My Diet is Better than Yours! Vegan or Keto?

Are you bored of the arguing, I’m right you’re wrong, the my approach is healthier than yours and the confusion that now exists because of this.
“Eggs are like smoking cigarettes” and “Carbs cause cancer”
…these are just some of the very dangerous and outlandish claims that I’ve seen online over the last few months from the Vegan and Keto communities and this quote from Mark Twain really sums it up (I’ve quoted this many times before but because it is so apt)….
“It’s not what we know that gets us into trouble but what we know for sure but just ain’t so”
  • Why do we have so much confusion with regards Nutrition right now?
  • Why do both sides make very definite research backed claims to support their approach?
  • Either they are both right to some degree or somebody is lying!
So let’s just consider for a moment that both approaches can be healthy and obviously do work for people on both sides (which they do).
What’s the commonality between the two diets that could give positive results on both sides?
The truth is that both approaches focus on the removal of processed foods of some sort, a more mindful approach to food selection and a huge focus on foods that have not been nutritionally altered from their original/natural states:
  • Keto & Paleo – Sugars and Processed Carbohydrates are GONE
  • Vegan – Processed Meat and Dairy are GONE

We know that sugar and processed carbohydrates cause inflammation and insulin resistance(which also does Saturated Fat in studies), we also know that processed meat is classed as a carcinogen and dairy is also highly inflammatory and problematic to the huge numbers of people world wide reporting lactose intolerance.

We also know that Heart disease the biggest killer is caused by inflammation and blocked arteries caused most probably by processed sugars and high saturated fat foods TOGETHER.

It’s not so much one or the other that’s the problem but a combination of the two, hence that’s why both sides report such positive health results by removing the other, make sense?

It’s very rare that any of our problems in life or health are the cause of just one thing but more often than not are a combination of negative lifestyles choices that lead to a cascade of health problems.

This is another reason why the High Fat or High Carb approaches both work for those following them to improve body composition, because each one works when the other is not present.

The health problems, weight gain and negative effects start stacking up when we mix High Fat with High Carbohydrate foods, which is what most of the junk food out there contains.

Being Vegan doesn’t automatically mean Healthy

You can be technically Vegan these days, and still be very unhealthy, due to the rise in Vegan Junk food and meat alternative products on the rise, you only have to go to some Vegan festivals and look around to see that vegan does not necessarily mean looking healthy.

As a Plant Based Vegan myself this is something that the community needs to be more cautionary about, are we jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Likewise you could eat a largely plant based diet with wild/organic meat and fish and be healthy.

The Truth usually Lies in the Middle

My gran lived until she was 93 and she had never heard of Vegan and definitely not Keto or Paleo!

Her generation just ate naturally organic wholefoods as there were very little processed foods out there and food technology wasn’t anywhere near the level it is today, which is creating many ‘foods’ and processes that may not be great for our health.

The overriding factor for any dietary approach to optimise health is choosing one that focuses on foods that have not been altered NUTRITIONALLY from their original state.

So once we all remove our heads from being so far up our Vegan and Keto asses and admit the simple facts that either approach has its health benefits, I believe we then need to extend this conversation to a much more important issue, beyond our own selfish health reasons.

Compassion and Sustainability

This is the elephant in the room that the ‘Diet War’ doesn’t seem to talk about, which does make sense as this argument is focused on individual health, but now with all our knowledge we need to start also taking into account global and collective health and the impact our choices make.

When I went vegan many people thought it was for health reasons because I was such a nutritional geek but I just couldn’t make my decision based on the bias I was seeing from both sides.

Like many people now I was totally confused by the arguments and statements I was hearing, the Vegans were saying it cures heart disease, cancer, diabetes and the Meat Eaters (the group I’d been part of) were saying their way was healthier for blood sugar, protein and gut health, there was bias on both sides which I was not willing to blindly listen to and believe, because I could see the truth in both arguments.

But the Black and White argument for me was in regards the trauma and suffering of farming animals for my own dietary requirements, it just didn’t seem right anymore, I was willing to make the approach work whatever the costs because it felt right.

So my default question to myself was…

“If they can both be healthy, which one shows more compassion and sustainability? allowing me to live a life that reduces Trauma and Suffering?”

…the answer was of course a Plant Based Vegan approach.

My mission is to live a life that reduces not increases trauma and suffering as much as possible, it’s not perfect, nothing is, especially with the population growth and demand on the worlds food systems, avocados and almonds farmed in vast quantities can also have a negative environmental impact, and most farming processes that require mass production will have a damaging effect at some level, plants or animals, can we prevent this? I hope so in the future.

But for now it’s the best approach that I know of so far for Progress not Perfection.

Isn’t it time that we stopped arguing which dietary approach is healthier for us as individuals and instead shifted our attention to a solution that optimises compassion, sustainability and the health of our planet.

It’s time that the health choices we make started taking into account the Impact and Health of not only our bodies but that of the Planet and other living beings, especially if we are all connected and all need to live here.

I really don’t care whether you eat a high fat or high carb diet, they can both be healthy, but I do care about the impact those choices have on our world and so should you.

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