Common Nutrient Deficiencies In The Vegan Diet & How To Fix Them

Many vegans and vegetarians have been led to believe that “healthy” whole-grain carbs are what we need for sustainable energy. This belief causes one of the biggest problems with a conventional plant-based diet.

But a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains how we’ve seen a rapid change in our world over a relatively short period of time. Our current food supply, soil depletion, and environmental toxins have all been new introductions to human existence. Put another way, around 99 percent of our genes were formed before the development of agriculture and the consumption of grains like wheat, around 10,000 years ago.

Researchers now argue that these factors are essentially a mismatch with our genes. And more recent refining, hybridization, spraying, and genetic modification of the grain supply have likely only made things worse. Our genes are living in a whole new world.

Bottom line: Grains (and a lot of other foods) are not what they once were. And in our modern, toxic world, we have less wiggle room for unhealthy foods than generations before us did. It’s just a matter of someone’s own genetic interaction with grain, especially gluten-containing grains, that determines if, when, and how a health problem will be triggered.

When we consume too high amounts of grains, we quickly start to raise our blood sugar, which over time can get out of control without us even realizing it. Grains are also high in sugars. These grain sugars overwhelm your body, causing insulin spikes and a hormonal hurricane of insulin resistance, high triglycerides, and inflammation—hallmarks of chronic disease.

Grains are also high in a class of sugars called FODMAPs. This funny-sounding acronym stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols—in other words, fermentable sugars. These short-chain sugars are not fully digested in your gut and can be excessively fermented by your gut bacteria. This fermentation releases hydrogen gas that causes distention of the intestines—which can cause major IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), with symptoms like pain, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.


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