Ginny Messina: Being Picky

Ginny Messina: Being Picky About Vegan Nutrition

6 Responses to “Ginny Messina: Being Picky”

  1. Ryan Says:

    All milk is contaminated with industrial cleaning solutions? I guess this is how iodine gets into eggs too. At least make a distinction between factory milk and small farm milk. This would give you more credibility. When most faltering vegans discover that what you’re telling them is not the whole truth, it will be much easier for them to stray from veganism for health reasons. You write, “Our book is actually very positive about the safety and benefits of veganism.” Would we expect anything else from vegan authors? Of course not, this is your agenda. You also write, “In Vegan for Life, we encourage convenience where it doesn’t compromise health, and I think that can be very reassuring to new vegans in particular.” This is based on the assumption that there isn’t a diversity of metabolic needs with respect to both macronutrients and micronutrients in our diets. A vegetarian diet can never be low enough in carbs for some people to not compromise their health. A vegan diet is not just unhealthy for some people because of what you’re not taking in, but also because of what you’re taking in—too many carbs, goitrogens, and soy to name a few. Disregard this, and you’re failing to take an objective stance.

  2. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Ryan,

    > At least make a distinction between factory milk and small farm milk.

    Are you saying small farms do not use iodine to clean the cow’s teats and the dairy equipment?

    > A vegetarian diet can never be low enough in carbs for some people to not compromise their health.

    Which people? People with type 2 diabetes are able to, in may case, lower their blood sugar by eating a whole foods vegan diet (more info). They would be the people most likely to be harmed by too many carbs. Of course, it depends on what kind of carbs. If, instead of whole foods, they were eating simple sugars without fiber, then it would not be so good for them.

    This is not to say that I think most vegans should be eating a whole foods-only diet, but only that how your body responds to carbs has a lot to do with what kind of carbs they are.

  3. Ryan Says:

    Jack,

    Iodine and “industrial cleaning solutions” are not synonymous. Iodine alone is not an industrial cleaning solution. Yes, many small farmers use iodine as an ingredient in their teat dips and for cleaning equipment; I don’t. There are many recipes using essential oils and other natural products. Also, iodine gets into milk and other animal products by feeding animals kelp and other seaweeds. Why did Ginny omit this in her post? It’s either because she doesn’t know the truth or doesn’t care to share it.

    Yes, anytime a person doesn’t eat something that’s optimal for their body, they are compromising their health. Why do you ask which people? Not everyone who can benefit from eating less carbs has to be identified with diabetes. I’m one of them. Just because a vegan diet can work for you, it doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Some people do well on a plant-based diet while others need animal proteins and fats to be healthy. Of course many people with type 2 diabetes could improve their situation by switching to a whole foods vegan diet; going from processed foods to whole foods is a positive step in itself. Eating a healthy whole food omnivorous diet is even better with respect to human health for most in this situation though. I understand eating lower GI carbs is better, but this is only optimal if a person chooses to be vegan.

  4. Jack Norris RD Says:

    Ryan,

    I’m not saying that using iodine is a bad thing. It appears to be a good thing as far as iodine intake among the dairy-eating population is concerned.

    > Why do you ask which people?

    People with type 2 diabetes have a harder time metabolizing carbohydrates than other people and if they can improve on a high-carbohydrate, whole-foods vegan diet, then someone without type 2 diabetes should also be able to handle the carbohydrates in a whole foods vegan diet.

    I’d like to see evidence that someone actually does better eating less carbs, before assuming they do just because they think they do. There are often many simultaneous changes in the diet when replacing plant foods with animal foods and any assumption that the benefit is from less carbohydrates might not be correct.

    > Eating a healthy whole food omnivorous diet is even better with respect to human health for most in this situation though.

    That remains to be seen. I’m not aware of any clinical trials suggesting a whole foods omnivorous diet is better for people with type 2 diabetes than is a whole foods vegan diet.

  5. Ryan Says:

    So you’re admitting that some people have a harder time metabolizing carbohydrates? Yes, anyone with type 2 diabetes will improve their health by switching out a #5 at McDonalds for vegan foods that are less processed, have a lower Gl, and contain more nutrients. But this improvement is still on a continuum. The question remains: What is everyone’s optimal diet? I’m sure you agree that no one vegan food is right for everyone. There are too many allergies, satiety levels, and other reactions related to food to claim otherwise. If this is the case, then why do you think it’s such a stretch that some people do better eating less or even minimal carbs? Let’s just assume there is a large percentage of the population that does have this sensitivity. No matter how little in carbs a person in such a group tries to limit themselves to on a vegan diet, they will always be able to eat less on an omnivorous one; this means their health is being compromised as vegans. If this is true, you could be overlooking a major obstacle to such a group’s effort in adopting a vegan diet. Just because there hasn’t been a clinical trial proving that a whole foods omnivorous diet is better for most people with type 2 diabetes than is a whole foods vegan diet doesn’t mean that it’s not true. Even if there were such a study, it more than likely wouldn’t differentiate between naturally produced and factory farmed animal products.

  6. Jack Norris RD Says:

    > Just because there hasn’t been a clinical trial proving that a whole foods omnivorous diet is better for most people with type 2 diabetes than is a whole foods vegan diet doesn’t mean that it’s not true.

    I agree. But I think the big difference is that the vegan diets allow people to eat as much as they like and they still lose weight, whereas a whole foods omnivorous will be more energy dense and probably would not lead to losing weight.

    But this is probably beside the point. I am the last person to suggest that every single person will be healthier if they eat a vegan diet. The point I’m making is that for people who do not metabolize carbohydrates well, a whole-foods vegan diet appears to be a good choice and delivers the carbohydrates in a form that make them easier to metabolize.

Leave a Reply