me&my health up

The Rise of Plant Based Diets

June 20, 2023 me&my wellness / Anthony Hartcher Season 1 Episode 163
me&my health up
The Rise of Plant Based Diets
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Are you curious about the rise of plant-based diets and how they might benefit you? Do you wonder if plant-based diets are just a fad or if they are as good as what people say?
In this informative episode of the "me&my health up" podcast, host Anthony Hartcher sheds light on the increasing popularity of plant-based diets. Exploring the implications of various dietary regimes, he guides us through the complexities of vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, and Mediterranean diets. 

As we grapple with a shift from meat-heavy Western diets towards more plant-based ones, Anthony highlights the importance of balance and moderation. He advises against entirely excluding any food group and emphasises the need to consider individual nutritional needs. 

Learn about the potential pitfalls and sustainability of purely plant-based diets, the struggle to get enough protein, and the question of bioavailability of vital nutrients in this enlightening podcast episode. Join us as we dive deep into the world of plant-based diets, debunk myths, and arm ourselves with the knowledge we need to make informed dietary decisions.

Click here to find out more about the me&my health up club.

About me&my health up & Anthony Hartcher 

me&my health up seeks to enhance and enlighten the well-being of others. Host Anthony Hartcher is the CEO of me&my health up which provides holistic health solutions using food as medicine, combined with a holistic, balanced, lifestyle approach. Anthony holds three bachelor's degrees in Complementary Medicine; Nutrition and Dietetic Medicine; and Chemical Engineering.

Podcast Disclaimer
Any information, advice, opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical, health care or other professional advice, and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this Podcast. [Connected Wellness Pty Ltd] operating under the brand of “me&my health up” here for more

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Anthony Hartcher:

