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Eating more fruit and vegetables 'improves mental wellbeing' (nhs.uk)
153 points by open-source-ux 78 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 171 comments



No, eating more fruit and vegetables is correlated with improved mental wellbeing. In fact, the study, even though it was longitudinal, did not dissect if increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten across a lifespan causes increased happiness even though they could have! The headline, and TFA, are like saying having more TVs per capita causes fewer babies to die. They are both obviously correlative, and clearly not causational.

If the UK is anything like the US, there are some obvious confounding factors, with the most obvious being that poor people cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables, and that poor people are actively persecuted in our society. Hence you get studies that output the above headline.

This isn't really news people.


This study was peer reviewed, and neither the researchers nor the reviewers are drooling morons as you seem to imply. From the article:

"Based on prior research, we included a rich set of commonly observed predictors of well-being as control variables (see Dolan et al., 2008 for a review of this literature). These include socio-demographic variables such as age, household income, gender, relationship status, number of children and education. Such controls are important as it is possible that fruit and vegetable consumption would co-vary with, for example, income – someone becoming richer and as a result enjoying higher well-being scores and changing their food related behaviours. We also controlled for the presence of long-standing health conditions as well as health and lifestyle related behaviours such as walking frequency and smoking behaviour – again potential confounders that could bias any estimates of the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and well-being."

While I do think a lot of research in the social sciences is of questionable value, there's no need to shoot from the hip just for the snarky HN comment.


It's in the summary too:

>They took account of many potential confounding factors, including age, income, marital status, number of children, employment status, smoking status, exercise levels (measured by days each week on which they walked for at least 10 minutes at a time) and whether they had a longstanding health condition.

>The study has limitations, however. The most important is that this type of observational study can't tell us whether the fruit and veg consumption actually causes improved mental wellbeing.

While the longitudinal design and the adjustment for potential confounding factors helps to make the results more robust, there may be something else unaccounted for at play here. The possibility that people who feel happier are more likely to choose healthier food, for example, cannot be ruled out.

Its a responsible and cautious summary.


Is it fair to assume that one cannot just eat more of something without changing anything else? If yes, eating more fruit and veg can be accomplished by eating less of something else and/or increasing caloric requirement through increased physical activity. It would be very interesting to find out what that is, because that could be turned into actionable recommendation about how to eat more fruit and veg.


It could just be focussing on cooking. Less junk food. Taking longer meals. Spending more time on the toilet. Better bowel health.

A litany of secondary factors. But they're all direct effects of eating more veg. That's more than correlation.


It doesn't really matter if it's peer-reviewed or how many variables they controlled for. It's still an observational study and not a randomized controlled trial.


Observational studies are not completely devoid of value. They are in many cases the only way we can practically learn about certain aspects of our world.

Randomized controlled trials are better, of course.


Nutrition epidemiology studies are not scientific experiments; they are wildly inaccurate, questionnaire-based guesses (hypotheses) about the possible connections between foods and diseases. This approach has been widely criticized as scientifically invalid [see here(1) and here(2)], yet continues to be used by influential researchers at prestigious institutions.

Even if you think epidemiological methods are sound, at best they can only generate hypotheses that then need to be tested in clinical trials. Instead, these hypotheses are often prematurely trumpeted to the public as implicit fact in the form of media headlines, dietary guidelines, and well-placed commission reports like this one.

Tragically, more than 80%(3) of these guesses are later proved wrong in clinical trials. With a failure rate this high, nutrition epidemiologists would be better off flipping a coin to decide which foods cause human disease.

(1) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00105... (2) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2698337 (3) https://rss.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1740-...

Ref: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/20190...


Although, potentially interesting: Self reported mental well being is correlated with self reported belief of eating more fruits and vegetables. Though a much weaker claim than the headline, I think this is still useful information. Without looking at the study, you can't rule out that there was something about the surveys that caused this correlation, but if there wasn't, it certainly would be interesting to try to find out why this correlation exists.


John Ioannidis, the guy behind "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" has recently gone after nutrition research. Turns out that nutritional studies are basically devoid of value. After decades of nutrition research we know almost nothing about how to eat healthy.


That's a very bold statement to make.


I never get the argument it’s more expensive to eat fruit and veg, I find it far cheaper.

Sure go to your local supermarket it’s way overpriced and expensive. Go to your local green grocer or market and by seasonal produce, it’s cheap, really cheap. Even the stores like Aldi and Lidl are pretty cheap if you are short on time to go shopping round your local green grocery / market.

Where fruit and vegetables are expensive is time, you have to prepare a meal vs putting a ready meal in the microwave for a few minutes.


Not sure where you're from, but in the US, a fast food meal is far cheaper than buying produce from grocery stores. That is if you can find a nearby grocery store to begin with:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert


In the UK it tends to work out more or less even price wise. So it's a mostly a convenience vs health thing (ignoring taste preferences).


Canned vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh, and common items like green beans and peas are super cheap.


Does "just as healthy" include PCBs from the cans? Google "pcb canned food".


How are you not thinking about differences between cities and countries?


I agree & speculate that mental wellbeing has everything to do with finances. Including if a person develops a mental illness; of course there will be cases where the person is financially well off. Approximately 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where rates of poverty are high. sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454768/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3431736/ https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/suicide/index.html


Fruits and veggies are among the cheapest items in any grocery store in the United States. And we provide food stamps to poor people for this very reason.


Home cooked fruits and veggies end up getting a lot more expensive when you factor in frequency of shopping needed to maintain a stock and time required to cook. I applaud everyone who manages to cook every day and I strive to do so, but both of the people in my relationship work full time and waste about three hours a day commuting, round it up to about twelve hours a day lost to work - cooking and then collapsing after that is un-affordable without getting lost in a spiral of depression.

We cook and eat well on the weekends, we try to reserve food for the week and I continue to be amazed by people worse off than us that are working as much as we are _and_ a part time job on top of it.


Just eat fruit raw! It's not exactly difficult to find fruit that requires no significant preparation, needing nothing more than a quick rinse under tap/removal of skin (according to taste), if even that, before you can put it in your mouth and eat it. I particularly like apples and tomatoes, but there are other similarly straightforward fruit options. Bananas and oranges seem to be popular.

