the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:15 pm

I have decided that, as long as I know that I am eating healthy plant-based foods, I am not going to worry about short-term weight loss.

I am on a plant-based diet for long-term health, rather than short-term weight loss, for some of the following reasons:
For those who can improve their health through weight loss and wish to do so, I have no problem with providing reasonable guidelines based on vegan eating patterns. But for those who have been weight cycling for years and have not been able to maintain their desired weight, I agree that a shift in perspective toward healthy habits—with or without weight loss—can prevent damaging behaviors and outcomes.

Because the truth is that we don’t really know why long term weight management is harder for some than others. It could be an inherited “thrifty gene,” that favors fat deposits, or differences in brain circuitry regarding feelings of “reward,” from eating or any of a number of other explanations that are topics of research right now.

There’s a vegan issue here, too, which I mentioned briefly in my last article and want to expand on. I’ve had quite a number of people tell me that they feel alienated from the vegan community for a number of reasons; one of those reasons is that they don’t feel welcome or like they “fit” in the vegan community because they are not models of vegan health perfection.

But this is not a problem of fat vegans. The problem lies with those who promote veganism as a weight loss diet. Although it’s been great to see so much focus on veganism in the media lately—specifically on Oprah and Martha Stewart—I’ve felt discomfort about promises that going vegan will automatically lead to weight loss.

Going vegan is unlikely to cause weight loss for most people unless they also restrict their food intake in other ways. And even embracing some of those other restrictions—like avoiding all fats—isn’t a guaranteed weight loss plan. When people don’t achieve their desired weight on a vegan diet, they are likely to decide that veganism “doesn’t really work,” or that they have somehow “failed” at being vegan.
https://www.theveganrd.com/2011/04/vega ... very-size/
This article debunks some of the half-truths and inconsistencies that are often made by popular plant-based doctors, such as T. Colin Campbell's book The China Study. The point of the article is that, while vegan diets can be healthy, these doctors too often over-sell the health benefits of a vegan diet:
https://www.vegan.com/posts/vegan-dieti ... he-health/

For example, popular vegan doctors often claim that increased dairy intake results in higher rates of hip fracture, while ignoring other possible variables:
Among nutrition experts, these kinds of comparisons carry almost no weight. This is because there are so many confounding factors that affect the comparisons. For example, countries with high dairy consumption also tend to have icier winters. This significantly increases risk of falling, which in turn increases risk of a hip fracture. In fact, the article that What the Health cites to support the dairy connection to hip fracture doesn’t even mention dairy. It says that the factors responsible for the differences in fracture rates are “population demographics (with more elderly living in countries with higher incidence rates) and the influence of ethnicity, latitude, and environmental factors.”
https://www.vegan.com/posts/vegan-dieti ... he-health/
Studies show that vegans actually have higher rates of bone fracture than non-vegans:
In the EPIC-Oxford study, vegans had a 30% higher risk for fracture after adjusting for numerous variables like age, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity. After adjusting for calcium intake, however, there was no difference in fracture rates. Vegans who got enough calcium were no more likely to break a bone than milk-drinkers (13).
https://www.theveganrd.com/2014/11/diet ... ne-health/
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Santi253
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by Santi253 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:31 pm

cjmacie wrote: His thing is basically "plant-based", but he's not religious about that. He's also not that shy about controversy; is known to go at it vs those who promote extreme stuff like anti-carb, e.g. paleo-diet.
Studies suggest that, for those choosing to go on a keto diet, such as the Atkins or paleo diets, it’s healthier when based on plant foods rather than animal foods:
By now you’ve probably seen the latest research from Harvard University and National University of Singapore showing that different types of low-carbohydrate diets have different effects on health.In this large study of nearly 130,000 people (all health professionals), a low-carb diet that was rich in animal foods was associated with increased risk of mortality. In contrast, a low-carb diet that was higher in plant foods reduced all-cause mortality risk, especially from cardiovascular disease.
https://www.theveganrd.com/2010/09/low- ... or-vegans/
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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:38 am

Santi253 wrote: Studies show that vegans actually have higher rates of bone fracture than non-vegans:
I guess that vegans should consider taking a calcium supplement as a standard part of their diet I guess....maybe phosphorus too but I don't even know if there are phosphorus supplements.
chownah

