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The Health Benefits and Potential Dangers of Vegetarianism – Part 3

by Tony Isaacs
author of
Cancer's Natural Enemy

Our third installment in this four-part article covers “The Benefits of Consuming Meat and Dairy Products” and “The Wishful Science and Myths about Vegetarianism/Veganism”.

The Benefits of Consuming Meat and Dairy Products

Eating meat has a lot of health benefits that contribute to the body's metabolic functions.

Meat contains a large amount of protein, which could be beneficial to the body. The body needs protein. Protein not only improves overall health and well being, it also repairs body tissues and aids in the production of antibodies that protect the body, strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from disease. Because meat contains all essential amino acids, it is one of the best sources of protein. Meat is rich in iron, zinc, and selenium and contains Vitamins A, B, and D.

Various studies in recent years have led to widely publicized conclusions that red meat is unhealthy..However, these studies have contained serious flaws and this has resulted in misleading people into thinking that red meat is bad. Many meats found in your grocer's indeed are not good with the additives they contain. One must eat organic grass fed meat to gain its benefits.

Because of this vegetarians and vegans tend to choose plant-based milk substitutes, but these substitutes may not be as healthy as you think.

Here are some examples.

Soy Milk – The soy that we generally use is not the soy used in Asian cultures. Their soy is fermented and this is a process that eliminates phytate, which is a powerful enzyme inhibitor. Phytate found in non-fermented soy does not give the body the nutrients it needs. It also has isoflavones which get in the way of the natural production of estrogen and results in diseases such as cancer.

Rice Milk – Rice milk is mostly water, genetically modified vegetable oils, and tapioca starch. There is minimal nutrition in this milk.

Almond Milk – Almond Milk has gained popularity recently. The misconception is that people think it is made with healthy almonds. What is not known is that commercially prepared almond milk only contains 2% almonds, together with other unhealthy ingredients.

For example:

Carrageenan – A toxic indigestible thickening agent extracted from algae that induces inflammation throughout the intestinal tract. Also, The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified it as a carcinogen.

Rice Starch – Just like Rice Milk, it contains another thickening agent with almost no nutritional value.

Synthetic Vitamin A palmitate – is a lab created chemical which is said to be a vitamin. The body does not recognize it and, therefore, cannot use it in the same way as it uses natural vitamins. It is also toxic and it can reach toxic levels quickly.

Vitamin D2 – is a man made vitamin from the irradiation of yeast. As with other synthetic vitamins, it is not what the body can use correctly, It is also toxic, reaching toxic levels in a short period of time.

So what is the best milk? Real milk, the real milk men, women and children have been drinking before corporate America took over.

The second best milk is raw milk from grass-fed cows – the milk that everyone drank until the early part of the past century.


Why is raw milk so special? Well, let's see what it contains:

• All eight of the essential amino acids
• Lactoferrin, an immune booster with anti-cancer properties
• Lysozyme, which can obliterate cells of undesirable bacteria
• Immunoglobulins, that provide resistance to viruses, and may reduce allergy and asthma symptoms
• Lactose, energizing milk sugar
• Medium chain saturated fats that have several key roles in maintaining health, such as construction of cell membranes, synthesis of hormones, and allowing fat soluble vitamins to function. Medium chain saturated fats are burned as energy, not stored as body fat
• Cholecystok (CCK), a hormone that reduces chances of obesity by telling the body when to stop eating.
• Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), with many benefits including increased metabolism, reduction of abdominal fat, better muscles, normalization of insulin levels, boosting of immunity, protection against food allergies, and protection against cancer
• All the vitamins in natural form, including vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E and K
• A broad spectrum of minerals, ranging from calcium, potassium and phosphorus to the trace minerals, including iodine and selenium, and all highly bioavailable.
• More than 60 enzymes that have a multitude of functions. Enzymes take the burden off the body to produce pancreatic enzymes
• Small amounts of cholesterol needed for cognitive function, synthesis of hormones and body repair.
• Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and form 80 percent of the immune system

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that if children consume fat, they become fat. And this has become the belief today. So, their solution is to switch them to low fat or skim milk by the time they are 2 years old. However, recent research is showing that this is false.

