Plant-Based vs Animal-Based Diet – Part 1 | The Hart of Health Podcast E44
Hey, everyone. On today’s episode, we are going to be covering the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of a plant-based diet and an animal-based diet.
Yes, if you’ve listened to our podcast before, you probably know which diet we think is the best between the two. But yeah, in this podcast, you’ll hear why.
So yeah, we’re going to try to break it down into different points. And we found out that we have quite a lot of points to break down. So we’re going to do this in two parts. So this is part one of two.
Yes, so part one of an animal-based diet versus a plant-based diet.
And the first point is,
Plant-based diets are high in plant toxins and antinutrients, while an animal-based diet is low in plant toxins and antinutrients.
So first of all, people hear toxins and then they think, “okay, that’s probably a bad thing.” But then they’ll hear antinutrients and they’ll be like, “Okay, well, what is an antinutrient?”
Yeah, it’s basically some nutrient that makes it harder for you to absorb other nutrients in your food. It’s pretty self-explanatory: Antinutrients.
Yeah, I think a lot of people might have heard of goitrogens. Or at least you’ll have heard of a goitre, which is a condition you develop when you have too little iodine. And I mean, obviously, the shortage is going to make your body try and expand your thyroid gland. And so, you get these massive throat bulges that you know, are a goitre. And it’s because if you don’t get enough iodine, so if you have goitrogens, that’s actually a plant compound that prevents you from absorbing it.
Yeah. So you get goitrogens in plant foods like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts… you know, your cruciferous vegetables. And so, if you eat a lot of these vegetables and you don’t get enough iodine in your diet, then you can develop all sorts of problems and you can develop a goitre.
Yeah, it’s a severely swollen thyroid gland.
Yeah, like if you’ve ever seen pictures of that, it’s quite scary. It makes me never want to eat broccoli again. I do eat enough iodine but still, I don’t want something in my diet that’s making it harder for me to absorb other nutrients in my food.
Yeah, so if you break it down, it’s antinutrients. So a nutrient is something that your body will absorb and use. An antinutrient is something that prevents your body from absorbing and utilising that nutrient.
So, let’s go through a few more antinutrients. So, you’ve brought up goitrogens, but one of the most commonly known ones is oxalates. They are found in foods like spinach, sweet potatoes, legumes, beetroot, nuts, teas, whole grains, and unfortunately for me, cocoa powder, so chocolate. And oxalates actually bind to calcium in your body and they can form oxalate crystals, like most kidney stones are actually caused by oxalates. And oxalates make it harder for you to absorb calcium. So if you’re not consuming enough calcium, you can develop problems as a result, but you also don’t want to have a glass of milk every time you have something with oxalates in it. Like you’re also not going to be getting the benefits of this glass of milk that you’re drinking and get all the calcium from it. Because if you consume a lot of oxalates, you’re not going to absorb all the calcium from your food.
Yeah, and a lot of joint pain can be caused by oxalates.
Yeah, well oxalates have been linked to arthritis, osteoporosis, gout, kidney stones, rickets…
Like I remember when I was doing a more whole-food diet, I would get big toe pain, which is indicative of gout. And I was eating very clean. I was literally just eating sweet potato, meat, and bread on the odd occasion, but like a lot of sweet potatoes, sweet potato contains oxalates. And then, as soon as I cut out the sweet potato, the big toe pain dissipated.
Yeah, you haven’t had big toe pain ever since you were low oxalate? Yeah. Another antinutrient is phytates also known as phytic acid, and that you find in grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and they actually make it hard for you to absorb quite a few minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, copper, and magnesium. Like why would you want to eat grains and legumes knowing that it makes it harder for your body to absorb all these things?
So it’s not saying that like: “Oh, if you eat grains, you’re going to be deficient in these things.” It’s just making it harder for your body to obtain these minerals.
Yeah, like you’re just not going to absorb everything, which I find funny because I always heard: “If you want magnesium in your diet, eat more nuts, because nuts contain magnesium.” But they also contain phytates, which make it harder for you to absorb the magnesium.
Yeah, it’s probably better to try to get a natural spring water for magnesium that has no phytates in it.
Yes, that’s better. Lectins… that’s another antinutrient, one that’s gotten a lot of buzz around it over the last few years, because lectins can actually cause damage to your gut lining and inflammation. And lectins you find in grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, and I mean legumes are beans, lentils, soybeans, peanuts… they make it hard for you to absorb calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorus… so quite a few things.
And then they do the damage to your gut lining on top of that.
