Author Topic: Pk and vegetarians  (Read 11044 times)

Offline Kineticstorm

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Pk and vegetarians
« on: December 15, 2008, 09:34:18 AM »
Sorry if this is the wrong forum but I wasn't sure where else to put this.

So for several years now I've been flirting with vegetarianism, and have decided to give it another try. The last few times I tried to quit meat cold turkey (pardon the pun) and failed. So this time I'm progressing into it. I'm starting off with reducing my meat intake to one meal a day max, and completely eliminating steak and pork from my diet, and then adding to that list as I progress. I've researched into how to get the replacement vitamins (iron and protein) into my diet and I think I've got that down. I also have many reasons for doing this, not the least of which is the health benefits, which fit into "to be and to last". My question is what does everyone else think of this. Any other veg traceurs/traceuses out there with advice?
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Offline Patrick Yang

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 12:38:51 PM »
Might try posting this in the diet subforum of the fitness forum.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 12:58:00 PM »
Yeh this belongs in diet.

Protein isn't a vitamin.  It is a macronutrient.

Vegetarianism is not a long term dieting solution, in my opinion...especially for athletes.

It sounds like it has been hard for you to stay committed to a vegetarian diet -- why are you looking to be a vegetarian, anyway?

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 01:01:12 PM »
I'm vegan  ;D I'f you find it hard to give up meat the meat substitute stuff is pretty good.  I just had a veggie burger a few minutes ago actually(well, a masala burger but close enough).

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 01:54:29 PM »
We had some relevant discussion about this before, see here:
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?topic=12681.msg162238#msg162238

If you can eat eggs and milk/dairy the only thing missing is creatine (which is easy to get from supplements), everything else is as good or better from other sources instead of meat/fish.

If you don't even eat eggs or dairy (as in your case I am assuming, since you say vegan), then you can still be a world champion at whatever physical activity but planning meals to get enough good proteins becomes extremely difficult.
Completely 100% possible and not different from eating meat in theory, but just much more unlikely in practice because of how hard it becomes to get good, balanced and lean protein sources without resorting to eggs and dairy or protein powders (in case you have reasons not to take those either).

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 02:01:52 PM »
If you don't even eat eggs or dairy (as in your case I am assuming, since you say vegan), then you can still be a world champion at whatever physical activity but planning meals to get enough good proteins becomes extremely difficult.

Whoa...lets not push it with the world champion talk...only a handful of athletes have been vegetarian/vegan and achieved the top of their sport - that is, something the equivalent of an olympic gold medal.  This doesn't mean you can't be a GOOD athlete, but world champion has very specific implications....alas, I digress...

-------

The main point boils down to why do YOU want to become a vegetarian?  Some people perform better and live longer with meat.  Another, smaller population, performs better and feels better as vegetarians.  Have to experience/experiment for yourself.  If your body wants you to eat meat, though, that's a signal you must listen to on some level...whether you want to be a vegetarian or not.

Personally, my body enjoys and thrives off of a high protein diet (I found this through experimentation, of course) that requires high amounts of meat in my diet.  This varies from person to person.  If you think that being a vegetarian is the only want to eat healthy, then you need to do more research, imho, as there are several options available to you that may fit your lifestyle better.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 02:04:37 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 02:38:02 PM »
Some people perform better and live longer with meat.  Another, smaller population, performs better and feels better as vegetarians.
Vegetarians don't live as long? 0.o


I'm curious as well as to why you want to be a vegetarian.





[I want to say more but don't want to offend any vegetarians/vegans... lol]
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Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 02:53:44 PM »
If you don't even eat eggs or dairy (as in your case I am assuming, since you say vegan), then you can still be a world champion at whatever physical activity but planning meals to get enough good proteins becomes extremely difficult.

Whoa...lets not push it with the world champion talk...only a handful of athletes have been vegetarian/vegan and achieved the top of their sport - that is, something the equivalent of an olympic gold medal.  This doesn't mean you can't be a GOOD athlete, but world champion has very specific implications....alas, I digress...