This is why children need milk with fat.

Let's take breast milk as an example. The fat contained in breast milk is critical to a growing baby. Breast milk contains 50 to 60% fat.

The human brain contains 60% fat. This amount is needed to maintain all of its nerve tissue, and for the production of hormones. Having an optimal level of fat is crucial because growth hormones is what is responsible for growth and development of the child.

Our ancestors, who grew up healthy with lots of energy drank raw whole milk.

You can get grass-fed raw milk from joining a cooperative that can sell it to you. Another way is by building a relationship with a local farmer. Sometimes you have to drive a bit to get to a place that sells raw milk, but it is well worth it.

The milk found in supermarkets is the last choice because there's a very good chance that the cows have not been grass fed. Besides that, it is pasteurized and homogenized. It may also contain antibiotics and other harmful ingredients. The milk may even travel miles to get to your supermarket.

So why did I say earlier that raw milk from grass fed cows is the second best milk? Because raw goat milk is even better! As the Journal of American Medicine reported, “Goat’s milk is the most complete food known.”

Goat’s milk is the most popular choice in many other parts of the world. It contains valuable nutrients and it is delicious. Goat’s milk contains vitamins, minerals, trace elements, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins, and fatty acids that are easily assimilated by the body. Goat's milk is digested in 20 minutes, while it can take up to 24 hours to digest cow's milk.

Cow’s milk and goat’s milk have different nutritional compositions.. Goat’s milk boosts the immune system and does not contain the complex protein that that causes allergic reactions. Goat’s milk helps to increase the ph level in the blood stream and it also alkalizes the digestive system. Additionally, goat's milk does not create mucus and will not worsen allergies and respiratory conditions.

People with lactose intolerance may find goat’s milk to be the best source of milk. Most lactose intolerant people have no difficulty drinking goat’s milk.

Additionally, because of fatty acids, raw goat's milk fights microbes and it is also rich in antioxidants and selenium, necessary for boosting the immune system

People with any types of digestive problems may find that raw goat's milk soothes the digestive system. Raw goat milk has even been used to treat conditions such as ulcers.

Children that can't drink cow’s milk may have a good alternative drinking raw goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is the next best thing to mother's milk. It is a natural food that children can consume comfortably with no unwanted effects.

In conclusion, as opposed to today's pasteurized and homogenized milks,which can lead to poor health, goat’s milk provides excellent health benefits, is well tolerated and delicious.

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The Wishful Science and Myths about Vegetarianism/Veganism

As the previously mentioned Time article about the consumption of meat's role in human development, the author noted that there are a lot of psuedo-science studies and papers which would have us believe that humans have never needed meat to survive. That might be true, we might have survived but we also might still be rather small creatures with small brains, existing further down the food chain and scurrying in the savannahs and/or living in the trees. To quote from Time:

"There's veganism and then there's Veganism—the upper case, ideological veganism, the kind that goes beyond diet and lifestyle wisdom to a sort of counterfactual crusade. For this crowd, it has become an article of faith that not only is meat-eating bad for humans, but that it's always been bad for humans—that we were never meant to eat animal products at all, and that our teeth, facial structure and digestive systems are proof of that.

"You see it in Nine Reasons Your Canine Teeth Don't Make You a Meat-Eater; in PETA's Yes, It's True: Humans Aren't Meant to Eat Meat; in Shattering the Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians. (Google "humans aren't supposed to eat meat" and have at it.)"

Perhaps the most famous questionable study about vegetarianism is the well-known “The China Study”, often referred to as the 'Vegetarian Bible'. “The China Study” was headed by and co-authored by T. Colin Powell. In addition to extolling the value of a whole food, plant-based diet, the study also concluded that eating meat was unhealthy.