Pick the right type of fruit, and you'll be done in less than 1 minute. You probably just spent more time than that writing a post about how you don't have time to eat fruit! - just think how much better your life would be had you spent that minute eating a banana.

(Many types of vegetables do require cooking, but, again, you have options: bell peppers, onions, spring onions, most types of lettuce...)


Frozen vegetables can help a lot with that, especially the miracle that is microwave "steam in bag" frozen vegetables.


This. Around 50% of my veg and fruit intake comes from frozen organic bags. They're cheaper, last longer, and quicker to make. My go-to lazy meals involve throwing frozen rice, broccoli or kale, and beans in a glass bowl and heating it up in the microwave.


Those "steam in bag" vegetables are convenient, but way expensive considering you can just get a plastic microwave steamer for $10.


> and waste about three hours a day commuting

Jesus. 3 hours! That sounds awful. I'm unhappy when my commute is more than 20 mins each way.


Cooking shouldn't require so much time, at least not needing to collapse. I have a similar commute time. Morning cooking time is 10-20 minutes, evening about the same.


> Home cooked fruits and veggies end up getting a lot more expensive when you factor in frequency of shopping needed to maintain a stock and time required to cook.

What sort of meals are you comparing? To cook a steak, sausages, bacon and eggs and things like that can take more time than cutting up some vegies and making a basic salad. A lot of veggies like beans and lentins can be stored dried, their shelf life is infinitely longer than meat and bread.

> I applaud everyone who manages to cook every day and I strive to do so

It sounds like your comparing cooking to takeaway/frozen rather than comparing cooking veggies to other food.


But most of them live in food deserts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert


http://www.nber.org/papers/w24094

The Geography of Poverty and Nutrition: Food Deserts and Food Choices Across the United States Allcott, Diamond, and Dubé:

We study the causes of “nutritional inequality”: why the wealthy tend to eat more healthfully than the poor in the U.S. Using two event study designs exploiting entry of new supermarkets and households’ moves to healthier neighborhoods, we reject that neighborhood environments have economically meaningful effects on healthy eating. Using a structural demand model, we find that exposing low-income households to the same food availability and prices experienced by high-income households would reduce nutritional inequality by only 9%, while the remaining 91% is driven by differences in demand. In turn, these income-related demand differences are partially explained by education, nutrition knowledge, and regional preferences. These findings contrast with discussions of nutritional inequality that emphasize supply-side issues such as food deserts.


By what measure, though? What does "cheaper" mean here in terms of unit to unit comparison?

For those interested in protein, or feeling full, chicken is one of the cheapest things you can possibly buy. In NYC, fresh vegetables, and (god forbid) organic, is one of the most expensive things you can buy. In my experience, buying ingredients for a full salad with relatively fresh ingredients is almost as expensive as going to a moderately priced restaurant. It's crazy.

If what I said sounds wishy-washy, it's because no one's defined what a unit of animal product versus a unit of fruit and vegetables is, when doing this price comparison.

It might just be because the weather here doesn't give us Mediterranean-like weather conditions and a lot of stuff has to come from places like Mexico and California (it seems from what the local grocery stores are stocking).


I live in Japan. Here's a comparison between NYC and Tokyo: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/comparison/tokyo/n... Click on the plus on the left hand side of food. You can see that Tokyo has dramatically higher fruit and veg prices, especially compared with restaurants, etc (and even compared to chicken). However, it's still dead cheap to buy fruit and veggies. It's certainly one of the cheapest things on my budget. I definitely pay more for my cell phone contract than my fruit and veg!

Your contention that it costs almost as much to buy ingredients for a salad as going to a moderately priced restaurant, don't make sense to me. Even a "basic lunch in the business district" costs $16. That's pretty close to my entire weekly budget for fruit and veg. According to this site you could by a kg of tomatoes, a kg of apples and a kg of potatoes for $12. That's a hell of a lot of food.

When I first moved to Japan I cooked vegan meals at home. Since I got married, I eat a small amount of meat and fish with my wife (I still like vegan cooking). First, I should point out that I didn't eat dramatically more fresh fruit and veg as a vegan -- definitely more beans and grains, and probably a bit more veg. Fruit stayed about the same. My budget for food (which I track pretty closely) has almost exactly doubled per person since adopting more animal products. I spend about $2500 per year per person on groceries now, while I spent about $1300 per year per person on a vegan diet.

One thing that might stand out is the really, really small values there. Food is cheap compared to about every other expense as long as you are cooking for yourself. If you find yourself trying to cut back on your grocery budget, I will suggest that for most people there are almost always better ways to save that money.


> Even a "basic lunch in the business district" costs $16. That's pretty close to my entire weekly budget for fruit and veg. According to this site you could by a kg of tomatoes, a kg of apples and a kg of potatoes for $12. That's a hell of a lot of food.

I'm not sure what I'm missing. That's only 1466 calories according to Google, mostly from the potatoes—which are not particularly healthy. For $12, it is not much food. An average man eating 2500 calories per day would be spending $143 per week with this diet (of potatoes!). How do you get it to $16/week, including fruits?

For me, at least, fruits and vegetables are the most expensive part of my diet. And I can't afford to buy organic or shop at the farmer's market. It's worth it for me, but I don't pretend it is cheap.


>> In NYC, fresh vegetables, and (god forbid) organic, is one of the most expensive things you can buy

What isn’t expensive in NYC?

There are 310 million people in the USA who don’t live in NYC


This needs to be said more often. Money is not the problem, the time needed to shop and cook as well as the discipline necessary to consistently do so are the largest factors.


Money is still the biggest problem if you are poor. It blocks out all the others. You spend all your time thinking about staying ahead of financial ruin. Calling time and discipline the largest factors, to me, misses the point entirely. You can’t have time if you juggle multiple employers and have kids and are still scraping by. You can’t have “discipline” or willpower or whatever about this stuff if there are 20 more important things you don’t even get done thinking about before you fall asleep from exhaustion at the end of the day. Who’s doing organized meal prep when they have to decide whether to pay the water or the gas bill this month or take out a payday loan or what to do?

Sorry for the rant, if that tone is coming through. But no, the problem is not that poor people aren’t trying hard enough, which is what these kinds of responses seem to boil down too. The problem is people without wealth are exposed to way too much risk and hardship to ever have a chance (or even enough resources and time) to act strategically the way people. Everything is tactical, everything is about just staying upright.