Yes, and so, if you think about the antinutrients we mentioned, there are more. And the foods that you can find them in are nuts, seeds, grains, legumes… these pop up often as foods high in antinutrients. And these are common in the plant-based diet. People on plant-based diets will eat a lot of legumes, nuts and seeds and a lot of grains, and then a lot of vegetables like leafy greens that also contain antinutrients. So it’s a very antinutrient-heavy diet.
Maybe that’s why a lot of vegans end up shifting towards fruitarian. Because, you know, they’re really struggling to get the nutrition they need. And then, they’re eating a lot of lentils and soy and stuff like that. And it’s making it even harder to absorb the minerals they need. And so, then they end up shifting towards a fruit-based diet where the fruit doesn’t have as many antinutrients as the legumes and the seeds and the nuts.
Yeah, like I’ve heard of a lot of people who were on a plant-based diet for years, and suddenly they say: “Oh, I can’t eat legumes anymore, they don’t agree with my body.” Or “now I have to cut out grains.” But that’s also maybe because you’ve been eating so much of it over the last few years that you’ve been overloading your body with antinutrients. Like I don’t know if you’ve heard people go on these green diets where they just drink green smoothies and any green foods and they get really sick from it. And that’s also because of the high oxalate content and all these antinutrients that they consume, and they get sick from it.
Yeah, so that would be the toxin. So a lot of leafy greens have toxins in them that make it tough for your body to process.
Oh, another antinutrient I want to bring up is tannins, like you’ve heard of tannins in tea, and you also get it in coffee and legumes. They make it harder for you to absorb iron. And you know, that can make you get anaemia and stuff. I remember when I was younger, I heard: “Don’t have tea with your meal because it can make it harder for you to absorb iron.” But I never did any further research on it. And I realised it’s not just tea, it’s coffee too.
And my grandfather used to get tannins in his parrots’ food to prevent it from getting heavy metal poisoning. He was a parrot and parakeet breeder. So he had like 50 pairs of birds that, you know, he was basically breeding with. And if he didn’t give them tannins, then the heavy metals would build up in their system. So if you have too much metal in your system, then the tannins are probably a good thing. But for the average person who’s probably a little iron deficient, it’s a bad thing.
Yeah, like maybe for somebody with hemochromatosis, where they have far too much iron in their body, it’s a good thing – like used as medicine. But the average person… How many people are deficient in iron?
More than people would think.
Many people. Okay, so the next point that we want to bring up in terms of a plant-based diet versus an animal-based diet is that a plant-based diet provides low-quality protein, while an animal-based diet provides the highest-quality protein you can find.
Yeah, and so, a lot of people will then say: “oh, but you know, soy is a complete protein and hemp is a complete protein” Sure, it has all the essential amino acids, but it doesn’t have a very good ratio of some of them.
Yeah, maybe it doesn’t have enough methionine. Maybe it doesn’t have enough lysine. Maybe it’s like a small quantity. And it’s there. But first, let’s explain what a complete protein is.
Yeah, so obviously, everyone knows what protein is. And people know what amino acids are. Mostly, people have probably heard of branched-chain amino acids as a pre-workout or something like that. But amino acids build into proteins. And there are nine essential amino acids that you need to get, and your body can’t produce,
Your body can’t produce it. So you get it from your food. Like all animal protein sources are complete proteins, so you get all the essential amino acids that you need. And in ideal quantities, where with plant foods, you often have to pair different plant sources of protein. So you might have to pair peanut butter with a whole-grain slice of bread to get all the amino acids. Like in Game Changers, the documentary,
They compared a peanut butter sandwich to a steak.
Or you get just as much protein in a peanut butter sandwich as you get in a piece of steak. And it’s like, yeah, in total grams, but we’re not talking about how much you are absorbing of that.
And the amino acid ratio?
Like, what is the quality of the protein? Because to build muscle, I think you need a lot of leucine.
Leucine is a good one for that. And the thing that people don’t realise is that if any of the non-essential amino acids are low, it acts like a bottleneck. So there can be a ton of leucine or a ton of methionine or whatever, but if there’s not enough of one of the nine, then it kind of bottlenecks all of the others. Yeah, so that’s why you’re saying you have to pair them. So it’s like, you can’t just have soy. It’s a complete protein but it’s got too little methionine in it. So, you’re gonna have to pair it with rice to try and up the methionine. But you know, you’re gonna have to constantly try and pair other plant foods that are higher in that specific amino acid, just to try and get the ratios right. And then after you realise that you’ve had to have like a cup of lentils, and a cup of rice, and a cup of soybeans, or whatever, and two tablespoons of peanut butter, to try and get the same effect on your body as that steak did.
Yeah, so now, instead of eating a nice piece of steak that’s not too big, you now have to eat three cups of hard-to-digest plant foods high in fibre, and you’re going to have this really full belly, and your body’s going to struggle to digest it, just to get the same amount of protein.
