Dr. Garth Davis Rebuts Nutritionist Over Concerns on Vegan Diet
Many people have already read the article entitled “I’m a Nutritionist. Here’s Why I Have Concerns About Vegan Diets” by Michelle Strong. In it, she states many people assume she is a vegan or vegetarian as she is a nutritionist, and she lists her concerns over the vegan diet. As can be expected, she of course mentions protein as her main worry, and that plant-based diets simply fall short in this category. She also states that vegans and vegetarians eat too many grains, and that they use too many unhealthy meat substitutes.
While there are of course many vegans and vegetarians who are not healthy–as in they do not eat enough protein, use too many soy substitutes, and perhaps consume too many grain products, Strong’s article had many long-term vegans and vegetarians rolling their eyes with her concerns on the diet. However, Dr. Garth Davis, who specializes in diet and nutrition, wrote a rebuttal piece titled: “I’m a Doctor Who Specializes in Diet & Nutrition. Here’s Why I Don’t Have Concerns About Vegan Diets”.
In it, Dr. Davis stated:
“I’m a medical doctor who specializes in diet and has studied nutrition in depth — and I am not the least bit worried by a vegan diet.”
He asks the question that if vegans must be so much more worried about their diets, why then, according to the Adventist Health Study, do they live longer and suffer less heart disease, cancer as well as diabetes? He then examined her next point of vegans eating too many grains, and how that contributes to concentrated fat in the midsection. He responds stating that many of the healthiest diets around the world are actually centered on grains–including a very well known one, the Mediterranean diet:
“Just look at ‘The Blue Zones’ the world, where people live longer and healthier. Are they eating a diet high in animal protein? Absolutely not. Again, look at the Mediterranean diet. It’s not made up of chicken and meat. It’s very high in complex carbs and fruits and veggies. And while they do eat fish, it’s not in large amounts. The Okinawans thrive on yams, rice and soy. The people of the Nicoyan Peninsula are eating beans and rice.”
For the third point, he gives Strong some credit and notes that some vegans and vegetarians do tend to rely too much on meat substitutes, but that even with their notoriously high sodium levels, they are still not as unhealthy as many meats. He states:
“So yes, I’d rather vegans eat a potato and some beans than a Gardein meatless chicken wing. But I’d also much rather them eat the Gardein wing than a regular chicken wing.”
While as a nutritionist myself I can truthfully state that many of the various health concerns my clients tend to have revolve around their meat intake, I will gladly let the doctor take this one. He concludes: “Having completed exhaustive studies of this topic let me say this: I am a physician and I am worried about people who eat animal protein.”