Mark Tassi

Holistic Health the Way Nature Intended

Tag: plant based foods

Dietary Fat

A friend asked me to talk about avocados. Since avocados are comprised of mostly fat, I will discuss fat in general.

Americans, overall, are consuming too much fat. Fat is absolutely essential in the diet but not in the amounts consumed in first world nations and especially the amount of animal fat consumed. Since I advocate a raw food diet, I will discuss fat in the raw food diet, or to be more specific, fat in the raw vegan diet.

While the average American is getting an average of 20% to 45% of their calories from fat, much of which is coming from saturated animal fat, processed foods and processed vegetable oils, the average raw fooder is getting an average of anywhere from 50% to 80%, and sometimes even higher, of their calories from fat! The average raw fooder would argue that these are healthy fats. Even if they were “healthy” fats and some of them are not, especially oil, this is far too much fat in any healthy diet.

The problem with this amount of fat even from so-called “healthy” fats is that it is clogging. Too much fat mucks up the bowels and thickens the blood. Blood, thickened with fat, coats the cells and prevents sugar from entering where it is needed, creating a host of problems from Candida to hyperglycemia. People, especially in the raw food movement, blame these problems on sugar, when in reality it is too much fat.

The average raw fooder is ingesting far too much oil, too many avocados and too many nuts. Oil would be by far the most detrimental of these. Avocados and nuts are not necessarily unhealthy unless consumed in excess qualities. Oil, however, is a processed, refined fat and not a whole food. Olive oil, for instance, is by no means a “heath” food and has not only been shown to slow the circulation by a whopping 32%, but has also been shown to clog the arteries as much as butter. Oil, in any form, should be entirely eliminated from any diet, certainly from any healthy diet.

The average raw fooder subsisting on such quantities of fat would be far better off eating pounds of potatoes or cooked millet or even brown rice. But by far, the best choice of calories would be from plenty of fresh, ripe fruit.

Sugar, i.e. fruit, has been demonized by a few so-called “gurus” who have led this plant fat craze to no end for no other reason than commerce. So-called “superfoods”, and the only thing “super” about them is their price, including cacao, pirated from the third world and sold in the first world at grotesquely exorbitant mark ups, make a lot more money for a fraction of the energy in time and effort than farming fruit orchards in order to sell their yields.

Rather than subscribe to such advice, I would strongly advise that people adhere to a low fat plant based diet limiting such foods as avocados and nuts, and completely eliminating oil, so that one’s total fat intake comprises no more than 10% of daily calorie intake. I recommend that one derive the majority of calories from fruit, but one could also successfully and healthfully achieve this through the consumption of potatoes, millet or even brown rice. If one chooses to consume grains, my favorite is millet as it is gluten free, very low in mucous forming activity and alkalizing which is rare for a grain as most grains are acid forming.

Eliminate oil, keep the fat low and carbohydrates high, eat enough calories and protein intake will take care of itself and you won’t go too far wrong.

References:

80/10/10 by Dr. Douglas Graham
Reversing Diabetes by Neal Barnard M.D.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn M.D.
The Starch Solution by John McDougal M.D.
Oil to Nuts: The Truth About Fats by Jeff Novick

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Nature’s Design

I find it interesting that people, upon having certain problems while on a particular diet, rashly jump and blame those problems on the diet. I am now referring, in particular, to a primarily fruit and vegetable based diet, or a diet of fruits and tender leafy greens with the inclusion of small amounts of raw nuts and seeds. Instead, in full faith of the perfection and completion of nature and the understanding of one’s exact place in that scheme, of closely and carefully analyzing one’s actions in one’s personal practice and trying to ascertain those shortcomings which would cause one to do anything but thrive, those individuals often blame the diet, ridicule the messenger and condemn that which the Creator put into place in the beginning.

I’ve heard people blame all sorts of things on the fruit and vegetable diet from loss of libido to being unable to maintain or attain muscle mass.

