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Health problems on low fat raw vegan and vegan diets

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My recent analysis of Harley Johnston’s (30 Bananas a day) aka Durianrider‘s low fat raw vegan diet showed how one person was able to live on a very high fruit diet, and manage to get adequate nutrients (Except of course Vitamin B12 – imperative to supplement if you are vegan to avoid anemia, brain and nerve damage). As I wrote in the analysis, because one person is able to do this – it does not make it a diet that I would recommend. I appears that only the extremely high calorie intake has allowed Harley to get adequate nutrients, added to this some genetic luck. A loose observation is that all those who are able to stay on this type of diet do a large amount of endurance exercise. This uses a large amount of carbohydrate for fuel, maximises insulin sensitivity in the muscles and thus enables the high carbohydrate intake. The high calorie intake is absolutely essential for adequate nutrients.

For me to condone such a diet would be negligent and even downright dangerous.

Firstly no serious scientist would refute that humans evolved as omnivores, and that an omnivorous diet is the best diet for us to thrive. From Loren Cordain: Metabolic Evidence of Human Adaptation to Increased Carnivory

As a nutritionist my primary commitment is to my clients’ health. I see no evidence that making a permanent switch from an omnivorous to a vegan diet would improve the health of any client.

In the short term however some people appear to benefit from a change to a raw vegan diet,one of the reasons may be like a whole food or paleo diet, many unhealthy diet components are removed, in particular ultra-processed food. Ultra processed food makes up approximately 60% of a standard western diet and is comprised of:

  • Highly refined grains
  • Processed vegetable oils
  • Sugar
  • Multiple additives – synthetic flavour, colour, preservatives, and emulsifiers, all of which have no health benefit at best, and damaging effects at worst.

In the long term however, health problems from dietary deficiencies and imbalances inevitably catch up with people. Denise Minger wrote about this in her article Raw Gone Wrong, When the Honeymoon is Over

“…Almost without fail, the beginning of the diet yields a brilliant honeymoon phase—filled with surging energy, renewed vigor, and zest for your lively cuisine.

But somewhere down the line—months for some people, years for others—the wonder starts to wane. Maybe you start feeling like something is inexplicably missing. Maybe your energy takes a dive and noontime naps become the norm. Maybe your weight loss plateaus. Maybe your last dentist visit wasn’t so pretty. Maybe those niggly health problems you had prior to raw—aches and pains, lethargy, allergies, arthritis, skin conditions—start resurfacing out of nowhere. Whatever the reason, raw just doesn’t seem to be working as well as it did in the beginning. Your enthusiasm diminishes, and in its place comes doubt, discontentment, and a plethora of questions.

In other words, you start seeing raw foods’ freaky nose hairs and you begin to wonder: what did I get myself into?

My own raw honeymoon ended around the one-year mark. Intermittent fatigue, dental woes, hair loss, concentration problems, and some not-so-happy blood test results forced me to rethink the dietary regimen I was so tightly clutching. During this time, I started scouting out the counsel and wisdom of other disgruntled rawbies. What I discovered was this “honeymoon end” was a common phenomenon among raw foodists, and that its occurrence usually led to two things:

1.   an expulsion from the raw community for being a dissenter or pot-stirrer for doubting the diet, and

2.   a foray into other dietary regimens, such as paleo, low-carb, cooked vegan, macrobiotic, or ayurvedic.

Contrary to what the testimonial section in books and websites may indicate, raw doesn’t always end with Happily Ever After. What worked in the beginning may not work forever, and sometimes you need to tweak things to regain a sense of vitality and health. If you’re in the troubling situation of having been raw for a while but feeling that something’s off, don’t worry—you’re in good company...” Read the rest of the post here.

Here are more stories from vegan’s themselves about the health problems encountered after the honeymoon period:

Erim Bilgin: Interview with an ex-vegan.

“…About a year and a half into it, I started to get weak, mentally, though this didn’t become apparent to me for years. I was extremely susceptible to stress. Anything would get to me, and I had to learn about self-mastery and breathing techniques and all that shit. It’s funny, because I was saying I was eating a raw vegan diet because it was “natural”, but here I was depending upon all these “unnatural” techniques. It never occurred to me that mental strength should come naturally. I just thought today’s world was too hectic.

I would skip school a lot, because just the thought of getting out of bed made me anxious some days. Speaking of the bed, I also had some difficulty sleeping once in a while around my second year of LFRV. Not only was my sleep too light, I also had difficulty falling asleep, since I had to shift my legs all the time. I would later learn that this is a medical condition called Restless Legs Syndrome, a neurological problem. (I’m looking at you, B-12! Why weren’t you formed in my gut as promised?)

My mood depended entirely on outside conditions. Talk about ups and downs. Cloudy sky meant bad mood. Cold weather meant bad mood. I became addicted to my mp3 player, because I just didn’t have the zest to go through the day without some stimulating rhythm. All this, even though I knew pretty much everything necessary to remain calm and centered. But, like I said, I didn’t acknowledge this as a problem with me, I just thought today’s world was too harsh.

The problems started to become more physical sometime around the first quarter of 2010. My teeth started getting incredibly sensitive, and there were clear signs of heavy acid erosion. I thought the tips of my teeth were always this transparent and that the darkened spots near my gum line were just stains from all the colorful food I was eating. My gums started to recede, I broke a molar by biting a tiny piece of a hazelnut shell by mistake, and a few months later my dentist would find six cavities in my raw vegan mouth. Jokingly, she told me I had “basically every dental problem that we have a name for”. But I was taking better care of my teeth than ever! I even avoided those acidic animal products! You know, the ones that leech calcium from your bones? I wondered how I remained cavity free before when I didn’t even brush, let alone floss, let alone brush and floss thrice a day. And clean my tongue…” Read the rest of Erim’s Story

Kevin Gianni, Renegade Health in “What diet do you eat now Kevin?”

“…At one point I was taking 6-10 vegan supplements a day to attempt to override my deficiencies – B complex, DHA, Vitamin D, B12, a mineral supplement, protein powder, chlorella, and more.
I also adjusted my diet to add more cooked foods to see if that would change the way I felt as well.
This was over a 2 year period.

When I was introduced to goat’s kefir, I resisted greatly.
First, because I hadn’t had any dairy in over 8 years.
Second, because I wanted very badly to stay vegan (I did eat honey.)
Third, I had too much vested in vegan as who I was – on the blog, our business, etc.
So there were a LOT of influences keeping me away from animal products.

What it always came back to, even when faced with all these considerations, was that I wasn’t feeling great and my blood tests reflected it.

So I had to make a change. After the introduction of goat’s kefir and yogurt, I immediately felt an increase of energy, slept better and many issues started to clear up – my acne started to disappear, my knees stopped aching after a run, I gained back weight lost, I was able to retain muscle mass better, I could get out of bed in the morning, etc….” Read the rest of the post here

Tasha, formerly Voracious Vegan: In A Vegan No More

“…When the doctor first told me that I had numerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that I was almost anemic, and my B12 was so low she wanted to give me an injection immediately, I refused to believe her. I actually asked her to show me the blood test results because I thought there had to be some sort of mistake. But there was no mistake, it was right there in black and white; deficiencies and abnormalities across the board.

The results explained perfectly why I had been feeling weak and exhausted for more than 6 months. Whereas I had previously lived for working out and even an hour on the elliptical wasn’t enough for me, lately doing more than 20 minutes at a leisurely pace caused me to yearn to spend the rest of the day in bed recuperating. When I could I slept till noon, I felt lightheaded when I stood up, I couldn’t remember simple words or the names of my friends, and I was freezing cold even in the midst of a sweltering Saudi summer. Of the myriad symptoms I’ve listed here and the ones I will not be describing publicly, the absolute worst of all was my depression. This awful, lifelong foe I’ve been battling on and off was sneaking back into my life, painting the edges of my world a sickening black and stealing the joy that I had fought so desperately to regain….” read the rest of her story

And from the UK, this family experience of a raw vegan diet led to serious health problems:

How our vegan diet made us ill

Holly Paige thought her family’s food regime would boost their health – but stick-thin legs and rotten teeth made her think again

One morning over breakfast, Holly Paige looked at her daughter and realised things weren’t right. Lizzie should have been flourishing. Instead, her cheeks were pinched, she was small for her age, and although she had skinny arms and legs, her belly was big and swollen. When Lizzie smiled, Paige suddenly noticed her upper front teeth were pitted with holes. …Read more

These stories are all too common as Chet Day, ex-vegan, previously of Hallelujah Foundation writes in this article Vegan Diet Dangers:

What are the most commonly reported symptoms from long-term vegans and raw foodists who have been forced to add some animal fat and protein back into their diets to regain or maintain superior health, energy, and well-being?
Below are the symptoms and problems I hear about in mail from long-term vegans and raw foodists on an all-too-regular basis:

  • inadequate milk production for nursing mothers, as well as retarded physical and mental development in some children who are strictly on a vegan or raw food diet;
  • slow metabolism leading to a much less robust lifestyle;
  • a general lack of vitality;
  • low body temperature (always cold);
  • a weak, touchy digestive system with a loss of digestive strength (unable to metabolize food quickly, have to be careful what you eat, how much, must practice food combining to be able to digest food, etc.);
  • food cravings (especially among women);
  • stalled weight loss because metabolism is too low (predominately in women);
  • inability to gain weight, resulting in shrunken, cadaverous-looking bodies (predominately in men);
  • weight gains from overeating on carbohydrates;
  • amenorrhea (menstrual cycles cease), even in young women;
  • loss of libido;
  • hair loss and nail problems;
  • dental cavities, tooth loss, and gum problems;
  • joint pain
  • inability to conceive

And this from vegan dietitian Jack Norris

Mr Norris writes about his own experience on a raw vegan diet that led him to write an article dispelling the myths of the dangers of cooked vegan foods. From the article Raw Food Vegan Diets:

“…From the fall of 1993 until 1995 I ate about 90% of my foods raw. I also read any and every book and article on raw foodism that I could get my hands on. They contained story after story of people curing their heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases through raw foods.

The diet simply made sense. Since humans are the only animals who cook their food, we’d have to be better off eating a more natural diet of raw foods…wouldn’t we?

It didn’t go so well. I had low body fat to begin with, and on the raw foods diet my weight dropped from 138 to 128 lbs. As a regular weightlifter, I noticed my strength decline considerably. I got frequent colds (some say this is the body detoxifying; a more likely explanation is that I wasn’t eating enough protein to ward of infections). I constantly thought about how much I wanted to eat cooked food. The couple who mentored me were also struggling with the diet.

One day, I had to admit that it wasn’t working. I slowly weaned myself back onto cooked foods to curb my cravings. Though I tried to resist, my diet became more cooked all the time. One day in 1997, I decided to follow my cravings and eat as much cooked food as I wanted. Since then I’ve eaten most of my food cooked and have felt much better.

The experience turned me to science, relying more on published scientific research and much less on popular theories and anecdotal reports. As I read more mainstream nutrition science, it became clear that many of the claims made by raw foodists were not true….”

Before I look at typical nutrient deficiencies, I’m curious as to why at first many people feel so great initially on a raw vegan diet?