Welcome back to another insightful episode of me&my health up. I'm your host, Anthony Hartcher. I'm a clinical nutritionist and lifestyle medicine specialist. My kids refer to me as a.k.a the healthy man. So what is the healthy man going to share with you today? Well, we're talking about the Rise of Plant Based diets. Yes, they're in the media. They're everywhere. There's a new name for a new diet every week. But it's essentially saying eat more plant based foods. And so there's a real interest in plant based diets. And I want to share my insight around plant based diets, because I've experimented with all of them. You name it, vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, Mediterranean, or either of these diets? I've been on it, I've tried it, I've given it a go. And I'll let you know in terms of my insights around doing these various diets. So what's the purpose of this podcast? You've probably guessed it? Yes. It's to enhance and enlighten your well being. And I have the privilege in doing that for you. So let's start with plant based diets. So what are they first? What are they they plant based diets? It's eating plant based foods. So foods that are derived from plants. Okay, so why plant based foods? Well, I think because of the Western diet has slowly migrated away from plant based foods and more into more meat consumption, higher meat consumption, and away from the vegetables, the grains and that seeds. And in terms of the grains, yes, we consume them, but they're generally in the over processed form hands. So there's a big movement, because the pendulum has just essentially swung way too far one side, which is consuming meats every day, every day meats, and why well, they've become very assessable, we've worked out farming techniques, and how to make sure that we can get lots of animals grow, grow them in farms, and we have these battery farms, which aren't great for the animals. And so we've generated all these different ways to get more animals to consume. And we now over consume them, we're essentially having way too much animal foods. And so what does that generally happen when we swing the pendulum on one side, we swing back the other side. And that's why plant based foods are on the rise. And there's more and more studies, obviously, coming out about plant based foods, and there's more ailments associated with eating too much excessive consumption. Again, that's the point I want to labor. It's excessive consumption. Meats aren't bad meats aren't bad, we Yes, it's right that we eat less of them. We need to consume a more balanced diet. And we've been over consuming me too. But it doesn't mean that we need to swing the pendulum to the other side has probably I've given away. The key point I want to make on today's podcast, is we need ultimately moderation and balance and find what works for us, as opposed to just following the trends. Yes, I've Googled this one as to what are the Google Trends? What are people looking up? And generally, there's lots of interest in the rise of plant based diets, hence why I'm sharing this topic with you because there's interest. I know, there's people out there that want to hear about plant based diets, whether it's for them. So who is it for? Well, it's for anyone who's got an unbalanced diet. But then, you shouldn't be balancing it with a pure plant based diet, you might want to have a period where you have more plant based foods. But ultimately, when we exclude food groups, we create nutritional deficiencies. So when we go, no carbs, when we go, no meat, when we whatever food group we're excluding, we create nutritional deficiencies. When we go high fat, low carbs, all these sorts of things, we're just creating an imbalance. And the other thing is that it becomes unsustainable, because we just want more of what we're not having and what other people are enjoying. And so the curiosity grows and the propensity to want it grows, and eventually you crack when you actually jump off the bandwagon, jump off the plant based diets bandwagon, and you get back to more, I guess, a more balanced way of eating. And so I'm not saying don't try it, or don't give it a go, give it a go for a period. But what you want to do is transition to a balanced approach. And the balanced approach isn't typically what humans do we swing to one side or the other. It's all or nothing sort of approach or mentality. I've been, you know, eating lots of carbs, so therefore I'm gonna go no carbs and then you go back to swing it back to eating lots of carbs. Now That's the thing with plant based diets, right, you generally consume more calories to get the same protein quota. So we realise that protein is the backbone of to how we're built how we eat a lot of water as well. But protein is fundamental building block of life. So we need protein. In order to get the same amount from a plant based diet, we need to consume more calories. Otherwise, we're running a protein deficiency. And a protein deficiency can result in muscle wastage, we want to keep our muscle because it's supports our skeletal structure, it helps us in terms of our skeletal structure. And ultimately, it helps us to perform tasks it helps us to with blood sugar regulation. And well, for some people, it looks better. But again, that's not for everyone. But so essentially, we don't want to be making it hard on ourselves by having to consume more carbohydrates in order to meet our protein closeup. So that's a real downside about a plant based diet is that you'll be consuming more food. And generally, we don't need to consume more food. Whereas society that eats too much because of the rate of readily availability, I mentioned that in terms of meat, but we have a readily available and too much assessable foods, hence why we are attracted to eating, because that's where wired that way, we realise that we need to eat to live hand. So we are attracted to certain smells. So we walking down the walk past a few shops, we, we've picked up certain smells, it's generally fats and sugars that we're really attracted to. And we think, Oh, that smells nice. And it's going to start generating hunger signals in our body. And we're eventually going to think, yeah, I'm hungry. Now I could eat that. But without that, without those smells, yeah, those hunger signals wouldn't have been generated. And you could have done without that meal that you just have. So but I'm not talking about that I'm talking about the rise of plant based diets. But my point is, is that when we go to like swinging the pendulum to purely plant based diets, yes, it's good in some ways. But there are a compromise, for example, you need to eat this, you need to eat more calories in order to get your protein quotients. Because protein isn't as packly dense into plant based foods, there is protein and plant based foods, absolutely. nuts, seeds, grains, or contain protein, even vegetables