What these people do not realize is that the body takes years to correct years of abuse and unnatural living. They have a lack of faith in the design, in the natural plan. They are lost, having been unable to ascertain what the natural plan is in the first place.

Admittedly, it is not always so easy to discern what is natural from what is not in a world where false prophets and self-styled “teachers” abound. What is more, propaganda from the media instigated by the “food” industries lead most astray. The protein anthem is heard at every turn: “Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your protein?” Stuff and nonsense is spread by the three industries as they deal in death.

It took me over 12 years of eating fruit before my body was able to derive the full benefits of its nutrition. If one has trouble when first adopting such a diet, it’s not the diet, it’s you! How can a food, which our species was designed to eat, bring anything but the highest benefits? To think otherwise is not logical.

When I almost died of hyponatremia nearly 3 years ago, it would have been easy to blame it on the diet as most around me already had. However, not only did I make mistakes in the diet’s application which I ascertained from objective analysis, but it was also the first time in over 20 years that I had been absolutely stimulant free. To understand the significance of this, one must first understand the significance of the hormone, aldosterone. Aldosterone, among other functions, is responsible for the conservation of sodium. When sodium intake increases, aldosterone production drops. When sodium intake decreases, aldosterone production rises, thereby balancing one’s serum sodium level. However, aldosterone is produced by the adrenal glands, which, in most people, in our so-called “modern” society, are ravaged by lack of sleep, lack of carbohydrates, dehydration and stimulants. For the past 3 and a half years, I have been entirely stimulant free so my adrenal glands are more than likely doing the job they were intended to do, but that was more than likely not the case 3 years ago.

The point being is that if one is to succeed on any plan, one must have faith in that plan. I think that from the information presented in the post, Man the Frugivore, we may rest assured that man is indeed an herbivore/frugivore. If one, through careful analysis and meticulous study, can arrive at such a conclusion, the next logical step would be then to implement a plan based on that study and conclusion. The more logical one’s conclusion, the more dogged resolution one will have in carrying that plan out especially when one is faced with the consequences of either a body which is developing through the process or because of certain indiscretions which may be committed especially in the beginning of such a bold and rigorous step forward in one’s overall progress.

Veganism – A New Age Experiment?

I was going to save this one for a video, but I haven’t gotten a video camera yet. I think it’s going to be easier to convey a lot of these concepts in video rather than writing long winded posts.

At any rate, here goes.

Going low on B12 had me thinking quite a bit. It caused me to reevaluate what I have been doing, i.e. I’ve been completely vegan or on a 100% plant-based diet for nearly 15 years. However, before that, I had eaten very little animal products for years. The last animal product I’d eaten before I’d gone completely plant-based was a small amount of unpasteurized goat dairy on occasion.

As we know, B12 is produced by certain bacteria, however, according to orthodox nutritional theory, our primary source of dietary B12 is animal products.

As conveyed in the last post, I more or less “lost” nearly 3 years of my life from severe depression due solely to B12 deficiency. I had speculated that this was caused by my episode of fatal hyponatremia in that I didn’t notice any signs of the mental imbalance that was to come until after that ordeal. (I have since ordered the lab reports from the two hospital visits for hyponatremia, but at the time of writing, these have not yet come in. When I receive those I will be able to see what my B12 levels were at the time which may shed some further light on my theory.)

Was I becoming lower and lower in B12 during my years as a vegan and in the years prior when I severely restricted animal product consumption which the trauma of the critical hyponatremia then pushed me over the edge? I really don’t know. I have no clinical evidence as to what the B12 level was before the hyponatremia and can only speculate based on how I felt.

What I do know is that vegans are generally notoriously low in serum B12. Of course, having said that, their “omnivorous” counterparts are generally not that much higher either.

So again, what is the answer to this? It does seem that B12 deficiency is epidemic in our modern, polluted and sterilized society. Yet at the same time, it does raise the question, is veganism a new age experiment or are humans naturally vegan?