So I guess if you go for your plant-based, really processed whey protein, well not whey, but protein powders, if you went with the protein powder route, like where they break it out of the fibre, you might have a chance of getting all the amino acids you need. But I still think that’s not good for your digestive system. Because I mean, everyone knows that like protein powder farts are pretty bad. Now imagine a plant-based protein powder, I think it’s gonna be terrible.
And also, like, I’ve heard somebody refer to it as vegan whey. So with a plant protein powder, soy protein powder is common and then pea protein powder. But often, they have to pair pea protein with rice protein powder to give you all the amino acids you need, but the thing is, those kinds of supplements and they’re not really well regulated, and check that you can get a pea protein powder supplement. And it’s got all sorts of things in it that are bad for you. Because it’s not regulated. Like in America, the FDA didn’t check it. I think some have had heavy metals in their pea protein powder and stuff like that.
That is the risk with all processed foods. So if you want to be plant-based, and stay like 100% natural, it’s going to be tricky to get quality protein in your diet. If you go the processed method, you can probably get your protein right. But then you take the risk that comes with the processing process. You know, like if it goes into a factory, and there’s a whole bunch of shit done to it. You know, there are risks with eating processed food because it’s a very novel thing. We don’t know the long-term health consequences of eating a highly processed diet.
No. And then Beyond Meat got sued recently over their protein claims. Yes, because people have these fake meat alternatives like Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat. And so, they’re eating this Beyond Meat sausage or patty and it says on the label, you’re getting 20 grams of protein or whatever. But now, the company is getting sued because they overestimated how much protein people are getting from it.
Yeah, so they were misleading their consumers about how much protein they’re actually getting from the product.
And now it’s this highly processed thing. And think about it: Okay, so now for you to get your vegan sausage, all those ingredients had to be grown on farms where they had to use pesticides and things to protect the plants and then kill animals in the process. So animals are still being killed for your food. Now those ingredients have to be shipped to another factory, where they now get processed and turned into this patty. Then, from there, they have to ship it. So a lot goes into making that plant-based sausage or piece of meat. But now, if you just had a simple piece of meat, that’s way simpler… what you get from your budget.
And we know long-term, humans do well on meat, because we’ve been eating meat since the dawn of humanity. So you know, it’s not like it’s a novel, highly processed food. And for me, the ridiculous thing is that those impossible burgers and stuff are trying to be as close to meat as possible. So I’m just like, isn’t that your answer? It’s like, you’re going through this crazy processing thing and adding all these things to try and make it as close to something that’s apparently not good for you. Yeah, I’m like, but then, if the meat is not good for you, why are you trying to mimic that?
it doesn’t make sense. Well, that actually brings me to another point. On a plant-based diet, you want these like fake foods, like fake meats and stuff. And you want to imitate animal foods, like you just said, on an animal-based diet, you have these delicious animal foods you don’t have to imitate.
No one’s making a carnivore broccoli.
No, if a plant-based diet was superior, then why are they trying to mimic animal foods?
No. Why are they trying to mimic the thing that is supposedly bad for you? Yes, it doesn’t make sense. Like those are the most popular vegan foods, like all the fake chicken nuggets and the fake fish fingers and the fake burger patties.
You can even buy fake bones so that you can make your own fake rib rack. It’s weird.
I forgot about those bones. Yeah, I remember that. Someone wanted to make a vegan rib rack. And so, they bought fake bones? Yes. To put in. Basically, it’s not gonna be a rib rack. It’s bread that looks like a rib rack.
Yeah. So if a plant-based diet was superior, why are you trying to recreate animal foods? Clearly, those people want animal foods. That’s what they’re craving.
Yeah, the guy who was making the rib rack was like, “Oh, this looks so amazing.” And I’m like, it looks like meat but we know it’s basically just bread.
We saw a guy make vegan pork belly, and he went through this whole process to make this plant-based sludge look like pork belly. And he was like “Oh, it’s so delicious.” I’m like, it might taste good but you’re still not getting the thing you’re really craving, which is pork belly.
Your brain is wired to go for something that looks like meat. And so, because you managed to get bread to look like meat, you know, you get all excited about how it looks. But still, it’s not the same thing.
Yes. And you get these egg-replacement things. What does the label say? Something like “Just Egg”. Yeah, so on the bottle, it says “Just Egg”. But it has a long list of ingredients. So it’s like you see these vegans crave eggs, so they buy this bottle of liquid made with a long list of ingredients just to make their own scrambled eggs and like clearly, you’re craving eggs. But you’re buying this thing that had to be made in a factory just to mimic the eggs. It’s odd.
