June 3

Why Raw Meat Is NOT the Answer For Health

Filed under Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition by Frederic Patenaude



– Frederic’s Update: We’re in Kauai!
– Feature Article: Why Animal Foods and Raw Meat Are Not the Answer to Health


My new book “The Raw Vegan Coach” has been a little delayed, and is supposed to come out next week if all goes well.

I’m really excited about because this is the first book that features over 147 questions and answers on the raw food diet and related topics. This is truly going to be a little “raw encyclopedia” for your reference!

When I said that there’s a state of mass confusion in the raw food movement, I was not exaggerating.

You have some authors who will tell you that fruit is bad for you and should be avoided, while others will praise fruit as the ultimate food and tell you that’s all you should be eating.

Who should you believe?

The only way to clear the confusion and design a program that works for you and gives you the health and energy you’ve always been after is to get carefully-researched and tested information.

The Raw Vegan Coach will answer all of your questions on this lifestyle and will put you on the right path to success. Stay tuned!

Another Update:

Four times a year, for each season, I recommend to go on a Green Cleanse. Our next green cleanse starts on June 14th , and we’re accepting registrations now!
If you sign up before Friday , you also get a $30 discount by using the coupon code JUNECLEANSE on checkout. Make sure to sign up now to get your early bird discount!


Why Animal Foods and Raw Meat Are Not the Answer to Health

Recently, a book was published called “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith, a former vegan who attempts to make a case against the vegetarian diet. After over a decade on a vegan diet, she’s fallen off the wagon and is back on meat, but not because she was craving a juicy steak, but because she’s now convinced that the vegan diet destroyed her health.

Another former raw vegan who enjoys a certain popularity recently published a pamphlet on why he’s now eating meat, and was seen recently up North in my home country converting other vegans into eating meat.

If you’ve been mostly vegetarian or vegan for long enough, I’m sure you’ve stumbled into former vegans who are back on meat because they think it’s part of the answer to their health problems. You may even meet many former veggie-heads who also, like the author of “Vegetarian Myth”, think that the vegan diet made them sick and weak.

I’ve been around long enough in this movement, having bought and read with enthusiasm Diet for a New America (the “Bible” for many vegetarians) in 1995, when I was just 19.

Since then, I’ve seen all kinds of vegans and raw vegans not only fall off the wagon but go back to meat as if it’s the answer to all of their health problems.

When I was roaming California in search of some answers in my early 20s, I met many former raw vegans who were now eating raw animal products because they felt they were not thriving on a pure raw vegan diet. They felt something was missing, and were claiming that they felt so much better eating all this raw meat.

In my first years of raw veganism — I was a typical motivated raw-foodist.

I ate nothing but 100% raw vegan foods for over 4 years, and even at such a young age my health was starting to fail.

I had no energy.

My blood sugar was going crazy.

And I definitely was not experiencing the life-changing results all the raw-food books were telling me I should be experiencing by eating this way.

But I resisted stoically for many years and let my health fail while I remained staunchly raw vegan, thinking it was just a matter a time before my health turned around, once I would finally detox all these cooked food cells that were making me sick.

But at some point, after hearing all these “testimonials” from these former vegans who went back to meat, I felt some forbidden carnivorous thoughts creep into my sub-conscious.

Even after I had stopped being 100% raw, I stayed vegan because I did not want to eat animals.

But like many other people, I ended up trying to incorporate some animal foods into my diet to see what would happen and hoping that it might be the missing part to the puzzle.

Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for the cows), as I hope most former vegans will one day realize when they see their health decline in a completely different way, I found out that animal products were not the answer at all.

I tried raw eggs. I tried raw fish. I couldn’t do raw meat, even though I had considered it for a while.

I even went back to organic chicken and eggs and of course fish in all its forms, and nothing quite did the trick.

One day, I woke up and decided that I was going to eat a burger. Not a little veggie burger for “weaklings”, but a real burger as MAN must eat it — I’m talking about a real beef burger.

I also had steak on a few occasions, and other types of exotic meats.

I was sane enough not to eat it all at once, as some former vegans have done (one person I know told me once they went off the vegan diet, they started eating one pound of beef a day!).

Instead, I ate small quantities of animal products on and off for a couple years.

Did I feel better than on a 100% “eat anything as long as it’s raw” diet?
I sure did.

But was it because these animal products were providing any nutrients that my body was missing?

Absolutely not.

What most failing vegans have in common is that they are calorie-deprived.

When you’re not consuming enough total calories, it also means you’re not getting all the vitamins, minerals and even protein that your body requires.

Put an undereating vegan on a plan with some meat and they’ll instantly feel better, because meat is a very rich food, full of protein, fat and calories, and even some critical vitamins and minerals.

It’s also full in a lot of the stuff that will eventually make you sick, and I was smart enough to do more research before announcing to the world that I was now a meat eater.

If you read my books and blog posts, you know that I eventually got back on track and restored my health through the plan that I present in my programs and on this website. (High raw, sometimes all raw low fat raw vegan)

But one question remains:

Why are so many vegans unhealthy?

Before I answer this question, I must clarify that I no longer consider myself a “vegan” in the true sense of the word.

The typical vegan is primarily motivated by the welfare of animals and obsessed with only one aspect of healthful living: not eating animal products.

In that sense, I don’t consider myself a vegan.

I have no problem with other people eating meat, if that’s their choice. I don’t complain of the “horrible smell of dead carcasses” when my neighbors barbecue some steak, but I know a lot of vegans who are very vocal about these things.

I also don’t try to make my lifestyle completely vegan. The best underwear I have ever found are made from wool (from ethically raised sheep), and I wouldn’t consider wearing anything else.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a leather jacket, but I wouldn’t also throw away a perfectly good pair of jeans if it has a bit of leather on a tag.

Occasionally and when traveling only, I might eat some animal products, such as raw honey or some ceviche (a common dish in south america made with raw fish marinated in lemon juice), as a delicacy but it’s not something I would eat every day or every week or month. I never eat any dairy products (raw or cooked).

I focus on my overall lifestyle and not just one aspect of my health. I remain convinced that animal products are NOT the answer.

Why are Vegans So Sick?

When I was reading “The Vegetarian Myth”, I was surprised at how not convincing the book was at making a case against the vegan diet.

At best, you could consider that book to be a painful therapy session for a tortured author who thinks that the vegan diet destroyed her life. At worst it’s the least convincing “meat” manifesto you’ll ever read.

The author of the Vegetarian Myth thinks the vegan diet was the cause of her health problems, yet she also admits that she’s still not healthy on her meat based diet.

“Six weeks into veganism I had my first experience of hypoglycemia, though I wouldn’t know that’s what it was called until eighteen years had gone by and it had become my life. Three months into it I stopped menstruating, which should have been a clue that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. The exhaustion began around then too, and it only got worse, along with the ever-present cold. My skin was so dry it flaked, and in the winter it itched so badly it kept me up at night. At twenty-four, I developed gastroparesis, which, again, wasn’t diagnosed or treated until I was thirty-eight and found a doctor who worked with recovering vegans. That was fourteen years of constant nausea, and I still can’t eat after 5 PM.”

She goes on and on in the book with all the illnesses she had and blames it on the vegan diet, including depression and anxiety.

In spite of eating meat, she’s still not healthy

“Between my spiritual practice and my nutrient-dense diet, I am now depressing-free, and I am thankful every day. But the cold and the exhaustion are permanent. Some days breathing takes more energy than I have”.

Obviously, she was doing something wrong and is still doing something very wrong.

Success leaves clues, and so does failure. The alleged hypoglycemia she experienced when she first went vegan was a clear sign she was on the wrong diet.

But it’s not the vegan diet that made her sick, but the type of vegan diet she was on.