One reason could well be the elimination of a plethora of foods that typically cause people problems: dairy, grains – particularly gluten grains, legumes (which includes two common allergens peanuts and soy), processed food including highly processed bakery products and sugar, chemically extracted vegetable oils, and all synthetic additives and preservatives, and even alcohol and caffeine. With respect to gluten alone 30% of the population has a gene that makes them sensitive to it and just cutting this one food item could account for many of the health improvements. These health improvements are also similar to those that people rave about when they switch to a conventional paleo diet, that also removes grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, and high omega 6 vegetable oils and sugar.

Some nutrient intakes are improved on a raw vegan diet specifically antioxidants: Antioxidant status in long-term adherents to a strict uncooked vegan diet, and improved fecal flora Faecal microbial flora and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis during a vegan diet

Another reason for some short term improvements could be the switch from a high protein to a low protein diet which starts a process called autophagy. “Protein restriction helps protect against viral and bacterial infections by promoting autophagy, the process of intracellular protein scavenging, digestion, and recycling.  During autophagy, bacteria and viruses, as well as junk human proteins and damaged organelles, are digested.  Autophagy has been strongly linked to longevity [1] and is protective against many diseases.” (Paul Jaminet) There is a limit however to how much protein can be scavenged, and continuing a low protein diet will result in decreased muscle mass, and protein deficiency.

As an aside for those paleo folks who constantly eat a high protein diet: cycling protein and having protein fasts to induce autophagy may well be beneficial.

Nutrient deficiencies on a vegan diet

There are a number of nutrient deficiencies and imbalances in raw vegan and vegan diets, that eventually cause a number of health problems, which may not appear until months or occasionally years on the diet.

Chris Masterjohn has written an excellent article on this subject, which draws from numerous clinical studies.Vegetarianism and nutrient deficiencies This article discusses the nutrients that are deficient, their functions and their sources. Here is a list of the nutrients that are deficient:

Nutrient imbalances

A thorough outline of vegan diet nutrient deficiencies comes from vegan Registered Dietitian Jack Norris, President of Vegan Outreach who maintains an informative website Vegan Health. A committed vegan, he dispels myths surrounding vegan diets, and provides practical information on deficiencies and supplements required to remain healthy on a vegan diet.

Another problem with raw food diets – plant toxins

This article on raw foodism, includes and interesting section on toxins in some raw plant (and animal) foods: http://www.mahalo.com/raw-foodism/

Avoiding poisoning
As the consumption of raw foods gains popularity, some potentially unsafe foods have reentered the diets of humans. However, the following list includes many foods which are rarely promoted by the educated proponents of raw foodism, especially beans or legumes.

* Buckwheat greens are toxic when raw, particularly if juiced or eaten in large quantities by fair-skinned individuals. The chemical component fagopyrin is known to cause severe photosensitivity and other dermatological complaints.
* Kidney beans, including sprouts, are toxic when raw, due to the chemical phytohaemagglutinin.
* Alfalfa sprouts contain the toxin canavanine.
* Some types of raw cassava or cassava flour can be toxic.
* Raw eggs contain avidin, a vitamin B7 or biotin inhibitor, which can cause “egg white injury”. As many as 24 egg whites would have to be eaten to inactivate biotin. Avidin is denatured by heat.
* Raw seeds of the genus Lathyrus (peas), can cause lathyrism.
* Raw Brassica species can contain glucosinolate.
* Several seeds contain poison, such as apricot kernels, which contain the toxin amygdalin. See Seed
* Raw parsnips contain furanocoumarin.
* Raw foods, particularly raw meat, may contain harmful bacteria and their associated bacterial toxins. Other parasites and viruses may also be present, such as Toxoplasma, Trichinella, or rotavirus, which may cause serious foodborne illnesses.
* Raw milk may contain Mycobacterium bovis (which can cause non-pulmonary tuberculosis) and Brucella bacteria that cause undulant fever and spontaneous abortion.
* Raw sweet potato, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga, canola oil, cassava, pinenuts, mustard, millet, soybeans and peanuts contain small amounts of goitrogens which can interfere with iodine metabolism and worsen hypothyroidism.

So why wouldn’t I recommend a vegan or raw vegan diet? It is a diet that has multiple nutrient deficiencies, that can only be sorted out with supplements. It consequently carries a high risk of serious health problems. Even this vegan eater and mentor lists the common problems he hears of from vegans. Frederic Patenaude; Vegans speak out on their health problems

When a Vegan of 10 years switches to Paleo eating what results does he see? http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2011/06/so-i-started-eating-meat-again.html

Chris Masterjohn: My Experience With Vegetarianism — Updated With New Reflections

One woman’s story on why and how she transitioned from a raw vegan diet to a paleo diet, and what results she found http://wordsandcoconuts.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/from-raw-veganism-to-liverwurst/

And if you think being a vegan is betterfor the planet – Read this book:

I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly, The ethical case against eating animal produce once seemed clear. But a new book is an abattoir for dodgy arguments.

and about the book “Meat a Benign Extravagance”

However – If you are a vegan and wish to stay well long term – I highly recommend you read become familiar with deficiencies and how to stop them – here is a great start: Jack Norris R.D.  on Staying healthy on plant based diets

Vegan resources and further information:

Jack Norris, vegan Registered Dietitian http://jacknorrisrd.com/

Vegan Health website http://veganhealth.org/

Ginny Kisch Messina, vegan Registered Dietitian http://www.theveganrd.com/

Denise Minger: Tips for vegans to stay healthy

Beyond Vegetarianism, Site by Tom Billings (long time friend of Jack Norris) contains reports from veterans of vegetarian and raw-food diets, veganism, fruitarianism, and instinctive eating, plus new science from paleolithic diet research and clinical nutrition. http://www.beyondveg.com/index.shtml He has also created a list of peer-reviewed studies and abstracts about raw foods diets. http://www.beyondveg.com/cat/links-out/raw-research.shtml

Vitamin B12 deficiency in mums creates babies who cry more http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1368036/Why-steak-pregnant-mothers-stop-babies-crying.html?ITO=1490p

Comments and more on B12 deficiency
Don Matesz Crazy Moms and Crying Babies: Brain Damage By Vegan Diet
Jamie Scott Meat, sleeping babies, and full disclosure..

Vegan Essentials supplement store

On why we could never have been raw vegan eaters from Don Matesz The truth about raw vegan diets, A Primal perspective, More Raw truth about raw vegan diets.

An ex-vegan on veganism. By Rhys Southan Let Them Eat Meat

And a interesting series of articles on autophagy and protein cycling diet by Ron Mignery http://knol.google.com/k/knol/Search?q=protein-cycling-diet


  1. Great article, Julianne! I’ll be referring people here in the future.

    As far as the “high” people experience when they first go vegan (especially LFRV), it’s the same well-documented “high” people get from fasting. You’re cannibalizing yourself for calories and nutrients, and the resulting diet of your own flesh is high in complete protein and saturated animal fats…far more healthy and nutritious than the birdseed you’ve been eating.

    So you feel great…for a while.

    Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High”

    With LFRV, there’s the additional bonus of being on a never-ending sugar rush – which creates a continual serotonin high until you run out of tryptophan to scavenge from your other tissues.


    • Thanks, great points! I remember a flatmate (room-mate) years ago did a fast for 40 days – just vegetable broths, fresh juices and psyllium hulls (crazy gal) and she was simply buzzing from that high.

      • You might want to give this a read
        Weston Price Looked for Vegans But Found Only Cannibals

        “A special effort was accordingly made to penetrate deeply into the interior of the two largest Islands where the inhabitants were living quite remote from the sea, with the hope that groups of individuals would be found living solely on a vegetarian diet. Not only were no individuals or groups found, even in the interior, who were not frequently receiving shell fish from the sea, but I was informed that they recognized that they could not live over three months in good health without getting something from the sea…..

        If someone achieves vibrant health on a vegan diet, I will be happy for them. We should face the facts, however, that humans with limited access to animal products have often gone to great lengths to include at least some animal products in their diet. And they’ve done that for a reason.”

        • YOU. ARE. NUTS. Animal products KILL us. We are obese, have heart disease, and cancer because of them. The production of them (factory farming) is killing the environment and is INHUMANE. HAVE YOU NOT SEEN FORKS OVER KNIVES??? seriously, you’re misled. Being a vegan takes more than just eating raw carrots, it takes research, mindful eating and alot of food preparation. You are painting an unrealistic view and some don’t appreciate that.

          • Yes I have seen forks over knives – have you seen the numerous and thorough Critiques http://paleozonenutrition.com/2011/11/28/the-china-study-and-forks-over-knives-links-to-critiques/

            Have you read Food and Western Disease, health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective, by Lindeberg? A far more thorough piece of research than forks over knives (I have video and book). It is modern food that is killing us, not wholesome natural food that includes healthy, grass fed free range animal foods.

            And that is exactly my point – if you choose to be vegan – you need to take the potential health issues seriously, research and eat mindfully, which is why I put links to vegan dietitians who can help you if that is your choice. Nothing I painted was unrealistic – it came from some of the numerous posts done by vegans who ended up with health problems.

          • I agree with you marcie… People can get all the nutrients they need on a vegan diet if they are mindful of what they eat. I talked to a dietitian before going vegan… There are more meat eaters who are deficient than vegans… I suggest you research into this more because you are mislead.. Also on your food pyramid you have things crossed out that vegans can eat or can get a substitute elsewhere for… Trust me we get what we need if we eat right..

          • Yes – i agree – before you switch to a vegan diet – you must research potential deficiencies. Here is a link to useful info in getting the healthiest vegan diet http://rawfoodsos.com/for-vegans/

            Also your comments re more meat eateras are deficient than vegans has no basis. A meat eater eating a healthy balanced diet will not have any deficiencies – the same is not true of a vegan diet, the strictor the vegan diet – the greater chances of deficiences.

          • What about a well balanced vegan diet with supplements? Ya it’s not easy but if you’re mindful of what you eat and do a lot of research prior, a vegan diet would be fine and on top of that, it helps the animals, planet, human psychology, our health, our natural resources, etc.

          • How many meat eaters do you know that actually eat the proper amount of vegetables or fruit? I don’t know any… vegan eat a lot of these and these are nutrient dense foods. We also drink soy milk which contains more calcium than cows milk.. We can eat bread as long as we make sure that they are vegan friendly. So we get the proper grains in our diet.

          • “…some don’t appreciate that.”

            Well if you don’t appreciate it then what are you doing on this blog page reading it? I mean, how dare this woman express an opinion you don’t agree with on her OWN blog page? You sound like a sullen, childish cunt that no one wants to be around.

            Also, I like how you clammed up after Julianne destroyed you in her follow-up comment.

      • Folks on this site have their fingers in their eyes going, “la,la,la, la, la….”
        Don’t you know vegans are missing that vital nutrient, cholesterol according to this New Zealander! Go figure!

    • Ive been vegan over 10 years now. I just ran a 4:52 mile at a USATF track meet in the Bronx on Friday night. I run an average 10 miles a week this year. Thats the fastest mile of my life. Im 34. All my blood tests are always great.

      Im stronger and fitter than 99% of the population on the bench press or running track yet people still say that cant even lift or run as hard as me ‘I wouldnt get enough protein if I stopped eating cat and dog food..’



      • Always looking for an opportunity to advertise a vegan diet!

