I Quit a Strict Plant Based Diet – Doctor’s Perspective

I Quit a Strict Plant Based Diet – Doctor’s Perspective

August 30, 2019 100 By William Morgan


Now as some of you may know, I’ve been doing
a primarily plant based or vegan diet for
the last several years.
But a few months ago, I decided to change that.
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All right, so to fully understand the story
we got to go a few years back.
Just going back to high school and college,
I was always very interested in nutrition
and living “optimally”, whatever that meant.
And so, one of the things – I actually used
to be very turned off by vegans and then I
became one which is kinda funny, because they
would like be shoving their beliefs down your
throat right?
So I’m at subway with my friend, it’s a very
illustrative example, and I think I’m being
healthy at the time at least.
I’ve got this you know, “whole wheat” bread
with turkey breast slices, so “white meat”
and no cheese, no mayo.
I’m like, “oh, I’m being so healthy”.
My friend, he’s vegetarian, not quite vegan,
but he has cheese and mayo and white bread.
I forget how the conversation proceed from
there, but – but I thought what I was eating
was healthier and he thought what he was eating
healthier.
In hindsight, both very unhealthy options,
because I had processed meat and the whole
wheat bread is not whole wheat and – anyways.
Now going into med school, again I’ve been
very you know like carnivore all the way but
we had these student groups, and most med
schools have these student groups, you know,
you have these lunch talks and to get students
to come versus just like studying on their
own because everyone’s so busy in med school,
everyone’s so broke, they offer you these
meals.
So there’s free meals and you get like free
sandwiches, free Thai, free whatever, you
get the food and then you of course sit down
and watch the lecture.
And the talk at that time was from this retired
radiologist who was talking about a plant
based diet.
I said “OK, this actually pretty cool” because
he’s taking a very scientific approach and
explaining why this is beneficial in a variety
of pathologies.
Towards the end of the lecture, he brings
up Ulcerative Colitis which is a form of inflammatory
bowel disease or IBD, and I have Crohn’s Colitis
and that really got my interest.
So again, this is like back before I was open
about this.
So after the lecture, I go up and I’m like,
“hey, can we talk more about this afterwards
because I don’t want to – I don’t want people
to know I have IBD because it could really
hurt my chances for residency”, at least,
for competitive residency.
Anyways, we got to talking and you told me
all these stories about various patients he
had either interacted with or his colleagues
had and how they were essentially cured from
their IBD with a plant based diet.
So I met one of these friends of his who had
Ulcerative Colitis and she had been on a plant
based diet for a long period time and was
off it, all medications.
That sounded pretty good, I said “hey, you
know what, What do I have to lose?
I wanna be open minded, I wanna try things
out, I wanna self-experiment”.
Of course I went to the literature, found
some studies that were supportive of the idea
that a plant based diet was helpful for IBD.
There was one main one, is this Japanese study,
not very – not a very strong study, but when
you’re talking about something like nutrition
and another smaller subset like IBD, it’s
really tough to find any good research.
So the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, [laughs]
I decide I’m going plant based, I’m going
to be vegan.
And everyone I knew was like, “what is wrong
with you?
Why right before Thanksgiving?
Just wait until like, wait another week do
it after”.
And for those who have watched my personality
type or my tendency type video on Med School
Insiders, like this is a classic example of
a questioner.
I said “why would I wait?” if I decided to
do it now, I’ll do it now.
Who cares if Thanksgiving is in two days or
in a year.
I mean, I’m kind of the same way about New
Year’s resolutions but that’s another discussion.
So, I had great results pretty early on, within
a few months I had noticed that during my
infusions cycles, so I get these – as you
guys have probably seen on Instagram, I get
these infusions every eight weeks.
And at the end, obviously the medication concentration
in your blood is going to drop and then you
get a dose and over time that’s what you keep
– that’s why you have this eight week interval.
Towards the end, the trough level was such
that I would be symptomatic.
But when I was on this plant based diet, I
wasn’t symptomatic, this is awesome.
So I was totally sold on the plant based diet
and I was sticking pretty strictly to that
for the most part, for the last five years
since 2013, Thanksgiving of 2013.
And I mean, you know, along the way, I started
adding a little bit of fish, fish maybe once
every month or once every few weeks if that,
and that was also based on some of the literature
that was describing, you know, these servings
of fish in moderation could actually help
patients with IBD.
So now you know why I did a plant based diet
and why I was convinced.
But here’s the issue, the literature on nutrition,
it sucks.
I mean, there’s no other way to say it.
Part of that is because, look at what the