contain some protein, but it's small amounts, it's much less dense in protein. Whereas plant plants that meet meat based foods have a higher density of protein, they're more dense, so you can consume less of the meat and get the same amount of protein. Whereas with the the plant based form, you have to consume a larger volume to get the same amount as the equivalent protein kosher in meats that you can eat less of. So that's that is the downside of going to plant based diets is that probably you know that concern that you're not going to get enough protein. The other thing about plant based diets is certain minerals, and vitamins that are less available in plant based diets. There's a few that you may have heard of iron, for example, yes, it is contained a lot within plant based foods, but it's not in a bio available form. It's not as bioavailable. So again, that it is available, but we absorb a simulate less iton per volume consumed again. It's, I don't want to be technical. But essentially, when you consume meat, it's in a more bio available form of iron. So it's easy to assimilate. And in actual fact, if you actually look into how much iron is in meat compared to plant, certain plant based foods have actually got more iron contained within it, but it's just not bioavailable as it is in meat. So that's the other thing is the iron factor, which can be effective for some people will have a concern because they might might be, you know, suffering anemia. So being conscious that with a plant based diet, you may need to supplement if you don't want to eat meat. And yes, I need to acknowledge some people are going to a plant based diets because of ethical reasons around the treatment of animals. And I'll certainly not judging that. That can be a very good reason. Because you don't want to see animals treated that way. And hence, you're not going to consume them. And if you don't consume them, you're not supporting the industry. And you feel better about that. But remember that again, it's going to come with things that you need to be mindful of such as protein making sure you consuming nuts, seeds and grains, and making sure you're combining those proteins in all order to get all our essential amino acids, that's the important thing is like so this is the thing, some people adopt a plant based diet, and they also want low carb, okay, that that is very difficult to eat a plant based diet low carb and then not to be nutritionally deficient. Okay, that is a recipe for disaster is a low carb plant based diet. So any anyone out there trying to do low carbs on a plant based diet, you're going to create nutritional deficiencies, which is going to result in sub optimal health so I don't endorse it. If you go to a plant based diet, you got to be willing to eat more carbohydrates, okay? You need to in order to make sure you don't become nutritionally deficient in any area. So yes, you need to mix grains, nuts, seeds, legumes together, in order to get the all the essential amino acids essential amino acids are amino acids that we can't manufacture, we need to ingest them so that our body can manufacture proteins. So you need to combine those. So be mindful if you're having on a plant based diet, make sure you have a combination of grains, nuts, seeds and legumes in order to get those essential amino acids into your diet. Now, the other one is talking to nutritional deficiencies here is one that could potentially arise from a plant based diet is B 12. So this is a thing a pure plant based diet is vegan. Okay, some people have a variation of a plant based diet, which is plant based plus dairy. Okay, so if your plant base plus dairy generally categorized as vegetarians, okay, so you're willing to eat dairy products, because the animals not killed in the process of you consuming that food. And so vegetarian consumes dairy products, or foods that come from animals, whereas a vegan won't consume any foods that come from animals, they'll only consume foods from plants. So when I'm talking about a B12 deficiency, I'm not talking to vegetarians that consume dairy, I'm talking to the ones that don't consume dairy, and that only eat plant based foods, it's highly probable that over time, if you were for a prolonged periods of time, like greater than a year, you could run into B12 deficiencies which are gonna affect your ability gunner, I just picked up a word of a bit of a slang term. So yeah, I just picked myself up in that motion of in speech, because through doing these podcasts, I'm more conscious of the words I speak. And there's a few words that have been brought to my attention through listening to the episodes that I think do I really say that so frequently, I need to reduce that word, one of the words that you may have picked up on is essentially, okay, I'm aware of that, I'm now on a mission to reduce the overuse of essential or essentially, and I just picked up gunner, so that's another one I'll be conscious of and wanting to improve my articulation intercalation of health concepts with using a language that better speaks to you, you better connect with some people ways that may connect with gunner. So for those out there, that don't mind a bit of Aussie slang, then you're gonna get a bit of gunner and gunner gunner B12. Okay, B12 deficiency, where I was, where I was going to talk to was B12, is essential for the manufacturing of red blood red blood cells. So you can get B12. Anemia through insufficient consumption of B12. And therefore, you don't make good red blood cells and you make ineffective red blood cells. And that's Pernicious anemia, which is a B12 deficiency anemia. So there's also the iron deficient anemia, which generally, we're very well versed and understand that that exists. But we can also have Pernicious anemia, which is a B12 deficiency, B12 is also heavily used in the construction of neurotransmitters, and in the process of muscle methylation. So making of proteins, we use B12. So it's a fundamental micronutrients we only needed in small amounts. However, over a year of plant based diets and not consuming dairy or meat, potentially, you could run into a B12 deficiency. So yes, you can supplement with B12. And it's wise if you're never going to consume animal products ever again in your life, then you might want to consider B12. B12. iron supplementation. The other one that's brought up a lot is calcium. There's plenty of calcium in plant based foods. Okay, plenty of calcium. Yes, dairy products are rich in calcium. They're more dense source of calcium, but again, they're in such a high dense ratio, that it we don't assimilate all the calcium. So it again with the plant based ratios of calcium, we assimilate what we need. And there's going to be inhibitory process or inhibitory competing molecules that will compete for that as absorption such as calcium competes with zinc competes with iron com petes with magnesium