Yes the tone is coming through, where did I say that poor people aren't trying hard enough? When you work long hours for low pay or have a family, time and discipline are difficult, I am not belittling the effort it takes.

Money is a huge problem if you are poor. My point is just that you can substitute frozen vegetables for whatever you are eating and it can be the same exact price. It does take more time to make, and is less convenient than unhealthy options. This is what I mean by time and discipline.

There are comments about vegetables having a high cost per calorie, but this misses the important point that many unhealthy, poor people are obese in the US. By swapping a meal at McDonalds or packaged snacks at the convenient store for some pasta with frozen vegetables, you may not be getting the same calorie/dollar value. But getting enough calories is not the issue for most poor Americans, getting enough vegetables is.

I'm not talking about fancy meal prep either. Roast some broccoli in the oven, boil some noodles. Add salt, pepper, butter. Done. Don't like broccoli? Swap it for something else.


I don't see how this conflicts, exactly. Time is indeed a major factor, but money is not orthogonal: below a certain level of income (which depends on the person's circumstances) it impacts the amount of available time too, with cascading effects.

It doesn't matter how much food (discipline) you've got if your water supply (time, money) is dry for a month.


I've lived on incredibly small amounts of money before. At one time in my life (when I was young and travelling) I couldn't afford meat and became vegetarian. Throughout my life I've spent periods where I've chosen to spend incredibly small amounts of money (though out of choice rather than necessity). I'm talking the equivalent of less than $1K per month.

I think the biggest thing you need is to have the skill to understand where the time/money tradeoff pays off. If you have a low paycheck, it doesn't make any sense to work overtime and then not have time to cook a meal. If you have a family, you might be talking about making $20 and spending all of it at Mac D's. These kinds of things add up as well. If you need a car to maintain a hectic schedule, it can easily end up costing you as much as your entire food budget.

These things are super hard and I think people, whether poor or rich, get it wrong all the time. Prioritisation is also super hard. It's easy to get in your head "Oh, I should have a least X" and so you go out and get X, even though you don't actually need it. Then you get stuck in an inefficient part of the curve for all of the other things that you do need.

In that way, the stigma of poverty is often worse than the poverty itself. If you accept your poverty and cooly make the right choices all the time, then you can live on very, very low levels of money. You can even do so very comfortably and be happy. But if you fight against it, loose heart and try to be "like everyone else", then it's this terrible downward spiral that you can't get out of.

And it's kind of stupid because you can work out the math a million times over and say that people should be able to live on $X or make time for Y, but nobody teaches people how to be poor and happy. We collectively send the message that poor is bad and that only through increased money will your life get any better.

I honestly wish we taught more life skills in high school. Most of the academic stuff people ignore and forget anyway. I'm happy I know about ionic bonding, how titration of acid works, etc, etc because I have used it to make beer and cheese. But it's just not relevant to the vast majority of people on the planet. How we get away without teaching basic skills like managing a budget, shopping, finding a place to live that you can afford, finding and doing well at a job, etc, etc, etc I just don't understand.


Some tricks and tips off the top of my head:

* Sous vide: It's very easy to learn and make for juicy and delicious food easy.

* Meal prep. Rather than cooking everyday of the week, spend two hours or so prepping meals for the rest of the week so that you don't have to cook.

That said, the problem is that such knowledge isn't that widespread, although it's widely available on youtube university.


Are you suggesting poor people go out and invest in sous vide equipment? That's not to mention the running cost of vacuum sealer bags.

More sensibly, time and money poor people should invest in a slow cooker. You can cook a huge variety of different cheap and easy meals with one. It also allows you to prep in the evening, then put it on to cook in the morning, so you have dinner ready to go the instant you get home.


Here's a sous vide cooker you can use with any pot for $45.

https://www.amazon.com/My-Sous-Vide-My-101-Immersion/dp/B071...

An ordinary ziploc type bag works fine for sous vide as long as you don't submerge the opening. I've used them for that many times. It's a bit awkward and takes a little more time, but no big deal.


$45 is a pricey slowcooker; the last two I bought were $10 and $30 respectively - the latter has a removable ceramic container. A quick check for what's in stock at the local WalMart shows only 2 out of the 13 available running more than $45. Even the fancy "wifi-enabled app-controlled" Black & Decker is only $38


A suis vide is much different than a slow cooker. I use both quite a lot, and they seldom overlap. The temp control is crucial.


I paid mine for like 70 bucks with the ongoing cost of ziplock bags.


Doing a big cook on the weekend is a good idea, but two hours or so is insufficient for a week if there are picky eaters involved. Processing the volume of veggies into food for a big meal like that will usually end up around two hours, but making multiple dishes in parallel adds a lot of time onto that, especially if you've got limited resources in terms of burners/cookware.


I always make sure to provide two meal options for the picky eaters in my house. (1) take it. (2) leave it. The extra prep is minimal, I assure you.


Great, I'll try selling those options to my spouse who is having issues with low iron right now and for which cooking an additional meal option for the week is not an option.

The "my way or the highway" approach is only really valid when children are involved so that advice is quite limited in terms of value.


May I suggest these to your spouse?

https://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-555407-luckyvitamin-easy-iron...

I have to take iron but I struggled for many years, most iron pills cause me lots of digestive distress. These ones don't, at all. I even can take them on an empty stomach. Pretty much a godsend.


That works for kids, not spouses. It also doesn't work for medically indicated diets. (If one of your kids has allergies, etc.)


My impression was that sous vide was generally for meats, not veggies?

I would think a pressure cooker might be a practical solution to the "no time to cook veggies" - I use mine to do things like steam a bag of prewashed and cut kale in under 5min.


Or just buy kale, chop and wash it yourself, add some garlic too, and stir fry the lot, under 2 minutes end-to-end.


This feels like it’s making it a moral failing.

The effects of social discourse and corporate indoctrination are a thing.

A lot of people believe it’s a duty to support American companies by purchasing their packaged foods.

Advertising branches out of government propaganda research. It’s powerful stuff.


Fruits and veggies are among the most expensive items in any grocery store in the United States per calories, which is the metric that really counts.