I found it very strange that she wrote an entire book bashing the vegan diet, while never once describing what she ate. But I was able to gather enough clues, from her symptoms to her references to eating a lot of soy, to realize she was another unhealthy vegan biting the dust.

The Vegetarian Myth is a very poor argument against the vegan diet. Yet, it’s written with a lot of zeal and anger, and unfortunately seems to be converting many vegan back to meat.

“I’m also writing this book as a cautionary tale. A vegetarian diet—especially a low-fat version, and most especially a vegan one—is not sufficient nutrition for the human body. To put it bluntly: it will damage you”

Now that’s a quote that deserves to be demolished, especially considering the fact that she makes absolutely no real solid argument to support those claims.

In my experience, these are the following most common mistakes people make on a vegan diet that bring them to a low state of health and give such bad rap to the vegan diet.

1. Not enough calories.

A healthy vegan diet is easily explained: eat enough fruits, vegetables and starch-based foods to maintain your weight and energy, and minimize concentrated foods such as nuts and seeds or oils.

Vegan foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are very nutrient dense, but not calorie-dense. That means you need to eat a lot more of these foods to give you enough energy and maintain your weight and your health.

Many vegans are “weak” and scrawny simply because they don’t eat enough. Not getting enough calories will also mean that you’re not getting enough vitamins, minerals and protein.

If someone is not thriving on their diet and has little energy, the first thing to do is to increase the total amount of calories consumed. But there’s a caveat: these calories must come from whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, and not from oil and fatty foods. Which brings me to my next point.

2. Not enough carbs.

It’s funny because most ex-vegans specifically blame the carbs for their health problems, when it’s actually one type of food they were under-eating.

Under-eating carbs means that you’ll eat too much fat, too much protein and that you won’t get enough energy to function.

That is why so many vegans feel tired all the time. It’s important to get enough calories, but also to eat enough calories in the right proportion.

In spite of what is incorrectly claimed in many anti-vegetarian books, carbohydrates are the preferred food for the human body.

How do you know that? The actual research behind this point is very extensive, but you only need to look at one thing: top athletes.

Every single winning marathon runner or Tour de France athlete thrives on a high-carb diet. Why? Because it works, and carbs are the preferred foods for the human body. Top athletes don’t eat a lot of carbs because they are philosophical vegans (most of them are not), but because that’s what they need to eat to win.

For optimal health and energy, your diet should be composed of at least 70% carbohydrates by total calories. Which leaves less than 30% for protein and fat.

3. Too much fat.

Most vegans use unhealthy amounts of plant oils and fat. This is the primary reason why some vegans suffer from hypoglycemia and other blood sugar issues. It’s well documented that a high-fat diet has a negative impact on insulin sensitivity.

For optimal health, ALL oils should be avoided. That includes all olive oil, hemp seed oils, and even so-called healthy oils such as flax seed oil.

Instead, you should get all of your fat from whole foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados in minimal quantities. For most people who are not very athletic, a very small handful of nuts OR half an avocado is about the maximum you should eat in one day.

This is the number one way to improve a vegan diet. Get rid of all the fat and learn to prepare foods without fat. At the same time, eat more of the “good” stuff such as fruits and vegetables. Remember that green vegetables have no calories, so as a vegan you will have to get your calories from the following foods:

Root vegetables (potatoes, yams, etc.)
Starches (whole grains, beans, etc.

If you follow a raw approach like I do most of the time, then the majority of your calories will come from fruit.

Getting a significant proportion of your calories from fatty foods such as oils is a big mistake and one that will quickly destroy your health. (A lot of people make large salads every day drenched in olive oil and believe this is part of a healthy diet.)

If you have any weight to lose, you should consider avoiding all fatty foods temporarily until you lose the desired weight.

Why? Fats are stored by the body very easily, requiring less than 3% of the calories consumed to store. On the other hand, carbohydrates need an average of 30% of calories consumed to be turned into body fat.

As author John McDougall likes to say, “The fat you eat is the fat you wear”. So if you don’t want to “wear” any more fat, avoid it.

It’s fairly easy to get used to a low fat diet and it takes 30 to 60 days for your taste buds to fully adapt.

4. Too much soy.

Many vegans consume massive quantities of soy products, which is also a mistake.

First of all, there’s one category of soy products that can be avoided completely for optimal health, and that’s textured vegetable protein, which is often used to make fake-meat products such as veggie burgers, veggie lunch meats, sausages etc.
It’s been found that this type of protein can create some of the same problems as meat in the human body, by being very acidic like meat. Consuming textured vegetable protein can also raise growth hormones in your body, which can accelerate aging, and can also cause cancer to grow.

Traditional soy products such as tempeh, tofu and soy milk are not as bad as they are reputed to be, but they should be viewed in the same category as nuts, seeds and avocados.

These soy products are rich foods (with tofu containing a significant amount of fat), so they should be used sparingly as a delicacy to flavor a recipe, if you’re going to use them at all.

5. Too much junk food.

Many vegans also eat too much junk food, and you know what I’m talking about. French fries and potato chips may be vegan, but they are not healthy. Essentially if it comes from a restaurant or a factory, it should be seen as “fun” food and

not as healthy sustenance for the human body. So use your judgement and base your diet on fruits and vegetables, not on junk foods.

6. Too much wheat.

A lot of people in general, but especially vegans and vegetarians base their diet around wheat and bread products. Sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pizzas, pastas, muffins, cereals, are not necessary for health and are often highly processed with artificial vitamins added which can make it hard for the body to absorb real vitamins from whole fruits and vegetables.

Many people also have a wheat sensitivity or are allergic and can develop celiac disease. If you have frequent colds, breathing problems, stuffy nose, asthma, IBS, digestion issues etc., you could have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Cutting wheat out of your diet is fairly easy to do when you eat a diet of fruits and vegetables and non glutenous carbohydrates like potatoes and rice.

7. Too much of allergenic foods.

Other foods that are consumed by vegans that are highly allergenic are peanuts and by vegetarians various milk products. Both can cause serious problems when eaten in small quantities by those who have food allergies and are often eaten in significant quantities by those who have food sensitivities and intolerances.

Meat is NOT the Answer

It must be a strange fact of human nature that we tend to make the wrong associations based on what we perceive to be a direct cause-reaction relationship.

If you go vegan and your health declines, you’ll naturally believe that the vegan diet was to blame. Because a vegan diet is a diet that excludes animal products, you might be led to believe that not eating them is what caused you to be sick in the first place.

But in reality, a vegan diet can be anything. It can be a diet of fake meat products and oil and french fries, or it can be a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables consumed in sufficient quantity to make you thrive.

The fact that many vegans get sick does NOT mean that animal products are the answer. Some raw foodists are now including raw meat and

raw dairy into their diets and claiming these are the sole reasons they are surviving on a raw diet, because raw plant food alone are not

enough to thrive on.  This is simply not true. They may be thriving in spite of the raw animal products they are eating.

Animal products are inherently bad for the human body, for very specific reasons:

1- They are very acidic and will drain your calcium reserves as the body uses calcium in your bones to balance the pH of the food in your digestive tract.

2- They contain too much protein. All excess protein has to be eliminated by the body which will wear down your kidneys and liver over time and accelerate the aging process. A diet rich in animal protein is also the number one dietary factor for cancer (see The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell).

3- Most animal products are high in fat. Excess fat is stored as body fat and results in surpluses in the body, leading to insulin-related products and everything related to overweight.

4- Animal products are rich in cholesterol, which accumulates in the body and contributes to vascular diseases.

5- Animal products are a concentrated source of toxins. Being high on the food chain, animals accumulate much more toxins, hormones and pesticides in their tissues. This is not mentioning the possible bacteria-related issues with factory produced animal products and cross contamination in the facilities.