        You maybe interested in this talk by Nora Gedgaudas “Primal mind: nutrition & mental health—improving the way you feel & function & cultivating an ageless mind” She helps heal damaged brains, her observation? Vegan clients have the most damaged brains, and sometimes permanently.

        People – if you do choose to follow a vegan diet – please do it with your eyes open. Nutrient deficiencies abound and few can keep doing it successfully for the long term despite a these success stories.
        And if it isn’t working – don’t keep following it. Do what you need to do to stay healthy.

        With regards to protein malnutrition – it’s nonsense that there is no such thing or that there is no word for it:
        Just looking up one of the definitions you quote:
        Kwashiorkor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwashiorkor
        “Kwashiorkor was thought to be caused by insufficient protein consumption but with sufficient calorie intake, distinguishing it from marasmus.”

        • Because there is so much conflicting information out there regarding animal v. plant protein and so many assertions on either side of the fence regarding whether or not vegans/vegetarians get enough protein, I decided to track it myself.

          I used a site called Cron-o-meter that gives estimates of nutrition consumed based solely on what you input for your daily consumption. On a raw vegan diet, this is an my daily protein intake WITHOUT the use of protein supplements or powders totalled 179%; all except 2 of the amino acids were clear over the 100% mark. Both of the 2 were nonessential. The only one I didn’t show any intake of was hydroxyproline which is made from proline which I do get in my diet directly and indirectly through an abundance of glutamic acid which the body uses to make proline.

          I don’t disagree with people electing to consume meat & dairy. That’s the individual’s choice. However, I do find it a bit off-putting, to say the least, when people attempt to distort the facts and act like animal products are the only way to receive adequate amounts of protein.

        • How can you refer to this as advertising a vegan diet? Eating a vegan diet doesn’t require advertising, just a will to eat and a desire to live a long life. Your diet bull requires powders, supplements and clever advertising to get ignorant people to start killing themselves. Or keep killing themselves if they’re coming from a SAD diet. I just don’t understand why you went through all this trouble to try and “debunk” a vegan diet which is thousands of times healthier than what the general population is currently consuming. You are only ADDING to the obesity epidemic. And you call yourself a nutritionist. Guess they didn’t offer an ethics class.

          • I dont have a problem with any healthy diet. My ‘diet bull’ which humans have been thriving on for 2 million years does not require anything other than the real food found in ones environment. There are no natural vegans in our history, they would not have survived without B12 from animal products. That is why all vegans must supplement with pills for survival. Paleo people do not.

          • I am looking for some personal diet advice. I am a 6’4″, 270 lb., O-Positive male looking for long term health. I am from Texas, USA, where meat heavy diets are part of the culture. Also, most of the population here is obese. However, I love running and I want a lifestyle diet that can support it, and keep me from packing on the pounds.

            I tried the paleo diet based off the Make it Paleo book and it had its advantages. I shed weight pretty quickly which was a great confidence booster. However, I was constantly fatigued which led to lackluster physical performance. After reading articles about blood type diets, it confirmed the paleo diet. I am still skeptical though because it didn’t give me the adequate energy.

            After watching Forks Over Knives and Food Inc., I started experimenting with eating vegetables, nuts, fruits and avoiding meat, dairy, grains. This goes against my blood type recommendations, but I think i’m gonna try it anyways. I seem to have more continuous alertness throughout the day. Haven’t been able to work out since i’m sick right now.

            Why do vegans never mention blood type in their arguments? Is blood type irrelevant? Can anyone send me an article relating O-Pos blood type to veganism? For all I know, the vegans who heavily advocate for their cause are A blood types who are supposed to be eating a vegan diet anyways.

            Thanks for your help.

        • “Looking for an opportunity to advertise a vegan diet”?

          Wasn’t what you did an opportunity to advertise against it?

          Vegan population is growing so rapidly that you should think about it. We are not deficients in anything. We have to take B12 supplements? Look what: you meat eaters take the same supplements through your meat. Because the cattle can’t grace and they are fed with dry foods, they have to enrich this food with B12, since the only source is the dirt where the grass grows.

          Apart from that, maybe you’d like to read The China Studies and get informed. Dr. Campbell did this huge research on nutrition and all the scientific counterparts agree totally with him: Vegan low fat diet!

    • Interesting article. I am not entirely raw, I still eat potatoes, but I eat a high carb, low fat diet. It seems in many cases of these testimonials, there was not sufficient caloric intake, too much fat (hazlenut is a fat), or not enough leafy greens for protein.

      It is essential to eat a diet high enough in calories if you are going to be a lfrv and personally, I don’t look at this as a chore. I love food! I’d much rather have to eat a lot of it than have to restrict my diet and feel hungry all day.

      Also, if you are convinced that only durianrider has had sustained success on this diet you should refer to this article:

      • I have NEVER said that all people on low fat raw vegan diets have health problems. I wrote this article because there were numerous personal accounts of people that have had health problems and keep being told by others like yourself that they need to eat more, they are not doing it right etc. Many of the personal stories here are from people who were highly committed to a vegan diet, yet despite trying to be healthy could not. I think it is really important to respect the personal experiences of those for whom a vegan diet has failed.

        I am happy for you if you have chosen this diet and you have no health problems. This article obviously does not apply to you.

      • Thank you! You’re right. Many people try to restrict portions to lose weight and therefore feel weak. They essentially turn it into a crash diet (eat less, move more) which is not sustainable in any shape or form. Too few calories in any form will eventually lead to fatigue. I think a big problem here is how people have been trained to think of calories (usually negatively) and that little consideration is given to the quality of the source and the fact that just as with fats and proteins, they’re not all created equal.

        The common factor for people who’ve struggled has been the issue with b12. That I’ve begun to supplement with as I understand it to be an issue. I have read, however, b12 deficiency is actually more common among non-vegetarians for many other reasons ranging from autoimmune diseases, such as graves, to poor digestion (wow, how common is this, right?).

        I don’t really disagree with the principal of consuming small amounts of animal products. My problem more arises out of what people have made of it for the sake of trying to provide way too much of it to the mass amounts of American-overconsumers.

        Additionally, it seems insufficient green intake causes many problems. However, I think it is fair to note that an insufficient consumption of leafy greens is more of a problem for most people following a standard diet than it is for lfrv’s.

        I love that on a high-raw diet, I never go hungry. I eat all the time and have steadily lost weight. I am very active and this diet suits me very well. I have actually found that when I consume something like oatmeal in the morning, I felt almost drained for pretty much the entire morning, not full of the energy that I am used to.

        I don’t believe people have to be fully raw or vegan to be healthy. I believe that different people have different needs. Some feel better vegan, some as omnivores, some as lacto-ovo-vegetarians. I do, however, believe that raw foods should be a key factor in any diet for optimal nutrition. I find it funny how nutrition is the one area where conflicting points, studies and findings can be true. lol.

        I appreciate the concern the author of this article was trying to convey. However, it is clearly very one-sided and much about the same or worse nutritional deficiencies being present in a non-raw diet has been left out. I also don’t understand why any nutritionist would start with an illustration of a food pyramid which has been described as more of a political document than a scientific one as it was created in such a way as to appease many multi-billion-$ industries. This has been undergoing so many changes, demonstrating that even the “authorities” taht created it are having to admit to its many serious flaws.

        The author warns about things like consuming raw brassicas while it has been found that their cancer-fighting properties are destroyed through cooking. It just seems like every possible effort has been made to instill a sort of fear of raw foods. Yet, no efforts were afforded to promote their inclusion as part of a strong, health-promoting diet.

        • I as the author am not trying to scare people off a raw food vegan diet, merely recommending that one goes in with eyes open. Dont be under the illusion that you will get perfect healthy without accounting for some potential deficiences.

          I have a fair amount of raw food myself, but having auto-immune thyroid disease I wouldn’t eat raw brassicas. I eat lots of raw leafy greens, raw fresh fruit and green smoothies.

          • I think that for some people it isn’t illusion. Just everybody should try different diets to see what works for them. For me it works for some time, but I adore cooked rice and pasta once in a while, so… I wouldn’t go 100% raw. And on the other hand in my contry there isn’t so big choice of fruits like in Australia for example, especially in winter. And what about people who are feeling sick after eating meat? Noone cares about them, and they take some drugs for not feeling sick… (probably because they think that it isn’t healthy being on vegetarian/vegan diet) Which is much worse than being on a raw food diet. And why don’t you add here bad things in standard american diet, or in most popular diets, just to compare? Like this, it is pretty discouraging for those who would try it/or who have problems with animal products. And where are benefits and people who clame that this works for them?So where is the other side? Everything has the other side, or your article is not complete.

          • Humans are omnivores. Without Vit B12 supplements amongst others a vegan diet would not be possible.
            If peope feel sick eating meat it is likely because their digestive system is not working properly – inflammation, lack of stomach acid and peptidases. That is what they need to fix. I’m talking long term here. There are no long term health consequences eating a high nutrient omnivorous diet. You will not suffer deficiences like you will with a vegan diet.

            There is a huge amount written by biased folk about the benefits of vegan diets. They dont for the most part admit to deficiences, and this is dangerous.
            The SAD is hugely unhealthy – but we all know that.
            A balanced omnivorous diet has not health drawbacks.

    • And where exactly did you get your nutrition degree from other than people who are brainwashed into thinking that eating meat/dairy is healthy for human consumption? There is a reason we’re not still attached to our mothers tit… I bet you just say there trying to make a convincing arguement by referencing all of your health books too. I too am an RN and its complete hogwash what people are taught in schools. We’re not omnivores but rather frugivores that have adapted to eating meat when food scarcity arises.

      • Give me some evidence that we are frugivores naturally – no hunter gather race on the planet and before the agricultural revolution shunned meat. I they had shunned animal protein – they would not have survived

        • Have you looked at your teeth Julianne? What better argument that we were not meant to eat meat!

          Answering to:
          Give me some evidence that we are frugivores naturally – no hunter gather race on the planet and before the agricultural revolution shunned meat. I they had shunned animal protein – they would not have survived

    • I would say T. Colin Campbell is a pretty “serious” scientist. I agree that the raw food vegan lifestyle is not for everybody but it can have great health benefits for others. I hate this type of polarization of the nutrition field. It’s what is wrong with the paleo and raw food worlds alike. I’m a nutritionists who blends both worlds very nicely and to great effect for my seriously ill clients. I wish we could stop attacking the other camp. There is good in both.

  2. Thanks for the hard work you put into this post, Julianne.

    I like J Stanton’s theory more than the idea that “During autophagy, bacteria and viruses, as well as junk human proteins and damaged organelles, are digested.”


  3. Excellent article Julianne. I understand there are plants such as brassica that may be better cooked. Weston Price had some interesting opinions regarding calcium / phosphorus ratios in the blood that would seem to support some of the points made here.

    • Yes, the toxins in some raw plant foods were outlined in one of the article links, http://www.mahalo.com/raw-foodism/#raw-veganism

      Avoiding poisoning
      As the consumption of raw foods gains popularity, some potentially unsafe foods have reentered the diets of humans. However, the following list includes many foods which are rarely promoted by the educated proponents of raw foodism, especially beans or legumes.