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:24 am

chownah wrote:
Santi253 wrote: Studies show that vegans actually have higher rates of bone fracture than non-vegans:
I guess that vegans should consider taking a calcium supplement as a standard part of their diet I guess....maybe phosphorus too but I don't even know if there are phosphorus supplements.
chownah
That might be true. My only point was that, when vegans claim that drinking milk actually causes bone loss, they are exaggerating the truth, whether deliberately or not.
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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:00 am

Santi253 wrote:
chownah wrote:
Santi253 wrote: Studies show that vegans actually have higher rates of bone fracture than non-vegans:
I guess that vegans should consider taking a calcium supplement as a standard part of their diet I guess....maybe phosphorus too but I don't even know if there are phosphorus supplements.
chownah
That might be true. My only point was that, when vegans claim that drinking milk actually causes bone loss, they are exaggerating the truth, whether deliberately or not.
My point is to help people to have good health. It looks like your point is to criticize people....I guess....don't know for sure....
chownah

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:03 am

chownah wrote: My point is to help people to have good health.
Yeah, I agree. I was just pointing out that, sometimes, vegan activists, even doctors who should know better, make bad or unsubtantiated health claims due to an ulterior agenda, whether conscious or otherwise. Here's a vegan dietitian making this same point about exaggerated health claims:
https://www.vegan.com/posts/vegan-dieti ... he-health/
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lostitude
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by lostitude » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:53 am

samseva wrote:- If you are to eat legumes, prepare them thoroughly (since they can damage your digestive system if not).
Hi samseva, would you mind saying more about this? Thanks.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:04 am

lostitude wrote:
samseva wrote:- If you are to eat legumes, prepare them thoroughly (since they can damage your digestive system if not).
Hi samseva, would you mind saying more about this? Thanks.
There are lots of warnings such as this one:
Beans contain a compound called lectin. Lectins are glycoproteins that are present in a wide variety of commonly-consumed plant foods. Some are not harmful, but the lectins found in undercooked and raw beans are toxic.

While you might assume that consuming raw beans would provide better nutrition, you’re wrong. Beans actually have a better nutritional profile after they are cooked. Beans must be boiled to destroy the lectins.
http://wildoats.com/blog-posts/undercoo ... dangerous/

In particular, kidney beans seem to need thorough cooking. This from wikipedia:
Raw kidney beans contain relatively high amounts of phytohemagglutinin, and thus are more toxic than most other bean varieties if not pre-soaked and subsequently heated to the boiling point for at least 10 minutes. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature long enough to completely destroy the toxin.[3] Cooking at the lower temperature of 80 °C (176 °F), such as in a slow cooker, can increase this danger and raise the toxin concentration up to fivefold.[4] Canned red kidney beans, though, are safe to use immediately

lostitude
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by lostitude » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:42 am

Sam Vara wrote:
lostitude wrote:
samseva wrote:- If you are to eat legumes, prepare them thoroughly (since they can damage your digestive system if not).
Hi samseva, would you mind saying more about this? Thanks.
There are lots of warnings such as this one:
Beans contain a compound called lectin. Lectins are glycoproteins that are present in a wide variety of commonly-consumed plant foods. Some are not harmful, but the lectins found in undercooked and raw beans are toxic.

While you might assume that consuming raw beans would provide better nutrition, you’re wrong. Beans actually have a better nutritional profile after they are cooked. Beans must be boiled to destroy the lectins.
http://wildoats.com/blog-posts/undercoo ... dangerous/

In particular, kidney beans seem to need thorough cooking. This from wikipedia:
Raw kidney beans contain relatively high amounts of phytohemagglutinin, and thus are more toxic than most other bean varieties if not pre-soaked and subsequently heated to the boiling point for at least 10 minutes. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature long enough to completely destroy the toxin.[3] Cooking at the lower temperature of 80 °C (176 °F), such as in a slow cooker, can increase this danger and raise the toxin concentration up to fivefold.[4] Canned red kidney beans, though, are safe to use immediately
Thank you, but what I am wondering is, who eats raw legumes ? Are there any recipes simewhere in the world involving raw beans for example ? This is not a rhetorical question.
Thanks.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:23 pm

lostitude wrote:Thank you, but what I am wondering is, who eats raw legumes ? Are there any recipes simewhere in the world involving raw beans for example ? This is not a rhetorical question.
Thanks.
Sure. Peas are legumes, and they are fine eaten raw. Mangetout and sugar snap peas are usually grown for that purpose. I used to eat fine french beans raw (until warned about it) and with no ill effects.