That's mainly because veggies have a low calorie count in general. No one's going to get a majority of their calories from fruits and veggies alone. That's pretty prohibitive for most people.

Note: I'm not counting potatoes, rice, and other carb-rich foods here as veggies.


Oh - do people in the US typically have a hard time getting sufficient daily calories on a mostly non-fruit-and-veg diet?


The overwhelming majority does not have a hard time getting sufficient daily calories, but fruits and veggies are still expensive enough that many people probably don't find it affordable to buy a lot of them.


It's almost disturbing how cheap some animal products are, in fact, like chicken. Eggs are a fantastic price for their nutritional content, as well.

The market where I am pushes you towards things that are not fruits and vegetables.


It's plenty affordable to buy staples like broccoli, spinach, bananas, oranges, etc...what grocery stores are you shopping in?


Affordable is a relative term. Think of it this way: at Sprouts where I usually shop, which is a middle-priced grocery chain here in Colorado, you can buy a pound of chicken breast for $2 on sale. You make some rice to go with it, which is at most 25 cents, plus some spices from your cabinet. So for $2.25 you can have a meal that'll satisfy you. Now to add vegetables, you can throw in a bell pepper ($1 on sale), and 4oz of spinach for $1.5 . So adding vegetables just made your meal twice as expensive and added practically no calories, so you can't save half of what you cooked as leftovers.


Your own comment agreed that calories aren't usually the critical problem, though. Fruit and vegetables are generally associated with good mental function because of the micro- / phyto-nutrient content. You can eat all the grain and meat you can afford and still be missing essential nutrients.


Given that poor people are more likely to be obese, I don't think that getting their daily calorie intake is a serious issue.


> If the UK is anything like the US, there are some obvious confounding factors, with the most obvious being that poor people cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables, and that poor people are actively persecuted in our society.

In that case the U.K. is nothing like the US because frozen vegetables are cheap, convenient and easy to cook. If you don’t want to eat vegetables that’s fine but in Europe it’s not going to be because they’re unavailable. A vegetarian diet is cheaper than an omnivorous one.


Eating fruit and raw vegetables for me does make me feel good and brings about a feel of wellbeing. Whether thats the sugar or the other nutrients that they bring i don't know.

Its not really news, i agree, but to a lot of people it is.

I agree that correlation is not causation in a lot of cases, but in this case its kind of true but it depends.. Raw is a lot better than cooked.

Its also the difference between real physical wellbeing from nutrients/sugars, and percieved psychological wellbeing from eating certain foods.

Apple pie might be more of a psychological wellbeing than raw apples which is more physiological, although cooking can bring out different types of nutrients in some cases.


The article says this.

> The difficulty is in knowing whether fruit and veg is actually the cause of their improved mental health. Researchers took account of factors such as people's age, income levels, marital and employment status and general health, and compared the same people's results over time. This approach helped to make the results more reliable. But we can't be sure that the results don't show, for example, that people eat more fruit and veg when they feel more cheerful, rather than the other way around.


“...cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables”

Worse than “can not afford”, they do not have access to fruit and veggis to start with. Do a search on “food desert” or “poor access fruit”. It is not good.


"with the most obvious being that poor people cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables"

This is simply not true.

In fact, the least expensive foods are fresh vegetables.

Aside from the homeless, most poor people have some means to cook as well, giving them access to an astonishing variety of meals.

Meat, milk, cheese, often expensive.

Fruit and veg is the cheapest thing in the store.

Processed/fast foods are more than likely the culprit in so many ways, it seems wherever you are in America, you're arms length from something massively processed, salty, fully of fats/sugars etc..

Same for Canada.


I'm pretty sure fruits and vegetables (with some exceptions) are more expensive when you factor in calories and nutrients.

https://efficiencyiseverything.com/calorie-per-dollar-list/

https://efficiencyiseverything.com/applying-protein-per-doll...


Your data actually confirms my thesis.

But thanks for the data points, very helpful.

Fruits and Veg are super cheap.

A 10 lb bag of potatoes is $5 at Safeway in SF. That makes quite a number of 'servings' of McD's fries.

Avg ground beef price in US is $5.50/pound in 2018, 1.8 ounces in McD hamburger = 62 cents for the meat.

Wonderbread 20 pack of buns is $3 = 15 cents for the bun.

A slice of tomato, bit of lettuce = not much.

So the burger made at home is less than 90 cents.

The soda is surely less expensive, especially on sale.

So at least for 'fries, burger and coke' in the cheapest place, it's still cheaper to cook - and of course the 'expensive' part is the meat.

It's very inexpensive to buy and cook vegetables, and most fruits are cheap as well.

Meats etc. get a little tricky, but still cheaper than fast food.

I'm really surprised at the comments indicating otherwise, this is pretty easy to see for people that buy food, I didn't think this would be contentious.


> Your data actually confirms my thesis.

I don't think it does.

Your thesis was:

> the least expensive foods are fresh vegetables

This is a vague claim. Are you looking at the price per

- unit?

- weight?

- volume?

- calorie?

A cup of milk is a lot more nutritious than a cup of lettuce. A dollar of sardines is a lot more nutritious than a dollar of apples.

In most cases, fruits and vegetables are nutritionally more expensive than flour, potatoes, milk, eggs, meat, etc.

> So at least for 'fries, burger and coke' in the cheapest place, it's still cheaper to cook - and of course the 'expensive' part is the meat.

I have never claimed that fast food was cheaper than cooking at home.


"This is a vague claim. Are you looking at the price per"

It's not vague at all.

By basically any nutritional measure, Fruit and Veg are the best deal. Even on the basis of protein, which might sometimes be tricky on 'mostly F&V diet' - it's cheaper - see your own data points for the many Veg's that have a ton of protein, on a cheaper basis than many meats.

"A cup of milk is a lot more nutritious than a cup of lettuce." - but maybe not more than a larger serving of Spinach, which is considerably cheaper.

"I have never claimed that fast food was cheaper than cooking at home."

The theme of this branch of the thread is that 'poor people can't afford to eat healthy' due to things like cheaper fast food' etc. - which is rubbish.

