Why Vegetarianism may not be right for you

For many years, we’ve been told that we need to add more vegetables to our diet to be healthy. But is it really the right diet for you? Probably not, and today, I’ll give you one reason. I’ll cover more in the future.

What are Anti-Nutrients?

The main reason is anti-nutrients. According to Science Direct: “Antinutrients are natural or synthetic compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients.”

Where do they come from? Vegetables. Some are worse than others, obviously.


One of the more dangerous anti-nutrients are oxalates. Oxalates are found in types of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains. From Sally K. Norton’s ‘When Healthy Isn’t: The Risks of a High-Oxalate foods‘, “Oxalates are tiny organic salts that form when oxalic acid is bound to mineral elements, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium.” So, what does that mean?

These are small ‘salts’ or crystals that attach themselves to important nutrients that our body needs. They are creating small crystal shards By doing this, they prevent the body from absorbing these nutrients. Here is a chart that I pulled from Maria Emmerich’s blog that quickly show how much these anti-nutrients absorb zinc, preventing your body from absorbing them.


Sally Norton provides the following risks:

  1. Chronic digestive issues
  2. A history of repeated or extended use of antibiotics (e.g., acne treatment)
  3. Chronic aspergillus yeast infection
  4. Mildly impaired kidney function
  5. A family history of kidney problems, including but not limited to kidney stones

A high oxalate diet includes a diet consistently high in one or more high oxalate foods, including soy, spinach, Swiss chard, potatoes, nuts, seeds, wheat bran, beans, dried fruit, chocolate, and buckwheat.

Is it all bad?

Am I telling you that all vegetables are bad and you can’t ever have vegetables again? No, I’m not. Science is showing that for many, small amounts of vegetables are ok, within reason. Science has also shown that we are not meant to eat a lot of vegetables, at least not how they are grown today. We have one stomach and it is not capable of handling what is needed to digest plant matter/vegetables. With that, we can’t absorb those minerals, and what we do break down, grabs the nutrients we need and steals them from us.

How much can we eat? Depends on your body and how much it can handle. Growing up, I never did well with vegetables. When I was in my 20s, I attempted to become vegan and it started my health issues. I gained 60 lbs in 1 month and I am still recovering from that while in my 50s. Conversely, I know people that are vegan, and are doing well. From Maria Emmerich’s blog “The safe limit of oxalates for humans depends on a lot of factors. For most people 100mg a day or less is probably OK for most people. But some with digestive issues, suppressed immune system and other issues it can be even less. The lethal level, the level that will kill you, has a wide range of about 3.5 grams to 30 grams which is a very wide range.”

other factors

There are other factors that can lead to the intolerance of oxalates in your diet. One of them being Type 2 Diabetes. Others could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Lupus, and so on. Anything could lower your ability to handle oxalates, so please be aware of that.

Also consider that sugar and carbs will also affect how many oxalates your body can handle. I’ll go over the dangers of too much sugar and carbs in the near future.

To summarize

Vegetables may causer more health concerns then we were originally told. Oxalates become small razor blades that cut through the inside of your body causing what they now know is Leaky Gut. Some people can handle more oxalates than others. This is why it is important to work with a Health Coach to help you navigate what will work best for you.

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