Serious Question: Vegetarians and skin

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Ok This is serious. I don't want tog o vegetarian. The philosophy behind it is iffy. I think we are designed to eat meat and fatty organs. But a lot of my friends are going vegan. I would say I have noticed a reversal of aging. They seem to have amazing skin and look younger. Is this just an illusion? Or real deal? I am not doing bad on paloe and notice wrinkles smoothing out but my veggie friends are turning the clock back big time.



on April 10, 2013
at 06:15 PM

I eat two fresh pineapples a week. It's probably the reason I will never call myself a "localavore". And don't get me started on coconut s ...



on April 10, 2013
at 04:24 PM

NO they were pretty clean before but I noticed most increased fruits more than vegetables. A lot of them are sold on bananas and pineapples. They eat a LOT of pineapples. Don't get me wrong- they still do the fat supplements (fish oil etc.). I am a competitive athlete so we talk diet a lot. I can't function on a veggie diet. I need meat



on April 10, 2013
at 04:20 PM

What were they eating before? Did they suddenly add an abundance of veggies into their diet that wasn't there before? Did they give up some crappy processed foods?

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4 Answers



on April 10, 2013
at 04:55 PM

Maybe pineapple is good for skin. It has bromelain, which can improve some skin conditions when taken orally http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17671882 If applied topically it breaks down dead cells and apparently it gets to the skin if you eat it. You might just consider eating pineapple and more fruit in general and eating meat too.

I find that most people who eat meat tend to overcook at least a significant amount of it and it generates inflammatory compounds http://www.pnas.org/content/99/24/15596.full (I think that it's a variety of heterocyclic amines that are the problem not the AGEs, but the experiment shows that high heat cooking is bad), I notice a difference between eating a lot of grilled, fried and well-done meat and eating it baked medium rare or with soft water-based cooking techniques. So just check and see if you`re cooking it too dark or charring it at all, consider marinades that protect it or using tomato sauce.

Also be sure to eat a varied diet and get enough of all of the nutrients that are going to be higher in plants.



on April 10, 2013
at 08:03 PM

Paul Jaminet says in PHD that maybe vegetarians live a long time and have good health because they eat a lot of diverse plant species which creates a really good gut bacteria. if you're eating quorn and soy protein isolate and tons of pasta and bread with peanut butter or other crap vegetarian or vegan food, you're probably not going to be good in the long run. but if they ate a mostly plant-based diet that's pretty closely in line with paleo type things, and then some other vegetarian from an animal things (raw cheese, raw milk, fish eggs, chicken or duck eggs, etc.) they might be ok. They can also eat more carbs which the body can then use to turn into butyrate I believe and maybe that is also helping their gut flora. Paul talks about the process of the body generating butyrate in the PHD book.

It's important to keep in mind what you eat isn't the same thing as what your body does with it - i.e. plant carbohydrates can be used to generate butyrate, also found in butter, breast milk, etc.

The other thing is that if they're eating beans, lentils, other grains, etc. that maybe they're doing better now but that they should learn to properly prepare them and sprout them. I think it's probably a bit easier, now, for a lot of p-hackers to eat meat and a diverse amount of vegetables then soak beans and grains (as they do in india or other traditional cultures) and prepare ghee, etc. robb wolf and others gave a template and people change that based off of what worked for them. vegetarians, I guess, are trying to do the same, but coming from a different point. I know that I really did not do well with commercially store-bought chicken, which can have antidepressants, antihistamines, and other crap stored in it based on what was sprayed on the grains they fed the chickens and I felt worse on it, even though it was "paleo-approved," of a sort it gave me problems as did the broth made from its bones.

For your friends, are they really committed to eating LOTS of plants? is their gut in a good condition to absorb what you take in, otherwise? did they take antibiotics are they on birth control, or other things that could affect their skin? everyone's different in some way, so it seems that some people seem to do well on vegetarianism (or 95% vegetarian diet like T. Colin Campbell), some not.

My thing with vegetarianism is that I think it's great for people to cut out processed stuff and eat more local plant foods, but that certain deficiencies take time to show up and like paleo people should get blood tests to track their progress and catch things before they go awry (yes, you can do paleo wrong, like say eating crap chicken breasts and broccoli too much and not diversifying enough to mollusks or shellfish or eating enough greens, going outside for D3, etc.), so should vegetarians, to make sure they maintain zinc-copper balance (easy to get copper balance off with lots of nuts), vitamin D3 (in trouble when you eat grains), B12, B6, etc.

Stephen guyenet of wholehealthsource is not paleo, though he is well known in the paleo community - he talks about preparing lentils, a great source of magnesium I think?, soaking brown rice/white rice, and many people have generally agreed beans aren't TERRIBLE but if you have problems you should avoid them.

as with all things, there's a spectrum.



on April 10, 2013
at 06:07 PM

There is some value to a strict vegetarian (or even vegan) diet. It can be healing for some people for a time. The key phrase is FOR A TIME. Long term it is unsustainable for almost everyone. Most vegetarians I know thrived for a while (a different length of time depending on the person) but eventually had to leave the diet for various reasons (usually either health problems or energy). I do still have one friend who healed a brain tumor eating vegan, and is still vegan more than 5 years later in spite of the fact that his health is declining and he is regaining weight that he initially lost. Think long term.

You can also have a more "healing" centered paleo diet. More broths, gently cooked meats and veggies, no fruit or dairy. Some fasting (like a weekly 24 hour fast as suggested in Eat Stop Eat). These are the things that make my skin glow and make me feel "lighter". But it is a fairly restrictive way to eat. I have started experimenting with fasting to see if that alone produces some of the same effects, and so far I like what I'm seeing.


on April 10, 2013
at 04:38 PM

the only way to find out would be to go from a paleo diet to their diet and note any changes. I dont feel satisfied after eating salads all day either. I need some form of actual fuel - ie meats. maybe try adding pineapple to your diet instead of other fruits.

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