Is a raw vegan diet suitable for everyone?
Have you ever heard someone say:
“your diet may work for you, but it would not work for me”
It’s frustrating when people buy in to the notion that there is a unique diet for each person.
Yet they never seem to realise:
– we are all best off consuming mother’s milk as a baby
– we all like roughly the same temperature
– we all breathe the same air
– we all get hydrated from water
– our eyes react the same way to light
– we all tan and eventually burn in the sun
– we all sleep at night (mostly)
….and millions of other things that we share in common as we are after all the same species.
So why do people like to think they need a separate diet for themselves?
Forgive me for saying this but I think this has more to do with a person’s identity than with a genuine need for a separate diet. We should not mistakenly connect our genuine uniqueness of experience and personality with an idea that we have a unique set of requirements when it comes to nutrition.
A number of diet books have been written based on this idea. The most famous being the Blood Type Diet. This book suggests that your blood type suggests what type of diet you should eat. Of course this book has been debunked as being false. Not only is the idea untested (and goes against the basic ideas on nutrition), but it makes very little sense. Animals have many different blood types but all eat according to their species specific diet.
Which brings us to the ultimate question. What is our species specific diet?
Consider the following passage:
“To say that humans have the anatomical structure of an omnivore is an egregiously inaccurate statement.” – The great taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus, (1707-1778), a Swedish naturalist and botanist who established the modern scientific method of classifying plants and animals, classified humans not as carnivores, not as omnivores, nor even as herbivores, but as frugivores.
Linnaeus writes: “Man’s structure, internal and external compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables are his natural food.”
Comparative anatomy suggests that we closely resemble our frugivorous primate cousins. Though this may not suggest a strict diet of fruit it does suggest that the bulk of our diet coming from fruit is what our anatomy suggests is correct.
Add to this the enormous mass of science showing how vital fruit is for our health. The Global Burden of Disease study suggested that “not eating enough fruit” was the number 1 dietary risk factor increasing a person’s chances of developing disease, disability or dying prematurely.
Though a fruit diet is right for everyone, not everyone is necessarily ready for a fruit diet. This could be for many reasons but these are mostly psychological in nature and not physical.