Yeah, it doesn’t make sense. If the ultimate diet was a plant-based diet, then why does everyone on a plant-based diet crave things that are like eggs and meat?
Yes. Like apart from your people that are the raw vegans only, eating fruit and nuts.
But even then, I’d be like: Okay, let’s do a brain scan and then we show them a picture of a steak and see how their brain lights up? Yes, because I bet you it’s gonna light up like a Christmas tree when it sees a steak because they haven’t touched meat in so long that everybody’s gonna be like “please”.
Well, like we know someone (we won’t say her name), but she’s been vegan and she’s been quite outspoken about it and how we’re supposed to go vegan. And then, what did she tell you? The other day, she caved and ate a whole chicken.
Yeah, she couldn’t take it anymore. And she ate a whole chicken. And like, hopes I’m happy. And I’m like “Hey, you know, I just wanted you to get all the information before you commit to this vegan thing.” Because I know, there’s a lot of propaganda about this whole plant-based way of doing things out there. And so, I was just like, “You know, the documentary you watched is actually not a documentary. It’s a propaganda movie.” And it’s very misleading. And you’re making a big life decision based on this propaganda that a lot of experts in the field can very quickly explain why it’s false and why it’s misleading. And then, like a month later or whatever, after I was like warning you against this thing, telling me that you caved in to your cravings and ate a chicken, I’m like, your body took over at that point, and was like “Nope, you need animal protein.”
And if a vegan diet/plant-based diet was superior and ideal for your body, why would your body feel so deprived that in a moment of weakness, you eat an entire chicken?
Exactly. So it’s not like people who are on the carnivore diet will suddenly cave and eat some spinach. No, there is no craving for spinach. Like, people might say “Oh, I love spinach, cooked spinach or creamed spinach or whatever”. But it’s not like it’s something that if you don’t eat it for three months, that your body’s just gonna be like, “No, okay, have the spinach.”
Yeah. Like, I’ll maybe crave ice cream or chocolate, but if you think about it, those foods contain dairy, which is from an animal.
Those are mostly animal foods. Like, there’s a lot of dairy in chocolate. Ice cream is basically cream.
And egg yolks and some sort of sweetener. So it’s like that’s still animal food. Like yes, with some plants added to it. But it’s not a vegan thing.
And up until the early 1900s, most fried foods would have been animal based because it would have been fried in animal fat. Yes, now they’re getting fried in seed oils and vegetable oil.
Yeah, McDonald’s used to fry their chips in tallow. Those were the days. We weren’t around then, but those were the days when people were less sick. Yes. Okay, the next one: a plant-based diet is high in hard-to-digest foods when an animal-based diet is rich in easy-to-digest foods.
This is very simple.
It links with the antinutrients we’ve mentioned. But there are other reasons why plant foods are harder to digest.
Cellulose – is indigestible fibre, so when they say it’s indigestible, that means for humans, they cannot digest it. No. So if you eat a peanut, you swallow it whole. If you looked, you probably have to eat a few peanuts just to improve your odds of seeing it. But you’ll see it come out just the way it went in. People see corn. So there’s a whole bunch of things that because they’re locked in fibre that your body can’t digest, they go through you untouched. Well, they get a little bit fermented or whatever. But you can’t tell me that you got the protein from their peanuts if it still looks like a peanut in the toilet, basically.
Yeah, I mean, it’s indigestible, like you can’t digest it. The fibre is just a bulking agent, you know?
So I mean, you get ruminant animals, they can’t even digest it directly. They just house the bacteria in their guts and in their stomachs that are able to digest those things. So it’s only the bacteria that can kind of break down and ferment that cellulose. And humans don’t have a rumen, we don’t have a large cecum. And people will say “Oh, but what about gorillas, you know, they’re a close ancestor of us? And it’s like, yeah, gorillas have a large cecum, which is like the initial part of your large intestine where they, you know, ruminate the foods that they’ve ingested, and they eat a lot of plant foods. But one thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that gorillas have to eat their own poop all the time. And so, if you want to treat yourself like a gorilla, to make sure you don’t get those divisions, you better eat your own poop.
Yeah, well, you can do an experiment where for a week, you go animal-based and you cut out all fibre. So a low-fibre diet. Don’t eat nuts, don’t eat seeds or any vegetables. Just eat like eggs, meat… you can still have dairy if you want, but I mean, that’s not fibre. See how your digestion feels? Try a week where you do a plant-based diet, eat a lot of whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and legumes, what does your digestion feel like? Most vegan people, aren’t they bloated all the time? More than half the time.
Going to the toilet all the time.