incentive is… if you don’t have companies
that are going to benefit from you eating
a plant based or eating a ketogenic diet,
then are you gonna have large well-funded
studies?
Probably not, and that’s one of the issues
we face.
The other thing right now with the nutrition
research is that, depending on what you want
to believe, you can find evidence, you can
cherry pick the evidence for that.
And the issue is that most of the evidence
for either the low carb or low fat diet groups
is pretty flawed, and you can point out the
flaws in each study.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m a nutrition expert
but I have done, like you guys can see my
full list of publications, abstracts, presentations
on Kevinjubbal.com or on PubMed and you know,
I have a foundation of what research entails,
what it is, the limitations of studies, the
statistical analysis things like that, but
in no way am I saying that I’m a nutrition
expert, absolutely not.
In fact, I got kind of tired of reading the
primary literature myself, so what I do is
I go to sources that I trust.
These are doctors or scientists that read
the research themselves, synthesize it and
give it to me in something that is quicker
and more effective, right?
I don’t need to spend hours going through
all these papers myself and I recommend that
you guys do that too.
Because if you go to like these mainstream
news sources and read their articles that
are totally sensationalized, these headlines,
just… it’s garbage.
Don’t don’t read those, don’t base your decisions
off of that.
Go to the real meat of it.
Anyways, the two that I like is NutritionFacts.org
with Dr. Michael Greger and Peter Attia M.D.,
Dr. Attia.
Dr. Attia is very low carb ketogenic and the
NutritionFacts is very plant based focused.
So it’s really cool to see both of their opinions.
And again, depending on what you want to believe,
you can cherry pick the evidence you want.
Which brings me to the next point; self experimentation.
Because the research in nutrition sucks, I
don’t find it reliable to just go off of that
to make my own decisions.
So for example, a few months ago, in early
2018 I started incorporating more meat into
my diet.
So there’s this one study on IBD, I saw this
actually on NutritionFacts.org where having
up to two servings of meat per week do not
demonstrate any increased rates of flares
or symptoms in patients with IBD.
So, I figured I’ll try it out.
Now, my philosophy on diet is, it’s less about
whether or not you’re having meat, whether
or not you’re having a certain amount of carbs
or fats or whatever, what I think the key
is, at least initially, those are more like
details you should worry about later, is the
quality of your food, how much is processed.
Now, a big issue I have with the current literature
in nutrition is you don’t see a high quality
plant-based diet versus a high quality ketogenic
or low fat diet, right?
You have like plant-based vs western diet,
like obviously this is gonna be better, right?
Now, I’ve been doing this self experimentation
for the last several months and I’m tracking
various markers like Faecal Calprotectin,
ESR, CRP, various blood tests to actually
objectively quantify and track my inflammatory
bowel disease to see what works and what doesn’t
work.
A lot of companies reach out to me regularly
for sponsorships.
And I turn down most of them.
Like I’m getting several every week and as
you guys have noticed on the medical insiders
and vlog channels, I usually don’t do sponsorships.
Because I only want to promote things that
I actually believe are good for you guys,
that you – that you would actually benefit
from.
So this company, Butcherbox, reached out to
me a couple of weeks ago and I was like this
is so funny, I’ve been doing – I’ve been eating
meat now for a couple months and now they
reach out to me versus if they had reached
out to me like a year ago I would’ve been
like absolutely not, I’m plant-based, right?
So, I decided to check them out and there’s
actually two reasons why I wanna tell you
about them; number one is, they had the subscription
box service right?
So you get delivered high quality meats frozen
with dry ice straight to your door.
As a busy pre-med or med student, that’s obviously
a huge time saver.
But secondly and more importantly, it’s the
quality of their meats… or first of all,
all their meats are hormone and antibiotic
free, you have free range chicken, the beef,
so the cattle not only grass fed, but grass
finished.
I didn’t actually know what the difference
was, but essentially to earn that grass fed
label on packaging, the cows don’t need to
be grass fed for their entire life, only the
beginning, only a certain amount of time.
Grass fed and grass finished means that they
are fed grass throughout their life.
And ultimately, you’re having these higher
quality sources of meat that I think is more
important than whether or not you’re eating
meat in the first place.
At least that’s my philosophy and my theory
right now.
So if you guys do wanna check them out, they’re
doing a special offer with me.
It’s butcherbox.com forward/medchoolinsiders,
you’ll get $20 off and I’ll place a link down
in the description below as well.
Anyway, that is it for this video, I’m about
to have dinner.
Gonna have some Butcherbox meat and I’ll see
you guys in the next one.
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