-------

The main point boils down to why do YOU want to become a vegetarian?  Some people perform better and live longer with meat.  Another, smaller population, performs better and feels better as vegetarians.  Have to experience/experiment for yourself.  If your body wants you to eat meat, though, that's a signal you must listen to on some level...whether you want to be a vegetarian or not.

Personally, my body enjoys and thrives off of a high protein diet (I found this through experimentation, of course) that requires high amounts of meat in my diet.  This varies from person to person.  If you think that being a vegetarian is the only want to eat healthy, then you need to do more research, imho, as there are several options available to you that may fit your lifestyle better.
It's a simple matter of math. There is absolutely nothing you get from meat that you can't get from eating eggs/dairy/vegetables and creatine powder.

Eating meat is not healthier in any way whatsoever, it's just easier because you have a few more lean protein sources to choose from.

As far as following what your body or instincts tell you, a lot of time you might want to punch a professor in the face, or eat candy until you are too full to eat anymore, or feel like eating some chocolate-covered bacon, or kick a kitten. Those "signals" don't have special meanings that should override your better judgment.  If you think killing kittens is wrong, don't do it, even if one is being annoying one day.

There is no special requirement from person to person that would force someone to have to kill/hurt or eat meat.  If you don't have anything against it, good for you, but other people are more than willing to put a little extra effort in getting good protein from other sources to be consistent with their views, and there is absolutely no drawback as long as they eat the same amount of protein from quality protein sources and supplement with creatine.

If you think otherwise, Chris, perhaps you should point me to any other mystery nutrient that is not found anywhere else but meat.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 02:59:09 PM »
Some people perform better and live longer with meat.  Another, smaller population, performs better and feels better as vegetarians.
Vegetarians don't live as long? 0.o


I'm curious as well as to why you want to be a vegetarian.





[I want to say more but don't want to offend any vegetarians/vegans... lol]

"The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%) (Am J Clin Nutr 1982 36:873)"

Take that FWIW....I take it as the differences between vegetarian longevity and non-vegetarian longevity are pretty minuet...no matter how you define vegetarian...

It's a simple matter of math. There is absolutely nothing you get from meat that you can't get from eating eggs/dairy/vegetables and creatine powder.

You're right.  Matter of math.  Small handful of world champions are vegetarian/vegan.  The majority are not.  Just math...

IMHO, and i don't mean to stir the pot, you can't say your statement with any sense of certainty.  If everyone followed your line of thought (i.e. "absolutely no drawback"), vitamins would never have been discovered - neither would have simulin - neither would have the importance of minerals....

As for listening to signals from your body...you have to start somewhere...you have to learn how to interpret them.  If his body is telling him he wants meat, that doesn't mean he wants meat, necessarily -- but it means there are signals his body is trying to let him know to which he is not yet attuned.  All I am saying is that he needs to start listening to his body.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 03:13:07 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 03:24:28 PM »
"The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%) (Am J Clin Nutr 1982 36:873)"

Take that FWIW....I take it as the differences between vegetarian longevity and non-vegetarian longevity are pretty minuet...no matter how you define vegetarian...
That type of statistics is very often completely irrelevant, the reason is that it's not a test, it's a correlation about coincidences. If you look at large groups of people, maybe vegetarians are more likely to be killed in anti-war hippie demonstrations or somesuch, just because the two tend to be associated for some reason. Plus we are talking about very different types of vegetarianism.

If you could show that feeding any animal a diet consisting of exactly the same amount of protein, vitamins, carbs and fat but differing only in meat caused the meat-free animals to drop dead faster, then you would have my attention.  But we both know that would not be the case, because all coincidences would be out of the picture.


It's a simple matter of math. There is absolutely nothing you get from meat that you can't get from eating eggs/dairy/vegetables and creatine powder.

You're right.  Matter of math.  Small handful of world champions are vegetarian/vegan.  The majority are not.  Just math...
Again, totally irrelevant matter of coincidence rather than cause-effect. It does not mean that sport makes people morally ambiguous. It doesn't.  And if you gave that same winning athlete exactly the same amount of nutrients he normally uses, replacing all meat, he will not perform any worse than he did before. Again, simple math/logic. The example you gave however is not math or logic because it's coincidental, not causal and therefore does not logically follow.