Yes, because now you’ve got all this fibre. And so, people will use that as like: “Oh, they go to the bathroom multiple times a day, and that’s a sign of health”. And I just think “No, that’s just a sign that you eat a lot of fibre that has to be eliminated from your body, it’s just a bulking agent.” You’ve got more bulking agent in your body.
Yeah, so it’s like, there’s a pipe and you’re stuffing it full of cotton wool. Cotton wool is not going out the pipe. And you just shove more cotton wool in there. And then you say: “Hey look, there’s cotton wool coming out the other side. Now. It’s like you didn’t absorb any of that. It just went in one side and out the other side. And it’s like, just because there’s a lot moving in a day, it doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. Like people will say: “Oh yeah, if you go to the bathroom multiple times a day, it’s a sign of health.” And I’m just like, there is no evidence to show that multiple bowel movements a day is linked with any kind of health outcome.
And some people eat a lot of fibre and not go to the bathroom every day, maybe once a week and stuff. And then I always think: “If you’re that constipated, try cutting out fibre, try just reducing your fibre. Cut out the bulking agent. Do you know how many people with IBS, like irritable bowel syndrome, feel so much better when they reduce their fibre. And it’s so sad because usually when people have digestive problems, they just get told to eat more fibre. But often, that can cause even more problems. So people will take fibre supplements, eat oats with seeds and dried fruit and everything for breakfast.
Or bran flakes is the one I’ve heard a lot where people are like “Oh, I have All Bran flakes and I’m sorted.”
Yes. But I’m like, just because now you’ve added fibre that had to be eliminated, that doesn’t mean you’re healthier.
No. If you have a drain that’s blocked, do you put more stuff in the drain? To try unblock it? No. You try and get the stuff that’s in there out. And then you figure out what was causing the blockage in the first place. You don’t just add more things down the drain and hope that that pushes what’s blocked in the drain out. It’s like no, it’s not how it works.
Even if it does push some of it out, some of it is still staying in there.
Oh, then you’ve just got the thing that blocks it again.
Well, like I remember years ago, when I was on a very high fibre diet, I went to the doctor. And they did an ultrasound because I have PCOS. And they wanted to check what my ovaries looked like. And the doctor was so concerned because she was like “Your bowels are really full. I’m concerned.” And then I said: “But I feel okay and I go to the bathroom multiple times a day.” And the doctor is like “No, your bowels are really full. This is not good.” So even on an ultrasound, my doctor was concerned and at that point, I wasn’t plant-based but I guess you could say most of my diet consisted of plant foods at that time. And that made me concerned because I was aiming for the 30 grams of fibre they say you’re supposed to have in a day. And I had IBS and I was bloated a lot, had stomach cramps often… then when I cut my fibre in half (I only had to cut it in half), my digestion improved so much. Now I rarely struggle with IBS problems.
Yeah, same for me. I had severe constipation all through my childhood up into university. So it was a thing I struggled with for ages and I used to think “Oh, I have to eat WeetBix or All Bran Flakes for breakfast. Otherwise, you know, geez, I’m gonna get really constipated.” And it never resolved and it was always an issue. And then suddenly, I go carnivore, have zero fibre and then things have been way better than they’ve ever been my entire life since.
Yeah, and I mean, often if people have digestive problems, they think that I’m stuck with this for life. They don’t realize there’s a life where you don’t have to rely on laxatives. Some people I know have to take laxatives every week just because, otherwise, they don’t go to the bathroom. So I know somebody who has a little kid who can only go to the bathroom if he takes something like a laxative. I actually knew this guy who was about 40 years old when I spoke to him and he said he’s had this problem his whole life, where he’s been having to take laxatives his whole life to go to the bathroom. Now he’s 40. That’s like four decades of digestive problems. And so, he started talking to me and learning more about diet, and I suggested cutting out gluten. And so he did. Suddenly, he didn’t have stomach cramps every day. But I was also doing keto at the time. So he started doing keto, and suddenly, his digestive problems went away. And he actually came to me one day, and he said: “You saved me. Like, I never knew that just going keto and cutting out gluten would solve my problem.” Because obviously, when he went keto, he reduced his fibre intake a lot. And suddenly, after 40 years of constantly having to take laxatives to go to the bathroom, he now no longer has a problem. It’s been five years.
Yeah, I remember when we were camping at the beginning of this year. And so, you have the ablution blocks, where you’ve got the different bathroom stalls. And it felt like, at least every day, if not more, I’d go into the bathroom and you’d hear some poor guy in the bathroom, struggling. Like you hear that straining and struggling. And then I was just like, I am so glad I don’t have to go through that anymore. Yeah, that’s like a thing of the past. There are so many guys out there that just sit and struggle on the toilet.
