You should definitely trust me on this, quite a long time ago I tried to make a vegan diet work as an individual who exercised regularly and it was far more than being simply sub optimal.
This is anecdotal but I will share this evidence.
I switched over to a vegetarian diet with occasional seafood, so ate eggs and greek yogurt, and did not notice a single difference compared to when I was eating meat more regularly. However, when I went over to a pure vegan diet I noticed a change very quickly. One, I noticed that my strength dropped by quite a bit and progress was significantly slower. I also noticed that I didn't recover as well between workouts and that my body fat percentage I maintained at was slightly higher than what I cruised at prior to going on a vegan diet. I also noticed that I had a much lower sex drive, wasn't get nocturnal erections as often, etc. I also noticed that I had much more lethargy and my mental health was not good, I had much higher levels of anxiety.
When I discontinued the vegan diet and went to an omnivore diet, one that wasn't even including all that much meat, all of these changes went away. Without effort I lost that bit of extra fat, made fantastic gains in the gym and was physically much more powerful, etc. After this change I immediately recognized that a pure vegan diet is inferior. Looking back, I attribute all of this to probably having some deficiencies that would be nonexistent on an omnivore diet.
I also will add that protein from beans, rice, etc. does not have the same bioavailability as eating dairy, eggs, etc. Let's say I need over 100g of protein as an avid exerciser, do you realize the quantity of these foods you'd need to consume in order to attain this? If you have a can of beans in your house take a quick look, one serving is around 8 grams of protein......let that sink in.
The thing about digestion is that high fiber foods take much longer to digest and may cause some GI issues for certain people.
I totally agree with your comments about keto, carnivore and all of that other nonsense. Those diets are the on the opposite extreme of the diet spectrum, the take home is that extremes are not the right move. With those diets, what person in their right mind thinks eating a bowl of cherries, a sweet potato or oatmeal would be bad for you? LOL
I also agree with your comments about heart disease and cancer but with a caveat. Americans aren't at risk for these diseases by eating greek yogurt, or salmon or chicken or lean cuts of red meat or eggs, etc. They are at risk for these diseases by eating processed meats, concentrated sources of fat (butter, lard, etc.) as well as processed sugars in things like soda, table sugar, junk food cereals, etc. They also do not eat enough fiber and overall have a very low concentration of real fruits and vegetables, apple juice and iceberg lettuce on a Mcdonald's burger don't count.
My diet is mostly made up of this
- shredded wheat or oatmeal
- fresh fruit + a little dried fruit for post workout
- big salad every single day (mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onion, avocado, etc.)
- whole potatoes, no butter or cream
- fat free greek yogurt
- nuts, especially walnuts and pecans
- ground bison
Also include omega 3 fish oils and Vitamin D3
I got my cholesterol done back in November and my total was 138. Does someone need to copy my diet exactly, hell no, but that's a pretty good outline of a solid diet.