Powell, who grew up on a dairy farm, has argued that casein, a protein found in milk from mammals, is "the most significant carcinogen we consume". He says that the implications are that animal-derived proteins can "turn on" cancer cells at the cellular level and that plant foods and plant-derived proteins can "turn off" cancer cells at the cellular level.

Among Powell's statements about the dangers of eating meat is:

"People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. Even relatively small intakes of animal-based food were associated with adverse effects. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease."

Powell has also said that "Eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy."

However, an impressive and large number of people and groups disagree with Powell and many have argued that he essentially endeavored to handpick data which supported his preconceived notions and rejected anything which did not conform to his desired conclusions. Among Powell's critics are: The Weston Price Foundation, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Chris Kresser, Chris Masterjohn, and the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR).

One of the best critiques of “The China Study” comes from Denise Minger, author of the book "Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health". In Minger's blog titled "THE CHINA STUDY: FACT OR FALLACY?", she meticulously takes apart and disputes Powell's conclusions with well-researched data. She also made the telling observation that Powell left out countries with very healthy and long-lived peoples which have high consuptions of meat and animal fats, such as Tuoli and XIanghuang qi. Others have noted that Powell's omissions such as the one detailed by Minger were very convenient for him.

Powell's conclusions would also seem to be contradicted by some of the longest-lived populations on earth who consume at least some meat and/or diary, such as the Seventh Day Adventists, the islanders of Okinawa in Japan, the Southern Italian and other Mediterranean cultures, and the Abkhasia of Southern Russia (home of the world's longest living man on record).

“The China Study” is far from the only study where bias skews the results in favor of veganism. Though not necessarily intentional, many studies compare vegetarians and vegans as a group to meat eaters as a group, when vegetarians/vegans are known to generally be more health conscious, more physically active, less likely to smoke and more likely to generally have a healthier lifestyle and diet than meat eaters as a group. Meat eaters as a group, included couch potatoes who eat processed meats and other processed foods and junk foods.

Even studies which try to adjust for lifestyle are often skewed because they do not compare people who eat the healthiest forms of meat and dairy – such as organic grass fed pastured beef, free range organic chickens, wild caught deep water fish, and raw cow's milk or raw goat milk. If people who consumed those kinds of meat and dairy whose diets and lifestyles were otherwise identical to vegetarians and vegans had their health compared to the vegetarians and vegans the results might well be that the meat and dairy consumers were equally or even more healthy than their counterparts.

Some other common myths about vegetarian/vegan diets :

• The Health Benefits of Vegan Diets Are Due to Avoiding Animal Foods
• Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Harmful Substances
• A Vegan Diet is The Only Diet Proven to Reverse Heart Disease
• Animal Protein is Harmful
• Meat Causes Heart Disease, Diabetes and Cancer
• Vegetarians and Vegans Live Longer and Have a Lower Risk of Killer Diseases
• Low-Carb Diets Will Kill You
• There is a Lot of Evidence Behind Vegan Diets

Though space does not permit thoroughly covering each of these myths, you can find an excellent refutation of each of them and more at 11 Common Myths About Vegan Diets.

See also:

The Health Benefits and Potential Dangers of Vegetarianism – Part 1

The Health Benefits and Potential Dangers of Vegetarianism – Part 2

The Health Benefits and Potential Dangers of Vegetarianism – Part 4

Sources for this article series included:

About the author

Tony Isaacs is a member of the National Health Federation and the American Botanical Council. He is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy." Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at The Truth About Cancer, the Health Science Institute's Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, Health Secrets, the Cancer Tutor, the Silver Bulletin, the New Zealand Journal of Natural Health, and several other venues. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 3500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - Featuring Luella May forum. He is also the local moderator of the CureZone Cancer Alternatives forum. Tony and his partner Luella May host The Best Years in Life natural health website where their motto is "It's never too late or too early to begin living longer, healthier and happier lives."

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