Yeah. Like, I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot of women complain about how long their men take in the bathroom. Why don’t you just cut his fibre intake and give him more animal foods and fewer plant foods and see if that cuts his time in the bathroom in half?
If it doesn’t, then he’s doing something else as well.
Then it’s like in that “This is 40” movie where the husband just goes to the bathroom to escape his wife.
Yeah, so that’ll be the test. If you cut out the fibre, and he starts coming out of the bathroom quicker, he wasn’t doing anything else. Yes. But if you cut the fibre and he still stays in the bathroom for a while, you know, he’s doing something else as well.
So now if you have digestive problems, I highly recommend going on an animal-based diet, like animal foods are way easier to digest. You absorb the nutrients much easier. And you won’t have these digestive problems.
Have you ever seen a piece of steak in the toilet? Exactly.
Okay, so the next one is: A plant-based diet typically results in nutrient deficiencies. And an animal-based diet does not.
This is especially if you are against supplementation. Yeah, if you don’t supplement on a plant-based diet, it’s almost like expected for you to run into deficiencies because even like the most hardcore vegan activists and advocates would say, “Oh, you’ve got to supplement with B12.” “You’ve got to supplement with this.” “You’ve got to supplement with that.” And they don’t even talk about the ones like creatine, carnitine, taurine, carnosine, carnosine… like no one talks about those supplements but you don’t get those in plant foods. Like not at all.
So people will be plant-based, but then take a creatine supplement and if you just ate enough meat, you wouldn’t need to supplement with creatine. And I think it’s funny because I walk into the shop and I see these like L-carnitine supplements that people take to help them lose weight and they spend so much money on this. And I’m like: “You know you can get that in steak, right?” “Because now you’re buying food and supplements.” Imagine if you can get all the nutrients just from the food you buy.
Yeah, and I mean, if you keep it natural, there’s not a lot of plant fats that have soluble vitamins in them.
Yeah. So if you’re on a plant-based diet, you’re probably going to be low in fat-soluble vitamins. These are vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin D.
And the thing is, a lot of vitamins get stored in your own fat. Yeah. And so, the same goes for the animal that you’re eating. The animal that you’re eating stores vitamins in their fat. So if you don’t eat any of their fat, you don’t get access to any of the vitamins that they had to store for themselves.
Yeah, so on a vegan diet, you’re probably going to be deficient in these nutrients. And people will say: “Oh, but eat carrots and pumpkin and sweet potato, that has vitamin A in it.” No, it doesn’t have vitamin A, it has beta carotene that your body has to convert into vitamin A. And so, you may be getting like a 12th. Say you get 1000 IUs of vitamin A, but if it’s beta carotene, and you’re only getting a 12th of that, you can get 120. Yes, you’re only getting 120. And you need way more than that.
And that’s where bio-individuality comes in, because some people can hardly process any of the beta carotene into vitamin A, where some people can get a decent amount of it. So if you are a person who can’t turn beta carotene into vitamin A, you will suffer and realize how bad the diet is for you quicker because your body won’t be able to get enough vitamin A from the carrots. You will think you are getting vitamin A…
But now if you’re getting like pure vitamin A from things like liver or egg yolks, you don’t need to convert it. You’ve got the vitamin A in the form you need it.
Just absorb it and use it.
Like people on plant-based diets are also deficient, as you said in B12, vitamin B12. And so, they usually have to fortify foods or vegans and vegetarians have to take supplements. They’re low in iron, because yeah, you’ll maybe hear if you need iron, “Eat spinach, eat these foods”. But you actually get different types of iron. You get non-heme iron and heme iron. Heme iron, you get from animal foods, and it’s very easy for your body to absorb. Non-heme iron isn’t as easy for your body to absorb, so you don’t absorb the iron as easily. So that’s just the type of iron that’s like disregarding the antinutrients in those foods and making it even harder for you to absorb that.
Yeah, so even if you could just take the iron out of the plant without the antinutrients, that iron is not in the same format. It’s obvious, plants don’t have blood. An animal has blood. And the iron is already in the correct chemical composition for your body to use as iron for your own blood. I mean you have blood. An animal has blood but a plant doesn’t have blood, so it doesn’t have iron in the same structural configuration.
Yes. So, another thing people on vegan diets are often deficient in is omega 3s. You get different types of Omega 3. You get DHA, you get EPA, you get ALA, which you find in chia seeds, flax seeds, but you need to grind up the flax seeds otherwise you don’t absorb the Omega 3s in it. But just like the beta carotene that has to convert into vitamin A, you need to convert ala into DHA and EPA. Like DHA and EPA, you get in animal foods like in the fat from grass-fed beef and fish. And so, you might think you’re getting a certain amount of omega 3s from the plant sources of Omega 3, but you’re actually getting way less than you think you are.