There are claims made by the USDA [1] which are totally misrepresentative, to the point of a lie. They claim anyone living >1 mile from a 'large grocery store' is in a 'food desert' - and that the problem lies in tons of 'Quick-e-mart' type places with terrible foods. The problem with their thesis is that '1 mile' is not far to go for groceries, that (almost) everyone does have access to fresh food, and that it's substantially cheaper than the crap in Quick-e-mart. The data essentially validates that 'poor people' are making bad nutritional choices quite on their own, not due to some kind of 'systematic problem'. They are buying crap from Quick-e-mart on their own volition, for whatever reason, not because they are coerced into it due to cost.

The fact is that a decent diet is available for relatively low cost to anyone that has the means to cook.

I takes a little bit of thinking, but not that much, and yes, some food products which should be more accessible (and possibly healthy) such as some processed foods, meats, dairy etc. are not very accessible, but they are also not necessary for a healthy diet.

[1] http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/usda-defi...


> see your own data points for the many Veg's that have a ton of protein, on a cheaper basis than many meats

Not really:

https://efficiencyiseverything.com/applying-protein-per-doll...

> but maybe not more than a larger serving of Spinach, which is considerably cheaper

While 100g of spinach almost has as much protein as 100g of milk, it's also 3 times more expensive.

> The theme of this branch of the thread is that 'poor people can't afford to eat healthy' due to things like cheaper fast food' etc. - which is rubbish.

I don't disagree with you.


You are assuming that time costs nothing, which is incredibly untrue. How would someone who has to hold down two jobs, and whose nearest grocery store is 45 minutes out of there way, realize the low cost of these things?


> If the UK is anything like the US, there are some obvious confounding factors, with the most obvious being that poor people cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables, and that poor people are actively persecuted in our society.

I'd put convenience above cost in most cases, there are worse but more convenient foods easily available that store for longer, require less preparation and in terms of fat/sugar adjusted taste buds taste better.


Can't wait until someone creates healthy, long shelf life food that is cheap, and tastes OK. Would be a game changer.


From the top of my head: beans. Canned fish (mackerel, sardines). Oats. Nuts/nut butters (ok, these are not that cheap).


That exists. Oats!


He said tastes okay.


And lentils. You can cook lentils with water and salt and nothing else, and they come out edible and nice enough, if unexciting - but they serve as a fantastic canvas for adding small amounts of other long-lasting things (stock, oil, herbs, spices, cured meat) which add interest.

Which is why my no-deal Brexit survival stash is a couple of kilos of Puy lentils, a bottle of olive oil, and a box of stock cubes!


With peanut butter, honey and other things, it's surprisingly tasty


Yes, but we need a variety of such foods.


I lived on $2 a day for a couple of years (although also relying for variety on friends taking me out to lunch once or twice a week) - mainly 500g pasta + jar of pasta sauce (which had some herbs/veges in it), which made 2 meals and cost under $2. Sometimes also home-made cereal made from e.g. shredded coconut, wheat germ, sugar - surprisingly yummy. After about 3 months I splurged on a jar of garlic - man, that pasta was amazing! :-)


It occurs to me (in all seriousness) that dog food fits that bill pretty well. Presumably we could easily make human versions. I think that there is more to it than that. Food that is not particularly good for you often tastes better and isn't any more expensive. It's that competition that makes it difficult. We can make pretty healthy dog food because we control what they eat -- they don't get to choose.


There’s the urban legend of senior citizens buying dog food to eat because they get so litttle in retirement checks


Not a ledgend. Many now famous people lived on dog food for years. Phillip K Dick comes to mind.


What makes you think dog food is healthy?


From having raised dogs :-) Dogs have similar dietary requirements to humans. If you look closely at the nutrient breakdown in the dog food, you can see that it provides a very good balanced nutrition -- or at least it hits what they are aiming for. People can quibble about whether or not there are healthier nutrient breakdowns, but it's not really that hard to change things around. There are actually studies showing life expectancies for dogs eating dog food vs eating food made at home and they are higher for those eating dog food. There is a variety of reasons for that. For example, dogs are generally smaller than humans and dietary imbalances often have consequences sooner. So it's not really the case that dog food is super food or anything like that. It's just generally reasonable nutrition. The reason I found out about this is that I once thought about cooking for my dogs (I was cooking for myself every day anyway) and my vet highly discouraged me from doing so. She put me on to those papers (It was almost 20 years ago now, so I'm afraid I don't have any useful links, unfortunately).

Dog food also tastes surprisingly good. I never fed my dogs anything that I didn't try first (which I suppose may be weird, but oh well). I can say that some dogs really like the taste of liver, but aside from that kind of thing, dog food is surprisingly good. Some of the wet canned food rivals prepared human meals in my opinion, though the price is a bit higher. I can't remember the brand, but I remember one "beef stew" which was insanely good. I would have happily had it as a meal.

It seems like soylent.com is still around. I think they are making meal replacement drinks. Not my cup of tea, but at $1.80 per meal, it's fairly cheap and convenient. Not sure about taste (I think I'd go for the dog food myself!) However, it is almost exactly the average price for meals I cook for myself, so I'm not sure it's a great deal price wise. The same is also probably true of dog food to be fair.


Pre-cooked rice and curries fit the bill for me. Less than $5 per meal, 2 minutes to heat up, and tastes decent. Not terrible for you either.


I'm pretty sure it's terrible for you.

What are the ingredients? How much do you get? $5 per meal is not cheap.


Dried grains and legumes already exist, and provide the majority of calories that humans consume.


Like Soylent?


Similar, but solid and with some kind of taste


Sardines.


"...people cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables"

Fruit and vegetables are cheap in the UK. To look at prices, just visit any UK supermarket's website (e.g. asda.com, tesco.com, sainsburys.com etc). Lidl and Aldi can be cheaper, but often the cheapest of all are small independent grocery stores.


> poor people cannot afford to eat more fruit and vegetables,

Why is this statement so persistent? Vegetables are the cheapest food there is. Lentils have long been a staple of students. Poor people are poor because they are bad with money and make poor decisions. That is why they don't eat vegetables.


Food deserts exist. This also assumes that time is free, which it is not. If someone has two jobs and lives in a food desert, buying and making their own food becomes a burden and very costly.

