measurable health benefits of 100% plant based diet vs 90-95%?

Robert S

Newcomer
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Reaction score
1
Age
37
Location
90210
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
I'm new to this and am looking for some information on the difference in health benefits between 100% plant based/vegan diet vs 90-95%? I'm inclined to start at 100% plant based, try to measure or at least document my results and then slowly add back meat or dairy if desired. I think 90-95% is more sustainable and on the other hand, as the saying goes "if you don't use it you lose it" - i don't want to have a problem if someday in the future I want to re
 

SapphireLightning

Forum Legend
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Reaction score
468
Location
Mane
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I'm new to this and am looking for some information on the difference in health benefits between 100% plant based/vegan diet vs 90-95%? I'm inclined to start at 100% plant based, try to measure or at least document my results and then slowly add back meat or dairy if desired. I think 90-95% is more sustainable and on the other hand, as the saying goes "if you don't use it you lose it" - i don't want to have a problem if someday in the future I want to re


From what I understand, you don't see any real improvement unless you are eating a more-or-less WHOLE FOOD plant based diet, so your question may be a bit 'flawed'. Just eating plant based hasn't shown anything that I am aware of other than maybe a reduced risk for a small handful of diseases. Switching from meat to protein isolates blended with coconut oil is not much of a change, except maybe the fact that the plant based option has no cholesterol (and of course, the animals and their experiences, but you are asking about health here). From what I have seen in my years of amateur digging in to these things, even a small amount of saturated fat in the diet does a load of damage to endothelial cells, so if you are wanting to avoid cardiovascular problems later in life, then no, 95% plant based will most likely not do much.

So, to boil it down: To have an overall positive effect from it (not just reducing risks) you need to be very close to 100% whole food plant based (wfpb < you will see that here a LOT).
Going 95% plant based will reduce some risks as compared to eating a SAD, but like said before, it may not put you in to the overall "positive" territory.

There are some studies out there that show what wfpb diets can do, but I am not aware of any specific to 95% plant based. Studies for non-whole foods plant based diets (Gimme some beyond and gardein! YUMS!) tend to show participants at or slightly better than meat eaters.
 

Nekodaiden

Forum Legend
Banned
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Reaction score
1,208
Age
49
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I'm going to have to disagree with SapphireLightening here at least on the
WFPB part. I went vegan just over 2 years ago and

- I didn't give up oil initially (oil is not a whole food). I still use it at times even though I have preached against it here.
- I didn't give up beer/alcohol at all (any alcohol is certainly not a whole food)
- I still occasionally ate/eat processed things made with processed food stuffs
like white flour.


I did however give up all meat, dairy, eggs and derivatives. For processed products,
if any were listed in the ingredients, I stopped using them.

I noticed a lot of health benefits just doing this.

I also noticed sometimes I was hungry even after eating. This was remedied
by upping more whole foods in my diet (which kept nutrients, including fiber which is super important, higher) and
adjusting for more consumption of calories - in general, more nutrient dense food
and the addition of higher calorie foods (nuts/seeds).

Now you have stated you want to work animal products back in if desired. Of
course as a vegan, I wouldn't suggest this. For starters, that might
mean 1 hamburger/piece of meat per month, per year or whatever. That's one
piece of meat that could be infected and make you violently ill. But even
if you avoid all that as many omnivores do, every time you eat any animal products
then your body adjusts for them. Un-beneficial bacteria in your gut develop
to process them, and these bacteria are at odds with the beneficial fiber
and resistant starch eating type. They compete for space in the gut and
are antagonists. They will make you crave more animal flesh and fat, and
if continued to be fed, they will create more problems over time. These
problems are many and varied, however the most obvious and immediate
minor one is bloating. Not bloating when you eat them, but bloating that will occur
when you stop and include more fiber, because when this is done the good bacteria
start to proliferate again and crowd out the animal flesh/fat eating kind. As a vegan,
bloating was part of my transition period and has not ever been a problem
since. However I do know at least one individual for whom it is a problem,
and the reason for this is that this person did not completely exclude
animal products, eating them less but not eliminating them, and as a result
experienced bloating every time they eliminated them for a while.

To sum up, I believe a degree of reduction, depending on how much of a degree
that is, will help improve your health if that is all you are after. But any
animal products in the diet present risk, that risk either being immediate risk
from things like salmonella, or the myriad of health risks that happen over time.
In any case, if you choose that risk, it's almost certain that even trying to
go 95% vegan is going to present difficulties, just from a microbiota point of
view.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sax and TofuRobot

TofuRobot

Forum Legend
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Reaction score
1,562
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
I think if you want to see the greatest results, go 100% WFPB and eliminate or greatly reduce added oil, sugar, and salt.
Give your self at least 30 days before evaluating how you feel.
While you're doing this, spend your time doing massive amounts of research. And watch the following films:
  • What The Health
  • The Game Changers
  • Earthlings
  • Dominion
  • Cowspiracy

And visit the following YouTube Channels and try to catch up:
  • Mic The Vegan
  • NutritionFacts (also the website NutritionFacts.org)
  • Plant Based Nutrition
  • Earthling Ed
  • Plant Based Science London
  • Physicians Committee (and pcrm.org)

For good measure, and your own edification, visit the doctor and get a full blood panel before you do it. Then do it again after your 30 or 60 days or whatever is up.
I would be very surprised if, after committing to this experiment, that you would have any interest in re-introducing animal products back into your life, but I'm also interested in how you fare with this.

Good to have you here and please do keep us apprised of your progress!
 
OP
OP
R

Robert S

Newcomer
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Reaction score
1
Age
37
Location
90210
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan newbie
You have definitely given me a lot more to think about. I really appreciate all the response and will use it to help guide my research. I have no doubt that going whole food plant based would be an improvement and I would feel significantly "better" - however I'm not there yet. Seeing "the game changers" is actually what initially motivated me to make the change. I have been aware, for a long time, that producing, for example, 1 lb of plant matter is much less environmentally taxing than 1 lb of animal, and that is a huge motivator as well, I am an environmentalist at heart.