Yeah, before we move on from B12 completely, a lot of vegans will say that “Oh, you get your B12 from the supplements given to the animals”, which is complete bullshit. Because we get our cattle that don’t get any B12 from supplements and their meat has plenty of B12. You can go shoot a wild animal that has never been given a supplement in its life, and it will contain B12 in healthy amounts. So don’t believe that bullshit. Like, yes, in factory farming, when they force the cattle to eat more grain than they should, and they don’t go out on a pasture and they are in a very unnatural environment, you might need to supplement an animal with B12. But in a natural environment, a more natural environment, you definitely don’t need to supplement with B12. Otherwise, all the animals out there will be B12 deficient.
Yes, I heard a vegan use that as a defence once with B12. She was like: “Most people are B12 deficient, even omnivores.”
Yeah, but most omnivores, especially in America, are plant-based.
Yeah, like, just because they eat meat, it doesn’t mean that they eat enough of it.
I’m just like, think of a happy meal from McDonald’s. You got the coke: plant-based. You’ve got the bun: plant-based. You’ve got the chips: plant-based. And then there’s this little slice, little pattie that’s animal-based. And that’s the only thing in that whole meal that’s animal based. So if you had to analyze that whole meal, it’s mostly made out of plants.
Maybe the processed cheese has some dairy.
I wouldn’t trust that cheese.
Who knows if it’s real dairy in there?
But you know, then there’s lettuce and cucumber and like gherkins or whatever on the burger, you know. So if you look at the majority of that meal, it’s plant-based. Even if you look at a pizza, the entire base makes up most of the pizza and its plants.
And you’ve got that tomato sauce.
Yeah, I mean, people will say like: “Oh, you’re an omnivore” and I’m just like, “Yeah, but people who eat a really unhealthy diet are eating mostly plants nowadays.”
Mostly plants. Now let’s go onto the last one.
The last one for part one?
A plant-based diet is an unnatural diet where an animal-based diet is more ancestrally appropriate? So you’d have quite a few insights on this.
Yeah, that’s so obvious. Like I said earlier, you know, there’s a lot of long-term evidence that humans have been eating meat with no issues. And then people will say: “Oh, yeah, but back in the day, your life expectancy was 40. And you’d only live to the age of 14”. It is like, no, the life expectancy is based on an average, so if you have a guy who lives to 80, and a newborn who dies, your life expectancy is 40.
Yeah, like, there were so many more newborn deaths and infant deaths. And people had like 10 kids, and five of them would die.
So back in the day, you weren’t old when you were 20. It’s just that there was still the risk of you dying from a snake or a lion or, you know, whatever infection or sickness or, you know, there were those problems? Yeah, if you got a cut, there was no antibiotics. Yes. Or if you got severe diarrhoea or whatever. Like, those were the issues. Yeah. And the thing is, even in the worst times in human history, people still lived into their 90s. And hundreds.
And they were probably way healthier at that age than people are now.
Yeah, especially if they were well off enough to get a good supply of meat. But this is the thing… you look at the hunter-gatherer tribes that are still around, and they will have elders that live into their 80s, 90s, 100s, with no modern medicine with no, you know, interventions, and they are very Spry old people. Like, they’re not frail and have no bone density and no muscle mass. And the thing that kills them is, you know, they eventually get the sickness like the flu or whatever, where nowadays, people, they get old, frail, and then they fall, they break a hip, they go to hospital, and then they get something that, you know, takes them out. But people have this idea that we shouldn’t follow what our ancestors did, because they only live to 30 years old. And I’m just like, “No, our ancestors, if they didn’t get a sickness or an infection or get killed by a snake, they could live just as long as we can.”
A lot of women died during childbirth.
Yeah, that’s obviously going to skew the numbers. Yeah. Back when we used to track things, like, if someone was born and then they died the next day, it was recorded that a one day old, the person died. Yeah. And so, then you need a lot of people living into their 80s to offset that. Average? Yeah. And so, don’t try and just dismiss what’s happened in the past? Because that’s what a lot of people like to do. They just be like “oh, yeah, that’s what the people in the past, who like didn’t know any better, that’s just what they did. And we shouldn’t learn anything from that.” And it’s like, “No, heart disease in the 1800s was very rare.” Yeah. And now, it’s not rare. It’s like the number-one killer. It went from a rare condition to the number-one killer. So something changed. And the answer lies in what we used to do. And so, we need to look at what our ancestors ate, because they hold the key to our health because they might not have had all the fancy technology and medicine and all these things, but they weren’t as sick as us. Diabetes wasn’t like a thing. Diabetes wasn’t a thing. Macular Degeneration wasn’t a thing. Like, all these massive modern illnesses were non-existent back then. And that’s like only a few generations back and there were none of these problems. And so, the key to your health is in your ancestry, and it is in what we used to do. So yes, not everything people used to do there was probably healthy, but the answer does lie in our ancestry.
