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5 Hidden Dangers to Being a Long-Term Vegan

Have you ever been in the health food store and seen the person who looks too skinny (all over), has lots of wrinkles in the face and hands and overall looks much older than they should for their age? Since the outward condition of the body is indicative of the health of the inner workings, we’ve often seen these types of individuals and thought to ourselves “We need to ensure we don’t do what they’re doing.” So what’s their problem? These people aren’t eating the wrong things but they haven’t been providing their body the nutrients that are necessary for it to thrive. Simply put – They have been too strict. Let us explain…

The Hallelujah Diet has been in existence for well over 23 years. In that time, we have had the distinct privilege of learning how people are faring while exclusively eating fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts with a lot of vegetable juices. We have conducted scientific studies and validated that someone on a vegetarian diet could be deficient in vitamin B12 and perhaps even vitamin D3 (the sunshine vitamin). Science eventually caught up and it is now common knowledge that people on the Standard American Diet (SAD) are typically deficient in these two vitamins just as well.

God created the perfect environment for growing perfect food in the Garden. Unfortunately our food supply has diminished in quality starting when Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden. The great flood continued the deterioration and the result of modern faming practices have depleted the nutrients to the point that the fruits and veggies we consume don’t have any similarity to those in the Garden. So, no matter how much we would like to emulate the Garden; the soil, the air, the seeds and the water will never be pure or fertile enough to capture the quality and purity of the food in God’s original garden.

At the Hallelujah Diet, we have created a formula that ensures that long-term health is maintained recognizing that our food supply has limitations. When we see someone who has been trying to eat healthy yet looks like the person we described in the beginning of this article we have found five common issues:

  1. They are too strict. God gave us an array of fruits and vegetables – “every herb bearing seed….” Most people consume just a handful of different vegetables – they get into a routine and unknowingly limit their variety.  As we researched to find out exactly how many varieties of vegetables there are, we learned that it ranged from 400 to 4,000. If you were to evaluate the varieties of vegetables you consume within a week or even a month, how many different vegetables would you say you consume? Over 25? Over 50? Every vegetable has a different nutritional makeup. We’re not just talking about vitamins and minerals but also things like essential oils, enzymes, micro-nutrients and so on. So even eating a predominantly plant based diet over the long-term can lead to less than optimal health when we limit the variety of fruits and vegetables.
  1. They eat too much fruit. While fruit is great for cleansing; the vegetables are what feeds the body. As one changes their diet it becomes easy to rely on fruit because it is easy and convenient, not to mention that it tastes good, but without a higher concentration of vegetables, health over the long-term, will be compromised. That is why the Hallelujah Diet recommends limiting fruit to about 15% of daily food consumption.
  1. They don’t consume enough protein. When people are too strict and limit the variety of their food choices it is possible they will not consume enough protein to maintain optimal health. There are plenty of vegetable protein sources but most people don’t make a concerted effort to include enough variety of foods daily to cover their protein needs. Often, when people change their diet from the SAD to a healthier plant-based diet they start eating a lot of pasta type foods. This creates many issues including the fact that these starches cannot provide quality protein.
  1. They don’t consume enough cooked food. People who eat all raw usually are the strictest and have the least amount of variety in their diets. They don’t usually get enough protein or healthy fats – Omega 3’s. They also usually consume too much fruit. Most people who are all-raw like to brag about the fact that they are all-raw – it becomes a badge that they are proud of. Yes, it takes discipline but not including cooked foods and maintaining long-term health takes a lot of work and effort. While we love raw foods we have found that most people do better over the long-term when they consume 15% of their food cooked.
  1. They don’t consume enough healthy fats. Fats are important for many functions within the body – our brains don’t work properly without healthy fats and our skin becomes wrinkled not to mention dry and flaky with a sallow complexion. People on the SAD typically consume too much Omega 6 oils. Not only are nuts and seeds necessary but also avocadoes and fish oil need to be a part of the complete package helping to ensure that the need for long-chain, short-chain and medium chain fatty acids that are so vital for healthy skin and brain function including overall neurological function are being met.

If you are a person who finds yourself always wanting to do things perfectly you might want to lighten up a little. The more perfect we try to become with our diet the greater the likelihood we will restrict the variety of foods we consume. Ensure that you are getting a variety of nutrition from different sources. Change up your salads; have different beans; experiment with a new fruit or vegetable; add fermented foods. When going through the grocery store or at the farmers market look for things you have never eaten before and give them a try.

By making an effort to create variety in your food consumption you can be comfortable in knowing that you are providing your body what it needs to maintain good health and function not only when you are young but also when you reach those golden years.