Are some vegans unhealthy? Yes! But animal products are not the answer.

What do you think?

NOTE: Some of my research for this article comes from the informative newsletters published by Dr. John McDougall. Check it out at: http://www.drmcdougall.com/

60 Responses to “Why Raw Meat Is NOT the Answer For Health”

  1. Lysa says:

    Very interesting to read. I totaly agree with a lot of what you say, like meat is not good for human bodies.
    I don’t eat meat and have a deep longing to be more raw even though I eat al lot of raw food (no diary, no weath, a little fish, no egg). My problem is that afther a few days i get so “ungrounded” that I have my head in the clouds and I don’t feel good. I totaly love raw food and feel the energie in the food is super vibrant. And I can’t eat to much fruit because I’m suger adicted, i ge like an alcoholic if I eat a banan. AND I need to GAIN weight, so cutting out even the last fat that I eat now, well i would be like half a stick.
    Anyway Thanks! for good reading
    Love and Light

  2. […] is the original post: Why Raw Meat Is NOT the Answer For Health | Frederic Patenaude Raw … Posted in Life Style Tags: aging, china, china-study, contain-too, kidneys, number, […]

  3. Jimmy says:

    I think that’s a fantastic article you wrote, Fred.

  4. andy says:

    Fred , thx for the good article, but I think some things could be argued.
    For example that fats are easily converted into body fats, that not always the true. And carbs are very easily can become fats, coz all extra glucose is converted into citric acid ( just one step in TCA cycle), which then used for fatty acid synthesis. Furthermore, glucose is mainly metabolized by liver and and most of them converted into fats.
    If you study glucose metabolism you will see that fructose enters glycolysis at the diferent stage than glucose. Also there is a number of studies linking fructose with insulin resistance, though most of them done on HFCS.

    FInally some people thrive on high fat diet and manage to maintain low blood glucose, provided they consume low carb diet. REgarding athletes, some of them from too much carbs have clogged up arteries and even die from heart attack. Cholesterol science is also mainly to push statin drugs and number os studies showed that there is no link between cholesterol and heart disease, and very low cholesterol is in fact is a risk factor.

  5. Great article I do agree that people are not eating enough calories when they are on a vegan diet. I find it very hard to get enough calories to keep me going when I eat a diet based on mostly fruits and vegetables. I have considered getting a juicer because I find very time consuming to sit down and eat a bunch of apples and other fruits. How do you feel about this?

  6. Dear Frederic, I couldn’t agree more: meat ain’t good for our ‘chimp-de-luxe’ body type! Especially when our body gets into vintage age… I read that chimps, too, have “our” blood groups! So much for evolutionary proof that blood groups have nothing to do with carnivore/herbivore feeding habits – because chimps eat at most 80 grams of meat per MONTH, as the good Professor Jane Goodall found out!
    I evolved from being an habitual meat eater into a rather raw vegan over the last decade, and have never been healthier in my life! Perhaps you might want to read how easy it was on my website: youthevity.com

  7. Loretta says:

    When I added lots of dark green leafy vegetables to my vegan diet, my hair grew a little longer, my fingernails quit breaking, and my face is a more healthy rosy color.

    My hair had been the same length for a couple of years, and I thought it had reached the maximum length that it could grow. My fingernails used to split off when I washed my hair, and I had to keep them very short. Now my nails are longer, and it takes real trauma to make them break.

    I agree that animal food is not the answer. A healthy vegan diet is best.

  8. Petit says:

    Hi Frederique,

    Well I have read the book of Albert Mosseri ” la santé par la nourriture” and he claims that to calculate the food considering that an amount of 2000 or more calories a day is a mistake, he also claims you can be fit when eating greens, salads and keep healthy when eating 2 lbs of food a day like Cornaro used to do in the 16th Century or so.
    The claims are that stating some food contain 300 calories while some only 50 calories are biased and does not tell the story at all.
    Moreover vegetables contain minerals that fruits seem to be lacking and these minerals build the body mass.

    Fruits clean the body while vegetables feed the body.

    Personnaly I managed to lose 25 lbs !!! when eating fruit, I now weigh 130 lbs and I am nearly 6 feet tall !!! that’s incredible how skinny I am, I was eating 8 lbs of fruits a day and I lost 25 lbs in 2 months !!! I am trying to regain weight whith vegetables and it is raising slowly….

    (PS : I read Authors like Désiré Mérien, Albert Mosséri (both pro vegetables) and I document myself with Nicolas Gozzi Ospatchouk and you (pro fruits))

    I am looking forward to reading your reply

    Cheers from France !

  9. Brian Root says:

    Maui is my favorite place on Earth, so far.

    It seems your comments about meat are all about eating large amounts of meat.
    If one is eating mostly fruits and vegetables, is there a real negative, besides killing the animal, to eating grass fed, hormone free meat occasionally? Twice a week?
    Eating it with a salad would seem to balance out the acidic qualities.
    And, eating small portions would not overload the body with protein, fat, and cholesterol.

    Are there health benefits to eating meat this way?

  10. Quinn says:

    This information has been most informative. I am a raw foodest and have had a few issues as of late. I am looking into the cause, and you have really allowed me to see what it is not. I really appreciate how indepth you went in explaining your views.

    Thank you,

  11. Swayze says:

    Excellent article, Fred!

    When I was much younger, my sister switched from vegetarian to vegan. Within a week, she was feeling very sick and almost passing out at work so she gave it up. From that point on, I decided veganism was dangerous and stupid. I mean, we’re so obviously omnivores, right? We absolutely need meat to live!

    It was wasn’t until much later, when I adopted a low fat raw vegan diet, that I learned the truth about what my sister was eating during her week-long stint as a vegan. For breakfast, she would literally eat only one orange before walking out the door to go to work waiting tables (those in the know understand how very strenuous such a job is).

    One orange? I eat 10 bananas for breakfast, and that’s on my rest days! No wonder she was so lethargic! As you point out, Frederic, so much of failing health on ANY diet is due to undereating calories and undereating carbs. It’s really that simple! 🙂


  12. darius sohei says:

    ok, then why do you think that there are not/have never been any vegan or vegetarian tribes or cultures?

  13. Pamela says:

    Hi – I just read your thoughts on why meat is not the answer and I couldn’t agree more! I’m going to use the arguments you’ve given here when people ask me to explain why they see a lot of vegans and vegitarians looking unhealthy.

  14. Fran says:

    Thank you so much for this article… I had not heard of this book until now.
    I am not doing a raw food diet right now but did in the past. I was vegetarian for 2 years then went vegan for another 2 years and then became totally raw for 8 months. I never felt better than while I was ‘raw’ except for one small problem… my scalp became very tender. I did a little research and found that it could be a symptom of no animal fat… whether this was true or not I don’t know. But I did start eating a half of piece of cooked bacon in the morning (my husband, at the time, was still eating a SAD diet) and my tender scalp went away within a matter of days. I maintained this for several months until I went back to work. My old profession, bartending. I went down hill from there… chips, hotdogs, microwave pizza the full gambit! It was what was available and I didn’t learn to prepare food for the day to take with me. Now that I am no longer bartending I have planned to go back to a raw lifestyle but the closest market that sells edible (not organic) produce is 30 miles away, organic produce is 45 miles away and I have no car. I am waiting… I do still read many of my raw food books and even got a copy of the China Study (excellent book!) Hopefully, in the not too far off future, I will have transportation again and will be able to shop as my body/mind instructs. Thank you for your newsletters, they give me hope.

  15. Kimberly Cornier says:

    i agree with this article. I am on a low fat vegan diet but am having to track my food intake.

    I still need to loose about 67 pounds (I have already lost 45 pounds) but am finding that even though I eat lots of food I am not getting enough calories.