> Poor people are poor because they are bad with money and make poor decisions.

you seem like a hateful person. i dont understand how, faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, how you can hold this in your heart. I truly hope you don't believe this.

but seriously. you are discounting family wealth, education, racism, and just plain bad luck. your assertion is so hateful it would almost be comical if there weren't so many people pushing this hateful and destructive ideology


Study seemed to take a lot into account, is it really that outrageous of a finding? Fruit and vegetables have a lot of known benefits.

We evolved from apes where most of our group are frugivores or herbivores. Hell, if our bread wasn’t fortified with things like niacin and vitamin c most people would have scurvy and tons of other crap wrong with them. We probably should get more of our vitamins from the source!


The keto crowd seems almost like a cult sometimes, there is pride and defensiveness. Veganism isn't the only adopted diet people get attached to. Like that millionaire ex-Googler's blog post the other day, sinking most time into an "is it keto" app. It wouldn't have been out of place on The Onion.


Keto eats vegetables, nuts and also berries in limited amounts. Doing keto spinach, kale, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, avocados, squash and many other non starchy vegetables are core.


Shouldn't we classify fruits and vegetables separately ? Modern fruit is a huge deviation from the older times, they're almost as sweet as candy. Plus they're always available unlike the seasonal availability in the past.


This article is from a UK source, and the fruit here is mostly profoundly unripe, and about as sweet as wet newspaper.


I agree with the sentiment, but presumably the study was conducted using modern varieties of fruit.


I'm surprised so many still categorize fruits and vegetables together in these studies and in general thinking, given all we know now about sugar.

Fruits in terms of calories are essentially sugar, and despite the fiber, more than 1-2 a day will start to impact insulin, fat storage etc. negatively for most people. Especially fructose-heavy fruit.

Non-starchy vegetables are not nearly as sugar or calorie dense, can be eaten in much higher volume with little effect, and as such should be thought of much differently than fruit.

(non-avocado) Fruit falls more in the dessert/candy category IMO.


The studies don't back this up one bit:

https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/02/23/can-you-eat-too-much-f...

The fiber makes all the difference in the world when it comes to metabolism of sugars.


Anecdotal, but I have eaten 5-10 mangoes a day, among other fruits, for long periods of time and remained at 8-10% body fat. I pay close attention to what I eat and how it affects my body composition, and I stopped worrying about eating too much fruit long ago.


The 2 main studies in this article are not very instructive -

1 was done on diabetics with groups eating more or less fruit, but no mention is made of what the rest of their diet was in relation to sugar/carbs. It mentions no impact to their weight or diabetes, but would their diabetes + weight have improved by cutting carbs, sugar & fruit?

The other study was n=17 so not very solid.

What's more interesting is research where fruit, sugar, and carbs are removed entirely or almost entirely (keto). T2 Diabetes is commonly reversed and weight loss adherence increases.


It's incredibly easy to overlook the calorific content in fruit - I was recently taking in at least 1000 calories per day from bananas/stone fruits/etc.

My rule of thumb is for vegetables to form the bulk of my intake (in terms of volume), with 1-2 cups of fruit per day as "dessert".

Basically, I treat most non-starchy vegetables as "free" - eat as many as you want. It's a mistake to think that fruit/starchy vegetables (pumpkin, potato, etc) are in the same category.


I think there is more to that, as I've never met someone fat who also eats a lot of fruits. My intuition is that you either feel filled more quickly with fruits, or too much fruit gives you the shit so you avoid it, or it hypes you so you consumes more energy?


Fruit _juice_ is more problematic. Drinks release a large amount of sugar very quickly into your system, they also don't "fill you up" and it is hard to quantify exactly how much you have consumed, meaning that people consume more sugar than they intended to. Drinks are directly absorbed into your gut without requiring digestion, and you can also drink fruit much faster than you could ever chew the same amount of whole fruit.

So yes, do avoid fruit juice, soda, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, ice cream, etc; but avoiding whole fruit is probably premature optimisation.


I like the rough guideline to change from eating vegetables/juicing fruit to juicing vegetables/eating fruit.


>"If the results are true, this gives another reason to boost your fruit and veg intake. We already know eating these foods is good for physical health, and this study suggests they can improve your mental health, too."

I feel like this is nothing really groundbreaking news. I don't have any scientific sources or proofs so maybe I'm retarded, but it was always obvious to me that physical and mental health are largely interlinked. People who exercise regularly are more likely to have better mental health, perhaps even regardless of their diet (counting out extreme cases). People who make an effort to eat more fruit and veg to improve their physical health generally are also practicing the mental discipline needed to stick to a long-term plan/goal, which will mean better mental wellbeing as a result.

Will this study do any good to motivate people to eat more healthily? The cynic in me tells me no, because everyone already knows fruit and veg are good, yet many will still refuse to incorporate them into their diet and choose to eat convenient junk instead. The people who are already eating fruit and veg already know it is making a positive impact on their health, I guess this is another form of confirmation for them so they can continue?


When ill I couldn't eat anything beside raw food. Anything with just too much sugar (one biscuit was enough) would make me faint.

So I ate raw lettuce; raw tomato etc etc

It changes your perception of eating. Less flashy but much more gentle and stimulating at the same time.


On a recent Peter Attia podcast he made an offhanded comment that any deviation from SAD (Standard American Diet) seems to improve health. So probably related to that.


Not eating food, aka fasting, improves mental wellbeing.


Lots of people in here making excuses as to why they don't eat more fruits and vegetables.

Here's a write-up with sources: https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/09/04/how-many-servings-of-f...


they are too difficult to peel.


thats one of the most awesome aspects of them, they are self-packaged. Most of the benefits of plastic, with none of the downsides. The only additional downside it might have that plastic doesn't is it decays and smells bad if youdon't throw it away (but thats ok because its ok to throw it away!)


Biodegradable packaging, and free compost greens - my thoughts exactly as I was peeling corn cobs yesterday.


wait, does that mean we should package other things in fruit and vegitable skins? I guess a hamburger in a coconut shell would work just fine. Squeezing ketchup out of a lemon will probably take a bit more getting used to but ice cream wrapped in a melon skin sounds just fine.

Fruit shall be more popular than ever after we replace the content with meat.


Well, thats the future magic world of building things with proteins.