Natural hygienists like to site the fact that humans are classed as anthropoid apes and that all anthropoid apes are herbivores/frugivores. While this is certainly true, when one researches the diets of anthropoid apes in the wild, one finds that none of them are vegan! Most anthropoid apes eat around 2% to 3% animal products mostly in the form of insects, but they also do on occasion eat small mammals. They are not vegan! What then does this say for humans? After all, as mentioned, we are likewise anthropoid apes; we do have 4 canine incisors. While these incisors are small and only make up 4 of 32 teeth, they are still there and would be in keeping with the small amount of animal products that anthropoid apes in the wild eat. They are not there by chance, one can be sure of that.

Of course, there are vegans like Harley Johnstone, aka Durianrider, who put videos up of their blood test results on YouTube showing how perfect they are. Of course, they should be. We are herbivores/frugivores and anyone following such a diet and lifestyle is bound to have favorable results. But what about B12? We know that Harley injects B12. He was the one who suggested that I do. And thank God that he did. I have my life back because of it and then some!

It was discussed in the last post how the average vegan is destroying B12 producing microbes through the ingestion of excitoxins i.e. garlic, salt, caffeine, alcohol, spices etc. But would vegans produce enough of their own B12 otherwise? Some seem to do well. I certainly seemed to prior to the critical episode with hyponatremia where I seemed to deplete my B12 reserve. All this would be interesting research.

What is more, in a perfect world, one not sterilized with chemicals and pesticides, one not polluted, would the vegan thrive, and by thrive I mean produce and get enough B12 or would we be more like the wild ape supplementing our plant-based diet with small amounts of insects and the occasional small mammal?

In these days of science and technology, the vegan can supplement, and as mentioned in the last post, and until this is solved, that is what I intend to do. I’ve since had a few experiments with animal products recently after 15 years a vegan and I did not like the results. I got sick every time and lost my energy. Actually I didn’t get as sick as I thought I would. I had, in the past, gotten violently ill from accidentally consuming a small amount of animal product in the past, but in these few experiments did not get that sick but felt sick and miserable indeed. I simply have to too much to do to waste days on the couch sick from an unnecessary experiment.

Having said that, if I were not able to supplement or inject B12, I probably would eat some animal products in the attempt to raise the B12 level. I’ve never been an ethical vegan and in fact, do not consider myself vegan at all. I follow a plant based lifestyle recognizing that plants have lives too. Not that I want to kill. I’d attempted a fruitarian diet in the past as I did not want to kill plants, but again, do not believe that humans are fruitarian, but instead frugivorous/herbivorous.

Veganism undoubtedly came about as a reaction to the extreme processed and factory farmed lifestyle, in particular, the lifestyle reliant on the factory farm and all the horror that it entails. If I were to eat meat again, I certainly would not rely on that. Instead, I would supplement my frugivious/herbivorous diet with meat obtained through other sources. I haven’t taken that step and probably never will, but that’s what I would do.

For now, I will continue to rely on the occasional B12 shot but I have thought of these things, which brings us back to the question: is veganism a new age experiment? With everything said in this post, especially with the fact that none of the other anthropoid apes are vegan, I would say yes, veganism is indeed a new age experiment. But perhaps it is an experiment whose time has come. After all, humans are the most evolved of all the apes, are the most evolved creatures on the planet for that matter. Perhaps it is time that we evolve way from the need for animal products. Perhaps as humans, we can obtain sufficient B12 from our environment and bacteria on plants providing that all conditions are right. And until then, with our great ingenuity and cleverness, we can supplement. I feel utterly amazing since injecting B12. Well it’s not the B12 injections that are responsible, I felt this way 3 years ago before the hyponatremia and all that was to follow. It is because of the frugivorous/herbivorous lifestyle that I feel this way.

The bottom line is that we will not feel well if we are deficient in any essential nutrient. A deficiency in sodium nearly killed me two and a half years ago even though everything else was pretty much perfect.

Life is a delicate and perfect balance, so delicate and perfect that it puts one completely in awe of creation and the Architect which conceived it all in the beginning.