      * Buckwheat greens are toxic when raw, particularly if juiced or eaten in large quantities by fair-skinned individuals. The chemical component fagopyrin is known to cause severe photosensitivity and other dermatological complaints.38
      * Kidney beans, including sprouts, are toxic when raw, due to the chemical phytohaemagglutinin.39
      * Alfalfa sprouts contain the toxin canavanine.40
      * Some types of raw cassava or cassava flour can be toxic.
      * Raw eggs contain avidin, a vitamin B7 or biotin inhibitor, which can cause “egg white injury”. As many as 24 egg whites would have to be eaten to inactivate biotin. Avidin is denatured by heat.4142
      * Raw seeds of the genus Lathyrus (peas), can cause lathyrism.
      * Raw Brassica species can contain glucosinolate.
      * Several seeds contain poison, such as apricot kernels, which contain the toxin amygdalin. See Seed
      * Raw parsnips contain furanocoumarin.
      * Raw foods, particularly raw meat, may contain harmful bacteria and their associated bacterial toxins.4344 Other parasites and viruses may also be present, such as Toxoplasma,45 Trichinella,46 or rotavirus,47 which may cause serious foodborne illnesses.
      * Raw milk may contain Mycobacterium bovis (which can cause non-pulmonary tuberculosis) and Brucella bacteria that cause undulant fever and spontaneous abortion.
      * Raw sweet potato, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga, canola oil, cassava, pinenuts, mustard, millet, soybeans and peanuts contain small amounts of goitrogens which can interfere with iodine metabolism and worsen hypothyroidism.48

  4. We must remember that Denise Minger suffered from Anorexia. So to use here as the example of a ‘star vegan that failed’ is not really fair, honest or accurate. Same for Tom Billings. Another person trying to starve their way to health on 1200cals a day and then blaming vegan/fruit for their ill health. Hey, at least those really interested have us thriving vegans to look at.

    I like how you added Norris BTW.

    • Denise Minger was never an anorexic. You have “defined” her as an anorexic according to your own definition, because you unilaterally decided she wasn’t eating enough calories. This does not make her an anorexic according to any other definition.

      She shares her experience with low fat raw veganism in great detail on her own blog and guess what? She was eating huge amounts of fruit, just like she was supposed to. Your dogma doesn’t allow you to perceive any possible flaw in the diet you recommend to others, therefore, when someone fails to thrive on the diet, you make up your own labels and insults to apply to them, because to you the diet is immune to criticism.

      Labeling someone an “anorexic” is only one of the many ways you rationalize other people’s failure on this supposed “ideal” diet. If low fat raw veganism were such a perfect, ideal diet, I wonder why almost no one is able to make it work longer than a year or two. Labeling the 99.9% who fail to thrive as “weaklings” or other nonsense is delusional, magical thinking on your part, Durianrider. Get over yourself. Your ego is blinding you.

  5. there’s also this strength trainer Mike Mahler who’s a vegan but he does it the smart way so he doesn’t look like a frail herbivore, you can add him to the list of resources:


    “Personally, I feel my best on a moderate protein, fairly high fat, and moderate carbohydrate diet. You will have to experiment to find what ratio works best for you.”

  6. I have not eaten animals for over 40 years. I feel fine. I take no meds, just an occasional multiple and cal-mag for better sleep. I have been vegan 8 years. My medical doctor says that she wishes her other patients my age had a fraction of my good sense and health.

    Milk is for baby cows and goats.. Meat is for carnivores. We need neither to be healthy. I know vegans of 30 plus years who are athletes and very healthy people, some in their 80s and still very active.

    You guys just like the taste of meat and dairy. You grew up with it. It is time to let it go. Forget the all raw or whatever diet, and just eat a health vegan diet, cooked raw, not too much fat. Where does a Rhino get its protein? the strongest animals on teh planet eat plants.

    • I’m happy to hear you are well on your diet. I’d suggest given the number of ex-vegans (due to health reasons) you are the exception than the rule. I was tired, with many health issues on an almost vegan diet. We should never make a rule based on our own experience. Just because this works for you does not mean it will work for everyone.

      We do not have the same digestive system as a rhino. People are omnivores, we have the digestive system of an omnivore not a herbivore. Any human that just eats just plant matter like a herbivore has extremely limited muscle mass in my observation. We are simply unable to build a lot of lean mass unless we eat concentrated sources of protein.

      • Hello, not to sound mean or anything but if you claim that humans that eat only plant matter has extremely limited muscle mass, take a look at Dr. Douglas Graham, who is around 60 years old and has built up quite a bit of muscle on his diet.

  7. ALL body builders take a lot of protein supplements! Bodybuilding is a sport. Most humans are not meant to look like that.I know many many vegan athletes.Only babies drink milk, and it is from their mother.
    I have plenty of muscle mass, as do all of the vegans that I know around here, and the number is growing.I certainly do not look like a body builder, but really am not interested in that!
    My son is now 32, and has never had meat. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in Systems Analysis. And yes, he does not look like a wimpy plant eater.
    How about Rip Esselstin (The Engine 2 Diet)? Does he look like he needs meat?

  8. Julianne,

    Great post and thanks for approving this request.

    Those who consume a Vegan Meal Plan, I have an honest and sincere request.

    I am a Type 2 diabetic who has weaned off all drugs and insulin with normal blood sugar. My overnight fasting blood sugar is sub 100 mg/dl, typically in the 70’s and 80’s.

    I am looking for a Vegan who has achieved the same results I have achieved.

    I enjoy experimenting with different nutrient ratios, all at this point have been low carb and high fat. I do have doubts that the biological ‘law’ of carbs = glucose = drug or insulin requirement would be suspended … simply because animal products are removed.

    That is why I would welcome the opportunity to speak with a vegan who has accomplished similar results so that I may follow a similar meal plan… and blog about it of course.



    • Hi Steve. I too am a type 2 diabetic and looking to get the best diet also. I have been reading The End Of Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman. I was thinking of a Low fat Vegan diet for two reasons: 1, they are limiting my meat ratio severely because my kidneys are not functioning at 100%. 2, they want me to stop dairy because of an intolerance to it that ca used severe inflammation in the stomach. I would like to know what your diet consisted of to get your numbers so low please.

      • Steve did a low carb, higher fat diet to control his blood sugar.
        The type of carbohydrate makes a big difference in Type 2, the grain and sugary processed carbs have the worst effects on blood sugar. If you don’t tolerate a lot of protein – just have a small portion at each meal plus lots of vegetables and healthy whole food fats like avocado. If you do a vegan diet – make sure the lack of animal protein is not going to lead to deficiencies. I’d suggest working with a nutritionist to get things right

  9. It would be nice to see the Vegans and Paleos joining forces instead of fighting each other to promote what the real problem is…. Processed Foods (White Sugar, White Flour etc)… Get rid of that from your diet and you are probably going to lose weight and get more healthy…

    I have done the McCombs plan a few times, http://www.mccombsplan.com/, and I have had a lot of success with it…. It seems to be similar to Paleo, Vegan etc.. Personally I am looking to do a Paleo / McCombs hybrid diet very soon to see how that goes…..

    Anyway, the moral of the story, instead of bashing each other’s programs so that it scares everybody away from the, try being more supportive of each other and address the real problems, processed carbs..

  10. anyone whos an ex vegan for health reasons didn’t do it right. the thing is vegan makes sense.. regardless of all the chatter, in my heart it just makes sense and ive never felt better about what im doing for the environment, my health, and change in this world of rampant suffering.

    • If you take time to read what ex-vegans say – you will find most of them used every possible means to regain their health on a vegan diet. They gave up.
      How were they not ‘doing it right’ ? I’m sure they would love to know.

      • People can only offer advice as to why others are not “doing it right” when they actually offer the information on what they are eating. That means everything they are eating not just what they want us to know. Then they can be given sound advice as to how it’s not working or what they can do to do it right 🙂

  11. Watch some of the videos from this year’s fruit fest and you will see that Harvey IS NOT thriving on this diet. There is a video of him sitting on a table next to the “rah brahs” and he looks like a little old man — no muscle tone and his cheeks are sunken in. The raw brahs started eating meat again because they couldn’t thrive on a raw diet.

    Oh, and I think it’s funny how Freelee tries to use her breasts to sell the raw diet. She is promoting a “natural” way of living and using her FAKE breasts to do so. How ironic. Trying to be sexy to sell a product is one thing — using slutty photos is sending the wrong message, IMO.

    I don’t have a much respect for a person (harvey) who would post videos of his grilfriend (freelee) showing her naked, fake breasts. Are they really that hard up for attention? I say yes. In fact the 30bad website seems like a breeding ground for people who crave attention. I just found the site recently and am horrified by the attention seekers. There is one girl on there who craves attention so bad that she continues to start threads about what famous people she would have sex with and about orgasms? Ok. I feels so bad for her.

    Anyway, look at the people who are claiming great health and ask yourself if you would want to live like them. Do you want to look like Harvey and have no muscle tone? Do you want to look like freelee and have big boobs (because they are fake) but the rest of your body look like a little boy?

    I guess everyone has a choice to make.

  12. Are you guys all trolls and/or idiots of some sort…. “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” Albert Einstein

    “How to provide good and plentiful food is, therefore, a most important question of the day. On the general principles the raising of cattle as a means of providing food is objectionable, because, in the sense interpreted above, it must undoubtedly tend to the addition of mass of a “smaller velocity.” It is certainly preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit. That we can subsist on plant food and perform our work even to advantage is not a theory, but a well-demonstrated fact. Many races living almost exclusively on vegetables are of superior physique and strength. There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate. In view of these facts every effort should be made to stop the wanton and cruel slaughter of animals, which must be destructive to our morals. To free ourselves from animal instincts and appetites, which keep us down, we should begin at the very root from which we spring: we should effect a radical reform in the character of the food.” Nikola Tesla

    Excuse me well I follow Albert Einstein’s & Nikola Tesla’s advice on nutrition; you guys can go ahead and follow Julianne’s advice

    • Good luck with that! I value my brain and health, and certainly would not take the risk and follow a vegan diet. If following a vegan diet works for you – that’s great, you can completely ignore nutritionists like me. If however you are on a vegan diet and struggling with less than optimal health, at the very least, look at the research done by the vegan dietitians, and their recommendations.

      • You value your brain? Brain cells run off of glucose. You can even get your brain going off of refined sugar, it’ll be converted for your brain to use. Protein will even be converted into glucose. The difference between glucose/fructose and sucrose is that one is bad for the body, but they will both work for the brain. This is why most grand master chess players can still play their games eating chocolate, because the sugar works whether it’s refined or not, but refined (like I said already) is terrible for the body.

        • I get plenty of glucose, so my brain runs perfectly well thanks, but you can’t build a brain out of glucose just like you can’t build a car out of petrol. Brains also need essential fatty acids too for example, for both building blocks and nerve cell communication

      • Do you know anything about how sugars get easily converted into fat in the human body (if needed) and how fruit actually has about 3% fat in it (give or take)?

      • that 3% or so is enough for the ‘essential’ fatty acids for the brain, the other fatty acids can come from sugar, for babies…. breast milk takes care of the extra fat needed until the teeth come in, as well as passive immunity.

        • If you knew your biochemistry you would have learned that the fats that are made from sugars are not the fat the brain needs. They are completely different – long chain saturated fats. The brain needs long chain poly-unsaturated omega 3 fats. You won’t convert those from sugar – ever. They are found in seafood.

          • Are you a registered dietitian? Or just a nutritionist?

            Because unsaturated fatty acids are found in a lot more places than seafood. Vegan sources of these fats include nuts and seeds.

