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Is a Vegetarian diet really healthier than Omnivore?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Soapbox - Have Your Say' started by Oldvatr, Dec 29, 2019.

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  1. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    I was sent this report from a vegan acquaintance who dearly wants to convert me to the faith.
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0088278&type=printable

    They said that the news channel they were watching today was announcing Veganuary 2020, and that the science proof that it is healthier than a normal mixed diet had been published in PLOS One, and this was the proof I had been asking for.

    Obviously they had either not read this report, OR they did not understand what it was saying. After all it was in PLOS One which is normally pro vegetarian, so must be right. right? Nope. It has only strengthened my resolve to remain an omnivore.

    However with Greggs launching the Steak Bake and Cornish Pastie range that is 100% vegan compatible, and the warning that they will also soon be launching cream cakes and eclaires that have no animal product in them may restrict my choice a bit. It is also not clear if these substitutes will be marked as meatfree, or if normal supplies will be provided for those like me who desire the full Monty.

    So, I repeat the question I raise so many times in situations like this - does anyone have some real science evidence that supports the claim that vegetarian is healthier for me as a T2D on Orals. *I would have posted thi into the thread I started specifically to discuss that question , but it was closed down. So no discussion allowed on this, merely any links to reports.
     
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  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Let me think - carbs carbs and more carbs, for a person unable to cope with carbs - can't see it being a good thing myself.
     
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  3. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No, none that I’ve seen.

    Replying to ensure I get to read of any that anyone finds. Had this very conversation yesterday, asking a friend what evidence he had that his plan to eat less meat was based on any beneficial scientific evidence. He had none either. Also married to a vegetarian so personally invested that way too
     
  4. Honeyend

    Honeyend · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't eat meat for over 30 years, for various reasons, but I eat meat now, I also raise animals for meat, so I think I can understand both sides of the arguement.
    I get annoyed with the healthy claim, when I stopped eating meat I did a lot of research and found out how to balance the protien sources, most veggie food sold in shops is deficent in compleat protiens, and rely on dairy products. They are often full of sugar and of course to make you feel full, cheap pasta, potatoe or rice, which makes a huge profit for the producer. The pasta in a cheesy sauce, wrapped in a tortilla wrap, is a hightlight of making a huge profit out of the cheapest ingredients.
    On some forums I have challanged the healthy claim, and its amazing how many people are just parroting the hype and when you provide them information, they have no answer and then waffle on about carbon foot print, we were not designed to eat meat, and the welfare aspect.
    There is so little understanding of the nutrition to start off with, and then most of it now seems to be based on slanted reporting of data, its no wonder everyone thinks a glass of orange juice and a bowl of cereal is a healthy balanced breakfast, or even better a cereal bar because you can eat it on the go and be charged extra for it.

    My go to store of facts in a simple form on meat, is

    and my question to anyone saying a veggie or vegan diet is healthy, are you sure you are going to eat 'compleat' protiens and are they aware of the special needs of children, the sick and the elderly.
    There are so many studies on the interenet which say that basically the easiest way to make sure people get good nutrition is to eat meat, you can play top trumps with them, even when they quote studies that are supposed to show it causes cancer and heart disease.
     
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  5. Lotties

    Lotties Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I bought a well-known book that touted a plant-based diet and supported it with many studies. Whilst I agreed with the sentiments (not sure how much indoctrination has affected my base thinking such as 'eat your veggies' and the fact that our meat supply contains cruel practices on occasion) much of the science was cherry-picked as was to be expected (no complaint so far) but that the conclusions of the studies were often skewed to fit an agenda omitting pertnient information that conflicted with their assertions.
    I'm not the best or even competant in critical thinking but data must be presented, warts and all, even if the conclusions presented are biased.
     
  6. therower

    therower Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Here in lies the bigger question.
    This one little snippet is where a lot of debates on the forum get interesting.
    “ real science evidence “ = “opinion “
    In answer to the thread title.
    I have no care whatsoever on account my diet is the best for me.
     
