Discover more from Food Lies - Brian Sanders
Why People Are Tricked Into Thinking Plant-Based Diets Are Healthy
3 Simple Reasons that Explain It All
For decades, there's been a pervasive narrative suggesting that vegan and vegetarian diets are the ultimate solutions to society's health problems. These diets are often lauded as the number one way to lose weight and the easiest path to attaining good health.
This perspective contradicts not only human history but also the personal experiences of most people who read this. When you look at the simple nutritional facts, it’s clear that animal-based foods offer superior bioavailable and complete nutrition.
So why does this plant-based myth persist?
There are 3 main reasons (and most people have only heard of the first 2).
Reason 1: Follow the Money
I've always said, "The profit’s in the processing." The notion that "plant-based equals health" has trillions of dollars backing it. Companies are cashing in on high-profit-margin products like bags and boxes of plant-based paste and goop. The industry thrives on the idea that meat and fat are bad, so their "low-calorie" concoctions must be good.
This message has been making these corporations a lot of money for a long time. They spend billions to keep this narrative at the forefront of popular culture.
(a short video I made explaining how the profit is in the processing)
Reason 2: The Honeymoon Phase
If you've been eating processed foods for years and suddenly switch to a whole-food plant-based diet, you're likely to feel great initially. I 100% agree that if you go from boxes of mac n’ cheese and fried chicken, a plant-based diet is going to do you wonders (that of course is if you are actually eating whole foods and not continuing with vegan versions of the same old trash.)
This is what is referred to as the "vegan honeymoon." For a period, which can last from months to years, some people can experience some weight loss and positive results. However, the nutrient and protein deficiencies eventually catch up. These deficiencies can lead to a range of health issues, including fatigue, gut issues, autoimmune problems, muscle loss, and more. It's a slow ticking time bomb of nutrient deprivation that may not be realized until it’s too late.
People just don’t understand that they’re getting all these benefits from getting rid of their terrible diet and moving to real foods. There’s nothing “magical” about the plant-based foods - it’s just a way for them to eat less and lose some of that excess fat and inflammation in the short term.
Reason 3: Nature’s Fallback Plan
The most significant reason for the persistence of the plant-based myth lies in our evolutionary history. For millions of years, humans and their ancestors have roamed the Earth in search of animals - and we were very good at acquiring them. We could hunt the largest of mammoths down to the smallest of lizards.
Despite being proficient hunters, there were occasions when hunts failed or adverse climatic conditions made animal foods scarce. This is when we were forced to rely on gathered plant foods. This “fallback diet” kept us alive in hard times.
One of the things that have kept us alive and reproducing all these years is the ability to survive on this fallback diet. It’s a true miracle of mother nature. We can take lower quality foods and eke out enough nutrition to survive. There’s nothing wrong with plant foods - they just aren’t the primary option for what humans need to build their bodies, organs, and brains.
With enough variety of these survival foods we can piece together enough nutrition to not die. Maybe we had to do this for an entire season. If there was a really horrendous natural disaster, maybe we’d have low amounts of animal-based nutrition for an entire year. But we lived on.
Nowadays, we have people taking this fallback plan - this evolutionary “hack” - and trying to live off of it for decades. It can keep them alive for quite some time - but the consequences are slow and disastrous.
There are endless examples of people slowly losing their health without realizing it while doing “all the right things,” dutifully sticking with these plant-based diets. These people are admirable trying to do something for their health, but they are sadly on a slow road to poor health.
The Final Word
So do you want to thrive? Or just survive? Do you want to eat a diet that allows you to “not die”? Or do you want to reach your full potential as a peak human?
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t fall for the propaganda that makes rich people richer. Don’t get fooled by the honeymoon phase. And definitely don’t get suckered into thinking nature’s backup plan is the best way to eat.
p.s. If you liked this article please support our local, regenerative ranchers at Nose to Tail and consider being a paid subscriber (click below)
p.p.s. I’m working with some great people to revive the #Yes2Meat movement - subscribe to the excellent Substack here.