We truly do understand that God created a perfect original diet. However, as the world has changed, so has quality of our food.

Listen to your body—not your desires, but your needs. Do not see this as an excuse to go get a burger. Do see this as an opportunity to write down how you are feeling today and compare it to when you first started the Hallelujah Diet. If you believe that your health isn’t the same then, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Has my stress level changed and could it be influencing my health?
  2. Have I developed any food sensitivities?
  3. Do I have an adequate amount of daily protein?
  4. Do I have an adequate amount of daily omega 3 fats?
  5. Do I need to re-evaluate my supplementation?
  6. Am I drinking enough juices and pure water?
  7. Am I getting quality sleep?

If your health has changed don’t be afraid to make dietary changes necessary to assist you in creating the body that you deserve—a person who looks healthy and happy all the way through those Golden Years!

Comments

  1. what is the difference between fish oil and flax seeds in terms of nutrients?

    • Christy Okon April 23, 2015

      Flax seeds are an excellent source of the short chain omega 3s but provide NO DHA.
      Pharmax Fish oil provides 750 mg of DHA per teaspoon serving. DHA is the most prominent fat in the brain and makes up a significant percentage of each cell membrane.

      • Is Cod Liver oil considered a fish oil that is good for the health?

        • Christy Okon April 27, 2015

          We recommend Pharmax fish oil because:

          Why Pharmax Fish Oil?

          If you’ve ever purchased a Hallelujah Acres branded product such as BarleyMax or any of our supplements, you know that we take great care to ensure that what we carry is the very best possible. We take health seriously, both yours and ours. For this reason, we are confident in offering Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil as our first-ever fish oil supplement.

          Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil is an ultra refined fish oil product that meets or exceeds all International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) program approval guidelines. In fact, Pharmax insisted that this product be tested much more stringently than necessary to demonstrate its premium level of purity and safety.

          In a battery of 10 tests conducted by IFOS, Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil proved itself as a premium product. Results of these tests conclude:

          • This product shows absolutely no evidence of mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead or nickel.
          • The Council for Responsible Nutrition’s allowable maximum of PCBs is .09 of 1 part per million. This product tested at .000338 of 1 part per million.
          • This product exceeds the label claim for omega-3 content.

          Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil contains high concentrations of EPA and DHA, flavored with essential oil of orange, and has virtually no fish oil odor or taste.
          You can find it here: https://www.myhdiet.com/shop/finest-pure-fish-oil-6-8-ounce-200-ml-bottle.html

  2. I usually really love your articles, but I’m finding this one a little disturbing. Are you saying that it’s not possible to be healthy long term as a raw vegan? There’s nowhere on the earth that produce could be grown that would satisfy the nutrient requirements of a long term raw vegan? Since cooking foods essentially kills them, how could adding any type of cooked food be better for you? Why not look for ways to make a long term raw vegan diet healthier? Is it impossible?

    • Paul & Ann Malkmus April 22, 2015

      Hi Kim — One can actually be healthy long-term as a vegan but someone wanting to remain vegan long-term must ensure that they don’t fall into traps that some vegans have — “I’m not eating the bad stuff so I don’t really need to worry about the variety of foods I’m consuming.” –kind of thinking. Vegans will live much healthier than those who eat animal products and they will be less likely to experience cancer, heart disease and nearly every other ailment that people eating the SAD experience. However, if they don’t get enough variety and ensure they are covering their bases with healthy fats and proteins they will see a decline in their health that could easily be prevented with more care and variety. While cooking food does kill the enzymes there are nutrients in many foods that become easier to absorb and digest after the vegetables are cooked. So, it is feasible for a raw vegan to maintain health but they need to ensure they have a variety of nutrients from varying sources. For someone to stay raw and get these nutrients they just need to realize that it requires more. From observing people for over 20 years we have noted trends and we feel it is important for us to help people trying to follow a strict raw vegan regimen that they ensure they are covering their bases in these areas. It’s a shame to see people work hard at taking care of themselves only to fall short because they never knew. Hope this helps!

    • Marty Brown April 23, 2015

      Kim, I don’t think that the article said that it is impossible to be a longterm raw vegan. What it did imply is that some people take their diet to an extreme to where they actually can cause harm to their bodies.

      Regarding cooked foods, sometimes more of the phytochemicals are available for our bodies to assimilate if they have been cooked. Tomatoes are a good source for lycopene which can help to combat prostate and breast cancer, but more of it is available if the tomato has been cooked. Our bodies can assimilate more beta carotene from carrots if they have been steamed or cooked in some other manner. I use raw nuts and seeds to make spreads, and most of the time, the common advise is that I will have to add oil to make it smooth. However, when I roast the nuts or seeds first, then I don’t need to add any oil because the natural oils are freed from proteins and carbohydrates. These are just few examples of when cooking might actually be better than eating raw.