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  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    It doesn’t matter whether someone is Vegan, WFPB, Carnivore, RawFoodarian, Pescatarian or a Standard Western Omnivorous Dieter, it is possible to make food choices within each way of eating that are healthy, or not.

    Implying that a generalised label is ‘healthier’ is illogical.
    So is implying that it is ‘unhealthier’.
     
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    #7 Brunneria, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:16 AM
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  8. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Very true.
    It’s obviously easy for an omnivore diet to be done unhealthily as so many of us pre diagnosis can attest to. I guess whilst “healthy and complete” low carb veganism is entirely possible with care, it does seem more difficult to achieve in current society norms and availability than the omnivore version and that can be challenging enough outside the individuals own home.

    For me I guess I am frustrated by the claims veganism is inherently healthier (for me or anyone) without evidence to support that broad and sweeping claim.
     
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  9. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I have never been vegan, but I have been vegetarian in the early 1990's, for 2 1/2 years,.
    I eat a varied diet, love veggies, cooked and raw,eggs, salads, cheese, some meat, fish, some chocolate and more and I do okay on it, my weight has gone up a little to 9st, from 8 1/2 stone 40 years ago and fit and active :)
    So whatever 'diet' with or with out lifestyle preferences and works for that individual, is fine by me :)
     
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  10. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It is possible to be low carb and vegan. We have a thread here on it.

    I remember when low carb, high fat was talked of this way, about 8 years ago, when I first joined the forum. We had to wait for the science and research to catch up, and rely on instinct and personal results.

    I repeat: vegan low carb high fat happens.

    In my early days on this forum we low carbers got piled on, ridiculed, and doubted. To the extent that we stopped posting. I see parallels here with veganism. It saddens me.

    Depends on the vegatarian food choices, or the vegan food choices.

    It also depends on what you are comparing them to.
     
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  11. Antechinus

    Antechinus Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I have lived with vegetarians for over 30 years and these people are healthy.

    There is some weird vegan stuff coming out of the US that is supposedly science based but the science is very questionable. They don't ever discuss insulin and are anti any kind of oil/fats and big on whole grains. They are also pushing their diet as a cure for a variety of chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. I'd be careful with that kind of vegetarian diet.
     
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  12. Redshank

    Redshank Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    The answers are. Yes, No, Maybe, No one knows
    There are many different vegetarian diets. Vegan is one of those, although there are many different Vegan diets.
    Similarly there are many different Omnivore diets.
    We also need to define what “healthier “ means.
    There is very little good science on the impact of diets on health as most of it is based on very unreliable food surveys, often taken once or twice at the start of the research based on participants recall of what they had eaten in a period of time. Good science on diet is expensive to do and has little financial payback.
    In my opinion :)
     
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  13. Honeyend

    Honeyend · Well-Known Member

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    The WHO which I should I have hoped looked at all of the studies, sits firmly on the fence, as even they realise that most of the studies used are epidermilogical, so there may be other factors as well as eating meat or not that effect health. This could include not only what you eat but education ,wealth and enviroment.
    https://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/
    If you are interested in diabetes and its prevention, if people are replacing meat with more carbohydrates,pasta seems to be in everything, its a worry.I am not saying if you do not eat meat you may not be healthy, I had two children while not eating meat, but its a lot harder to make sure you get essential protiens and other things that are provided by meat without some degree of knowledge and commitment.

    I have problems with vegans who are totally anti any use of animals, because there goes most of modern medicine, and I am alive because of it, and a lot of the people I have cared for. The subsistance farmer who feeds his family from a couple of goats, sheep or cows, will never be able to afford the additives that would make a compleat nutritional diet, provided probabely by a multinational chemical company, and condemn their children to a life of malnourishment. Most nutritional feeding programmes for malnorished children are based on milk protiens and additional vitamins.
     
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  14. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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  15. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    Interesting article that will need some time to digest, My initial readthrough raised some points: firstly the introduction refers heavily to the EPIC study which from what I remember was actually conducted by the Oxford Martin School and consisted of vegetarian applicants only, from which they made comparisons against the normal populations. Such is the power of statistics if all their respondents were vegetarian.

