A Mother's Warning about Vegan Diets

By Chet Day

For years now, I've received and shared sporadic letters from mothers who followed strict vegan diets who subsequently gave birth to babies with a variety of birth defects and health problems.

Here's the latest sad story and heart-felt warning from a former vegan mother:

Just stumbled across your website and wanted to offer a personal testimony. The bare bones.

My husband and I have seven children. After the birth of our third child, I read "Fit for Life" and "Living Health" by the Diamonds. I immediately revamped my family's diet. Including myself, a nursing mother of a 3-month old.

He (the baby) grew big and fat while I wasted down to next to nothing on a no-animal foods diet. I felt run-down and could only stay up until 10 a.m. before I had to go to the couch.

Well, about ten months later, baby still nursing, I got pregnant with No. 4. I stopped nursing. I literally was a rag doll, with no health, could barely get around.

At about five months pregnant, I started taking a protein shake twice a day (Spirutein, fyi). Very soon, I was up and going and feeling much better.

When delivery time came, though, my precious baby girl was born with severe congenital birth defects of the heart and abdomen. She has undergone five surgeries and other procedures and is doing well, but will never be normal unless God intervenes. She is, though, a very vibrant child for her condition)

I cannot say for sure, but I have always suspected that the deterioration of my health due to following a vegan diet before and after her conception caused her birth defects.

I have since come to learn that the mother's nutritional state at conception may be more important than what you eat while pregnant (I cannot verify that -- but I do have experience on my side).

It is a shame that the books are still out there. I followed a vegan diet because at first when I tried it, it happened as they said.

As things progressed, I blamed it [my declining health] on myself for not getting the "variety" of fruits and veggies I needed.

Anyway, there it is -- the long and short. Without all the tears and fears experienced with almost losing my daughter several times.

By the way, she is my only child with severe (anaphylactic) food allergies to milk products, no less, and originally to chicken, also.

Thank you for your website and for the balanced approach.

-- L.A.

I'd like to thank L.A. for sharing her story, and I hope that her letter and this article will get passed around so other mothers and expectant mothers on vegan diets will be more aware of potential dangers.

If you're on a strict vegan diet and pregnant or expecting to be pregnant, I urge you to read several important articles that address the long-term problems with diets that preach against all animal fats and proteins.

I've had several of these articles online for years now, and yet, to date, not a single vegan guru has been able to refute the facts and observations in them.

In fact, none of them have even tried!

Now, that says something important to me.

For your information, the diets I consider most dangerous for expectant mothers, nursing mothers, babies, and children include the original Fit for Life™ program (to his credit, Harvey Diamond later rejected strict veganism and now includes clean animal foods in his diet), the Sheltonian Natural Hygiene Diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, The Hallelujah Diet™ and any other program that precludes all animal fats and protein.

Strict vegan diets can be excellent short-term programs for weight loss and health gains for many people, but they are inappropriate and potentially very dangerous for expectant mothers, nursing mothers, babies, and children.

And, over months or years, just about everyone who doesn't "occasionally cheat" on a vegan diet by eating some butter, eggs, yogurt, cheese, salmon on the sly will experience deficiencies and declining health and energy.

So, please, don't put your faith in vegan diet gurus who apparently value money and reputation over truth.

Instead of succumbing to their dietary preaching and taking their word as gospel, do your own homework.

Look in the mirror.

Listen to your body.

If you've been on a strict vegan diet and no longer feel the way you felt during the first few weeks or months on it (when most people feel fabulous), your body's telling you there's a problem with the diet and that you're missing nutritional factors that are only available in clean animal fats and proteins.

In closing, although I know it will continue to happen because of the false teachings of the vegan diet gurus, I hate to think about reading future emails from mothers who give birth to damaged babies as a result of their not eating the diet we are designed to eat - whole, clean foods from both plant and animal kingdoms.

To deny that human beings are opportunistic omnivores is to deny reality.

Disclaimer: Throughout this entire website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.