            If you knew more about vegan diets you’d know that, and could probably advice your clients who are vegan more efficiently.

          • Essential long chain omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are only found in animal foods, in particular oily fish. Can you please name a vegetarian source for these? To my knowledge – you would need to supplement with vegetarian DHA derived from algae, the only vegan source of these long chain fats available.

            Nuts and seeds to not contain long chain omega 3, only short chain, which in many people is poorly converted to the necessary for life long chain omega 3.

      • but 2 years is still a minimum for breast feeding although 1 year is taught a lot; there have been extensive studies showing 2 years is better than 1 year

      • You can’t reverse ageing, he picked up on nutrition very later in life; and that other argument is along the lines of ‘my grandpa smoked until the day he died at age 97’, who’s to say he wouldn’t have lived to 115 if it weren’t for the smoking?

      • Or, like Albert Einstein, he might have died at 76 if he were vegan. I guess we’ll never know. One thing I’m pretty sure of, if he would have followed 80/10/10 and lived to be 115, his muscle mass would have been so depleted he would’ve needed help lifting his p***er to take a p*ss. 🙂

  13. as a matter of fact, test this out for yourself… follow Julianne’s diet for 2 weeks, see how you feel, take notes of mental and physical performance in an objective manner.

    and for the next two weeks follow a completely raw diet of a good 2500 calories of dates + other calories from: green grapes, apples, watermelons, mangoes, pears, dark red cherries, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, apricots, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries & mandarin oranges. Add in some vegetables here and there. Your total calories will easily get above 3000 calories and you can eat as much as you want on this diet because we evolved for millions and millions of years on raw fruit/vegetables. I personally don’t really like vegetables, but if you’re diabetic type 1, then vegetables are a must on this raw diet. The only thing that is wrong about the site are some members who claim to be type 1 diabetic who are actually IDDM type 2.

    I dare you to try and challenge Freelee to a race of any sort following your diet.

  14. I agree that durianrider has lost his glow.
    If durianrider is ever not feeling his best, I hope he respects himself enough to admit it to himself. If he feels better than ever before then I’m proud of him for sticking to his diet. But in my eyes, if you even just compare his videos from 2 years ago to the videos today, he is aging quickly, he seems unhappy (he rants way more and he doesn’t look vibrant or energetic in the videos of him in public) and his posts on 30bad are never supportive, sometimes almost offensive to people asking for help

    I thought chimpanzees eat predominately leaves??

  15. I’ve listened to quite a few nutritionists and I’ve already looked into what most vegan nutritionists teach, they tend to favour the 9 essential amino acids teaching, but paying attention to carb calories is so much more important as the amino acids come with the calories.

    I’ve always had to eat refined sugary foods to keep on my weight and 2 of my best friends are type 1 diabetic; so I obviously know there can be consequences. I’ve tried everything to gain weight without refined sugar… from eating up to 3 streaks a day with a lot of fatty foods such as fast food, etc. And even though there are 9 calories for every gram of fat, I was losing weight with a lot of fat (more calories than I’m having now) and with no refined sugar (4 calories per gram). I cried myself to sleep sometimes thinking about how nothing was working to keep on my weight (not even McDonalds); this high calorie mostly raw fruit diet is the only diet that helps me keep on my weight without refined sugar, other food excluding vegetables becomes waste.

    Am I trying to sell anything? No, I’m not making any profit off of promoting a high calorie raw fruit diet… raw dates are essential for me because they’re high in carb calories. And I’m not including starch carbs like pasta, as starch goes through me like waste as well, I’m talking about glucose/fructose.

  16. as a matter of fact; I’m in disagreement with 30bananasaday and all the green juice and juicing + blending, but it’s still the best nutrition site I’ve seen and I love the site. I’ve gone through the juicing phase and I personally know that it grows tiresome and annoying + the blended stuff tastes weird to me for some reason (maybe the oxidization or something)… it’s so much easier to just wash off a bunch of ripe fruit, have them in the fridge, grab the fruit, eat them, bite off the bruised parts and put them in a compost, and put whatever else needs to go in a compost as well (pits, core, rinds, etc).

  17. the nutrition of fruit has been evolving for billions of years.. give someone fruit from 2,000,000 years ago to live off of and they’ll fail cognitively compared to other humans eating the fruit from nowadays

  18. So Julianne is busy with something else right now; I actually respect how she debates and doesn’t just delete comments that oppose her (as far as I know), so if other people want to debate they can go ahead, but I’m done with this; that 3% I was talking about earlier is in terms of calories. We can talk all we want, but it’s best to just try it out for yourself and feel what works best in an objective manner and to not just believe words. Never believe anything unless it comes from the horses mouth.

    I’m different than most people on 30bananasaday because they’re currently doing this diet for themselves and everyone else and a lot of them have a ‘goal’ in which they think they can help save the world for good. But this is not one of my goals; I’m not trying to better the world as a whole at all like most people are because I believe that “all the kids will eat it up, if it’s packaged properly” and that it only takes so little evil to completely eradicate good…. a drop of black paint in can of white paint. Even if there is harmony with 98% of people on Earth, all it would take is the press of one button to make people go extinct. I’m not going to lie, I used to actually care in general a lot more, but now I’m doing this diet more and more for myself and less for other people because I’m disliking most people more and more; you’re lucky I even posted at all. All I would need is 1 large group of friends and I could care less if everyone else on Earth died off because of following what’s embedded into their brains over and over and over and over and over again. It seems that most people can’t even take a leap and follow Einstein’s advice for a month to see how it goes because of some egotistical/laundry room mind-set…

  19. but hey, if you actually paid closer attention to the pt. hx charts you might actually notice the long term health effects of medications, but I wouldn’t expect most LPN’s/RN’s to notice something like that even though I easily observed what was really going on and instantly threw away my 10’s of thousands of dollars into schooling for moral reasons 1 week before finishing with a B average (not that I tried very hard, in fact, I didn’t even read the books because I wasn’t interested in the bullshit instinctively)… I was too busy looking up information on nutrition for my own long term health.

  20. And the forum bi**o on 30bad is starting threads about orgasms again. That forum has went to hell fast. Whether we agree with them or not, I’ve heard that 30bad use to be a good place for information on nutrition. Now the only threads that get any replies are the ones about sex.

    • the nutrition is very simple to teach people, so many people on 30bananasaday know exactly what to teach, newbies learn extremely fast because of this. Most of the nutrition information that’s needed is already in past posts. It’s a community and the people on 30bananasaday talk about actual fun things like ‘orgasms’ + other crazy things, pretty much whatever the hell they want to talk about because of confidence. This is also shown by how a lot of the members are straight edge, yet express themselves fully with no drugs. People who have to drink in order to express themselves lack confidence.

      • Or she lacks confidence and is seeking attention from a bunch of strangers. After reading her bio my guess is that I’m right. A lot of people who don’t have friends seek attention from other people on the internet. Most message boards are made up of people with low self esteem. They try to create a new life via the internet to try and replace the life that hasn’t worked out so well for them.

        She starts threads about what famous people she would have sex with and threads about orgasms because she knows they will draw a lot of responses. Definitely a high need for attention. Confidence? Not so much.

        I would guess that most people on 30bad are outcasts of some kind.

      • You may want to take a look at this recent study – it doesn’t look good for vegetarians – keep in mind that vegans are usually more deficient in these nutrients:

        Nutrition. 2011 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21872435
        Vegetarianism produces subclinical malnutrition, hyperhomocysteinemia and atherogenesis.
        Ingenbleek Y, McCully KS.

        Laboratory of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.

        To explain why vegetarian subjects develop morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases unrelated to vitamin B status and Framingham criteria.

        A study of 24 rural male subjects 18 to 30 y old and 15 urban male controls was conducted in the Sahel region of Chad. Food consumption was determined from a dietary questionnaire, and overall health status was assessed by body weight, body mass index, serum albumin, plasma transthyretin, urinary nitrogen, and creatinine. Plasma lipids, vitamins B6, B9 and B12, homocysteine, and related sulfur amino acids were measured as selected cardiovascular disease risk factors.

        Body weight, body mass index, blood, and urinary markers of protein status were significantly lower, with an estimated 10% decrease of lean body mass in the study group compared with urban controls. Neither lipid fractions nor plasma levels of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 were significantly different between the two groups. Although the mean consumption of sulfur amino acids (10.4 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) by rural subjects was significantly below the recommended dietary allowances (13 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)), plasma methionine values were similar in the two groups. In contrast, homocysteine concentration was significantly increased (18.6 μmol/L, P < 0.001), and the levels of cysteine and glutathione were significantly decreased in the study group, demonstrating inhibition of the trans-sulfuration pathway. The strong negative correlation (r = -0.71) between transthyretin and homocysteine implicated lean body mass as a critical determinant of hyperhomocysteinemia.

        The low dietary intake of protein and sulfur amino acids by a plant-eating population leads to subclinical protein malnutrition, explaining the origin of hyperhomocysteinemia and the increased vulnerability of these vegetarian subjects to cardiovascular diseases.

        • This research,dosn’t tell us what the two non controlled groups were eating.And they were filling out a survey?.I have been a raw food vegetarian ,for two years,and have lost weight ,but w/my protein intake a bout 10% of my calories,I can put on lean muscle,no problem.Actually,to lift weight on a high carb,diet,is like being on rocket fuel.I have been a trainer for 30 years,and have tried every diet,and supplement,known to man,and low fat,low protein really works.Also where the research was done,Louis Pasteur University,they are not Bio-chemists,they are Physicians,and Microbiologists,there is a difference.He started the germ theory,that has gotten us to cook and denature our foods,and washing our hands,foods,and using alcohol wipes to kill so called germs.Just not a very credible University.Wonder if they get any funding from the meat and dairy industry.You really can survive on eating fruits and veggies.And the amounts of protein they were comparing it to is what?If it was lower than the SAD diet recommendations,then that is a good thing.ADA,suggests only 1 grm of protein for every 2.2 lbs.And we all know the ADA recommends far more than is needed to cover 95% of the population.Called Bad Science!

          • I’ts great 80:10:10 is working for you. It doesn’t work for many. You simply cannot decide that what works for you is there-for best for everyone.
            Teh experiences I have listed are real people for whom vegan diets have not worked. You must surely respect their experience.
            Not everyone can survive on just fruits and vegetables. Protein is an essential food, ADA recommendations are based on this fact.

      • firstly, that’s an abstract and not the full-text, never post something for an argument unless the full-text is free

        secondly, from what I have seen in the abstract, the people doing this study did it in such an unscientific way; only 24 subjects and it looks as if they don’t know the difference between a proper vegetarian/vegan diet and an improper vegetarian/vegan diet. Like I said before, it’s easy for a vegan to fail if he/she doesn’t know what to do, even more so than it is for a meat-eater to fail, but the key difference is, that if a vegan diet is done properly, it is the diet with the lowest risk of heart disease.

        thirdly, I already covered this with the video I posted earlier of Georges Laraque, an olympic athlete/NHL Player who obviously had the best nutritionists through-out his career, yet when he became a vegan and changed to a vegan nutritionist, his physical performance tests from a cardiology centre “blew off the charts” compared with when he followed the typical expert nutritionist advice (meat, etc) from before.


