What Are Vegetarians Deficient In?

There was a case study in 1980 that compared 2 prehistoric populations living in the same area but with significantly different nutritional habits:

  1. Agriculturists (Hardin Village)
  2. Hunter-Gatherers (Indian Knoll).

The villagers lived mainly on corn, beans, and squash, and the hunter-gatherers mostly meat, fish, and wild fruit. After researchers analyzed the health of both populations, this is what they found:

  • Longer lifespan and lower infant mortality for the hunter-gatherers
  • Common iron, calcium, and protein deficiencies in the villagers
  • No bone malformations or cavities for the hunter-gatherers, and an average of 7 for the farmers

Aside from low muscle and weak bones, the biggest threat to removing meat from the diet is a deficient brain.  Considering that cognitive development accelerated with the introduction of meat and fish to the human diet, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  B12 deficiency is a prime example, as this nutrient can only be properly obtained from animal source foods; and an inadequate supply is associated with an aging brain.

The vegetarian diet is also deficient in the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA), which leads to a decline in cognitive ability.  Although vegans will attempt to tell you otherwise, plant source foods only contain ALA, which has a weak conversion rate (21% in women) to the brain supporting essential fatty acid – DHA.  Some research has even suggested that:

Attempting to raise blood DHA status with strictly an ALA omega-3 source is nearly impossible.

Interestingly, a lack of saturated fat appears to inhibit our ability to convert ALA even more.  Which is extremely concerning for vegans, who aside from relying on strictly ALA omega-3 sources, refrain from saturated animal fats.

The third highly prominent deficiency for vegetarians to consider is iron.

Heme (or ferrous) iron is the best available source of iron for human beings (Heme or ferrous iron) and is only absorbed from animal source foods.

Young females should pay close attention to this point, as research suggests that they’re commonly anemic (iron deficient).  Not only because they experience monthly blood (and iron) loss, but because most eat an inadequate amount of animal flesh.

For many, it’s not just the lack of nutrient dense meat, but it’s the continuous decline in stomach acid. The meatless diet produces an underactive stomach that leaves vegetarians with less absorption of essential nutrients. B12 is especially finicky when it comes to absorption, as adequate stomach acid (hydrochloric acid and the intrinsic factor) is required for proper assimilation.

Non-meat eaters become deficient in their consumption of essential nutrients and deficient in their absorption of essential nutrients.

Although science and anthropology provide ample support for consuming a diet high in animal flesh, I prefer to tackle the vegetarian debate by asking one simple question:

Could you kill an animal with a knife or rock?

What about your bare hands?

The truth is, not a lot of us could. Not only because we’ve never had to, but because we know it would be challenging, physically and psychologically.

So answer me this – if our hunter-gatherer ancestors of the past were perfectly capable of surviving on roots and shoots, nuts and berries, what drove them to track and kill an animal?

Better yet, what gave them the desire to make a spear and risk their ilves with a sabretooth tiger or wooly mammoth?

The Answer…

…an innate desire for the essential nutrients, amino acids, and fats from animal protein.

We Need Meat!

– See more at: http://coachmikeblogs.com/we-need-meat/#sthash.oxbYdMiC.dpuf

Although it appears we can survive without eating meat, we cannot thrive.  A vegetarian diet leads to malnourishment because of its failure to provide the essentials of life.   This inadequacy leads to muscle wasting and anemia as youngsters, and osteoporosis and dementia as we age.

There’s a reason Anne Hathaway, Bill Clinton, and Bob Harper are no longer vegetarians, and it’s the same reason you shouldn’t be either.

We Need Meat!

We had that need over 1.5 million years ago, and we still have it today.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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