    If I am not careful I will eat only 800 calories a day. This is simply not enough to live on. However, I can with careful planing – avoid food that are too high in fat and still get enough calories (about 1200) to feel great all day and have enough energy to get thorugh my day.

    I end up eating lots of fruit for the morning – up until about 10 AM where I add a servie of whole grains (oatmeal etc).
    Thank a lunch I usuall have beans and rice (I love this) and a fresh green salad
    snack I would eat a few walnuts or some carrots and hummas
    Dinner is again a large green salad – some times I will add a home made black bean patty or soemthing.

    It is not totally raw but I feel I am getting lots of fruits and vegetables, avoiding animal products and still getting enough calories eaten to not loose weight too fast

  16. Samantha Hussey says:

    Frederic, I saw the person in Calgary a few weeks ago, he didn’t want to convert anyone. He just presented his side of what works for him…..Very passionate and knowledgeable person like yourself. I don’t totally agree with him, but calling down is I guess a good way to sell your products.

  17. Hubert says:

    Glad you quote the China Study as a reference. I have been following Campbell’s recommendations for over a year now – have never felt better, no more inflammation (osteo arthritis), etc., etc. I cannot speak highly enough of the benefits of going vegan – but don’t go and be a junk-food-vegan. Eat the good stuff and eat enough of it! Maybe one day I’ll even go raw! 😉

  18. Margaret Gomes says:

    Thank you so much for such an informative article … I feel very sad for this author, who it seems didn’t really try to resolve her diet issues and just blamed them on lack of animal products in the diet. I have been vegetarian for many years, and due to health reasons have been 100% for the past 15 months … I feel great !! I am constantly finding ways to improve my body and my health, and definitely don’t miss any animal products in my diet.
    Thanks again for letting people know that animal products are not necessary to be healthy !!

  19. Joanne says:

    Your 5-point conclusion displays an ignorance of physiology and biochemistry.

    Points 1 and 2: If the acidity of meat causes cancer, demineralization of bone and damage to liver, how do you explain the Inuit who live almost exclusively on meat and fat and are healthy and robust? Or how about the Masai? Or how about Vonderplanitz who had cancer and healed by eating raw meat? Or Lex Rooker who has eaten nothing but meat and fat for five years and whose Dexxa scan showed very healthy bones?

    Point 3: Dietary fat doesn’t cause depot fat in humans. Thousands of testimonials demonstrate that those cutting out carbs and eating protein and fat actually lose weight. Yes, you’ll gain weight if you eat fat and carbs, but it won’t be because of the fat.

    Point 4: Yes, animals contain cholesterol, but dietary cholesterol has little effect on serum cholesterol. You also need to do more research on the link between cholesterol and heart disease. Cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease but acts as a repair product just like firemen don’t cause fires but they’re at every fire you find. High cholesterol is caused predominantly by inflammation in the body. High cholesterol is a known sign of hypothyroidism. Heal the body and the cholesterol drops.

    Point 5: Health conscious people eat free range, pastured fed animals who do not have these toxins in their tissues. But their tissues contain excellent sources of many nutrients lacking in a vegan diet, particularly B12, EPA and DHA as well as CLA, usable iron, vitamin D, and vitamin A.

  20. Leila says:

    Hi Frederick, I like your response although I am neither a vegetarian, vegan or a raw foodist. Neither have I read the book The Vegetarian Myth. Isn’t the real problem something you hint at but don’t address directly in this article, that to eat a vegan diet that sustains your health and interest takes a lot of effort. More effort than most people are prepared to give it. Maybe that too is a myth?

  21. Cindy says:

    Way to go! Thank you for clearing up a bunch of the b.s. out there!!! Thanks for making the distinction between a healthy raw vegan diet and one that is not. Too many of my raw food friends have pH levels that are off the chart! They eat way too many nuts, seeds and dehydrated “goodies”….they think that just because it is raw it is healthy, and it is not!!
    At Suede Hills Organic Farm we spend quite a lot of time explaining how to eat a healthy balanced, more “natural” diet, instead of the Raw Food Religion way that is so touted these days. Our most recent efforts have been in testing and educating people about how extremely important their pH levels are to their overall well being, as well as the need for mineral rich green food like our certified organic Alfalfa Powder…which by the way has MORE protein than beef!!! because that is where the beef got its protein from….green alfalfa!! Keep up the great work!

  22. berrnadette says:

    Dear Fred~
    Thank you for always being a great voice of reason and wisdom. Have enjoyed your work and learned from you for many years- since 2003. Look forward to more and all the best!


  23. Terri says:

    I agree 100%. Most people THINK they are eating a healthy diet but if you really dig deeper and analyze what you are eating, you will find that you have sabotaged your own best efforts. I agree with this RAW philosophy but I find it very difficult to be consistent. A lifetime of habits takes time to change. I’m a work in progress!

  24. Jeri says:

    Hi Frederic and Thank You,
    Here’s some things that I have learned from my experience with eating both animal and raw food for significant amount of my 40+ year life.
    1. Everyone is different so we are told. Some people eat meat, some don’t. I have known people that eat meat, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol in excess who are better physical specimens than some of the most vigilant “rawfoodist” that I know.
    2. I realize that just as people can become fanatics about religion or politics, they can become food fanatics. Pushing a certain diet, lifestyle or beliefs because it is assisting their story and the payoff they get from propagating their story to others. They are like producers and directors of a movie or play who go out to find actors to be a part of their production. The whole thing is their creation with others taking roles and playing parts so that the script can come to “life”.
    I recently put meat/dairy and all the other once forbidden foods back into my diet because I decided the “policing” that I was doing with food was part of the good health/bad health story that I needed to create and nurture for others to see and validate.
    3. Sometimes I’ve felt good/better/best. Sometimes I’ve felt bad/never felt worse. And this could be at various times on a raw diet or meat diet. Lately, I really don’t care to advocate one or bash another.
    As I explore other aspects besides food that we have been lead to believe are necessary for our existence on this planet, I’m pondering less about the things that cause us to acknowledge our differences and more about the stuff that considers our connectedness.
    Sure am grateful for the journey through food though it has been a “tasty” ride!!

  25. Frederic Patenaude says:

    I think that Mosseri’s idea of that calories were not important was one of his main mistakes.

  26. Frederic Patenaude says:

    To Brian: there’s not enough research to show the answer to that question but some research shows that even small quantities of animal products such as 2 eggs a week are detrimental.

  27. Fern Rancourt says:

    I’m looking forward for your new book to be published! Thank you for this informative article, Frederic. What do you think of Dr. Gabriel Cousens’s philosophy about one’s intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fats according to one’s oxidative system? According to Dr. Cousens, who is known as ‘the world’s foremost live-foods medical doctor’, there is a difference in the amount one should consume, depending on their dominant system.
    – Fast Oxidizer: high protein (50-55%); low carbohydrate (30-35%); medium fat (20-25%); tendency to be acid.
    – Slow Oxidizer: low protein (30-35%); high carbohydrate (55-60%); low fat (10-15%); tendency to be alkaline.

  28. Frederic Patenaude says:

    To Darius: it’s quite ludicrous to say there has not been any vegetarian cultures. The staples of the vast majority of successful cultures out has always been some type of vegetarian fare. Vegan cultures are not as common but many cultures have been mainly vegan.

  29. darius sohei says:

    um, eating some or mostly plant foods does not equal 100% vegetarian or vegan. if you have authentic documentation of 100% vegetarian or 100% vegan cultures please post them.
    please attempt to prove that long-term (not just seasonal) veganism, raw or otherwise has been successful using indigineous/traditional technologies.

    (this is a question of can a human survive and thrive eating local, fresh, sustainable food.)