      • I have a lot of confidence and don’t need to try to get attention from a bunch of strangers. She is definitely seeking attention by posting pics of her in her underwear. That type of thing reeks of someone who is desperately seeking approval from someone/anyone.

    • And this proves??? If you drink a cup of olive oil followed by obscene amounts of refined wheat products your blood sugar elevates. SO – if you just ate the pizza and rolls your blood sugar would go up, mine would be through the roof. And it is completely normal to have elevated Triglycerides if you eat a whole bunch of fat. It’s the fasting trigs that count not non fasted. This is just ridiculous.
      Have I ever recommended people eat this way?
      By the way my fasting Triglycerides are 40 – lower than his.

    • Cody, this video shows nothing but the (temporary) post-prandial state. The only thing that matters when it comes to diet is the long-term effects. Eating a bunch of carbs will shoot your glucose through the roof (along with your insulin), a state which defines diabetics, but obviously that doesn’t mean you’re diabetic. Eating a bunch of fats raises triglycerides. Eating a bunch of fruit (and thus lots of fructose) will *also* raise triglycerides as the liver converts the fructose into triglycerides and releases them into the blood stream.

      When you exercise, cortisol is raised as well as adrenaline and other stress hormones. Does that mean you’re stressed out and are going to have an increased risk of CHD and other stress-related diseases? Obviously not. It makes you stronger in the long run because that state is temporary and the body adapts. When it comes to diet and health, temporary effects are nearly useless because you cannot extrapolate them to longer time spans.

  21. one other thing I should mention, just so you know that I’m not just some 30bananasaday puppet…. I have a lot of unpasteurized honey dissolved with cold water in order to help me with singing high notes.

  22. haha, you quoted beyondveg, a hate mongering forum that never supports its theories with appropriate evidence. Reminds me of this article – very few of your claims are validated by anything other than highly refuted sources and outdated claims. Particularly when you just take cross sections of people following vastly different vegan diets and label them all under one banner. If I were to take a 500lb american and an endurance runner who both eat meat, would that be fair?

    Anyways, you’ve clearly made your mind up long ago that you are right, so there isn’t a great deal of point arguing with you. Just to say though, nutrional deficiencies are far more common amongst meat eaters than vegans/vegetarians. As are allergies, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and a host of other conditions. Argue about vitamin A deficiencies (don’t really know what to say about this one, Vitamin A is more abundant in plant sources than anything, except perhaps liver, and a lot of meat eaters don’t eat liver) all you want, I know who I’d side with.

    • Feel free to write an article with decent references supporting your point of view that the raw vegan diet is safe, and does not yield deficiencies long term.
      As you should know there are two forms of vitamin A – beta carotene and preformed vit A, Beta carotene is abundant in vegetables that is true – but what it your body does not convert it?

      Feel free to continue eating a vegan diet if it is working for you, my concern is for those who are struggling because deficiencies are making them ill, but they think it is all in their mind – or they have to try harder, or do a vegan diet “right”. I do not want to see people being ill when they can do something simple like adding raw organic free range egg yolks, and raw grass fed cottage cheese for example. Which is what one raw vegan who was struggling with energy problems after 2 years on her diet has done – with astounding health results.

      • “raw organic free range” eggs are absolutely amazing for dogs and I’m pretty sure for cats as well
        http://rawfed.com/myths/bacteria.html <—- I'm assuming the same goes for cats

        I had a friend who became very underweight and came very close to dying from salmonella poisoning (eggs)

        energy, so easy…. unpasteurized honey, the only non-vegan thing I have, as commercializing honey has increased honey bee population globally by 45% since 1961. An increase of honey bees helps out the world dramatically, especially with the production of fruit, and I'd even argue the point that 'vegans not supporting honey is immoral'. A lot of vegans will bring up 'botulism spores/clostridium botulinum', but any botulism spores are killed instantaneously by a healthy human with a properly developed digestive/immune system; infants under the age of 1 and/or people with a weak digestive/immune system shouldn't have honey. There is a technique of getting honey without harming the bees, which involves getting the bees to leave their hive and come to sugar water, then to seal them off in the sugar water area (away from the hive) until the honey is collected from the hive. Studies showing the positive effects of honey on the body are all over the internet. Lucky for you 'julianne' that you live in New Zealand, which has some of the best honey in the world.

        I personally have 500 grams of unpasteurized honey mixed in with 4 litres of cold water (1500 calories). Plus or minus honey/water, depending on how the person's stomach/body feels about it.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKMB2WNoIIk

        Raw vegan… Jim Morris; he just eats raw fruits/vegetables including a lot of nuts

        only difference between him and 801010 has to do with the quantity of raw nuts, as he doesn’t worry about the fat percentage, and I fully support his view more so than the 801010 view of keeping the fat percentage intake below 10%

        I’d rather take advice from that youtube interview of the raw vegan ‘Jim Morris’ who looks like he is 50 something years-old, but is actually 75-years-old, than 30bananasaday

        Raw nuts and avocados reduce bad cholesterol and the risk for heart disease; non-vegan fatty things do the exact opposite for humans. Fat from fruits is much different than fat from non-vegan things, just like sugar from candy is much different from the sugar in fruits.

    • This is one of the reasons why breast feeding until at least the age of two is so important; increased immune/digestive systems. Although it’s recommended to wait until 1 year of age before having honey, I personally wouldn’t give honey to any infant until age of two.

    • Now, I’m actually having 333 grams of honey in with 4 litres of water (999 calories), as that feels better on my stomach to me than the 500 grams. Literally, for the past 6 or so different calculations to do with diet that I’ve come up with, everything thing I’ve been adding up lately for calories/grams seems to add up to 333, 666, 999, 1212 -_- …. weird, oh well, probably just coincidences

  23. good orange juice is obviously more optimal for nutrition than honey water, but it currently costs more, about $14/day where I live for a good 2000 calories, whereas, honey water is about $4.50/day for 2000 calories

  24. The proof is in the pudding. Look at the majority of people who eat meat – they are unhealthy. Game over. Humans are not carnivores! You have been brainwashed.

    Julianne is talking about a small percentage of people on a plant based diet who are struggling. The number who are thriving way outweighs this. If you compared the same numbers on a Paleo diet, there are few who are thriving (usually athletes), the rest are DYING! All around you, hospitals full of them! WAKE UP! Forget the science, look at the evidence right in front of you.

    Personal picture evidence is available upon request. I have not seen a doctor or even got a cold or headache since I became vegan 10 years ago (and raw 3 years ago). Life insurance? Medication? What for?

    At 30 years old I am swimming faster 50m sprint times than when I was 18, and I was fast back then. I have had blood tests and my levels are great, go figure…..I used to have Reiter’s Syndrome, but have not had a symptom in 10 years. Still think I should eat meat again? Contact me in 40 years, if you’re all still alive. The only way I will die is if a bus hits me, and it’s going to have a hard time knocking me down, trust me.

    Julianne, just because your career is based on all this nonsense, does not make it correct. You fear the people thriving on a raw vegan diet because they disprove your “theories”.

    • I have never said humans were carnivores, we are omnivores. I’m happy a vegan diet is working for you. I’m speaking to those that it hasn’t worked for. And judging by the number of searches that reach my blog – and the number of people reading this post every day, it is not insignificant.

      The people that fill our hospital beds are those on a standard diet, full of grain fed processed meat, refined grains, sugar, chemically extracted cheap and nasty vegetable oil, multiple additives, an omega 3: 6 imbalance, lacking in fruit and vegetables and other health giving food.

      As I said previously there are many commonalities between a plant based diet and a hunter gatherer diet.

      I promote a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, as mother nature provided them – so do you.
      I promote a diet that is free of processed food – as do you.

      We differ in that I look at the evidence, and it shows we as humans ate varying amounts of animal products and seafood, including organ meats rich in nutrients.

      The personal stories of these many vegans who could not maintain a plant only diet speaks for itself. I personally know of a woman here in New Zealand who very publicly promoted a vegan diet, (the woman in this article: http://paleozonenutrition.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/sunday-magazine-food-story.pdf) and after 4 years no longer had the health she originally did, so she has added raw cottage cheese and egg yolks – and regained her health.

  25. I am one of those people that Julianne mentions that have “seemed” to thrive on a low-fat raw vegan diet, namely 80/10/10 by Doug Graham for about a couple months.

    I initially got into 811 because I was trying to heal my severe eczema, environmental and food allergies. My condition improved greatly on 811 but then it started going downhill after I avoided meat for 6 months. I suddenly got a full candida body rash and the last two months I had massive, and I mean insane meat cravings that would put me out of control with my body. I would secretly chew and spit cooked chicken, pork, beef anything meaty from my other family member’s leftover meals. I was so ashamed of myself and I even pictured in my head the cruel factory farming practices to try and reinforce into my mind why I initially went vegan.

    I knew that cooked meat was bad as I had eaten organic cooked meat my entire life and didn’t cure my condition. So I tried raw paleo and I have been eating raw fish, grass-fed beef, very little deer, organic chicken, organic eggs and my full body eczema rash has now reduced to only my legs. I am also using urine therapy (for those with objections, please read “Your Own Perfect Medicine” by Martha Christy”, all the conventional medical reports of the beneficial components of urine are there), applying old urine externally on my rashes and drinking my fresh urine. I’ve been slowly adding more raw meat to my diet and I have improved 90% in the last month. Simply amazing!

    This alone proves to me that humans do require meat, although there is still much research that I need to look into regarding cooked/raw meat.

    I really hope this helps some of you out there struggling with a raw vegan diet. Some symptoms I had when on the last period of raw vegan was insomnia, extreme fatigue (sleeping 12+ hrs and still feeling tired), reappearance of eczema rashes, extremely cold body temp (feet and hands were ice cold all the time). The vegan ideology is really very attractive and I was very happy as a raw vegan thinking about all the animals I have saved from suffering, but it seems that humans are really meant to eat meat, just look at the anthropological evidence, there is no doubt in that.

    • Well, not me. I had an opposed case 🙂
      But, that’s it, we are all different and we should listen to our body. That’s why I don’t eat meat and you do. So, no one can tell for another what is good for him.

  26. Check out Chris Califano:



      • I totally agree with Julianne. I am one such example. After nearly 6 months on raw vegan 80 10 10 just fruits and vegetables, apart from the INSANE and unstoppable meat cravings, some other symptoms I’ve never encountered in my life:

        1) Rapidly receding gums that bled when I brushed my teeth, even very lightly
        2) Fingernail fungal infection that spread to 4 of my fingers
        3) Eyebrows thinning and falling out. I used to have moderately thick eyebrows, a huge chunk of my left eyebrow just disappeared.

        Other symptoms already mentioned in my previous comment above.

        MAYBE there are certain people that can thrive on vegan diets, some on just fruits+veg, some with more protein-rich foods (e.g. tofu, tempeh, soy products, beans etc.). But in my case, it was raw paleo diet (organic, grass-fed, free-range meats), uropathy, coffee enemas, sunbathing, sleep that turned my health around in a little more than a month, but boy was it a torturous experience (full body rash, deep wounds and cracks on skin and fingertips, weeping and crusting rashes). I couldn’t move, stretch, sleep, type or walk properly due to the pain.

        BE HONEST with yourself when your current diet is not working! and be open-minded to make changes.

        I have NO COMMERCIAL INTEREST in my website – NO products to sell, NO advertisement (not even Google Ads!), JUST sharing pure real experience and information.


