Can a Vegan Diet be Unhealthy?
If so why, and are all vegan diets unhealthy?
In this video Dr Rick, thirty two + years vegan, and I fifteen and a half + years vegan, go into this hot topic with both personal and clinical experience.
Dr. Rick Dina, D.C. became interested in nutrition in 1986 and has been studying and practicing raw plant-based nutrition since 1987. He worked at Hippocrates Health Institute and for the Juiceman before entering Life Chiropractic College in 1993. After graduating in 1997, he practiced at True North Health Center from 1997 until 2001, helping patients recover from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and other nutritionally related health challenges with fasting and whole food plant based nutrition. After teaching at Bastyr University, Rick maintained a private chiropractic and nutrition practice from 2003 until 2008 in San Rafael, CA, with his wife Dr. Karin Dina, D.C.
Can a Vegan Diet be Unhealthy?
To me this almost sounds like a ridiculous question with all readily available information but I think it’s very important to point out, of course a vegan diet can be unhealthy, but by no means do vegan diets have to be unhealthy. With the understanding that there can be many different ways that one can eat on a vegan diet, that it isn’t as simple as a black and white comparison between a omnivorous diet and a vegan diet, one starts to see how one can be healthy or unhealthy as a vegan. Look in any grocery store, there are tons of highly processed vegan foods with tons of refined ingredients, candies and junk foods such as Oreo’s, many soft drinks and poor quality oils. Any diet that is based off of, or includes appreciable quantities of processed low quality foods, and does not contain many whole fresh ripe raw fruits and vegetables, known as the healthiest of all foods, can result in poor health. Dr Rick mentions as a example of this, that a diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables with a small amount of “quality” animal products could be much healthier that a vegan diet made up of processed meat substitutes, vegan junk food and soda.
Beyond food one must also consider their overall lifestyle, food is but one spoke on the wheel of health in truth no more important than quality sleep, fresh air, clean water, vigorous exercise, meaningful relationships, a sense of purpose, a positive outlook, low levels of stress and healthful coping mechanisms etc. True health requires a holistic approach bringing together all aspect of health creation just the same as all animals in nature. I have met people with the healthiest vegan diet that did not regularly get enough sleep sleep to be healthy and were riddled with stress, guess what, they did not shine with health. This is why both Dr Rick and I live and teach a well rounded holistic vegan lifestyle to help people to come to the highest levels of health possible.
I find it challenging and sad at times that in today’s seemingly social media driven world one can be very outspoken, convincing and popular while vastly under educated in the field of nutrition. It is quite easy to share one’s point of view against something all over social media that may go against the mainstream view, such as veganism, and no matter how untrue can gather thousands of followers. In the realm of health, with so many factors at play, there are bound to be people who exhibit poor health and even run into major health issues while on any diet. With that in mind some people can become personally affected by a poorly planned vegan diet, decide that it was the diets fault instead of considering the possibility that the way the diet itself was put together, among other lifestyle factors, could be implicated in the poor results. This can lead to one being emblazoned to raise the horn and speak out against veganism, which can come from a genuine place of surety and concern for others, yet from a very limited vantage point, all to often blindly looking away from the healthy examples and plethora of scientific evidence supporting a vegan diet.
Something that is hard to overlook in this topic, beyond the huge numbers of healthy vegans of all ages, is that the majority of the largest health agencies in the world (such as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (US), Dietitians of Canada, National Health Service (UK), British Dietitians Association, The Dietitians Association of Australia, The Mayo Clinic) not only acknowledge that a properly planned vegan diet can be healthful during all stages of life but that they can be more healthful than the standard american diet and be helpful in reversing many chronic diseases of today.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (US) as a example:
“It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to reduction of chronic disease.”
I am really excited for more amazing films like “Game Changers” to come out showing that going vegan is not only good for the animals, the planet, reversing disease but also for athletics. James Cameron, director of the Titanic and Avatar to name a few, has gotten together with many top vegan athletes, Dr’s and vegan advocates such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan to bring us this amazing new documentary released September 16th 2019.
I really hope you enjoy this interview with Dr Rick Dina and that is helps bring more confidence and knowledge into the realities of a healthy vegan lifestyle. The video itself goes even deeper into this important topic especially in this day and time where there is no filter on poor information without good scientific backing on the internet. Speaking of scientific backing, I would also encourage you to learn more about Dr Rick and his wife Dr Karin Dina’s “Mastering Raw Food Nutrition” 1 year online course, learn more here 🙂
In this video we mentioned a great video Dr Rick and John Kohler did on the important topic of EPA and DHA on a vegan diet, this is a topic of some controversy but is also a topic that Dr Rick Dina has studied extensively both via major studies as well as through his own decade of clinical experience testing over a thousand vegans / raw vegans.
This interview was filmed at the 2019 UK Fruit fest, a amazing gathering of like minded people coming together to grow body mind and spirit with a healthy raw food diet, yoga, fitness, educational talks and loving community.
I HIGHLY recommend Dr Rick and Karin Dina’s
The course itself is 52 weeks long with 2 hours of coursework each week as well as a 1 – 2 hour conference call to go over everything and ask any questions. If you miss any weeks it’s easy to catch up and you can ask questions from previous chapters at any time.
Even though I have been to school for holistic nutrition, been raw for 15 years and have strived to learn as much as I can from many books and raw food doctors and coaches, I can honestly say I have learnt a TON from this course and would recommend it to anyone serious about their health and raw / vegan nutritional education.
If you’re interested in what I feel is the most well rounded, complete, college level type education coming from over 60 combined years focus on raw food nutrition, over a decade teaching the Mastering Raw Food Nutrition course at The Living Light Institute and about the same serving as a Fasting Practitioner at True North Fasting Centre, then this course is really for you!!
Learn More Here 🙂
I really hope you really enjoy this post with Dr Rick Dina of Raw Food Education and Mastering Raw Food Education going into the hot topic of “Can you be unhealthy as a Vegan”. I can not over emphasise the importance of a good education as well as the reality that one can be unhealthy on any poorly planned diet. This all said a well planned vegan and raw vegan diet can not only be healthy but is the only diet proven to reverse many major chronic diseases (heart disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes etc) of today.
To healing ourselves, our planet and saving the animals with a truly compassionate open hearted vegan lifestyle.
Wishing You Much