Introduction to Plant-based Nutrition

intro to plant based nutrition

 

Excerpt transcript:

“This podcast is intended to be a reasonably comprehensive beginner’s guide in podcast form on how to go vegan. It’s also somewhat informal and personal. I won’t be asking for money and I and this podcast are not associated with any organisation, group, site, or any individual. I decided to make an informal and personalised vegan resource in audio form to assist anyone interested in becoming vegan. I invite you, before listening to these nutrition episodes, to first listen to the episode about my personal experience becoming vegan which contains a lot of very helpful advice and information on all things vegan. So if you only listen to one thing on this site, please listen to the episode Becoming Vegan: My Personal Experience which you can find a direct link to in the main menu.

In episodes about plant-based nutrition, I’ll show how easy it is to get the nutrition we need, so much easier than if we were not vegan. I’ll look at some of the typical myths we see all over the mainstream media that might concern us in relation to a plant-based diet, for example, questions like, will I get enough calcium, iron, protein etc. I’ll demonstrate how a balanced plant-based diet is not only inexpensive (and delicious) but it’s brimming with nutrition.

Let me also add that it’s particularly beneficial for mental health, not only from the peace of mind it gives us because we’re not participating in violence of using animals, but literally it is proven to be better for us mentally.

Something important we need to understand is that the only important vitamin we cannot get in sufficient amounts from a plant-based diet (unless we eat B12 fortified foods) is vitamin B12. But it’s not a hardship at all to supplement and B12 is easy to find and it’s cheap.

If I prefer to use the term “plant-based diet”, instead of “vegan diet” it is because veganism is not just a diet free of animal products, it’s an ethical position which rejects the use of animals for food, clothing, hunting, labour, entertainment or other reasons. The public is exposed to a tremendous amount of confusion, misinformation and disinformation about veganism in the mainstream media and by large animal organisations. Much of it in the mainstream media is intentional due to the very influential and powerful animal industry.

Most of the information we tend to see about veganism is that it is about weight-loss, or it’s a fad, or it’s a health kick or it’s “extreme”. We regularly see celebrities state they are going vegan but it’s almost always the case that they do not understand what is is, or how to go about it. Usually it’s about health and weight loss. Veganism is also presented as the “green solution” (which it coincidentally is) but health and addressing climate change are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ancillary benefits of being vegan.

Then there’s the occasional person online who will dramatically claim their health was “harmed” in some way by being vegan and they proclaim to all that they are now an ex-vegan. I would argue than anyone who claims to be an ex-vegan, was most likely never vegan in the first place, since veganism is an ethical position and like any ethical position, if we take it seriously, then we are unlikely to abandon it. As far as their claims their health was harmed by being vegan, we see clearly that if we have a balanced plant-based diet, then having health problems is highly unlikely.

But back to the misinformation online: 99% of the information we see online about veganism is basically not about ethics, and there’s plenty of propaganda online. Veganism, more often than not, is presented in a humancentric way. And the ethical reason which is the most important reason to be vegan, is generally omitted or at best downplayed or distorted, even by large so-called “animal rights” organisations. And the reasons for that I explain in the episode : “Humane”: What’s in a Word.

The benefits we derive by becoming vegan are so numerous that it would be impossible for me to mention them all here but I will talk a little in another section about how significant it is in relation to climate change and the environment.

If we want to become vegan, in the true sense of the word, and most importantly stay vegan, the most important reason we should be vegan is because we don’t need to cause suffering and death to any sentient animals. We do not need to eat, wear or use them in order to live and thrive. We can no longer morally justify taste as THE reason we won’t go vegan. Because that’s the only reason we have left if we are resisting going vegan, since we can very easily obtain all our nutrition needs from plants and sources that are not from animals. But even “taste” as poor as that reason is, is not an excuse either since vegan food is delicious and the combinations are endless. We can’t even claim that a vegan diet is boring, or as many like to characterise it – rabbit food. We should rejoice in the fact that not only do we end our participation in the tremendous injustice and violence of animal exploitation, but becoming vegan will be one of the best and most profound decisions we will make in our lives.

So before we start concerning ourselves about health in relation to a plant-based diet, or about other related practical matters, it’s important to internalise the ethical position as to why we should be vegan and I dedicate a number of episodes to this most important issue.

So having said that, I’ll talk a little about a plant-based diet and some related science and how wonderful it is for our health. And may I add the variety of food combinations is endless and delicious: Middle Eastern, Indian, Thai, Latin American, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Greek etc. Never let it be said that a plant-based diet is boring. It just isn’t. I will post a few sites among literally hundreds of wonderful vegan recipe sites there are online and post a few book titles for you. And a quick disclaimer: I do not endorse, nor do I receive any financial compensation whatsoever from the mention of any social media site or any online site, nor the mention of any individual, product, book, organisation etc.

In this episode, I want to address a few important elements. A balanced plant-based diet may be healthier than a balanced omnivorous diet, but no matter what the diet, if people don’t pay attention to nutrition, our health can go awry. And of course, much of what most people eat today is unhealthy to say the least: Animal products that are full of cholesterol and contain unhealthy bacteria. And food which is made of refined carbohydrates, completely lacking fibre, but with loads of sugar and salt. Their diet contains a very limited amount of whole foods, vegetables and fruit, if at all. It’s not only very lacking in nutrition but a diet such as this is actually very harmful to our health. Even foods that their doctor suggests they eat more of, for example dairy for the purposes of calcium, the science shows this is problematic in a number of ways.”

Anyway, I go on to talk about B12 in this episode. In other separate episodes to this one, I talk about protein, calcium, magnesium,  vitamin D, and iron in relation to a plant-based diet. I also talk about the science in relation to the effects animal products have on our bodies.

I cover all these issues fairly extensively and I use science-based studies which I think you will find each and every one of them not only informative and interesting but a revelation whether you are vegan or not. 🙂

 

For more info:

What the Health Book

Is it possible to really be vegan, when animal ingredients are everywhere? | How To Go Vegan Podcast

Being Vegan in a Speciesist World

Reasonably comprehensive List of Animal Ingredients (please read disclaimer)

Why Vegans Read Labels

Unhealthy Eating Is Linked to 400,000 US Deaths per Year: Study

 

 

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