To your health,

M

References:

Could It Be B12? by Sally M. Pacholok, R.N., B.S.N. and Jeffery J. Stuart, D.O.
B12 Exposed by David Rainoshek
WEIGHT LOSS TRANSFORMATION TIPS: B12 injections? by Harley Johnstone
GORILLAS: Diet and Eating Habits
Correcting the Vegetarian Myths About Ape Diets

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

In the wild, the omnivore doesn’t have a dilemma, save that of the meddling of man with its natural habitat. The real dilemma facing the “omnivore” is that of mistaken identity, namely the human caught in the wave of so-called civilization conditioned to think it is an omnivore when in reality it is not.

In the last post, the relation between man and the primate was discussed. It was shown that not only is man related to the primate, but is indeed a primate himself, namely an anthropoid primate. It was also discussed that each species has its own specific diet and that all anthropoid primates are herbivores/frugivores.  Furthermore, to deviate from any species specific diet, be that of man or beast, is fraught with a multitude of problems.

A case in point is Nazi occupied Norway. In 1940, all livestock in Norway was confiscated by the Nazis for supply of the German army thereby forcing the general populace to subsist on a plant-based diet. Norway experienced a sudden and dramatic drop in all circulatory diseases (see the graph below). Then in 1945 when the war was over and the consumption of animal products resumed, Norway saw a sudden rise again of these diseases.

This was a lesson that was unfortunately missed, but the lesson is simple. The real omnivore’s dilemma can only occur when the “omnivore” in question erroneously thinks him that, when in reality and quite obviously, that is not the case.

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes

As mentioned in the last post, the plan was to grab vine ripened tomatoes at the farm in Encino on Saturday. Are they as good as they look? They’re probably better. I’ve been making huge spinach salads with loads of tomatoes. I’ve been getting great deals on organic spinach as well at the 99 cent store. Yeah, it can be done. Deals are where you find them. The success of this lifestyle often depends on how resourceful you are. You have to keep a sharp eye. Deals are everywhere and sometimes where you least expect. Last night I also made a nice tomato sauce for cucumber and zucchini noodles. Life is good!

It’s an interesting thing about tomatoes though, that since 1995, when people think of tomatoes, they also often think of lycopene. Lycopene is the compound in tomatoes that makes them red. Lycopene is a carotenoid that has certain antioxidant properties. Research studies had shown that those who ate more tomatoes and foods containing tomatoes had a lower risk for prostate cancer. 

With the discovery of lycopene, however, the industry jumped on this new found “phenomenon” and focused on the lycopene, rather than the whole tomato, as the “miraculous” chemical which was responsible. Not to miss a chance to make a buck, as the industry often does at the expense of the unwary consumer, there were lycopene products, pills and “potions”, suddenly on the market. This was just another marketing ploy that had a lot to do with marketing, but little to do with science. Don’t be fooled, bamboozled or hoodwinked by an industry that produces products that takes your money leaving you poorer in finance yet no richer in health. 

The thing is, the research was done on tomatoes, whole tomatoes, not an isolated chemical which tomatoes contain. There are hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals in tomatoes, many of which have not even been discovered yet, all working together, all having a synergistic effect like an orchestral symphony. To isolate one chemical and say “that’s it, that’s the active ingredient” is like isolating a violin part of Beethoven’s 9th and saying that that’s the genius of Beethoven. Maybe it is, but it’s not the 9th.

The trend  in “modern” science has generally been to break up, isolate and analyze. There’s nothing wrong with that approach per se, but until we get back to a holistic view, a holistic approach, we won’t get very far. This is obvious, evidenced by a pill-pushing industry that focuses on treating symptoms rather than root cause. 

So what’s the message? Eat whole foods. That’s the message. Eat whole, plant-based foods for health and well being, and the closer to their natural state that we find these foods, the better.

Whole, plant-based foods, especially in their raw, natural state are like virtual Solar energy batteries containing all the prana, all the life-force, and all the vitality needed to thrive on this planet in the human form.