You can't say your statement with any sense of certainty.  If everyone followed your line of thought, vitamins would never have been discovered - neither would have simulin - neither would have the importance of minerals....
This is an argument by ignorance, saying because we can't possibly know future discoveries, there must be something special, unique and irreplaceable in just meat.

But if anything it's been the opposite with scientific discoveries in nutrition. People clearly knew that something unique existed in some foods, as you had serious diseases if you deprived yourself from vitamin C etc even before we knew it was vitamin C.
But now that we know about vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fats etc, we actually know they are not so unique to just one food group. 

And meat is the least likely to have new magical essential components in the future. 
Meat is already so similar to our bodies that it doesn't produce anything we could produce ourselves, only accumulates it from plant sources. Plant sources, on the other hand, produce an incredible amount of very complex and unusual organic molecules, some which are essential and unique or useful (and some poisonous too of course), so yes, you can discover new ones of those all the time in plants, although they will probably have less and less essential roles.  You can already live full healthy lives with just the nutrients and chemicals we discovered so far, new ones might have some extra health benefits but you can definitely live without them.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 03:27:33 PM »
There is absolutely nothing you get from meat that you can't get from eating eggs/dairy/vegetables and creatine powder.
But isn't it all absorbed differently based on where it comes from? I guess that just goes back into the "easier" thing but you can still say X amount of A is healthier than X amount of B. You just end up needing a lot more B to equal that of A. (Right? lol.)
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 03:36:52 PM »
Well...now that you read each of my posts as you wished to read them, not as its written, I guess I will bow out of this post...

A discussion with you is very demoralizing in that you don't ever read what I say, you only read what you want me to say...I am actually saying vegetarianism is a worthwhile experiment on a personal level...you just keep shooting things back at me because you refuse to have your beliefs accommodate that there may be some scientific discovery yet to be had on the effects of meat and nutrition that may be positive.  All I have seen since my starting of investigation of vegetarian diets is ambiguity, false data and poor science.  You are violating a basic element of science by approaching certain aspects as law when they are not proven to be law.  Nutrition is mostly theory and statistics, like it or not...thus the necessity for personal experimentation.

In short: We do not know if there is a greater element to eating a diet including meat.  Plenty of data shows benefits on BOTH sides of the fence (look at vegan lifespan studies vs. hunter-gatherer anthropological studies).  However, what we do know is that world champions [however you define a champion] are typically not vegans/vegetarians...coincidental or not.

There is absolutely nothing you get from meat that you can't get from eating eggs/dairy/vegetables and creatine powder.
But isn't it all absorbed differently based on where it comes from? I guess that just goes back into the "easier" thing but you can still say X amount of A is healthier than X amount of B. You just end up needing a lot more B to equal that of A. (Right? lol.)

Yes.  Absorption is grossly different depending on the source.  Some proteins are broken down before absorption, others are not as some studies on IGF-I are showing. 

This further emphasizes my point that we know much much much less than we don't know.  Aborption and protein use still requires a lot of investigation by the scientific community. 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 03:40:49 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »
With that last post said I want to add that anyone who wants to be a vegetarian should go for it.  Similarly, anyone who is interested in a high carb, low carb, no carb, paleo, raw vegan, high protein, low fat, high fat, callorically restricted, callorically dense or any other sort of diet should TRY IT OUT.

When you see your body comp/performance deviating from your goals (therefore making you unhappy) try a different approach.  If you have been a vegan for 10 years and, despite your greatest efforts, can't get that 6 pack, then you may want to try a different diet if your ethics allow for it.  Similarly, if you have been on a low carb, high protein, high fat diet for 10 years and you notice your mood sucks or your cholesterol and BP is crazy high then maybe you want to try a vegetarian diet. 

See what works for you and stay happy.  That's what is important.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 04:00:28 PM »
So google says IGF-I is insulin-like growth factor but what exactly is the main concept behind that? (Basic summary, simple words preferred :D)
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2008, 04:05:15 PM »
IGF-1 or IGF-I is a modulator of cell growth in mammals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin-like_growth_factor_1

Recent studies show that IGF-1 is protected when injested with casein, a protein in milk.  This protection allows it to be absorbed and by the body without the body creating its own...which is, in its simplest form, eating an anabolic hormone.