  30. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Joanne: the five points are based on several thousand studies, and the evidence to the contrary is actually very weak.
    Humans all over the world have lived on all kinds of diet, but that doesn’t mean all of them are ways for us to thrive.

    Show me a winning endurance athletes that wins races on a no-carb diet and I’ll listen. You won’t find them.

    Dietary fat does cause weight gain and the main reason that cutting carbs allows for some weight loss is because total calorie intake is significantly cut.

    I know there are cholesterol skeptics out there but you have to keep in mind that the vast majority of scientists accept the link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease to be correct.

    Cholesterol is only a symptom.

    The cholesterol skeptics have only found in their own interpretation of the results little correlation between mortality when cholesterol levels are above 210. Or that eating MORE animal foods on top of all that cholesterol will not make a big difference. This is like looking at people who already smoke 3 packs of cigarette a day and trying to find a correlation between death and each additional cigarette.

  31. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Fern: I do not agree with this way of categorizing people. I also don’t see how people could eat 50% protein on a raw food diet. It’s almost impossible so this analysis is flawed.

  32. lola says:

    You are sooo right! I agree with everything you said. It is so disappointing that vegans give up & believe lies. Like Travis Barker after his accident, his doctor told him eating meat would make him heal faster so he gave up too. I had a routine physical and told my doctor I was vegan, she told me to be sure to eat lots & lots of nuts everyday for my protein. So many lies & ignorance! My vegetarian friend was diagnosed with diabetes & her doctor told her she needed to start eating meat to replace all the sugar she can’t eat anymore, so she started eating McNuggets, I couldn’t believe it! I tried to explain to her but she will only trust her doctor. So sad.

  33. Great article Fred, I enjoyed the insight you provide here.

    It just seems so easy to gravitate towards an animal-based food when one is feeling deprived of the calories the body requires. It is necessary for people to ask themselves why do they feel the need to eat that food in the first place?

    Do they know leafy greens and most other veggies are not calorie dense, where as fruit is? Or that many “healthy” foods they already consume are actually high in fat?

    Indeed many vegans are healthy, but can they reach a higher level of health? I think so.

  34. wayne gendel says:

    i totally agree with you on the animals foods and raw fats.
    i have been 95% raw since 1985 and 80% raw since age 16 until 1985.
    after 1985 working at Hippocrates, i overate on fats for 3 years and
    almost blew my colon out!
    i was just not eating enough carbs!
    like you i will treat myself to raw cheese and raw fish occasionally.
    i have coached over 1,000 clients personally and would rather see them be healthy eating 50% cooked food and low fat than raw food and high fat as the fats are just way to hard for the body to digest.
    being a ‘junk food’ raw foodist is not a desirable title!
    there is NO way a human needs meat, fish, eggs, dairy on a regular basis.
    what one does 6 days a week is what will determine their health.

    thanks for putting this clearly.

  35. Joanne says:

    The scientific community is biased by the saturated fat/cholesterol causes heart diseases (lipid theory) because it is promoted by the technical journals, food industry, and pharmaceutical interests. Sure there with hundreds of studies showing high cholesterol accompanies heart disease (of course it does; cholesterol is used to patch damaged arteries), but correlation is not causation. There are several books available referencing hundreds of studies showing that low cholesterol causes more deaths from all causes and that high cholesterol is just a symptom of inflammation, not the cause of heart disease. Look up Anthony Colpo, Malcolm Kendrick, Gary Taubes, or Uffe Ravnskov for starters.

    Calories are not “drastically” cut on low-carb diets, but one does eat less because fat is very satiating, and meat and fat are nutrient-dense. As a vegan, you have to eat massive amounts of food, and if you had to go out and forage your own, you’d be in a world of hurt. I supposed that’s why many of you fruit eaters move to tropical countries: to support your habit.

    There’s nothing natural about eating all plants. And I don’t get your point about the Inuit eating organ meat. Of course they ate organ meat. I eat organ meat. Any meat eater who knows anything about healthy diets eats organ meat. We eat little bones of fish, too, and make bone broths.

    It’s nonsense to say eating an egg adds to the body’s serum cholesterol like smoking an additional cigarette leads to more toxins in the body. When you eat cholesterol, your body has to produce less and it does. Considering how much cholesterol is in the body, the cholesterol from a few eggs or meat is miniscule.

  36. Drew says:

    Fantastic reading!! Loved the article – I have been vegan for about ten months now (having enjoyed a mostly vegetarian diet) and have lost a lot of excess weight. (33 kilos in 12 months). Former customers (I was a restauranteur) have commenterd how well I look and that I look ten yeras younger. I eat a very varied and nutritional vegan diet, and eat more than I have ever done in my life I think! I am more energetic and my chronic knee pain is gradually subsiding.

    I eat a lot of fruit and raw vegetables but do not follow a totally raw diet.

  37. lola says:

    My entire family has high cholesterol and high blood pressure, all of my uncles, aunts, grandparents, parents, siblings…all except me, the only difference is that I have been a vegetarian (now vegan) most of my life. I have none of these problems & at my age I really should. I see nothing natural about killing animals for food, it’s inhumane how animals are treated. I also do not require massive amounts of food. In fact I eat less than meateaters I witness. I don’t live in the tropics for food but I seriously doubt meateaters go around hunting & killing for food either. I shop at the store just like them.

  38. eric says:

    Hi Frederick,

    Congratulations on your marriage, and thanks for a great article.

    I have been eating a high raw diet for 8 years. I eat mostly low fat high fruit, with a green smoothie every day. Most days I eat one young coconut and a couple of tabelspoons of ground flax seeds and 3-4 pecans per day. sometimes some avocado too. Many nights (esp fall winter early spring) I eat cooked vegetables and some grains (brown rice, buckwheat, and Quinoa) . The more raw I am the better I feel, but it must be hot out.

    I have been healthier for the last 8 years than at any time in my life( I am 51). I am almost never ill, and have plenty of energy to lead an active life. I only get sick when I am eating lots of cooked foods (once when I was 100% raw for a good long time and then I ate 10 oreos, I was sick for a week) or am exposed to cigarette smoke or other nasty chemicals.

    I had some health problems, low vitamin d and b-12, But now I am taking supplements. We shall see if these help. I have had lots of small cavities since going raw. Perhaps this is from the low vitamin d. I never had cavities before being raw. The b-12 deficency gave me itchy palms and a twitching eye. This comes and goes even with the supplements. I figure that I have an absorbtion problem. I recently added probiotics along with the d and b-12. This seems to have helped because the itchiness and twitching have gone away.

    I feel that raw foods saved my life. I was plagued by back problems for many years starting in my mid 20s and culminating in an event at 40 that left me disabled for 2 years. I have not had a back problem in the time since I began eating a high raw diet at age 42. I guess there are trade offs to everything. I do not miss animal products. I love feeling young and strong and alive,Thanks for all your wisdom. eric

  39. SY says:

    I have been following the LFRV diet and find that no matter what diet a person is on, it helps to log food into nutrition software or a calorie counting website that also provides nutrition information. I find that I get the most vitamins, minerals and omega 3s when I eat fruits and veggies. I can just barely meet the RDAs on a nutrition rich diet such as LFRV. I did try to log information when I was on a cooked vegan diet, healthy eating + meat and on a junk food diet. None of them seem to provide the nutrition that an LFRV diet provides. Has anyone else found this too? The numbers speak for themselves. Don’t you think?