    Second thing I noticed was that the sources were obtained from PubMed and Cochrane (good) and then a host of archives that are totally unknown to me.so I have no yardstick to go by as to their reliability. One of the search terms was RCT, but they do not seem to be distinguishing between epidemiological, or cohort, or prospective to differentiate the weighting or ranking used to merge these datasets. Since they seem to home in on RCT then it must have some purpose in their analysis, but the methodology does not mention any filtering or exemption of either class of study. There are very few RCT studies in this field, so it would be interesting to find out if this had any effect on their analysis or not. I ask Why?

    I do see they are using Forest Plots which indicates that the analysis is using up to date methodology, but since they do not include them in the published material it is difficult to validate their evidence independantly.

    Finally I reach the end, and I wonder what the heck those references actually do for this study since they are mainly socio - economic and are not really connected to the task in hand. These seem to be management coathangers, not related to either the sources or their contents. or even to the outcomes being explored apart from some mental health treatises.
    All I can say at this juncture is that this study is in a completely different format to any I have seen before, which may be a good thing. However, there is very little data on view so it would be nigh on impossible for independant researchers to peer review or validate.

    Any meta study worth looking at will list the sources used for analysis, and normally publish the Blobbi charts to support their conclusions. That info is hidden from this study.

    Edit to clarify. The study I refer to above is in the Links to the Science bit at the bottom of the NHS article in the above link.
     
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    #15 Oldvatr, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:38 PM
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  16. Honeyend

    Honeyend · Well-Known Member

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    What worries me about promoting vegan or vegetarian diets as healthy is the effects it may have on developing children and young adults, when we know that good nutrition for them is so important, and animal products are known to improve and support child developement.
    When I had my first child you were advised to put them on their front to sleep, because that is what they did in special care baby units. We now know that is is bad for normal babies in a home situation, and can be a cause of cot death. So even if the studies showed an improvement in health for adults with plant based diets, the marketing bosses would most likely transpose it and push it at mums. Every fruit juice is already seen as a healthy drink for children and even if you were not worried about the carbs the acid in the juice is about as good for their teeth as Coke.
     
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  17. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    @Honeyend that is quite a sweeping statement. Please could you provide some supporting evidence to back up the opinion?
     
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  18. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    The main thing I take from Bazian's analysis is this, "Overall, the small total numbers of people in these studies – which likely had highly variable methods, interventions, control diets and outcome assessment – suggests that too little research has been done into plant-based diets to draw firm conclusions about their effects."
     
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  19. Lotties

    Lotties Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I think that the discussion is focusing in the wrong areas.
    Vegetables grown in mineral-rich soil versus vegetarian versions of meat-eaters' processed food. The former is likely to be stable and the latter can be changed by the processor at any time. For example natural yoghurt turned into a low-fat, high sugar treat by the desire by producers to capture market share with respect of prevailing 'health' guidance for low-fat foods. Foods made more cheaply to fit our desire for price-conscious options. I recently purchased a quiche which turned out to bear no resemblence to an egg dish in a pastry case but a thick layer of stodgy flour mixed with vegetable fat covered in less than 1/3rd the same thickness of eggy stuff; marketed as 'premium, too.
    Have you tried to buy bacon from a supermarket that doesn't contain 'added water'
    Fruits picked unripe to improve shelf-life and handling properties before they have taken up the heavier minerals that happen at ripening time.
    Nothing in our food chain can be taken for granted. This is a bit of hearsay but a friend who has an organic farmer friend related she was shocked to hear that they planned to grow the same organic carrot crop year after year as they only rented the farm and prices were so good for organic. The care of the soil or nutritional quality of the food was of no interest.
    I worry for those moving from a diet that perhaps just needs a few tweaks to a completely alien one for them that is more proccessed just because the elements are vegetarian or keto or whatever.
    I would really like to go to the supermarket and easily pick up nutritious food but, as yesterday, I was bombarded with fatty sugary treats and almost nothing healthy could be bought without serious consideration and label reading, even the meat products and flour. This is the soapbox sub-forum, I trust :)
     
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  20. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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