Monthly Archives: April 2012

Are we Omni-carnivores or Herbivores?

Blogs are fun places to read all sorts of wacky comments. Frequently the comments are more fun and sometimes more informative than the blog itself.

Today I received a really wacky comment to my blog on the ridiculously biased movie Forks Over Knives. I thought it would be fun to share the exchange.

The commenter’s statements, written word for word, are in quotes. My responses are below them followed by three ***.

What I find so very interesting is that, like many vegans, they fail to use Google or some other search engine to see if what they are saying is based on any, um, facts. Let the games begin!

“Mr. Fred Hahn, please speak based on facts. The only argument I’ve heard from you is that eating meat has been a staple part of human beings’ diet. Not enough.”

***Not enough for what Khaled? Science has shown conclusively that animal matter has been a part of the human diet since the paleolithic era. It is how we grew larger brains and eventually became the dominant ape on the planet.

“As human beings evolve, so does science and technology. You should listen to the scientific data. And if you really believe in evolution, let me point out 2 things for you…”

***I don’t *believe* in evolution. Evolution is a proven fact. HOW we evolved exactly is debated, but we, like every other living thing on the planet, has and continues to evolve.

“First, amongst all the animals on earth, the ones with teeth patterns similar to ours are herbivores.”

***This is patently false.

“Second, any carnivorous animal has a digestive tract which is at MOST 3 times it’s bodies’ length. Human beings’ digestive tract is almost 12 times his height. The meat is quickly processed, then begins to rot in our bodies.”

****This too is patently false. And we are omnivores btw. Q:Where do you come up with this info? (There is something called Google you know.) The main problem is not so much the length of the colon, but the type of digestive process. Our bacterial flora, like other meat eaters, is putrefactive. The herbivores is fermentative.

“Regarding vegan diets, you only manage to say that it doesn’t provide enough protein and lacks a few other nutrients. Do you have any proof of its’ ill-affects?”

***Vegan diets lack, among other things, iron, B12 and adequate amino acids and in the right ratio. This is more than enough evidence to show you it is deficient and therefore will cause ill-effects unless you supplement. If you get hit by a car at 80 miles an hour, you WILL be injured. I don’t need any more evidence than that.

“I’d like to see some.”

***Go to your local GP and ask them to tell you how their pure vegan patients fare, specifically, the ones that do not supplement with vitamins D, B12, selenium or iron (oh right, they’d be the dead ones). Ask them specifically if they see a trend in them towards anemia and high blood glucose. But careful! The answer might surprise you.

“And btw, is it possible for human beings to live on an exclusively animal-based diet. No! But is it possible for human beings to live on an exclusively plant-based diet. Hell yes!”

***You have it exactly opposite. Ever heard of the Inuit? The Masai? Name me ONE culture, past or present, that lives/lived exclusively on plant matter (meaning, no bugs, shellfish, or supplements).

“One final point: While it’s true that for several thousands of years human beings’ ate meat, it doesn’t prove that it’s optimal. You see, in those years, getting enough plant-based foods was not easy. The diet was based on whatever you could find around you. But today, you can find absolutely any vegetable and fruit you like. Times have changed, Fred.”

***Indeed times have changed. We now experience more disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. than ever before. As our country had decreased its fat consumption and increased its carbohydrate consumption, we have become a nation of obese diabetics riddled with heart disease and cancer. All of which were absent PRIOR to the advent of agriculture.

All that said, realize that eating plants is perfectly fine. Plant matter can provide some nutrients. But edible plant matter is only available at certain times of the year and certainly not everything that is plant matter is edible to us very much UNLIKE an herbivore. Deer, goats, sheep can eat a huge variety of forest matter. Cows, horses, etc. eat grass all day long and live well.

Since YOU say you are an herbivore and seem to suggest humans will thrive eating as one, I’d like to see you eat ONLY grass, pine needles, fruit tree leaves, sapling bark, etc., and after say 6 months, see what your health status is. If you’re right, you should be the picture of robust human health. If I’m right, you’ll be in the hospital in 6 hours.

The next time a vegan or a vegetarian (whatever that really is) tosses the “Humans are herbivores!” mantra at you, refer them to the chart above. I think I’m going to make a poster out of it and put it up in my gym.

Food author Michael Pollan is quoted as saying:

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

I say:

Eat food, mostly animal matter, and don’t worry about the amount.

60 Minutes on Sugar

Carbohydrates ARE sugars.

Carbohydrates ARE sugars.

My super tall friend Andreas Eenfeldt M.D., a pro-low carb, high fat diet physician posted the 60 Minutes segment on sugar called Is Sugar Toxic which aired a few weeks ago.

While it was great to see a segment on the evils of sugar aired on such a popular show, sadly, it fell short of hitting the bullseye.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta asks Dr. Robert Lustig in the beginning of the segment “Do you think sugar is toxic?” Dr. Lustig replies “I believe so, yes.” I have a problem with this answer. It’s as though Dr. Lustig wants to take the limelight. Why respond by saying “I believe so?” The question is not asked to learn about Dr. Lustig and his personal beliefs.

It would have been far better and more accurate for him to have said in reponse: “Research seems to indicate that this may very well be true especially if excessive amounts of sugars and carbohydrates are ingested. This leads to chronically elevated blood glucose levels – the real cause of systemic inflammation and several metabolic disorders.”

But truth be told, sugar is not toxic per se. If you eat a grain of sugar is this toxic to your body? Heck no. What is toxic is chronically high levels of blood glucose caused by excessive sugar and carbohydrate intake. Total carbohydrate intake, not sugar itself, is the issue.

60 Minutes did a good job with the segment. They managed to demonize sugar rich foods like syrup, soda, honey (I’m not so convinced a tad of honey is so bad) and Wonder bread. But I think we all know that added sugars and sugary foods are not so good for us. If you polled a thousand people and asked them if Coca Cola, Ring Dings, Wonder Bread, Sno-Balls, Snickers bars, etc. were good or bad, I don’t think a single person would say that any of these foods were good or healthy. In fact, I’d bet my MedX leg press machine that every single one of the people polled would not only say that these foods are bad, but that they are not really food at all.

The info on cancer was tremendous I thought. I’ve been reading a lot on this and the work of Dr. Seyfried and colleagues is pioneering how we treat this dread disease.

All in all I’d say it was a good piece but it missed hitting the bulls-eye which is TOTAL carbohydrate/sugar intake not just the sugar or fructose itself.


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