By Dana Shultz for DietsInReview.com
Have you ever equated vegan with dangerous? Neither had we.
But if you’ve been following a vegan or vegetarian diet, or may consider doing so in the future, Susan Schenck – author of the new book Beyond Broccoli: Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work – wants you to consider something first: perhaps it isn’t the best thing you can do for your body.
Much to her readers’ surprise, Schenck, who had previously been a vegan and vegetarian for years, uses her new book as a platform to argue why these diets don’t work, namely for their adverse long term effects on the body, including severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Schenck – who also wrote the popular raw diet book The Live Food Factor – speaks not only from a place of authority as a licensed acupuncturist and master of Traditional Oriental Medicine, but also from a place of experience. She was a raw vegan herself for six years, as well as a raw vegetarian for a year. And although she formerly believed these were the healthiest diets a person could follow, she later discovered this wasn’t true after she began suffering from such symptoms as vitamin B12 deficiencies, memory loss, bloating, and fatigue.
Once she began experiencing these and other adverse effects, Schenck started consulting other professionals in her field who’d also formerly been vegan and vegetarian but had since began following other diets. Their feedback, along with her own extensive research, makes up Schenk’s 28-chapter book about the benefits of straying from a strictly plant-based diet, and how incorporating small amounts of meat – namely fish – can be incredibly healthy.
Schenck argues that 5-10 percent of a person’s caloric intake should come from animal foods – either raw or lightly cooked – to avoid deficiencies. But that the animal protein should be “clean” and come from organically-fed, free-range sources.
Schenck gives a loose guideline in the book for what a healthy diet should consist of, including eating plenty of all natural, unrefined, organic foods, and limited amounts of dairy and grain. She also suggests eating plenty of plant foods, non-sweet fruits, hemp seed oil or olive oil in moderation, and as many greens as you like.
All in all, Schenck’s advice seems well founded, and her diet would be a healthy one for just about anyone to follow. Although before committing to any new diet plan, we recommend individuals first consult their doctors to see if it’s a good fit for them.