The studies were done on milk due to the suspicion that IGF-1 in milk is the reason why those who drink lots of milk get very big very fast as well as decrease in the developmental period (puberty) in adolescents (pre-teens to early teens).  There is a school of thought that believes this increases risk of colon cancer, though.

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2008, 06:56:02 PM »
Chris, It's not about reading things differently.
I take great care to make sure that none of my points are ever supported by shaky arguments or pseudoscience, and I make a point to correct others when they fall into that pattern (for example using coincidences as causality proofs), nothing personal.

So again I am not trying to antagonize you, I am simply making valid, important points about scientific realities of nutrition, and clearly refuting possible wrong interpretations. If you are agreeing on these, great. If you have some alternative interpretations, that's ok too, just argue them and support them with valid data or sound arguments, and we can have a nicer more constructive discussion, there is no reason to disagree when we are both looking at solid data and sound arguments and mechanisms.

The points I made in the the first post within this thread still stand.  The extra examples and discussion I gave were just to address your points, they are not trying to commit you to statements you did not intend, they are simply covering all grounds and eliminating alternative hypotheses to reiterate and support my original point, which is that there is no known nutritional element you would be missing from not eating meat or fish (and no reason to believe there should be one), aside from the practical convenience of having more protein sources.

There is no pseudoscience in this. The pseudoscience only comes with people trying to reach past science and reality to try to say that either meat or vegetarianism is "more healthy" (neither is supported by reality, you can reach exactly the same level of health or nutritional parameters with or without meat, and there is no disadvantage in eating meat per se).

Alec, as far as some proteins being more absorbable, that is certainly the case, but again the advantage on this is not held by meat, but by other protein sources (dairy with whey&casein, cooked eggs, protein powders, even soy protein isolate has better absorbability and biological values).
The specific case of casein and IGF-1 makes sense on an intuitive level as well, since there are evolutionary advantages to having mother's milk passing various useful proteins like immunoglobuling and lactoferrin. On a side note, anything that can increase cell growth can increase risk for cancer, they always necessarily go together.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2008, 07:36:26 PM »
tombb,

Would you agree to be a successful vegetarian one would need to get most of their protein from soy?  Even if they eat fish and eggs, most of the protein would have to come from soy and soy isolates just to get the raw amount of protein they need, wouldn't you agree?  Else, your carbs would just be through the roof...like 500g carb for every 100g protein or something like that.

If you agree on this, please let me know.

Offline Matthew Wang

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2008, 07:40:18 PM »
I love how these topics are still on topic, but sway away from the main point. ;D
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Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2008, 07:54:38 PM »
tombb,

Would you agree to be a successful vegetarian one would need to get most of their protein from soy?  Even if they eat fish and eggs, most of the protein would have to come from soy and soy isolates just to get the raw amount of protein they need, wouldn't you agree?  Else, your carbs would just be through the roof...like 500g carb for every 100g protein or something like that.

If you agree on this, please let me know.

From my personal experience (~15 years not eating meat or fish for ethical reasons, basically being nice to puppies and kittens and less cute animals), no, that's not the case.

Most of my protein comes from dairy and eggs, which are both EXTREMELY lean and low calories sources of protein (fat-free cheese and milk, egg whites also naturally fat-free and carb-free, etc).
I hardly eat any soy ever, but I do eat various tasty foods that have a mix of high-quality proteins (usually whey + soy isolates).

There is no ethical reason for me not to include eggs (they are not fertilized and you can get from happy and well-treated free-roaming hens) or fat free yogurt, fat free or low fat cheese, and skim milk, (I prefer the taste as skim, and can get fat from other sources like nuts, flaxseed etc, and again milk can come from well treated cows who can earn their keep a little like we all do :P)

I would not eat fish for the same ethical reasons, even though it's obviously less endearing than puppy dogs and not as intelligent.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2008, 08:03:14 PM »
I love how these topics are still on topic, but sway away from the main point. ;D
Well the OP has yet to come back and respond to questions so I guess this is intermission.


How do you determine ethicalness? I won't judge, I'm just curious.
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