    • Yes there is a difference between cooked and raw food, especially vegetables. They are often absorbed better and many of the toxins are reduced. However inadequate protein can still lead to problems. If you wish to remain vegan I highly recommend adding a dense protein food. If unwilling to add dairy or eggs, then rice, hemp or pea protein powder would be suitable (or other – but not soy). I also recommend adding vit B12 and long chain omega 3 EPA and DHA, you can get these from an algae derived source.

  27. Oh. Em. Gee!!!. So many of these raw foodists (and I have to say, I was one) are like crazy Tea Partiers.

    Juliane, thank you for your information filled and well researched and well written post. Even if I was still a raw foodie I’d find it interesting, and I’m sure I will be continuing to check out the rest of your blog. And I have to commend you on your seemingly endless patience in dealing with these trolls – good on you! And keep up the good work!

  28. I wrote a long case history about myself last night, but then I accidentally hit the back button and lost it all. At any rate, your blog is interesting reading. In a nutshell. . . I was a vegan* (for ethical reasons) in the past and did rather well on that diet for over a decade, but eventually switched back to being an omnivore partly for health considerations, partly because I was tired of having a limited range of foods to eat (since so many plant-sourced foods cause me excessive flatulence), partly thanks to the inconvenience of it all, and probably for some other reasons that are less clear now. However, my sinus and allergy problems became much worse about a year and a half after I made that switch. (It wasn’t just the dairy, since it was immediately obvious that dairy made those symptoms worse, so there have been long stretches when I tended to avoid it even as an omnivore.) Still, it’s taken me a decade to go back to trying a vegan diet again. I have only just started (I’m going to give it six-to-twelve months, haven’t decided yet) and so far I don’t see any really conclusive evidence of improvement. I think I’m starting to see some change in the patterns of my allergy symptoms, but it’s really too early to say. I would gladly practice a vegan diet and load up on supplements if that would control my allergy problems to the point where I could have a life again (it’s been really bad). I am also open to seeing what happens if I reintroduce some animal foods in a more limited way.

    Maybe some diets are like medicine for certain people. Perhaps they wouldn’t be good for most people, but they are worth some of the side effects for certain individuals because they resolve or control health problems. I’m not convinced that a vegan diet is best for everyone, or even that everyone can thrive on it, but it still seems possible a vegan diet (or something very close) might be best for me.

    *I did eat honey, but not by the gallon or anything, and it came and went in my diet.

      • Thanks, Julianne. If this latest experiment doesn’t work, I may try that. I did do an elimination diet this past fall, which I think put me pretty close to paleo territory, and it didn’t seem to me that any of the usual suspects that are eliminated (or pared back) on a paleo diet were triggers for my sinus and allergy problems. On the other hand, the period before I started reintroducing foods only lasted for three weeks (and it was only close to paleo: I did eat occasional beans, even if I relied overwhelmingly on meat that was organic or derived from traditional grazing methods). When I originally went back to being an omnivore, the idea was to stick to something along the lines of a paleo diet, but I ended up pretty much in SAD territory. I think opening up the floodgates of all the foods I had excluded for so long was just too much temptation.

  29. I am a follower of the 80/10/10 nutritional program,like Durianrider,consume 3,000 calories a day,mostly fruit,have 6% body fat,do yoga daily,but nothing hard,because of a rotator cuff tear.You really don’t have to exercise to much on this high fruit diet,and you really have to keep the calories up ,so you dont lose to much weight.I can eat as much as I want and stay ripped,and the lean muscle look is insane.feels awesome,when I do want to put the groove on and trail run,5-10 miles no problem.And I am now putting all my clients ,who will allow me to on the 811,and one person after 6 months,we both had our blood work done.perfect!Even the b-12 was right on.I thought for sure I would be low ,but not the case.I would never give advice,with out first trying it.Personal Trainer for 30 years.Enjoy!

  30. I am so confused as to what i’m supposed to eat!!!
    I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 6 years (for ethical reasons) and vegan for a few weeks, but there’s so many different opinions and studies it’s really hard. It’s like I can’t eat anything :/

    • Amongst all the confusion – there are some things that diets that people have health on have in common.
      They all avoid the following:
      Processed food
      Refined grain food – esepcially those made with gluten grains
      Modern chemically extracted vegetable oils.

      Our genetic code was programmed over hundreds of thousands of years eating an omnivorous diet of food from the land. We have also had fire and cooked food for a very long time. Some types of vegetables are better digested and absorbd when cooked. Some people have eaten higher protein and fat, others higher carbohydrate (especially starchy root veg). Find what works for best for you.

  31. Okay, thankyou! Just read my comment and realised I sounded like an idiot aha.. I’m only 15 and well, everyone I know has a SAD and there’s just so much information out there! It’s hard when noone around you understands or cares about what they eat..

  32. Health problems can be found in every single eating plan that exists. The author of the article is paleo and suffers from autoimmune hypothyrdosim. Our bodies break down, health problems arise, and we eventually die whether we are vegan or paleo. People go searching for a perfect diet that offers perfect health. It doesn’t exist. The vegans-turned-meat eaters who experienced better health initially, most likely have had other health problems pop up and are now trying to go on a vegan diet again, just as the personal story above states. It’s probably more common than not.

    A vegan has no more to be concerned about health-wise than a paleo or anyone else does. A vegan no more has to keep her eyes open than a paleo does.

    Just “eat food. mostly plants. not too much.” Follow this advice and you’ll feel better than you would if you didn’t, but your body will still die and you’ll still get some sort of aches and pains, because it is inevitable.

    There is no such thing as a diet that delivers perfect health.

    • Each person needs to find what works best for them.

      However I must repeat – there are NO natural vegans. Humans in the wild (hunter gatherers) have NEVER been and could never be vegans. Health will suffer. You may not need much animal food, but you do need some. A diet that works for us an an individual is one that gives us ALL the nutrients we need for health, and eliminates as many toxins, and triggers for out particular health issues as possible.

      If you can do that on a 100% vegan diet, that’s great, I have no problem with than. If you can’t (and the numerous reports suggest most people can’t) you need to change. Same with any other diet. The standard grain based diet made me unwell. A diet free of animal products made me unwell. That’s why I eat like I do. A plant and animal food diet.

      • The Aryan tribe have been vegans for thousands of years: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-life/article2204749.ece

        I don’t see how humans in the wild couldn’t be vegans, and many probably have. To think they haven’t in the whole span of human history is simple minded thinking, in my opinion. What we have discovered in anthropological and other fields thus far is only the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of plant foods in the wild if one know where to look and what to look for. There are just as many edible plants as there are edible animals, there are probably more plants. Even in the northern winter months. Many animals somehow magically survive during the winter eating plants alone. What makes them so uniquely special? In the winter, it might be just as challenging to find a live animal as it would be to find plant foods. In tropical areas, all year round, it would be quite easy to be vegans in the wild.

        We were designed so that we could thrive on a diet without meat just as we were designed to thrive on a diet of both meat and plants (not copious amounts of meat though). We are omnivores; we are highly versatile. The longest lived dog, being an omnivore as well, was a vegetarian. Omnivores are highly adaptable, but there’s no denying it, we do best on a high plant diet. There is not one nutrient yet discovered that is only found in meat. And no, B12 is not one of those. If we were living in nature as was intended, we would get the small amount of b12 that our bodies needed from dirt on our freshly picked food, from our water, and from mushrooms.

        • Perhaps the Aryan tribe mentioned above are able to sustain their vegan diet in good health due to eating lots of insects (unknowingly) in their food. In that case, they are not vegan, nor even vegetarian.

          When vegans from India move to the UK, they can experience health problems within a short time, weeks or months, after arrival–there are far, far fewer insects in their food in the UK!

          We get B12 not “from dirt on our freshly picked food, from our water, and from mushrooms,” but from insects in that dirt, fresh food, water, mushrooms, if we are so are lucky….

      • Never say never. B12 comes from a bacteria which we normally would eat if it weren’t for our sanitary lifestyles. B12 deficiency is an industrialized world problem due to over sanitation and processed foods. Many people these days lack the ability to absorb B12 because of poor digestion thanks to industrialization for making it the norm to eat processed food which does not support healthy digestion… essentially destroying our intestinal health.

        My father is a meat eater and has to have B12 injections. I am vegan and my B12 is high. I take one or two sublingual tablet per month (2000mg).

        “In the nonindustrialized world, where bacterial contamination commonly brought traces of B12 to foods, B12 deficiency is largely prevented. However, modern hygiene has eliminated this source, just as indoor living has largely eliminated sunlight, nature’s source of vitamin D. A daily multivitamin restores these essential nutrients.”

        So really, you can’t use B12 to support your theory that there have NEVER been natural vegans.

        Fruit is the easiest food to forage, the tastiest and most hydrating food on the planet. Eat it up people!

        Just like you say that people often do paleo wrong and therefore don’t realize the benefits from it. Isn’t it possible that you did the vegan diet wrong as well?

        I doubt you eat meat all day and I’m quite aware of the paleo diet. I believe any diet that eliminates processed foods and dairy which is also high in fresh organic vegetables and fruit will feel so much better than anyone eating a standard American diet.

  33. I have read a lot of health information over the years and I find Forks Over Knives much more believable than this stuff. Yes, I agree a banana-only, or even a fruititarian diet is a little extreme but eating a plant based diet is not unhealthy. I went from being a meat eater that hated vegetables to plant-eating veggie loving person. My cholesterol wasn’t too bad before as I didn’t eat red meat (never liked it), but it was slightly elevated. It dropped, and I also always get comments when I get my blood pressure taken “you must exercise a lot! your blood pressure and pulse are fantastic”. Nope I only walk (normal pace) to work and back occasionally. Yes I know I need to exercise, that’s a whole other issue than me being vegan. Even if all the science in the world one day agreed that a plant based diet was bad and that it caused brain damage (I don’t buy that), I could NOT eat meat even if you paid me. It’s gross! Dairy is gross too. It makes me want to vomit when I see or smell yogurt or meat. I think one thing we can ALL agree on is that eating MORE vegetables is extremely important no matter what your diet of choice is.

  34. Thank you for this eye opening article. I always wondered why it didnt feel right to stay on just raw vegan to me. I was missing eggs and some dairy products, I was always missing a solid protein intake.
    I totally agree that raw vegan is an extreme situation that should be used rather as a cleanse for a certain period, but not for a lifetime!

  35. I’ve done the paleo diet or at other times a slight variation of it over the last few years but have felt the worst chronically than I ever have before, coldest, my mind has been cloudy, mood swings. I thought that somehow it would suprercharge me from all I read. Instead I think I would do a low fat, vegan diet, much of it cooked, with small amounts of fish, maybe some poultry and dairy. I’ve done stuff like that before and have felt very good. So glad for those who benefit from the paleo diet, but I don’t believe its a healthy diet for everyone.

    • Many people go on paleo thinking they have to eat a lot of meat and fat and little carbohydrate. This is not the case. It is removing grains, legumes, dairy and seed oils, and processed food. Many people make this mistake and wonder why they don’t feel great – if it is not the diet that suits them. Kitavans eat a ver high carb paleo diet. Lots of starchy plant food, a little seafood, pork and coconut oil.

      A plant food diet with a little seafood and eggs / poultry is also a paleo diet.