  3. Hi agree with Kim – and with Hallelujah Acres’ help – I have found no need to consume anything cooked.
    I have heeded their advice – by taking their Vitamin B12 supplement – have added walnuts to my salads
    (every night) for the omega 3’s.
    Lastly, cooked Food is Addictive!
    So, you are better off dear “off” without IT!
    God Speed – God Bless you Ann Malkmus

  4. Carolyn April 25, 2015

    I have never understood the discrepancy between the positions of Hallelujah Acres and that of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease) and Dr. John McDougall (The McDougall Program) on oil. Hallelujah Acres says “add oil” and Drs. Esselstyn and McDougall say “no added oil”.

    • Christy Okon April 27, 2015

      You will find different views in many areas in regard to a healthy, plant-based diet. We have found it very important to meet the omega 3 needs of the body through some supplementation with a good plant based omega 3 source, either flax seed, walnuts, chia seed or a well processed flax seed oil as well as meeting the DHA needs with either an algae or fish oil based supplement.

      I would encourage you to do your own research to determine what is optimal for you personally.

  5. Jeanne Meuse April 25, 2015

    I thought this was a very good article. I have been eating raw for some time and know I am not getting enough nutrients. What vegetables contain protein? I have heard taking B12 supplements do not help. Thank you.

    • Christy Okon April 27, 2015

      Lots of Veggies have protein: Peas, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Avocado, Kale. Other foods that contain protein are: Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Flax sees, Sesames seeds, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Cashews, and brown rice. I am sure if you did a google search on Vegan foods high in protein much more would come up for you.

  6. Excellent post, shows how some simple ingredients can have a huge effect on weight-loss. There just seems to be so much emphasis out there on exhaustive fitness regimes, but its a breath of fresh air when the focus shifts to healthy foods that can in effect boost metabolism.
    Along with regular exercises its so important to have an emphasis on foods that maximize the effect on you metabolism. Our metabolisms are so often overlooked but they really are the key to weight loss. I review the Metabolic Cookbook and answer all the hard questions about this program, on my blog below

    http://truehealthreport.com/metabolic-cookbook-review/

  7. Oluwapojuwo April 26, 2015

    You are loving and caring for the masses. Well done and continue the good work. I started the vegetarian lifestyle and I have seen much positive changes in my body and mind. I appreciate the entire hallelujah team. However I still have issues with my skin which is dry at my back and some other spots. With the advice that one should not be rigid which I am not, I hope my skin will come back to normal. What do you have to advice?

    • Christy Okon April 27, 2015

      Are you getting enough water to stay hydrated? You should drink half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs, you should drink 50 ounces. Also, we have a great soap called Dry Skin Relief (or DSR) that might be of some help to you as well. You can find that here: https://www.myhdiet.com/shop/dsr-soap.html

  8. Marlene April 27, 2015

    Does cod liver oil have the vitamin D3 in it or do I need to take D3 in addition to the oil?

    • Christy Okon April 27, 2015

      Fish liver oils all have high vitamin D content. But you must ensure that the source is not contaminated with mercury or other toxins.

  9. I was just wondering if U consider Your diet vegan since it’s plant based so I was wondering why U recommend fish oil fish oil is not plant based
    I’d appreciate an answer Thank You

    • I know it seems to be contradictory. However, it is our goal to constantly research the body’s needs and provide information with a goal of optimal health.

      Flax seed, chia seed and walnuts are the primary land-based sources of omega 3 but these do not contain the critical DHA which is essential for all of the cells. Many folks lack the ability to convert the short chain omega 3s to the longer chain DHA needed. Fish oil is the most economical and efficient way of getting significant amounts of DHA.

      Fish get it from algae but DHA from algae is quite expensive. We do offer it for those who will not or can not use fish oil.

  10. Winston Olulana August 21, 2020

    Someone claims that there are cancers that cannot be healed through the Hallelujah Diet. What’s your view on this?

    • Melody Hord August 24, 2020

      Hi Winston! Everyone’s body is very different. We never know what our bodies will do. All we can do is our best and see what happens. There are no guarantees!
      The self-healing body is capable of remarkable things. However, Hallelujah Diet teaches to eliminate toxins, and meet deficiencies! It takes a lot of hard work!; but as anything in life, the rewards can be great when we invest the time, energy and dedication. It is always very sad when someone does everything they can, and they go on to heaven. However, it is very exciting when self-healing restores us!!!

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