  40. Kirsty says:

    I actually am a little disappointed by this article, it is very well articulated and states a lot of what every vegan wants to hear (very good sale)… but where are your points of reference other than the China study(which isn’t much to go off)? You are asking for people to purchase certain things from your site so that you can then take them further into your point of view. I am open to alternative health suggestions, but there is more proof out there to suggest our bodies survive better with a little animal products than not at all.
    I am very much for optimal health and if one day there is enough proof out there to suggest this is the best way to lead us there, other than people who hate hurting animals (a very valid reason) stating there beliefs on to others, than I will swallow my words.
    Everyone is entitled to go with what drives them its fantastic to be a leader not a follower. The thing that annoys me is saying to a Vegan that you”fell off the wagon” because they choose to eat an animal product. This isn’t so, they made a decision for themselves to eat that thing that they wanted (they aren’t taking drugs).

    I wanted to add this wonderful quote that I red from somewhere else “Live What You Love, don’t live just to survive”. We can’t forget to enjoy the journey of living.

  41. Sparrow says:

    The Inuit are not “the picture of health” on their 90% meat diet.

    The Inuit have the highest osteoporosis rates in the world. In a study of 217 children, 89 adults, and 107 elderly Inuit in Alaska, researchers found that they had lower bone mineral content, onset of bone loss at an earlier age, and development of bone thinning with a greater intensity than white Americans. The scientists attributed the greater degeneration to the acidic effects of the Inuit’s high meat diet.

    Some will argue that the Inuit no longer eat their native diet and that is why they are so sick. But signs of osteoporosis are evident in older Inuit skeletons, not just in the modern population. They were observed to be a short-lived people long before they had margarine and pop-tarts:

    From V. Steffanson, Cancer: A Disease of Civilization?

    Moravian Church in Labrador
    and the Russian Church in Alaska,1822-36 inclusive. Presented as numbers of people for each range of age of death:

    Aleuts, Unalaska district
    Died ages 1-4 — 92
    Died ages 4-7 — 17
    Died ages 7-15 — 41
    Died ages 15-25 — 41
    Died ages 25-45 — 103
    Died ages 45-55 — 66
    Died ages 55-60 — 29
    Died ages 60-65 — 22
    Died ages 65-70 — 24
    Died ages 70-75 — 23
    Died ages 75-80 — 11
    Died ages 80-90 — 20
    Died ages 90-100 — 2

    Labrador Eskimos
    Died under 10 — 29
    Died ages 11-15 — 9
    Died ages 16-20 — 4
    Died ages 21-25 — 6
    Died ages 26-30 — 7
    Died ages 46-50 — 10
    Died ages 51-55 — 10
    Died ages 56-60 — 4
    Died ages 61-65 — 4
    Died ages 66-70 — 8
    Died ages 71-75 — 4
    Died age 79 — 1

    1860 to 1879 — 150 births, of which:
    Died under 5 — 79
    Died age 5-10 — 5
    Died 10-60 — 30
    Died 61-81 — 30
    Died after 81 — 1

    Cape Chidley, of those (n=41) born between 1902 and 1922, inclusive.
    Still living, at ages between 48 and 58, were 21.

    Do those look like the kind of longevity statistics you want to trust your own life to?

    Inuit Greenlanders have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.

    To me, this is not a resounding affirmation for the healthiness of eating a diet that’s 90% meat and 75% fat.

  42. Wonderful effort, Fred. Chef Eric here, it was an honor and pleasure to cater your wedding. Good luck in Hawaii. It’s nice to see you inspire so many people to take responsibility for their health, and raise their consciousness a notch.

    In my 12 years of raising mine being 99% raw vegan, I observe that what we call “scientific research” today is nothing more than the manipulated suggestions of others pawned off as factual evidence for a buck. Its difficult to admit that real factual evidence stems from true natural human feelings, which are then verified by pure science, without corporate greed behind a predetermined, insane outcome….what we call junk science… like the bogus research in Africa by the meat industry to “prove” meat is necessary by cruelly starving thousands of subject children to near death, then feeding them meat and say they lived because of it. They could have been fed almost anything to say that. And what meat eaters want to support this insanity of their spokespeople?

    If you observe the reactions of your body, mind, and spirit when you see a live animal when you’re hungry, what do you really sense? Growl, salivate, and give chase…..or smile, say hello or admire it? There is no right and wrong, but there are choices which reflect our programming for death or life. Reality check: Humans don’t have the physical, mental, and emotional processes to WANT to KILL, eat or digest flesh. Look at a child, they ALL feel repulsed at the sight of suffering of any kind, especially when blood is involved. That’s natural. Children are FORCE FED flesh, its not something they’d naturally pick from a variety of fresh food in front of them. They’d avoid it. Test feelings, then verify with science.

    I feel most people want to do better for themselves, if they’re not deranged or too numb and dumbed down. I also feel that those who feel they must eat meat haven’t yet opened to the possibility that they really don’t need flesh to thrive. Creative, healthy motivation needed to explore this possibility with sensible, unfettered guidance, has been numbed and dumbed down by our culture of death. Lifeless, energy-health-robbing food consumed is a choice, whether flesh or plant based.

    I choose a higher vibe with living high nutrient whole plant food, and thrive from it immensely. I never get colds or flu, yet I used to when I ate meat/dairy. I get enough calories and nutrients because I KNOW how to consciously CHOOSE those foods rich in them. Historical recording in my feelings are that cultures long ago lived primarily on diets of a wild, whole, plant based food, and lived longer, were smarter, had less diseases, and connected directly with Spirit, knew every star in the sky, and were happier with life. Do you all know that in your heart of hearts to be true? Be honest. I like doubters – I encourage you to read the Ringing Cedars series of Anastasia.

    THe more processed and dead the food became over the last 40,000 years (a tiny fraction of our existence as mainly herbivore/frugivores) we became more frustrated, confused, separated from God and nature, and gradually becoming more unhealthy and degraded genetically. I say it’s time to learn to trust our body to do its work and CHOOSE to create a light-filled climate inside for LIFE and JOY to flourish the way nature intended and we’re meant to be and dream about for our world once again! We are making it happen in each moment we choose betterment for life.

    If you want more great solutions in guiding your choices to do better for yourself, email me and I’ll be happy to share them with you. Thanks to Fred for

  43. Jonathan says:

    Brilliant article Fred … enjoyed it very much. Also like your summary of why animal products are unhealthy choices.

    Hope you’re having fun on your honeymoon!


  44. Teresa says:

    @Andy june 3, 2010 at 10:31am:
    I have also been taught in the TCA cycle, and we were told it takes the human body vast amounts of energy to convert carbs into fat. So my question is: People on Atkins or the like, why are they the most overweight people on this planet? And how come the poeple on a vegetarian or vegan diet are the slimmest and sometimes (see Frederics answer above) the healthiest on our planet?

  45. Karina says:

    Great article, Fred! A low-fat , natural and alkaline dietary lifestyle is key to vibrant health.



  46. Sylvain Miljours says:

    A lot of people are afraid of missing things (mostly Proteins). The dairy industry did a real good job on thios one. When you decide to quit slavery of modern time you should decide to accept your freedom. When you consume meat most of the time the stuff is from industrial farms where animals are kept in horrible conditions. If we consume meat we ‘ve got to accept to be exploited (medically, at our work and even in our familly(kings were killed by their sons for the crown, kids are waiting anxisously for the heritage.) The main thing is that it is very hard to be free it is much easier to follow the mass. Enjoying your freedom is acomplishing yourself even if you commit some mistakes be open minded and all the awnsers are goimg to come.

  47. Anneli says:

    Hi Frederic, Congratulations on your marriage!
    Thanks for the newsflash. I wish you published some other sources than the China Study, too.
    For reference, the Hindus and Jains of India have thrived on a vegan or vegetarian diet for thousands of years. Where is the difficulty in doing the same here in the West, where we have access to most varying fruits, nuts, and salads?
    I for one, living in Sweden, am having a lovely start of summer with fresh salad leaves grown on my balcony… Tomato plants pushing up vigorously, no flowers yet but watch and see… I even got a couple of raspberry plants this year. Will take some photos for my blog soon, I think 🙂
    Have a lovely, fruity summer, all of you smart people who think of what you put in your mouth!

