that, but lots of vital nutrients can only be absorbed in conjunction with fat. Hence long term low fat diet leads to vitamin deficiency! Last but not least, Dariush Mozaffarian, renowed Harvard researcher, already published a landmark study  published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that  showed increased consumption of saturated fats slowed down the progression of atherosclerosis in the studied group of postmenopausal women. Excess consumption of sugar leads to cholesterol, not fat.

Having said that, fat is still very energy dense and you can only loose weight by having total energy deficit. So we are not exactly recommending you to gorge on those wagyu beef.

2. Eating past 6 PM (or 8 PM) will make you fat!

dinner

This is yet another popular myth on the circle and another variation is not to eat any carbs past a certain hour. Yes, its true that post-workout sugar consumption helps muscle recovery and when you are almost off to bed, you don’t do much activity. However, maintaining a stable blood glucose level is the key. Hence why eating complex carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes) is much better than simple carbs (white bread, soda). Fact is, if your last meal is at 6 and you are off to bed at 11 or 12, your body will probably learn how to store some energy for that long bout of starvation, i.e. low metabolism or increased fat storage.

So why do some people swear off getting result with no-carbs diet after 6 PM? Probably because it led to decrease in total carb consumption compared to their pre-diet days.

3. Vegans Can’t Build Muscle

Patrick Baboumian called, and u won’t believe how strong he is. Having said that, most of vegetarian source of protein are incomplete, i.e. it doesn’t contain all the essential proteins your body needs. An exception is soy in which some people claim that their high level of estrogen can affect your body. So one of the alternative would be to either ferment the soy first, say like Japanese edamame and Indonesian Tempeh, or eat a combination of different sources of protein, such as grains (rice, wheat, barley) with peas (beans, chickpeas).

What’s most important is doing enough workout, eating enough nutrition, and rest.

4. Supplements will help get me ripped

supplements

Oh God, no. Regardless what GNC says, if you are a desk jockey with no workout, chugging those whey protein might even lead to kidney disease. Same thing with growth hormone, CLA, BCAA, and any other alphabet combination you can think of. Heck, even if you take steroid shots, if you don’t work out, you will never ended up like Arnold. So lay down the supplements and go to the iron temple!