An observation that struck me while reading the stories of health problems on the diet recently, was that the various patterns repeating in the different stories look a lot like the symptoms of amino acids deficiencies. What an irony I thought, considering that “Where do you get your protein from?” is a standard question that the raw vegans learn to debunk so early on in their dietary journey. It is quite apparent to me that other nutrient deficiencies are likely to be present too, and this is despite the commonly held idealistic belief that the raw vegan diet is the best lifestyle on the planet. So, what is going on? The answer is blatantly obvious. We have heard this before, but we’ve ignored it, clouded by our naive thinking and peer pressure to conform.
A restrictive diet driven by purism can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and if these are present consistently for a prolonged time, serious health problems are bound to follow. This is why we observe people losing their teeth, hair, and muscle tone, feeling depressed, fatigued and getting wrinkles. This is happening to very young people who put their trust into those they naively perceive as experienced experts in the field.
I used to think that using highly inaccurate calculators for tracking one’s foods intake is a pointless task. However, I would like to revise my opinion due to these harrowing stories, as I believe that it is crucial that people become aware of the fact that their diet may be seriously lacking in nutrients so that they can prevent the future damage. My recommendation to anyone embarking on a raw vegan diet, fruit-based or not, is that you track your nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and lipids) to make sure that you get enough. This will help you understand that the variety and abundance in your diet is important!
To illustrate my point, see the two sample menus below (based on an active female around my size and age). The first, consist of bananas and dates only (strange but a likely scenario to some), see the Cron-o-meter approximate analysis below.
The second sample is more varied, and consists of fruit as well as greens and seeds, see the Cron-o-meter approximate analysis below (pardon the canned carrot juice, there was no raw juice option).
Despite being much higher in calories, the first sample is seriously lacking in several nutrients, including protein. The second sample menu, although not perfect, is a much better alternative, and when improved, for example by including celery juice in the menu to increase the sodium intake, and with addition of supplements (B12 and perhaps D, unless one spends time in the Sun on regular basis), it would provide a far more sensible option.
Be open to learning and evolving your views.