Do vegans get enough protein? Carbs make you fat? Well, what about dairy and eggs? But isn't fish supposed to be good for you? Okay, so can I lose weight on a vegan diet?
All of your questions answered.
Do Vegans Get Enough Protein?
Ask any vegan what's the number one question they get; They’ll tell you right away: “where do you get your protein from?”
Somewhere along the way, people began believing they need extra protein to lose weight and build muscle. But excess protein is stored as fat, just like any other macronutrient. More than that, it can be harmful to our bodies.
Our bodies need a very low amount of protein. If you’re eating enough whole foods, it’s impossible to be deficient in protein. According to the World Health Organization, 5% of your total calories should go to protein, (about 38 grams for men and 29 grams for women). Plants have protein. Yes, even fruits! Lentils are 20% protein, beans 27%, oats 15%, watermelon 8%, and spinach 50%. You get the idea.
Here’s something to consider: human milk is made up of 5% protein. That was the amount of protein we needed when we were growing the fastest, during infancy.
Animal protein and fat have been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, and weight gain.
“Elevated levels of protein can cause kidney damage, liver problems, kidney stones, excess fat gain, contribute to the damaging of the lining of artery walls, lead to plaque buildup in arteries, result in lethargy, diminish bone density, and cause a host of other health problems.”
Even when the number of calories of meat was restricted per meal, people still gained weight compared to others who ate the same amount of calories on a meat-free diet. This wasn’t a bogus study. It followed hundreds of thousands of men and women across 10 countries with weight gain measured over a five year period and took into account their activity level, smoking habits, health, and dietary habits.
Do Carbs Make You Fat?
Carbs get a bad rep. Bottom line. They don't make you fat.
In fact, they help you lose weight. How?
Well first let's get one thing clear. There are two types of carbs.
We've got carbs from whole foods like whole grain, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Then we have processed food like donuts.
Carbs from whole foods are extremely healthy and NECESSARY for your body. It's our brain and body's preferred source of fuel. Why? It's the most efficient source of energy. It's actually difficult for our bodies to turn carbohydrates into body fat. It requires more energy (calories) for it to turn carbs into body fat. It's actually a long process. Where on the other hand, it's convenient for our bodies to turn fat into body fat.
Other than that, carbs contain fiber. What most of the world is lacking in their diet, it's fiber, not protein folks.
When they analyzed "paleo poop" they discovered that humans used to consume ~130 grams of fiber! The recommendations today are between 25-30 grams.
So why's fiber so important for our health?
- It gets things moving, normalizes bowel movements.
- Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Helps control blood sugar levels.
- anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-obesity.
- allows for greater absorption of nutrients.
- Aids in achieving healthy weight
- Flush excess estrogen and cholesterol out of the system. This may help explain why high fiber intake is associated with reduced breast cancer risk.
Dangers of Low-Carb Diets
Low-carb diets have been popular lately for their weight loss properties. Yeah sure, they can make you lose weight at first, but why and at what expense?
There are three explanations for why people lose weight on a low carb diet.
- They lost weight because they transitioned from a junk food diet to a low carb diet high in vegetable intake and low in processed food. So they lost the weight because they stopped the junk food. Not because they cut out carbs.
- Water weight due to the low fiber intake, therefore, a lot of water weight is lost.
- Calorie restriction. They're losing weight because of the low carb intake. No, but because of the low-calorie intake!
- They go into a ketosis state. A sickness state. Have you heard of the ketogenic diet? Going into ketosis is basically your body getting sick. Bad odor, bad breath, no appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, confusion, excessive thirst, rapid breathing, or shortness of breath. All symptoms of sickness. All symptoms of a ketogenic diet.
A low carb diet is artery clogging. That's why we see a ripped guy at the gym dropping dead at the age of 40. Low fat from the outside, high fat from the inside.
As the amount of fat in the diet goes up. So does the blood sugar spikes, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and eventually type two diabetes. Having a high amount of fat in the bloodstream prevents our insulin from doing its job of getting the sugar into our cells because basically, the fat from trans fats and saturated fats (found in animal products and hydrogenated oil) is blocking the way.
Personally, when I was following a low carb diet, I experienced low energy and I was basically living off of caffeine. I was bloated and constipated most of the time. Even though I was vegetarian back then, but most of my calories were coming from eggs, greek yogurt, and so on. I can't imagine how bad it would've been if I was also consuming meat. As meat tends to stay in our bodies for 5 days! Ew.
Dull skin. Constipation. Low energy. Bad mood. Gassiness. Crazy cravings.
No thank you.
I grew up not only thinking, but believing that you can’t have strong bones without dairy. Right?
But calcium? The calcium found in dairy products is not absorbed properly in the human body.
“Animal protein tends to leach calcium from the bones, leading to its excretion in the urine”
Consuming animal products leaves our body in an acidic state. Therefore, our body needs to neutralize itself. How? Well, calcium is a great acid neutralizer. There for our body leaches out calcium from our bones.
Cow’s milk is made for cows. It’s a no-brainer. It’s made to grow a baby calf 250 pounds in a year! It’s filled with naturally occurring hormones. That’s why many people struggle with weight gain, indigestion, and acne when they consume dairy.
“65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose”
As Lauren Ornelas puts it, "it's not lactose intolerant. It's lactose normal."
Even cats cannot digest cows milk. Why on earth do we expect that us humans should be able to digest another species milk?
Seafood is just like other animal products. They contain saturated fats and cholesterol. That's not all, seafood is highly contaminated these days due to pollution. Mercury, PCBs, and other toxins.
"The mercury content in fish may help explain links found between fish intake and mental disorders, depression, and suicide."
Especially if you're pregnant, lactating, or thinking about getting pregnant you should really look into giving up seafood as it can give birth to babies with smaller brains, can cause epilepsy, and can cause brain damage.
They're filled with cholesterol. Our bodies make their own cholesterol. We don't need to consume any more of it; unlike carnivores animals, they need to consume cholesterol from their diet, as their bodies don't make it. Besides, eggs are a chicken's period. Why on earth would anyone want to eat that?
You don’t need to count calories, macros, or points in order to lose weight. It’s hard to gain fat eating plants, as they contain a lot of fiber and water that will fill you up.
Another factor is that plants are lower in calories than animal products, so you need to eat more of them in order to get the same amount of calories. In this case, your stomach will be full before you over consume calories.
Plants are also very nutritionally dense. Therefore, you get a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without eating too many calories. The kind of stuff that prevents cancer, strengthen your immune system, and make your face glow!