  48. that makes a whole lot of sense to me.

    plus, I eat exactly the way you described, a lot of fruits, vegetables and greens, 1 or 2 meals of cooked food per day like yams, squash, cooked veggies, rice, beans, etc. and i’m healthier than i’ve ever been. i almost never feel tired and had chronic fatigue for several years as a meat-eater.

    i try to start the day with as many fruits as i wish to eat. for lunch i’ll have a healthy cooked meal to give me energy throughout the day. at night i’ll eat a big salad and more fruits in the evening if i’m still hungry. this has been working really well for me. i also noticed that i feel more energetic if i limit myself to one cooked meal rather than two.

  49. Dimitrij says:

    Hi Fred

    excellent article. Meat is something we should avoid. I feel great eating low fat raw vegan. I use grains (oats, etc.) to provide enough calories and it goes well. And also a lot of dark leafy greens in green smoothies and raw soups. Irina Boutenko has helped me a lot. One important thing is: We should not be fanatical about what we do. Detachment and even-mindedness are much better.

    Continue your good work


  50. Jessica Mendez says:

    I love this article! The vegans that eat this way are making US look bad >:(

  51. Gunda says:


    Great article. Congratulations on your marriage. The cake sounded amazing!

    I don’t normally gush but thank you Fred from the bottom of my heart for keeping me on track for over three years. I have been paying attention and I would have lost my way without your rock solid guidance and regular e-mails. You are very generous with the information.

    I am 55 yrs old and and living more fully than ever due to living/raw foods and no more meat. I could not eat meat out of conscience and was sooo glad to find raw foods and feel like a double winner now! When I stick to high raw foods I feel younger at times than I ever have in my life, well you know what I mean Fred.

    I lost the asthma, the constantly sore joints, the bone tiredness, the allergies, the depression and I NEVER get colds or flu. If I am stuffy in the am it’s because I did not eat a healthy raw meal the night before.

    Looking forward to the new book,
    with deepest gratitude,

  52. Maureen says:

    The article and all the comments are very interesting. Diet and nutrition will always be a strongly debated topic- no matter what view is presented or what statistics or studies are noted, there will be controversy and debate.

    Some cultures only have so many choices to feed their populations; in countries like the US, Canada, Europe…we have lots of choices. That is why people are confused. I’m sure the Eskimos would not eat a 90% meat diet if they had a choice, but they don’t.

    For those of us who have choices, there are so many ways to make smart choices. Getting off sugar, processed foods and most dairy products help gain clarity. I don’t believe there is only one right way to eat. Eating 50% raw foods (meaning fruits and vegetables….not other “raw” foods) and other healthy vegetarian foods like rice & beans, quinoa, hummus etc… have plenty of calories and nutrition. Getting enough greens and fruits are critical for any diet and probably the main thing most people don’t get right.
    I do believe you need to eat healthy fat, just not disproportionate quantities. There is nothing wrong with stir frying vegetables in a bit of olive oil for example. I think eating small quantities of animal protein on occasion is ok to do.

    The more you cleanse your body and truly can understand what you body is asking for, the better choices you will make.

    Eating like this is also good for the environment. Certainly a heavy animal protein diet isn’t even sustainable. Look at what factory farms have become- the animals and environment suffer and people are eating unhealthy meat “grown” like this.

    For me, I enjoy eating the way I described above. Avoiding most dairy, most sugar, most processed foods and gluten have helped me a ton! I’m always looking to add more raw fruits and vegetables and increase that amount. Beans, grains and occasional protein (high quality) feel great.
    Green smoothies, fruit for snacks or vegetables and bit of hummus…and rice & beans or grains/vegetables for meals works great.

  53. Bobby says:

    I’m young(23) so my mindset regarding is constantly changing. I often see 2 generalized extremes for diet being promoted: 80/10/10 or high fat/high protein and low carb. I believe fruits and vegetables are important. I think vegetables are what is most lacking in people’s diets, provided their caloric intake is proper. I believe Everyone can benefit from adding vegetable juices and vegetables into their diets, unless they are already doing so. I also believe in the raw food theory, that raw foods are healthier than cooked foods.–not to extreme, and I agree with Mr. Patenaude that a steamed vegetable meal is healthier than 2 bowls of nuts and raw oil, even though the nuts and oil might be raw than the cooked vegetables.

    Looking at some of the pitfalls of a vegan diet, I believe they are deficient in B-12, Omega-3’s(epa,dha, not ala), possibly Iodine(easily solved by sea vegetables like Dulse, which non vegans should eat too), Vitamin D(esp. for people in northern climates and people who don’t get enough sunlight), and I’ve even heard stuff about how vegans can be low in Vitamin A,E, and K…although I think any1 can get enough Vitamin E from green leafy vegetables and nuts, and even K since dark leafy greens have significant amounts of it…although I’m not sure of the bioavailability of vitamins K and E from vegetables. And lastly Vitamin A, which I read somewhere that vegans mostly get beta-carotene as their Vitamin A, which is only one part of Vitamin A.

    I am not promoting a high meat diet because if you’re on this site I believe you know already many of the drawbacks of eating a typical SAD diet..(examples, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity).

    But since animal products have higher levels of Vitamins A,D,E,K, and B-12, and omega 3 fatty acids dha and epa, I believe in this moment of my life that they should be included in the diet. I suppose one could take supplements for these if appropriate.

    Since I am a proponent of a mostly raw diet, I base my diet mostly on fruits and vegetables. I believe organic foods should be eaten instead of conventional produce. The price of organic fruits and some vegetables is costly, especially when trying to get the majority of calories from fruit. Farmers markets don’t seem to be much better, even today(June 04,2010) there isn’t much selection for fruits or vegetables, and the organic vegetables they have are more expensive than organic veggies from the store). Fruit is pretty expensive, for example….organic raspberries are $4 for 6 oz, organic bananas 79-99c a pound, which comes to about 80 cents per banana, for 10 apples it is like $8. These are examples of organic seasonal prices from Whole Foods/trader Joes/Meijers. So one meal of 8 apples is like 6 dollars, 10 bananas is like 8 dollars, etc. This adds up pretty quickly.

    Do I think a raw vegan diet is the healthiest diet? Well, I think if one can live in a warm sunny climate where the produce isn’t too expensive, then yes. In Michigan, where the sun shines only in the spring and summer, and most organic food is imported, I believe some animal products like eggs and grassfed meats are appropriate, even fish. Since I am a promoter of the raw food diet, I believe these animal foods should be eaten raw or uncooked. One has to be careful to select clean and properly raised (Grass fed and grass finished, organic if possible, antibiotic free, hormone free, etc) and eggs should be from pastured organic hens. Fish should be wild caught. I suppose there is always a risk of parasites like tapeworms so I’m not sure how to take care of that problem. I believe the risk of parasites would be higher in wildcaught fish than grassfed animals, but thats my opinion.

    Since I am young, 22, I’m sure my views will change again and again, possibly on a weekly basis. Overall I believe in the importance of eating lots of vegetables in the diet, in juices, whole food form and smoothies. I believe fruits are a simple tasty healthy, fibrous, source of calories and I would eat more fruits if they weren’t so expensive. In fact, grass fed meats seem to be cheaper than fruits. That’s amazing, that vegetarian fruits are more expensive than animal flesh. Breeding, raising, and killing and packaging animals is cheaper than fruits which some fall naturally from trees. Amazing, and pretty ludicrous.

