Heart Health requires fatty acids and B-12

By Sara | 02/18/11 - 8:57am

A vegan lifestyle may increase the risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis, according to an article in Science News

After a review of studies of vegetarianism, the authors of the peer-reviewed article conclude that vegan diets (no meat or animal product of any kind) tend to lack iron, zinc, B12 and several fatty acids.  All of these are found at relatively high levels in meat, compared to vegetarian foods. 

Fatty acids, specifically omega-3s influence the ratio of LDL:HDL cholesterol.  Contrary to widely held beliefs, cholesterol is necessary.  it is a component of cell membranes and many hormones.  A 2-minute search on Amazon reveals numerous titles on the emerging realization that fat is not the enemy.  The Westin A Price Foundation has been promoting healthy fat for a long time.

Extreme diets of any kind, from vegan to no grain, are inherently unbalanced.  We are omnivores, and our bodies depend on food from a variety of sources.   

The professor/philospher in me is compelled to make the following observation:  Any practice taken to an extreme, or adhered to as a dogma, produces imbalance.  This is the philosophy we follow at when producing beef, in  our spiritual practice and our diet. 

One Response to “Heart Health requires fatty acids and B-12”

  1. Mark Taylor Says:

    We are omnivores but we don’t have to eat meat to get a balanced diet. Education is the key here. Most vegetarians are just not educated about the their diets in general. It is highly documented that you can sustain a vegetarian regimen and get the same balance nutritionally as those who eat meat. With regard to fat, there are 3 categories of fat. Saturated(found primarily in animal products), monounsaturated(found mostly in vegetable and nut oils), and Polyunsaturated(found in corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils and certain fish oils) Excessive saturated fatty acids leads to your liver manufacturing too much cholesterol, especially the “bad” LDL or low density lipoproteins. However, they are needed in low amounts and a balance needs to be established. In addition the Polyunsaturated fatty acids may tend to lower the good cholesterol and are higher in calories, so you should keep these below 10% of your caloric intake. By the way I am not a vegetarian but my daughter tends to lean that way, so I have had to research all the elements of diet and nutrition. I do agree with your philosophy about extreme behaviors.

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