So, no you wouldn't put ketchup in a lemon, but you might have what appears to be a typical ketchup packet,appears to be made of plastic, but is actually some mix of properties of different organic skins.


Lots of fruits and vegetables don't require peeling! Though they do require washing.


You can buy a ultra-sonic cleaner that eliminates all of the pesticides on the fruits, vegies.


I can't tell if you're serious or joking?


Can I take supplements which give the same effect?


Common sense


I'm a bit alarmed. We have fruit, but not veg. Hopefully, vegetables are a good substitute for veg.


Not if you believe Jordan and Mikaela Peterson...https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/08/the-peter...


It is pathetic that HN childishly downvotes you instead of engaging in a fruitful discussion.

For an unbiased review of foods, go here: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/foods/


Jordon Peterson claims drinking a glass of apple cider caused him to not be able to sleep for 25 days straight and his daughter claimed that putting pepper on a steak caused joint pain, acne and anxiety for three weeks. But she can drink voldka and bourbon.

That sort of batshit crazy magical thinking isn't worth discussing. Period.

The article the GP posted has the money quote:

>The idea that alcohol, one of the most well-documented toxic substances, is among the few things that Peterson’s body will tolerate may be illuminating. It implies that when it comes to dieting, the inherent properties of the substances ingested can be less important than the eater’s conceptualizations of them—as either tolerable or intolerable, good or bad. What’s actually therapeutic may be the act of elimination itself.


It's not too crazy to think a mono-diet of meat might have some therapeutic effects. A lot of people claim it's helped them: https://meatheals.com/


Please reread the comment you are replying to, I didn't say "it's crazy to think a mono-diet of meat might have some therapeutic effects" or even anything like it.


Those people are also mentally ill. Their symptoms are mostly psychosomatic and the "therapeutic effects" of a meat diet are entirely sure to the placebo effect.


Are malicious comments like this -- calling one's fellow human beings reporting what worked to cure their health "mentally ill" or "batshit crazy" -- actually allowed on HN?


HN cares more about dogmatic beliefs than factual reports. No wonder you are being downvoted.


Where are the facts, then? We have two people who claim to follow an all-beef diet, and built a business around giving advice to people regarding their diet.

Similarly, breatharians make claims about their diet and built businesses around giving advice to people regarding their diet.

Both the Petersons and breatharians make huge claims about their purported diet, but don't have the evidence to back their claims up. There isn't even evidence that the Petersons follow their own diet advice. There are only claims and consultation fees.


Even if an all beef diet had amazing health benefits, it's still bat shit insane magical thinking to claim that a glass of apple cider makes you unable to sleep for 25 days straight. Not hyperbole, he claimed it literally. Assuming it's even possible to not sleep for 25 days. That's /r/thatHappened material.

For another example of the same sort of outrageous obviously false claims (similar to breatharianism) see the "fasting girls." (One of which died of starvation while being monitored)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting_girl


> Where are the [factual reports], then?

Here http://meatheals.com/ and of course those of Petersons

> There isn't even evidence that the Petersons follow their own diet advice. There are only claims and consultation fees.

What they do to earn their living is irrelevant. Including your convenient disbelief (in the name of "evidence") of their factual reports. Unlike you, I take what people say with face value in order to establish a prima facie case -- there is no need to believe or disbelieve.

Had I listened to the Internet cynics like you I would not have resolved my own chronic condition.


> What they do to earn their living is irrelevant.

No, it is very relevant. There's a blatant conflict of interest and that you chose to ignore it, and just take them on their word without evidence, speaks volumes.

I wish you luck in treating your chronic condition.


It is irrelevant, as it does not automagically make a factual report suddenly false. This is such basic comprehension; I have no idea why some people don't get it.


Please don't straw man my post.

"Conflict of interest" and "complete lack of evidence that so-called practitioners even practice their diet" don't mean that their report is automatically false, it just calls into question their integrity and their report's basis in reality.


Yet that is what you are implying. You inject your (presumably agenda-based) disbelief onto their factual reports and then buttress that disbelief by channeling attention into irrelevant matters (thereby suppressing discussion of the therapeutic effects of the diet), instead of opening up a conversation with any modicum of curiosity.

Unless a person is lying -- like that notorious vegan did when submitting a deliberately false report to meatheals.com -- one's report is indeed factual. Intelligent people are not stupid enough to blindly believe what others say, instead of taking it at face value in order to establish a prima facie case.

Cynicism won't get anyone very far in life.


Neither of them recommend their diet for the general public. They think it works for themselves because of their particular auto-immune issues.


I don't think that's true. It's not that they don't recommend the diet, it's that they are very careful to say that it works for them and that they have no evidence or expertise to say if it will work for someone else.

The auto-immune benefit was just one of many benefits they claimed. Both also suffered from depression and they said those symptoms went away as well.


There's no evidence that either of them follow their "all beef diet", but there's ample evidence that they charge $120+/hr for consultations based on this diet[1].

[1] https://mikhailapeterson.com/consultations/


Eating more fruit and vegetables. Spell the whole damn word. It takes less than a second to finish typing that. I saw 'thru' in an academic journal yesterday as well. Drives me insane.


"Veg" seems used more in British English. As an American, it never really sounds right to me, and I usually see/hear it from UK or Australian sources. Just an idiomatic difference, I think.


I'm kinda with you on this one. "Veg" isn't too bad, but "veggies" can go to hell.


"Veg" is a British term.


I don't get fruits. As much as I love them, I don't see why you need somewhat reduced nutrition (compared to vegetables) and way more sugar.

Antioxidants have been a failure of nutritional science, in the same vein as the high-grain diet. That means vitamin C has been way overrated. In fact, it has better uses in skin care but that's a different story.

Can anyone comment?

As long as you get enough fiber, eat plenty of vegetables (and dry fruit like almonds, nuts, etc), and in general follow a low-carb diet, fruit intake is nothing more than a psychological boost, and makes you nutritionally worse off. Change my view.


There is so much misinformation out there about diet it's truly mindboggling. Antioxidants play a crucial role in maintaining health. They just don't work that well if you take them in purified form as a supplement. Consuming a diet high in natural antioxidants has tons of very well documented benefits. And fruits are one of the best sources of antioxidants, along with a lot of other valuable nutrient.

https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/02/02/the-number-one-global-...