    So overall, high vegetables can benefit everyone except those already eating a lot of it. I basically believe in the principles that Mr. Patenaude outlines on his website, high fruit/low fat/high vegetable diet, but depending on the circumstances(climate, expense, weight of the person, deficiencies or risks, etc) I believe that some animal foods should be included in the diet…for example raw meats(fish, beef, lamb, chicken(haven’t tried raw chicken yet but I want to….nor have I tried raw fish bought from the store) so…raw meats 1-3 times per week, and raw eggs(whole egg or just yolks) 1-3 times per week. Also I eat honey which I believe is unheated.

    I think incorporating animal foods takes care of the main vitamin deficiencies that vegans might have, adds to the total calories, and adds proteins and fats that I believe are healthy if consumed raw.

    My views will probably change again and again, but I do know that in general proper calories must be consumed and that vegetables have high nutrient densities and should be included no matter what.

    Take care

  54. Bobby says:

    I think a primarily raw vegan diet is optimal for good health, for many people. A high raw vegetable diet(juice,smoothies, whole vegetables) is imperative for vitamins and minerals. Fresh, organic. Then, for the calories, I believe fruit is great. organic, fresh. Fruit is pretty expensive where I live, (Michigan). a Fruit meal of 8 bananas or 8 apples is usually 6-8$, which can add up relatively quickly. I also believe a 100% raw vegan diet without supplements will lead to possible deficiencies such as b-12, omega 3(dha,epa), vitamin d(without adequate sunlight, that is…in Michigan,USA vitamin d deficiency is a huge issue), and possibly Vitamin E,K,and A. I also think if fruit is expensive, then caloric requirements may be difficult to meet. This is why I think incorporating some RAW animal products may be beneficial for many people. For example, Mr. Patenaude lives 6 months in the tropics, and I believe Dr. Graham lives in the tropics. Many of the famous celebs that we associate with raw foods seem to live in warm climates,…Matt Monarch(Doesn’t he live in Ecuador?), Mike Adams(Ecuador/Peru?), Mr. Patenaude(6 months tropics), Dr. Graham(tropics), Brian Clement(Florida?), Gabriel Cousens(Arizona), David Wolfe(Cali???)…. So I think people can increase caloric intake, and ensure adequate vitamin intake by incorporating some RAW animal products like pasture organic eggs and grass fed grass finished organic meats. Even honey might be good if it is raw and organic.
    This is just my opinion and I am only 22 so my opinion is constantly changing on this stuff .

    I think a RAW food diet is important, especially with lots of vegetables(incl. vege juices) and enough calories. Essentially a healthy raw vegan diet, but I think some RAW animal products can be beneficial for many people, incorporated 1-3 times per week as small portioned meals. Specifically, a small portion of meat or organ, OR <4-5 eggs in a day. Eggs, either whole or just the yolk. I believe eating raw egg whites has the potential to cause a biotin deficiency because of a molecule called avidin.

    Anyway, I think a low fat raw vegan diet, and incorporating some small portions of meat/organs and eggs every few days is a strong diet. I suppose that is not vegan at all, but my point is to stress the low fat raw vegan diet and incorporating some small amounts of animal products My opinion may change.

  55. Dave M says:

    I have often noticed my dietary needs change from season to season or even over the course of a day. A frozen banana or glass of carrot juice which may leave me feeling very nourished and healthy may have a bad effect on me at a different time. I suspect it has a great deal to do with my digestion, the kind of energy I’m operating on. The occasional use of cooked foods, meat and milk products still seems necessary at times.

  56. Frederic Patenaude says:

    I think Bobby you should check out your logic which is a bit lacking. If people need to meet their caloric needs and they are having problems to do that with fruit, the solution is not to jump straight to eggs and raw meat. Low fat cooked starches are a much better choice and are cheaper too, without all the fat and cholesterol.

  57. Bobby says:

    What about phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, and gluten intolerance? And chemical composition change from boiling the starch?


  58. Rev Bob says:

    The article gives me a lot to think about as it answers questions i have raised about myself and my health. Thanks.

  59. Catherine says:

    Excellent article, Fred. I have been 100% vegetarian for 24 years, in response to allergies to animal foods. I also had hypoglycemia pretty badly while I was lacto-ovo vegetarian, and got rid of that problem when I became vegan, mainly because I also eliminated refined oils, sweeteners, and grains. I also had digestive issues before I became vegan, ever since a pregnancy with twins damaged my digestive system, but the vegan diet did not help that. Eventually, though it took many years, other health issues showed up, such as eczema, dandruff, and allergies to wheat and other foods. That’s when I began to seriously attempt to eat raw foods.

    I was eating a living foods diet, mostly of sprouts, and high in fat for calories. I did get rid of the skin conditions, but I still had to take supplements to control my allergies and chronic candida, plus magnesium to get it all to pass through, and high levels of calcium in order to absorb enough to not suffer constant severe muscle cramps. Plus my nails were so brittle, they would break even into the nail bed, quite painfully.

    When I purchased your Green for Life program, I finally found what I’d been looking for all those years, the way to heal my digestive system, get rid of my allergies and yeast, and enjoy good health without taking so many expensive supplements. I haven’t been able to be totally consistent, but I am working on it, and whenever I am able to stick with for any length of time, I can really feel the difference.

  60. Dan says:

    Hi Fred;

    Great article!

    I had an acquaintance go from raw vegan back to meat, due in large part to the clever writers over at the Weston A. Price Foundation and their spurious inferences drawn from some questionable scientific studies.

    For instance, one WAPF writer, Chris Masterjohn presented a study referred to as “The American Paradox.” (http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Campbell-Masterjohn.html#Figure5) The study measured the change in atherosclerosis over the course of three years among postmenopausal women who participated in the Estrogen Replacement and Atherosclerosis trial.

    According to CM, the study suggested that, “the higher the saturated fat intake, the slower the progression of atherosclerosis. In the highest quartile of saturated fat intake, atherosclerosis was reversed.” In other words, “science” shows that eating animal fat cures what ails ya.

    But what was the highest quartile of saturated fat intake?

    The answer: “Unlike the diet used in the Finnish Mental Hospital Study, the diet described by Mozaffarian et al was low in fat, averaging 25% of energy.”

    In other words, a bunch of fat ladies with heart disease were put on a low fat diet, where only 25% of their calories on average came from fat.

    25% is a remarkably huge drop in fat consumption, considering that the Standard American Diet can easily provide anywhere between 50-75% or even more in calories from fat. And these poor, sick and overweight ladies with heart disease likely started out at the fatty high end of the scale.

    So it’s not surprising that they saw improvements by dropping their fat consumption, even if they were still eating saturated fat.

    So it’s really not a “paradox.” They got better by eating less animal fat than before. You’d probably get even healthier, faster by eating a whole plant based diet. Which is of course what is recommended by the China Study, etc.

    Anyhow, Campbell critiques these types of studies in his book The China Study. He describes them as poorly designed. Sadly, groups like the WAPF, staffed with very talented writers like English M.A. Sally Fallon, propagandize and spread these errors.

    Regarding Keith’s book – interesting that it’s called The Vegetarian Myth, and not The Vegan Myth. Funny that she’d get these terms confused. Suggests to me that her arguments might also be just a little on the mixed up side.

    I did read an online interview of Lierre about her book. One thing I can agree with her on is that grain farming is killing the soil, destroying ecosystems, and otherwise hastening the planet’s demise.

    This argument is similar to the one in Douglas Graham’s book Grain Damage. Unlike Keith, Dr. Graham’s response is to recommend that people adopt a high fruit diet – plant orchards, and not grainfields! And orchards are more beautiful and present more nutritional bounty than feedlots could ever be.

    Anyhow, Keith’s argument about saving the environment by eating meat make as much sense as those recommending eating meat for health. Just enough of a grain of truth to fool a lot of people.


Comments are closed for this post.