(NaturalNews) Vegetarian or vegan diets are often touted as being healthier than conventional diets, but unless you make a concerted effort to get all your necessary proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, you could be hurting yourself more than you are helping yourself.
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about a Southern California couple that is trying to be mostly vegan, with the exception of the husband who eats fish. In all their efforts to eat healthy and avoid animal products, though, a health expert says that the couple is not getting enough vital nutrients to keep them healthy.
[Editor's note: I interrupt this article to let you know that I completely disagree with the premise of this article, which is that "vegans don't get enough protein." This is old-school thinking. The truth is that vegans get plenty of protein, especially considering that raw unprocessed foods contain many proteins that are destroyed through cooking.
It is the opinion of conventional dieticians that people need more protein through cheese, dairy and meats. This is just the USDA talking -- it's a mythology put forth by the dairy and meat industries, and it just doesn't hold up under scrutiny. Vegans do not lack protein.
The only nutrients I've noticed vegans lacking is omega-3s and sometimes vitamin B12. It is true that many vegans are deficient in omega-3s, but this can be corrected through conscious food choice. The B12 issue is more difficult, but that can be handled through supplementation or certain fermented foods. The truth is that vegans are far healthier than most conventional eaters, and they have far lower risks of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and virtually every other chronic disease known to modern medicine. - Mike]