Sugar is not bad per se. The issue of sugar in processed foods, candy etc. is that it absorbs quickly and causes blood sugar spikes. This is bad.

Fruits and vegetables have fiber, which slows sugar absorption, hence no blood sugar spikes. Of course, if you eat 10 bananas daily, then it is not healthy.

Also, some vegetables contain lots of sugar too.


No. Eating a balanced meal improves mental well being. A balance of meat, veg, fruit, etc.

These "studies" are so intentionally deceiving since they take lower income people who gorge themselves on processed junk and them claim "eating more fruit and veg" helps. You could also say "eating more meat" would be beneficial as opposed to processed junk.

I'm disappointed that so much of diet "science" is so corrupted by politics and business agenda. But that's been it's history since kellog's "eat cereal" nonsense and "an apple a day" PR stunt.

There is nothing inherently good about fruits or vegs. An "apple a day" isn't going to keep the doctor away. And vegetables aren't inherently "healthy food". If you only eat apples and vegetables, you will deteriorate physically and mentally and maybe even die.


You don't need to eat meat to be healthy (mentally or physically).


Yes you do. I supposed it is possible to be "healthy" on an all meat or all veg diet, but that's not optimal. Especially for veg diet since they need tons of supplements and/or have to track down all kinds of exotic veg, nuts, etc to stay sane and healthy.

It's like walking on all fours. Sure I can get from point A to point B on all fours, but it's not optimal. We were built to walk on our legs. The same goes for food. We were built to be omnivores.

The fact that no human society ( or pre human society ) existed on an all meat or all veg diet should be a dead giveaway.

Frankly, as a one time vegan myself, veganism should be labeled an eating disorder. Human beings should be eating a balanced diet.


You can absolutely be healthy, and not require any supplements, on a vegetarian diet. I don't eat anything exotic and have no health issues at all as a vegetarian.

Veganism is a different story, as you well know. I think that it's unfair and wrong to call veganism an eating disorder though. If you're a vegan for moral/philosophical reasons, and ensure that you keep your vitamin and mineral levels healthy, whether by supplements or dietary choices, how is that an eating disorder? That's like saying that conscientious objectors to the draft had a mental disorder.


"Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians"

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/human-ancest...



Leaving this here with links https://www.reddit.com/r/vegan/wiki/dieteticorgs

All the major dietetics and health organizations in the world agree that vegan and vegetarian diets are just as healthy as omnivorous diets. Here are links to what some of them have to say on the subject:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.

Dietitians of Canada

A healthy vegan diet can meet all your nutrient needs at any stage of life including when you are pregnant, breastfeeding or for older adults.

The British National Health Service

With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs.

The British Nutrition Foundation

A well-planned, balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can be nutritionally adequate ... Studies of UK vegetarian and vegan children have revealed that their growth and development are within the normal range.

The Dietitians Association of Australia

Vegan diets are a type of vegetarian diet, where only plant-based foods are eaten. With good planning, those following a vegan diet can cover all their nutrient bases, but there are some extra things to consider.

The United States Department of Agriculture

Vegetarian diets (see context) can meet all the recommendations for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs. Follow the food group recommendations for your age, sex, and activity level to get the right amount of food and the variety of foods needed for nutrient adequacy. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.

The National Health and Medical Research Council

Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthy and nutritionally adequate. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle. Those following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet can meet nutrient requirements as long as energy needs are met and an appropriate variety of plant foods are eaten throughout the day

The Mayo Clinic

A well-planned vegetarian diet (see context) can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children, teenagers, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Vegetarian diets (see context) can provide all the nutrients you need at any age, as well as some additional health benefits.

Harvard Medical School

Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.

British Dietetic Association

Well planned vegetarian diets (see context) can be nutritious and healthy. They are associated with lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain cancers and lower cholesterol levels. This could be because such diets are lower in saturated fat, contain fewer calories and more fiber and phytonutrients/phytochemicals (these can have protective properties) than non-vegetarian diets. (...) Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of life and have many benefits.


You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. The less meat and more vegs/fruit I eat the healthier I have become (according to my doctor)


There have been ovo-lacto-vegetarian societies throughout history (e.g. some religious orders in both Christianity and India, the “Pythagorean diet”).

I think you’re right that veganism is modern, as without modern scientific knowledge eating a healthy diet without milk, cheese, or eggs is very difficult.


It's not really difficult at all. You need to make sure you get adequate b-12, iron, omega-3 but many foods are fortified (at least in Canada where I live) and many people are already taking a multivitamin.


This is patently false.


Dunno why this is controversial. If you need to be taking supplements to get proper nutrition, then you're not eating correctly. Simple as that.

EDIT: I guess this only applies to Veganism.


How about adding iodine to table salt? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodised_salt

Or pregnant women taking folic acid to prevent birth defects? https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/pregnancy/fo...

Or giving vitamin d to newborns? https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circ...

Should these practices be stopped because they aren't "natural"? Are breast fed babies not "eating correctly"?


The only required supplement for vegans is B12, and that's not because of lack of meat. B12 is produced by bacteria and most of us live in sanitized environments, so there is no reliable sources of B12 any longer. It's possible that even the animals you eat are low in B12 due to cobalt deficiency in the soil[1], so I encourage you to check your levels and supplement if necessary.

Also, your argument is a classic example of an appeal to nature[2].

1: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/livestock-biosecurity/cobalt-def...

2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature


Exactly. And a lot of foods you buy at grocery stores already include extra B-12 (e.g. soy/flax/oat milks, tofu, etc.)


There's a perfectly valid argument to be made that as we are able to get full nutrition from non-animal sources, even if that requires supplementation, that it's unethical and immoral to use animals as a source of nutrition.

To say "no, being a vegan is wrong because you can't get full nutrition from eating plants" is an invalid argument, because most vegans aren't arguing only on a health basis.


A lot of things are controversial here. HN is not exactly an unbiased group.

They say be nice in guidelines, and yet won't do anything about people outright accusing others in comments.


Most Americans eat too much meat, even if they are eating whole foods instead of processed junk.


I see that you, like most of people here, have gulped the vegan propaganda hook, line and sinker.

http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/foods/


Oh yes, the multi-trillion dollar vegan food lobby... /s





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