competes with manganese, manganese, they all die of Valen cations. They get assimilated through a similar process. And so they they compete for the same pathways. But anyway, getting away from that science, what is key is that you're aware of these potential deficiencies. So calcium may be one for those that don't consume dairy. But if you're consuming a lot of grains, grains contain calcium consuming that seeds grains they contain calcium, I'm not overly concerned with not unless you're a kid actually. So for children, for teenagers, fast growing bones or developing, then it's really important. Your calcium requirements are really elevating and fastly growing with a growing body. And so it's, you know, really need to make sure that you're consuming good amounts of calcium. But tahini, again, is a great source of high end calcium, as I said, nuts and seeds in general are really good sources of calcium, eating your greens, another good source, so there's there is calcium, there's plenty of calcium and plant based foods, it's just not as dense as dairy. But there there is calcium. So probably less concerned about the calcium deficiency, it's probably again, we need it's, it's a combination of things. So for like iron as iron absorption, it's best to simulated with you know, vitamin C consumption citric acid, so that enhances iron absorption, what enhances calcium absorption is vitamin D. And so, again, it's and this is where dairy dairy contains vitamin D, it contains calcium, you know, you've got it all together. So it's, it's really just making sure you're combining well. And if you don't know how to combine well seek help from a professional, okay, so see a professional that can help you a registered dietician, or a clinical nutritionist who's someone that is really good to see and someone is one of those is talking to you today. So not a plugin by services a little bit, I don't do a lot of it. But certainly, if you are struggling in this area as to whether you're potentially running into a nutritional deficiency, then seek a professional advice. Don't go to I mean, Google can give you awareness, some education, some of the sources like credibility as you're aware, and whether it's sometimes it can, it can actually make you too scared. This can be too much information and what is relevant to you can be hard to disseminate. So, again, it might be helpful to consult a professional in that area, other potential nutritional deficiencies as a result of going plant based. I've mentioned the iron potential, the B12. Potential, the calcium potential, what other ones what other ones are there, I mentioned the amino acids, so the essential amino acids so combining nuts, plants, seeds together with legumes, making sure you're eating a variety of plant based proteins to get your essential amino acids. So that's the other risk is that you're not getting in all the essential amino acids because you're going low carb you're trying to try to also you know, reduce calorie consumption. Reducing calorie consumption in a plant based diet is going to potentially result in protein deficiency. protein deficiency is going to affect or can lead to muscle wastage muscle loss, sarcopenia we don't want to see muscle loss muscle wastage because it really supports our skeletal structure. And it supports so much else our hormones, our signaling our absorption of proteins involved in just about everything in our body. So yeah, we're, we're made up of protein, and lots of it with water. So that amino acid potential deficiency as well if you're trying to do low carbohydrates, as well as plant based so what are the benefits of going into a plant based diet? It's generally considered more anti inflammatory, but you can have a plant based diet that's rubbish. You can eat a lot of processed foods. So not all vegetarians. Not all vegans are very healthy. There's a portion of them that just avoid meat, but they eat a lot of processed and to take away foods and that is not the best approach. I guess. You know? For me, it's finding a balance, you know, having takeaway occasionally, having processed foods occasionally, but majority of the time 80% of the time, you certainly want to be eating more whole foods, to cooking more yourself, and making sure that the foods aren't over processed. So you maximize the, the availability by availability of nutrients in that food. So yeah, so when you're going PLANT BASE, making sure that you are eating whole foods, you're doing more cooking, and like so you can go to vegan burger places, right? But you still get the, you know, rubbish ban, you're still. And some of these meats alternatives are quite synthetic. And so what's better natural, natural meat that's been, you know, in free range conditions organically farmed, then, you know, I would consider that a better proposition than having a patty that synthetically made made in a lab, I don't consider that really connecting with us what our body needs, our bodies are very much connected with nature. And a lot of our health ailments are a result of the disconnection from nature, disconnection from our traditional ways of consuming foods, traditional ways of movement, and overconsumption of over processed foods under activity, overexposure to artificial lighting, all those sorts of things, sleep deprivation, all that is playing a part. So what can it what can it help, so if you, you know, eating more of those more unprocessed forms cooking more, then it's generally considered more anti inflammatory, which is going to be helpful in terms of longevity, because we have, you know, our, I guess, Western lifestyles quite inflammatory. And so eating more anti inflammatory foods, more fruit and vegetables, consumption is going to help our fight aging as well as what we call inflammaging, inflammaging, inflammaging, combining inflammation and aging together, because that's what the aging process is. So it's a generative process. And we can help that restorative process through consuming more plant based foods. Absolutely. plant based foods are generally anti inflammatory. But as I learned with my podcast with Udo Erasmus, who is an expert in fats is that when we fry frying foods, when we you know, deep fryer, even pan fry, we are causing ill health and we're bringing in lots of oxidative particles, hydraulic sized oils, which aren't good trans fats, we, you know, lots of free radicals, they accelerate aging. So making sure that when you're doing your plant based diets that you also, you know, minimize fry pan frying, deep frying, because that is a can be a way in which vegetarians seek you know, enjoyment around food is that they might have more tempura sort of style vegetables or, you know, more deep fried maybe chips or whatever better. So it can be mindful that the way you cook it also plays a part in terms of how healthy that food is to consume soups, fantastic in winter. So if