ARE PLANTS ACTUALLY BAD FOR YOU?
Today I want to tell you about something a little disturbing. There’s a very educated person on social media, I’m not gonna name his name, who is really bashing all sorts of plants. He says pretty much every plant has all these toxic poisons in it. He has literature and research to back it up. He’s actually a medical doctor and he points to some literature that is apparently published.
I just want to let you know about this because you might hear about it. It’s just so extreme. And it’s from a doctor, some of you might say, “Well, he’s got to know what he’s talking about, he’s got a medical degree right?”
So here’s the deal:
There’s some evidence that plants have toxins in them. Absolutely. I’ve talked about them before. Some of them are like phytic acid and other ones might be lectins. Okay, none of these are really gonna hurt you unless you’re allergic to it. But can there be too much in our diet? Certainly, it can accumulate. Can you have a diet that is out of balance and have too much of that and not enough for the stuff that can bounce it? For sure. Absolutely.
Having said that, I just don’t know why he can preach this and do it with a straight face.
There is a huge amount, I’m talking about decades and decades of research by anthropologists, and these are not biased studies, that just say “How did humans eat and how did they live?” They’re not trying to sell a drug, not trying to make a product. It’s just geeky literature.
What they found is that on either extreme, either all plant eating, or all meat eating, there was no evidence that any tribe successfully lived for an extended period of time, meaning no tribe could live in human evolutionary history with only meat or only plants. This is 1000s of studies over decades and decades. That is what we’re looking at as far as the actual truth behind this stuff.
So you may be able to point to some individual studies to say that plants are toxic, but look at the total body of evidence on something before you make up your mind. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole career, over 20 years now. And I don’t just take one paper, one article, one expert, and say, “Oh, that’s it, holy grail”. Science continues to evolve. But what’s important is to look back at the literature and millennia of evolutionary history, and compare that to modern studies and findings and then make an educated decision.
MEAT BASED VS. PLANT BASED
There are some people that could thrive on a more meat based diet. I’m not denying that at all. And there’s some people that could thrive on almost a 100% plant based diet. The issue is that you have to know which of those types you are. If you don’t know how to do this Metabolic Typing there are certain things we can do to find that out. (I’ve got great testing to figure that out.)
But if you don’t know that, then you shouldn’t really guess in my opinion, or you can certainly try it out but you might miserably fail.
A couple of concerns on going all meat, no plants at all: You’re just cutting out a lot of nutrition from your diet. Most patients I see have a lot of trouble with constipation, so that might become an issue. And then also another thing is you’ve got to get high quality meat if you’re gonna go all meat. Because one thing about meats is that they quarantine a lot of the toxins from the animal’s environment, they quarantine them in fat. You’ve got to have quality meat.
So all of this is to say that going to either extreme, all meat or all plants is probably not a good idea. We need to meet somewhere in the middle, but it’s different for each person.
Like one point I do agree with the person on social media is he does promote this diet for anti cancer and I can’t argue with that. There’s actually a lot of studies that show it can starve tumors of glucose, their primary fuel, there’s other metabolic pathways that tumors can use to get fuel so it’s not 100% across the board, but a lot of cancers are slowed or maybe even stopped as far as growth from a ketogenic or very heavy animal based diet. But again, I’ve seen loads of people thrive with plant based diets and do really good with cancer and shrink tumors and stuff as well. So again, we can look at that both ways, but I can see that as being one aspect.
So just keep your eyes open and keep your mind open and don’t just follow one influencer out there and follow that person all the way, let’s look at different types of opinions.
So keep that in mind.
Take care, be well.
Naturopathic doctor in Lansing, MI