I am working on losing weight and improving my nutrition and have come across a lot of research on the health benefits of plant based diets. I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives, read a book called How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger, and have read a lot of other articles and watched a lot of videos highlighting the work of Dr. John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, etc.

From what the research I have read suggests it seems like this is by FAR the healthiest diet someone can live. Has anyone else tried this or are they familiar with the research around plant-based diets?

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Slowing your metabolism seems like a good thing if you adjust your diet accordingly. And you already adjusted your diet.

if that sounds strange to you, there's also a book teaching you how to breathe (I think AoM advertised it, or something related to it in their subscription, in a recent e-mail)

There are good ways to breathe for certain situations. Meditation would be vastly different if it was business as usual breathing. Gotta fill the whole lungs, empty them, do it in a cycle, for instance. Or breathing through the nose after strenuous exercise than with the mouth, at least according to my old gym teachers.

My point was, the book advertised the idea that the way we breathe normally isn't correct. Of course specific situations require adaptation of one's breathing.

When AoM's subscription came, it started with the exact words:

Take a breath right now.

Did your chest go up and down?

Congratulations, you just failed at breathing.

The interesting thing here is that men and women actually 'breathe' differently: men 'breathe' with their belly, whereas women - with their chest. This is a physiological thing.

I'm familiar with the research.  Even subjected myself to the "What the Health?" documentary.  Frankly, I wasn't impressed.  It seemed to start with the answer ... and work backward to the experts, etc.  Rather than the other way around.  It struck me as entirely propaganda.  Tried to make the case that there's a vast conspiracy among the government and large health-related charities to hide the actual cause of every health problem ... from cancer to diabetes.  Which, conveniently, is meat.  Seemed an entirely preposterous premise, even if you are a proponent of the diet.

I don't dispute that people can lose weight and improve their health with a vegetarian diet.  I know a couple that have.  They're very thin.  Not especially muscular.  But, they seem reasonably healthy, I guess.  But, there is more than one acceptable way to eat.  I also personally know several people that reversed pre-diabetes, lost body fat, gained muscle, lowered cholesterol, etc. with a 'ketogenic' diet.  Which is the opposite of a vegan/frugivore diet.  High fat, moderate-to-high protein, very low carbs.  Essentially, tons of meat, full-fat dairy, butter, etc. ... and no fruit, which is all sugar.

Vegan diets are often seriously deficient in dietary fat, protein and vitamin B12.  There are ways to somewhat work around those deficiencies, if it suits your ideology ... but I've not seen anything to convince me it's actually an optimum choice.  If it were optimum, my wife's aunt -- a vegan -- wouldn't need vitamin B-12 shots.

Frankly, I've read enough research about the benefits of dietary fat that I immediately discount any diet that calls for low fat intake.  Vegan and vegetarian diets are inherently low fat.  There just aren't that many vegan sources.  Avocados.  Oil, I guess ... though that's some seriously refined stuff.  Butter is very probably a better choice, but ideologically off-limits.

More power to you.  But, it's not for me or mine.

JB

I have. Forget the books. Just commit to it, and remember: burn more than you consume. Set a daily calorie limit if you have to. Exercise to burn the worthless carbs and sugars and keep your body toned. 

All the real claims of health can become increasingly politicized and exaggerated. There's a lot of woo in this whole dieting business. Thread carefully. 

Yep.  As a child.  My grandmother (an LVN) got into "alternative" and "nutritional" medicine.

I still loathe that version of "Eggplant Parmesan."

While one would possess familiarity with such diets, such failed to function in a manner optimal for one. One did discern a lack of ability to consume both joules and proteins in quantities sufficient for desire.

Whilst one is aware of those who would thrive upon such a diet, one is likewise aware that such most oft exists in requirement for complex management, and importations superior to the trivial.

I dropped 30 pounds and gained a lot of energy, just going organic with more vegetables than meat. (Alas, in response to leukemia.) Meat is more a condiment, and it's grass-fed, so pricy; keeps the portions smaller. A book called "Anticancer," meant for those with it and those trying to avoid it, became my cookbook. 

I used to be the beef tips 'n beer sort and would be still, if leukemia hadn't knocked me off course. 

I don't believe meat makes us unhealthy. In the quantities we're meant to eat it - like how one glass of red wine has benefit, a whole bottle does not. 

PS to this - "Anticancer" by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, has all the clinical research notations you could ask for. So it ain't some feelgood book from Shambhala Publishing. 

No, but it's also not really born out by rigorous study from what I can see. It's the plan he put together for himself, to help in his treatment of his own brain cancer. But he's not an oncologist, or nutritionist, or any such thing. He was a psychiatrist. 

At any rate - some pretty big claims made in this thread.

I stand by my "feeling like shit" statement.

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