you want to consume more plant based foods, and winter, then vegetable soups, soups with vegetables, legumes as your protein, fantastic that more Mediterranean minestrone type soup is fantastic. Bone broth are also great for this time of the year as it's cooling, bone broth, a really healing. They have glutamine. They've got the minerals like calcium from the bone. But then I guess bone broth won't connect well with vegetarians or certainly vegans, but ah, so that's the other thing. Bone broth. So pretty much out of the question with vegans. So probably Yeah, for vegans, it's more than minestrone, the vegetable soups. But yeah, if you don't mind having a bone broth. Yeah. But again, it's sort of not plant based. But that sort of came to came to mind as I said it so I've picked up myself there. So yeah, so the benefits are consuming more, I guess, unprocessed forms, cooking more being mindful of how you're cooking it and eating a wide variety. So that's really key around a plant based is that as I mentioned, eating grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, or rainbow colored vegetables, or rainbow color or fruit eating what's in season so making sure it's seasonal then it's has the optimal amount of nutrition are also much better. From a sustainability point of view. It's not being shipped in from Europe or far away, so much better for the environment. So eating seasonal, wide variety colors of the rainbow is really helpful. Now for those that are looking more for a happy medium between the two is having meat free meals, having meat free days is beneficial and go on a journey. Don't think that you need to go plant based overnight, maybe have three days a week that you're plant based or don't consume meat. And then the other days you consume a variety of meats, the more healthier versions of meat. So the less saturated fats, the better the more leaner cuts of meat, the better. The more variety, the better, organic, even better and free range even better. So again, question where your meats coming from? What are the conditions you can there's there's more awareness of this today. And so there's farms that are got farming practices that are more supportive of animal welfare. So you can find it, if you do a bit of research, do a bit of digging into it, you'll find places sources of meat, that you're more comfortable with consuming, consume those meats, you'll pay more for it because it's not mass produced mass produced reduces the costs of the of the goods. However, so more niche produced, or yeah, that more niche produced on a lower volumes going to have a higher cost to it. So again, it's again, you got to weigh up where you're at with your cost of living, rising cost of living, and wanting to look after your health and also wanting to look after animal welfare. Again, it's a balancing act, but life's a balancing act, okay. It's all about finding that balance that works for you. And not swinging the pendulum too much one side or the other. It's finding a approach to eating that's working for you, that ticks all the boxes around. There's no nutritional deficiencies, because you're consuming foods from each of the food groups, or you're mindfully aware that you're not consuming from a tip particular food group. And you're getting supplementation or support to ensure that that nutritional deficiency isn't created through not eating that food group. So consult a professional if you want help in this area. Thanks for tuning in to another insightful episode of me and my health up. Before you go, I would love to announce that I've got me&my health up club set up and established, I would love you to join the me&my health up club for a coffee a month. It's great value, there's exclusive content. I'm posting twice a week video content, still posts at least twice a week, at worst case will be once a week. But there's exclusive content available to the me&my health up club members. If you scroll down, you'll find a link to the me&my health up club, I'll make sure it's included in this episode. So you can find it directly. Have a look at the member health club. There's some preview contents. But it's it's essentially for those that want to invest time and energy into their health and well being and to live a long satisfying maximum quality of life really, and go on a journey together. So I share my tips what I'm doing, I share little challenges that I'm taking on you can join me, we get together where we can in local communities. And there's added benefits such as discounting of supplementation and health foods or health products through my online account. So you get discount discount rates to that by being a me&my health up club member you get exclusive content, you get to be part of like minded community. So look for the man my health club. 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This podcast any information advice opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical healthcare or professional advice and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this podcast. Connected Wellness provides you unlimited operating under the brand me&my health up does not make any representations or give any warranties about his accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose. This podcast and any information, advice or opinions or statements within it are not to be used as a substitute for professional, medical, psychological, psychiatric, or any other mental health care or healthcare in general. me&my health up recommends you seek the advice of a doctor or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Inform your doctor of any changes that you make to your lifestyle and discuss these with your doctor. Do not disregard medical advice or delay visiting a medical professional because of something you hear in this podcast. This podcast has been carefully prepared on the basis of current information changes in circumstances after publication may affect the accuracy of this information to the maximum extent permitted by the law me&my health up disclaims any such representations or warranties to the completeness, accuracy merchantability or fitness for purpose of this podcast and will not be liable for any expenses losses damages incurred indirect or consequential damages or costs that may be incurred as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. And for any reason. No part of this podcast can be reproduced or redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in a form without prior permission of me&my health up.

Introduction to today’s episode.
Why plant based diets are on the rise?
More calories to get the same protein.
Plant based diets.
What is a B12 deficiency?
Calcium and iron.
Finding a balance between plant based and processed foods.
The benefits of eating more plant based foods.
Question where your meat is coming from.
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