      I’m with you – we need to find what has us feeling our best, and eat that way.

      • I have actually included all types of vegetables, including the starchy ones. I am glad that for the benefit of a certain percentage of people you have this site but after 4 years or so i going to let go of the paleo diet. Many things such as insomnia, loosing teeth, flatulence, feeling cold everywhere occurred. I still believe in what you do. I even tried coconut oil for about 10 years and still feel cold, depressed, and can’t get anything i use it on to digest properly. Of all the types of diets I’ve tried the macrobiotic one, asian type, has made me feel both healthy and happy. Having said this, I still whole-heartedly with you luck.

  36. People will go to any lengths to prove why meat eating is necessary, just as rapists, murderers, pedophiles will justify their acts.
    The argument towards eating meet for a healthy body is so full of bull! There are generations of people who have been vegans and they have led perfectly healthy lives. Oh, their bloodwork showed B12 deficiency, but so what? They led a healthy meaningful lives, raised kids and grandkids and died in their 80s or 90s.

    Your argument that “Humans evolved as omivores” doesn’t mean they adapted to it well. Most of the paleo cousins of ours died before 35, had horrible dental health. Humans, unlike animals, do not have the inherent intelligence to choose food. A cow will not eat a chicken, a wolf will not eat a carrot, naturally, because they know what is food, and what isn’t. We have do not have that instinct (or may be lost it in time, and cannot decide without checking on Google first) and so we ate any thing that we could get our hands on it.
    “You become what you eat” so choose your food carefully.

  37. Lol, all the disease reversal from goin raw vegan and people still diss it. Lets talk about all the problems with eating flesh. Hmm, heart disease, cancer, strokes, etc.

    Veganism is evolution son. We now have the knowlegde of what animal protein does to people, i.e it kills them. What would happen to a horse(vegan) if we fed it a bunch of eggs and milk shakes?

    The Gerson Therapy, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselsty(Bill Clinton’s Elitist Doctor) and other therapies and doctors all require no animal protein. Jeez, just youtube Raw Cure Cancer and you find many people who reverse there diseased flesh eating bodies.

    Not to mention, flesh eaters always cook their dead animals, which means every time they eat they stimulate the immune system. In addition, allowing a thick, sticky, substance called pure white fat into the BLOOD STREAM! Yummy DUMMIES!

    Wake up, the establishment propaganda machine wants you to poison and contaminate your bodies. So you die sooner.

    Do the research, open your mind, and see how these so called unhealthy and b12 deficient people are. I know because I am one of them, though I wasnt always.

    Have you ever google image searched “Old Raw Vegan”. These people look half their age. Because when you eat raw, your body and organs don’t need to work nearly as hard to digest the food. Cooked food makes the food unrecognizable to the body and thus the immune system attacks.. Tell you what you imbred flesh eating cannabilists satan ritual eating putrid flesh rotting inside you people. DONT KNOCK IT TIL YA TRY IT

    Here are 35 videos of people who cured various cancers by goin raw vegan. Wake up sheeple. .Yea there is LOTS OF HEALTH PROBLEMS ALLRIGHT. You people are straight up brainwashed chumps. Go Fruit Yourself 🙂


  38. Shame on you for posting such a terribly deceitful page. You have ads for protein powders and paleo diet supplements on the side bar. I am a high carb low fat vegan and am VERY HEALTHY. In fact, the healthiest I have been in my entire life. I have never been overweight, but I have been chubby and have always struggled with getting lean. This way of eating allowed me to effortlessly “float” to my desired weight of 120lbs at 5’7″. I didn’t even try and I am eating more calories than I ever thought I could without becoming a balloon. Eating primarily fruits and veggies with some nuts seeds and the ocassional grain is by fat the best thing someone could do for themselves.

    A diet with ANY meat, cheese or dairy raises your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a list of other preventable diseases. Now tell me it’s healthy. Humans are meant to eat plants but have adapted an ability to digest other foods through necessity. However, just because we CAN eat flesh or high fat foods does not make it beneficial to our health.

    The world health organization recommends people eat around 6-10% of their calories from protein which is easily obtained through a diet of plants only. There is no diet that promotes muscle growth. Excess protein just gets burned as fuel and then pulls calcium from the bones. Just so you know…

    • How many pushups can you do? Okay I’m being snarky – but weight is not everything – I see very low muscle mass on most vegans unless they make an effort to add extra protein (e.g. protein shakes) to their diets. There is a difference between adequate protein and excess. I agree – excess is not a good idea. I’ve never promoted that. But inadequate = loss of muscle mass, higher risk of osteoporosis, decrease in strength in the elderly.

      • Not using muscles causes muscle loss.

        Do a search on Mindy Collette, a vegan fitness model.

        My husband and I are both vegan, I eat less protein and fat than him as my diet is largely based on raw fruit, leafy greens and cooked starchy carbs such as potatoes and rice (even white rice .. gasp!).

        I am fitter and have more muscle than him. Why is that? Because I exercise and he does not.

        Use it or lose it!

  39. Hi Julianne
    I really enjoy your website, particularly enjoying some of the articles regarding vegetarianism and paleo as I am at a bit of a crossroad with some of this myself. I was wondering if you could clarify some information for me as I haven;t been able to find it myself; basically I am fascinated by how the whole 80/10/10 diet seems to work. Many of the people I have seen that follow it seem to sport very good bodies and appear very healthy, particularly the ones who follow unlimited calorie restriction. I found on the internet that the theory behind it is that carbohydrates are the easiest to convert to sugar out of protein and fat and that fruit being the most easily digestible carb this is a lot less taxing on the digestive system. When we don’t eat enough carbs the body will convert fat and protein into sugar, however this is far more taxing on the body and creates toxins. Fruit sugars being a simple carbohydrate are much easier absorbed by cells of the body and are utilized as fuel immediately, and the only reason this process doesn’t work properly is if there is too much fat or protein in the intestines which would inhibit the simple carbohydrates from being used properly. They say the only reason this diet will fail is if you don’t eat enough or if you consume too much fat or protein.

    Basically I was wondering if what they are saying is true from a nutritional science point of view and if so, why isn’t there more nutritionists getting behind it? Sorry I hope you don’t take me as a troll, and no I’m not doing this diet, however I am genuinely confused over how this seems to work.

    Kind regards

  40. If you want to learn how to do it, then study those doing it properly. It’s like me saying “Why I don’t recommend Skiing” and going around getting stories from those who crashed and became paralyzed from skiing.

    There are plenty of raw vegans thriving. If you REALLY REALLY REALLY want to learn how you will get to know why that is. But I don’t think you really want to know. 🙂

    • Yes – there may be raw vegans thriving – the point of my post was show that despite best efforts many do not thrive on a raw vegan diet. We are all genetically different – my genes for example show that I cannot convert beta-carotene to vitamin A. There are many other nutrients that are found only in animal products.

  41. It is nice to see people explaining why different eating patterns work for different people. I am so surprised we still get so offended if someone’s eating style isn’t the same as ours. Just because someone doesn’t thrive the same way as us, doesn’t make our experience disappear or any less valid. So long as our good health is a number one priority we can all agree on that one thing.

  42. Interesting how so much misinformation gets out about vitamin deficiencies with a raw vegan diet. If people knew how the body really worked at that it makes it own b-vitamins when the organs/glands are properly functioning, nonsense like this wouldn’t keep getting published. I can point anyone to MULTIPLE people who were raw over 30 years without supplements who have perfect blood work and healthy as a horse. I’ve been raw for over 2 years and all of my blood work is better including my protein, iron and b-vitamin levels than when I ate a paleo diet that made me worse within 6 months of started doing it. If paleo is the way to go then why won’t it cure someone of type 1 diabetes or aids or multiple sclerosis or lupus or als? It’s impossible. Cooking food is unnatural no matter which way you look at it and is an unnecessary evil. If you have to cook something for your body to be able to digest it then it’s not fit for consumption. Why do humans feel they are the exception to the rule that nothing ever in history has cooked it’s food and haven’t needed to in order for survival.

  43. Its been about 5 years since you wrote the article. Simply a proper vegan diet, caring the protein intake and B12 is perfect for health. There is no logic eating an animal or animal dairy. There might be such nutritional defiency stories on raw food diet. But do not mix raw vegan and vegan.

  44. There are doctors that still promote 6 cups of coffee a day is good for you. There are people like you that look past the suffering and pain of the animals just like those doctors. Credential wont help you here because you get them from the very same institution that promotes meat eating, coffee drinking etc..

    Please stop destroying the planet and raping animals and killing your own bodies.

    Nutritionist like you design food that is served in hospitals, if you eat them everyday you probably die faster than your underlying disease

    i am vegan, I ran and sprint, left weights, box, and play soccer almost every day of the week. Even the meat eaters cannot keep up!

  45. Julianne, thank you for writing this excellent article and your many helpful comments. I have been raw vegan for nearly 4 years and recently had experiences like those discussed in the articles you linked. No tolerance to stress, emotional volatility, severe B12 and D deficiencies despite supplementing, no ability to recover from workouts, fat belly, no muscle tone, food allergies, craving for proteins and fats, constant hunger, anemia etc. This was just what I needed; a balanced and helpful critique of the problems some vegans face. It makes me feel good about eating fish, chicken & broth and lowering my fruit intake. Now I can see what has happened to me and that I am not the only one.

  46. Just thought I would Let you know, In the aspect of Children On vegan diets, You missed the deaths caused by unrelenting vegan parents who sat back and let their children waste away and die. I think one such couple is currently serving prison time for this, as they were told their child needed immediate care and they did nothing. Just putting it out there.

  47. ”Firstly no serious scientist would refute that humans evolved as omnivores” – hahaha, funny, we are frugivores, make your homework:)) how you will eat meat? cooking was very late in evolution, we don’t have teeth for meat nor digestive system, 10 hours in rect? comparative with 3 or 4. Hemorrhoids and cancer rect on the way.

    ”My teeth started getting incredibly sensitive, and there were clear signs of heavy acid erosion” – ROFL, no use to read more nonsense, try to not brush your teeth as omnivor and you will smell like hell and lose them all, as a vegan they clean themselves on vegetables, was brushing teeth part from evolution too?:)))

  48. Hi Julianne,
    Thank you for the post. I have just come off of a 4 month vegan diet, already showing signs of deficiencies. My hair has been thinning and my teeth have become extremely sensitive. I fear that I have developed cavities from this diet and I hope ending it around will reserve the damage. Being vegan for primarily ethical reasons this was a tough decision, but I am of no use to the abused animals dead. My money will be spent going towards local farms for eggs and grass fed organic beef. This was all I needed to get started on this new diet – with improvements from my old omnivore self.

    • Thanks for your feedback about your experience on a vegan diet. I did not do well on a vegetarian diet back in the day – got very inflamed – I need my fish omega 3 a lot.
      I too like to support happy animals and poultry

      • This post is a bit outdated, I wonder if your position is still the same now that veganism and the many health benefits have become fairly popular.

        • Yes – there are health benefits to a plant-based or vegan diet. However my point still stands that dropping all animal protein leads to problems in the long term for many people. My view is that our diet should comprise of 3/4 plants and 1/4 animal protein at most meals. Yes you can substitute for vegetarian or vegan protein, but at the very least a few eggs from happy hens would not go amiss.

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