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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To add to previous comments, I’ve also found resonance in the school of eating for my blood type.  Although the science behind this seems non-existent, I immediately related to a majority of the quirks of the author D'Adamo’s Blood Type A diet.  It’s the most vegetarian-friendly diet which considers meat mainly a potential condiment.  I also noted that my four-year old nephew, who has the carnivore diet of O, could already devour a steak that would last me an entire week.  I believe we all need fresh living food, not supplements, and need to know how to listen to our bodies to find the proper balance of nutrition and vitality.

I've decided to eat plant-based for about 80% of my meals in order to keep gout attacks at bay. I don't know if I'll ever be fully Vegan or Vegetarian. I was reading about which foods aid in keeping uric acid in the blood at a low level. So far, so good. I've been reading a lot of information about Vegan and Vegetarian diets, watching documentaries, and following the work of the doctors you mentioned. When I began trying to eat more vegetables and fewer animal products, I was most worried mostly about being deficient in Vitamin B12. I supplement B12 (2500 mcg a week) which I take on Monday morning. I know that my daily Multi-Vitamin has 6 mcg. You can also get B12 from plant milk and from nutritional yeast. Julieanna Hever (a plant based dietitian that I've been following) posted a picture that I refer back to here and again that lists different vitamins and where you can get them on a plant based diet. It is hardest for me to stick with a plant based meals when I'm eating with family (my mom and dad are ranchers) and friends. Whenever friends or coworkers ask me why I eat the way I do, I simply respond that I like to stay healthy. The biggest mistake I made going to a mostly plant based diet was switching only to greens or veggies. You'll have to make up the calories that you are taking away by not eating meat. Fruit, Potatoes, Rice (And other grains), Corn, and Beans, are going to make up for the calorie deficit. You simply cannot get enough calories off of leafy greens or vegetables alone. I feel as if the people that decide to go fully Vegetarian or Vegan feel week because they aren't consuming as many calories as they did when they were eating meat.

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If you truly have gout, it has almost nothing to do with your diet. Everything has purine's in it, the problem is that you have a deficient set of kidney's. 

Get yourself a doctor who is worth a damn and actually understands gout. It took me 10 years, 2 worthless surgeries and enough attacks to have destroyed some of my joints.

Healthy people have their uric acid under 4, don't let them tell you could be any higher. Mine was around 10. Diet at best will drop the number by one, which is useless if it is high enough to be forming the crystals. You can only slow the growth.

Allopurinal. Very cheap drug, I have to take 2 pills daily, most people are fine with one. 

Don't keep gout attacks at bay, eliminate them. No one on deserves that pain.

Thank you for reiterating those points. I've been considering what you've written on both occasions. I’ve heard of Allopurinol, but I’ve never taken it. What I have done in the past is taken Ibuprofen for it. I'm not fond of taking pills if there is anything in my power to avoid it. I had a blood test at work which gave me a reading for uric acid (which I can't find at the moment). I can't recall what the number was, but I'll look for it. I'll get another blood test at the beginning of this year. I do it every year to save $ on health insurance. I really need to find a new doctor. My doctor moved his practice to a new facility and I haven’t really gotten a new one yet. Making a goal of that this year. I’m a bachelor and I live alone. I don’t always do the best job of taking care of myself, but I’m working on it.

Best of luck to you with whatever you choose. I think it has been 6 years since my last true flare up/attack, send me a PM if you want to talk about it. My old man has it too, he got off of allo twice, both times the gout came back, so the two of us just deal with taking a daily pill.

A worthwhile review of "What the Health?" (vegan 'health' documentary on Netflix that cites several of the 'experts' referenced in the OP) by a VEGAN dietician ...

I wish What the Health had stuck to these kinds of observations and supported them with an informed discussion of the evidence. Instead, it cherry-picked the research, misinterpreted and over-stated the data, highlighted dubious stories of miraculous healing, and focused on faulty observations about nutrition science. The themes of What the Health are that:

  • a vegan diet is the answer to preventing and treating all chronic disease
  • meat, dairy and eggs (and fat) are the cause of all these diseases
  • and non-profit organizations don’t want you to know this because they are funded by Big Food.

https://www.vegan.com/posts/vegan-dietitian-review-what-the-health/

In short, it's junk science.  Top-to-bottom.


JB

I watched this film yesterday and I agree with the the critical review.  I'll also add that it felt rushed and unsupportive of the argument as a whole, even if I agree with some of its content. I really wish the filmmaker would have stuck to one topic and dug in.  I thought it was corny when he was calling the main lines to the Cancer Society.  I mean come on the guy at the front desk isn't qualified to answer your questions he's their to greet you kindly and route your call.  It seemed more like a Daily Show commentary. 

The one thing that isn't being discussed here is that many of these documentaries are based on shock value.  Some authors take this approach because some people simply need be smacked with a frying pan before they open their eyes and do some research.  Unfortunately that shock value loses credibility when its embellished even if to one degree or another its truthful.  I could site similar examples with other conservative topics where the same tactics have been employed but I don't want to be responsible for pushing this thread into an off topic heated discussion.  Suffice to say all sides do it and it appears in every cause.

The stronger argument here is that eating a plant based diet is healthier, and because the act of eating is a necessity for life, takes a lot of time out of your life and plays such a large role in shaping culture, its easy to see the parallel that one healthy choice will lead to another.  Maybe you'll actually start exercising more, maybe you'll also cut out sweets, maybe drink more water etc...ALL of which will impact your health as well as the environment and generalized animal welfare. 

Now I don't care what you eat or how much exercise you get, if you live in or contribute to a polluted environment, abuse your body in other ways such as sitting on your ass all day, drink a lot, engage in risky behavior, etc...you are going to get sick, you are going to get diseases, and your chances of survival or functional old age diminish. 

Eating a plant based diet alone is not the holistic answer to survival or even functional survival in your golden years.  However because you chose to eat a plant based diet you are more likely to also make healthier choices outside of your diet.  All of which significantly increase your odds.

I have been looking a blue zone diets which are very close to a plant based diet. 
The main thing question is if you can make the the transition to such a diet and get the exercise and social interactions up to really make them work.

I did try it but I failed 

You beat herbivorism into remission.  Doesn't sound like a failure to me.

JB

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