“Rev. Malkmus, I am interested in optimal health by following a vegan diet. However, I am concerned about studies that show an increased risk of hardening of the arteries and blood clots from this type of diet. I am also concerned about the lack of omega 3’s, B vitamins, zinc, and iron in a vegan diet. I would appreciate your response to these concerns. Thank you!”
Linad C.

Editor Responds

Dear Linad,
The Hallelujah Diet is much more than just a “vegan” diet. Rather it is a well-balanced, plant-based diet, providing the optimal raw to cooked ratio, (85% raw to 15% cooked) plant foods, along with fresh vegetable juices, and green smoothies to insure optimal nutrient intake.

We also assure that there is no lack of critical nutrients by recommending supplementation in the form of omega 3’s, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and iodine. We have been fine tuning The Hallelujah Diet for 20 years while millions around the world have found The Hallelujah Diet not only restored their health but also prevented future health issues, while revealing no nutritional deficiencies.

Regarding some of the statements made in your letter, I would really appreciate your sharing with me the source of the research revealing a vegan diet increases the risk of hardening of the arteries and blood clots. Both of these problems are primarily caused by a diet high in animal source foods – both flesh and dairy.

Plaque is produced by the animal fat found in animal products being joined by the minerals found in cooked animal foods and ground water. For instance, high amounts of iron are found in beef.  A person on a vegan diet, because they consume no animal source foods, does not have the fat necessary to cause hardening of the arteries. Quite simply, if a person does not consume animal source foods and does drink distilled water, they do not have the means to create plaque.

As for the risk of blood clots, one of the primary causes of blood clots is plaque deposits (which we discussed above), forming along the lining of the artery, and growing to cause narrowing of the vessel. If plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form at the site of the rupture and can completely or partially occlude the blood flow at that point. This is what causes a heart attacks, stroke, or peripheral artery disease. It would be difficult to find a pure vegan experiencing such a condition.

Regarding “lack of omega 3’s” – in most instances, neither a vegan diet nor animal source diet provide sufficient omega 3’s unless a person consumes a lot of fish, but that can be a dangerous source due to the high amounts of mercury found in fish. Hallelujah Acres recommends walnuts, ground flax seed or flax oil as a good source of omega 3’s. However, our research reveals that the very best source of omega 3 to be Pharmax fish oil. It contains high amounts of omega 3s as well as high DHA and EPA, both essential nutrients. We chose Pharmax fish oil because it is the cleanest oil we have found and completely free of mercury.

And finally regarding the “B vitamins, zinc, and iron”:

  • B vitamins – there are eight B vitamins and most are available from a plant-based diet. They are B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12.  Hallelujah Acres recommends B12 in sublingual form that also contains B6 and folic acid (B9) to prevent deficiencies. Interestingly, consuming animal source foods does not guarantee sufficient intake of B12 as the Framingham Study revealed – 39% of those on an animal-based diet were deficient in B12.
  • Zinc – Zinc is found in chickpeas, beans, almonds, and cashews are plant sources that provide the body with zinc.
  • Iron – Iron can be found in apricots, sesame seeds, figs, kidney beans, and spinach along with other dark leafy vegetables, which are very iron-rich foods.

There are two types of iron – non-heme iron; the kind found in spinach and has an absorption rate of 10% to 20%. While heme iron, the kind found in meats, is highly absorbed. The highly absorbed heme form of iron found in meats can be a source of concern as it often results in iron levels that are too high. Because of too much iron, some people have to have blood lettings on a regular basis in order to reduce the percentage of iron in their blood.

Iron toxicity, also called hemochromatosis, can be caused by having too much iron in the bloodstream. So although iron is an essential nutrient, excess can cause significant harm to the inner lining of the blood vessels. Excessive iron is also associated with heart attacks. The abundance of dark green leafy vegetables on The Hallelujah Diet should provide most individuals adequate iron without being excessive.

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