Like, I find it funny because, yes, some people say we shouldn’t do what our ancestors did. But then, there are people that say, our ancestors were plant-based. Humans were plant-based. And then you know, you think about everything you have to eat on a plant-based diet to be healthy. Okay, you need grains and legumes. And you can just picture the hunter-gatherer going out into the field and gathering all these little legumes and rice in the ideal quantities that only popped up once a year. Yes. And remember, legumes (things like lentils, and beans), you can’t eat them raw, you will die. If you eat a kidney raw, you can die.
But if you eat meat raw, you won’t die. Yeah.
So you literally have to soak these foods and cook them for quite a long time to make them edible. So okay, that’s an ancestrally appropriate diet, like I can picture the hunter-gatherer soaking its lentils and cooking it for hours just to eat it, instead of just killing this animal, putting the stake on the fire.
Anyone that believes that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were plant-based, is completely delusional because there is no conceivable way that humans could spread to every single continent except one. And so many different latitudes. So many different like, you know, islands and places that they cannot be plant-based. Because if it was so important for you to have some kind of legume, you couldn’t go and settle in a place where legumes don’t grow. Yeah. Like if plants were so important to human survival, the Inuit and the Eskimos would not exist. You know, they live so far north, you can’t grow plants. In Iceland, they can’t grow. You can’t grow plants in Iceland, but people live there. So how can you be plant-based and survive? So, there are people that believe that. All right, like and yes, we do have recent ancestors that had a lot of plants in their diets. But also agriculture is a thing. Yeah. So they were in agricultural societies, and then they didn’t have much of a choice. And then that’s also where a lot of the deficiency diseases come in. When you’re just eating grains, then yes, you get rickets and the goitres and scurvy, and all those problems. But if you go and look at the hunter-gatherer societies, they’re animal-based. And that’s how we got dogs as man’s best friend because they’re not vegetarian. They were very interested in what we were killing. And we formed a good alliance through our evolution with dogs, and we spread across the world. And the only way that you can spread across the world like we did is by eating animals because animals are everywhere, everywhere. There are seals in the north there, you know, like, no matter where you go, there will be animals.
And you can eat them. And I think about it… fruits are seasonal, like fruit doesn’t grow the whole year where you live, or vegetables. So okay, you might have a lot of plant foods you can eat during certain seasons. But what do you do in winter?
Exactly. And so, what I would say is that, “yes, we have genes to digest carbohydrates. But I feel like that was a survival tool.” So neanderthals and the other hominids didn’t have the carbo amylase gene in their line. So if, you know, human populations expanded or Neanderthal populations expanded to such an extent that you hunted things to the brink of extinction, or you hunted them within your range, that there was like nothing left to hunt, if you didn’t have that ability to fall back on the tubers, and whatever else you could find in that time, then you are at a disadvantage. So I feel like the Neanderthals and Homo floresiensis and other hominids that didn’t have the ability to digest carbohydrates. If times got tough, they disappear. They vanished from the history books because they didn’t have the ability to fall back on things like tubers and starches and lentils and whatever carbohydrate sources that we can survive on. I’m not saying that like humans can’t survive if they just eat grains. I’m not saying it’s an optimal diet. No, but I’m like “We had that advantage. when times got tough, we could survive on carbohydrates and our other hominid ancestors died out because they kind of just had to eat meat. And they didn’t really have the option of going on to the carbohydrates.” And so it’s like, yes, that’s why we have those genes but that doesn’t mean that our optimal diet needs carbohydrates.
I love the quote “Plant foods are survival foods.”
Exactly. Especially the starchy ones.
Yes. Especially like, I just think, “If you have a farm where they grow sweet potatoes and things and potatoes, you’ll have a lot of it. But in nature, you might find one or two.”
Yeah, you can go dig up a few here and there if you need to. But if you look at the hunter-gatherer tribes, they normally go hunting. If they fail to hunt something, then they go and dig up the tuber. So it’s like, if they hunt, and they get something, they’re not eating tubers, survival food, they go for the meat. Okay, they might be like in Africa, there might be like a little bit of a tussle up between honey and meat. But most of the time, meat is like the number-one priority for the hunter-gatherer tribes.
Yes. So yeah, that was part one. You see why it had to be part one. Yes. You know, we’ve covered so much just in part one, but there’s a part two to come.
So yeah, if you want to hear more about why animal-based is superior to plant-based, then listen out for part two.