I think the warnings are mainly directed towards those who do not cook beans enough, or who might be tempted to grind raw dried beans and add the flour to meals for the protein content.

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:42 pm

I would like to again please reiterate that I have taken on a plant-based diet for long-term health, rather than short-term weight-loss. One reason why I feel I need to make this distinction is because of how often I've seen fat shaming practiced by vegan activist groups and Youtube channels.

While I've criticized popular diet authors like Robert Atkins for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, I wouldn't mention anything about their body weight unless they were claiming to help others lose weight.

For those who want to help get as many people as possible onto a plant-based diet, fat-shaming is not the answer:
2. Assessing someone’s health by his or her appearance is inaccurate.
The ethics of weight bias aside, our eyes are notoriously poor evaluators of health. It should come as no surprise that many people who are deemed to be fat can get excellent physical evaluations and that many people in the ideal BMI category can have life-threatening diseases, even ones associated with obesity like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As Ginny Kisch Messina, MPH, RD says, “It’s true that excess body fat raises risk for certain chronic diseases, but it doesn’t mean that everyone who is ‘overweight’ is unhealthy. You can’t tell anything about a person’s health based solely on body size.”

3. Fat shaming may contribute to weight gain.
If someone adopts a condemning approach in order to “help” another, it’s important to understand that studies point to the likelihood of the opposite result: feeling shame about one’s size exacerbates weight gain. Regardless of one’s actual weight, two studies published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that the more shame women reported feeling about their size, the more illness they also experienced, from increased infection risk to more frequent headaches, even when controlling for the BMI (body mass index). A four-year study published in the journal Obesity found that those who reported experiencing weight discrimination gained about three and a half pounds more than those who did not. Still think “calling people out” for their weight is an effective approach?…

Imagine how many people are discouraged from lending their desperately needed talents and voices to the cause because of their size. Imagine how many animals could also be saved if our community didn’t employ fat shaming tactics. “Animal advocacy is about creating a vegan world, which means we need to reach all kinds of people and encourage them to explore veganism,” says Messina. “Diversity in our community of activists—which includes diversity in body size and health experiences—is absolutely necessary to that outreach.”
http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=9025&catId=5
It makes perfect sense for people who claim to have compassion for animals to also have compassion for people of all body types.

As a side note, another claim made by popular vegan doctors is that milk causes cancer. The available evidence suggests otherwise:
For example, the enormous consensus report on diet and cancer risk from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund concluded in 2007 that eating lots of red meat and processed meat is convincingly associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (but no others). On the other hand, they found dairy foods to be associated with a decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer. They found limited and less convincing evidence that dairy foods might decrease the risk of bladder cancer but increase the risk of prostate cancer.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... re/243343/
Non-fat dairy products are a healthy source of B12, calcium, and protein for those on a vegetarian diet.

Please keep in mind that I am not here to seek external validation from others or to convince others into a lifestyle change they don't want. It just so happens that the Buddha taught a vegetarian diet (or at least taught that it's misconduct to kill animals for food), and it just so happens to be a healthy diet, according to the available evidence. People can take it or leave it. I am not the veggie police.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:04 am

The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:27 am

chownah wrote:The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah
He was probably more vegetarian than you are!! The suttas indicate the Buddha very seldom ate meat.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:41 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
chownah wrote:The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah
He was probably more vegetarian than you are!! The suttas indicate the Buddha very seldom ate meat.
Oh please do bring us a sutta reference which shows how much meat the buddha ate.
chownah

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ganegaar
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by ganegaar » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:53 pm

When a Buddha (or even a ven monk) goes on a alms round, it serves the purpose of helping the donors with good merit, now suppose a Buddha is to reject an offering, it may well be that a chance of earning good merits for the donor gets denied!
For this reason, a monk may have to accept whatever is given.
Suppose a Buddha is on the alms round, and the next house to visit is the butcher, if the Buddha skips the butcher is it not prejudice? so a Buddha would probably not skip the butcher's house!: the purpose of Buddha's alms round is not to have meat for lunch, so is for his disciples
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

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