Being Vegan Just Makes You Better Than Everyone Else

Dom

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It's good to be mindful of the risks of what you eat, but sometimes cancer is going to fuck you regardless of your efforts. I was born to a near guaranteed chance of having cancer at least once in my life thanks to my genetics. There was nothing that I could have done diet-wise that would change that. I'd focus more on the more basic health benefits of a diet before worrying about cancer.

Also keep in mind that the amount of utter horeshit I had being peddled to me from everyone and their dogs about what and how I should eat to "kill cancer" was absurd. The only people I didn't hear any of that from were the actual professionals treating me.
 
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Vanessa

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Also, you don't gain/lose fat cells depending on your weight, your fat cells just store more/less fat.
Fo rills? This flies in the face of my common sense... I can't honestly believe that a 160 pound man has the same amount of cells as a 320 pound man.
 
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ZyyzYzzy

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Fo rills? This flies in the face of my common sense... I can't honestly believe that a 160 pound man has the same amount of cells as a 320 pound man.
No. Fat cells absolutely can divide and multiple, hence the existance of lipomas
 
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James

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No. Fat cells absolutely can divide and multiple, hence the existance of lipomas
Somewhat misleading, the total number of fat cells in your body still won't really change unless you go through liposuction, and even then they'll multiply back out to what you had before. When you lose weight, your fat cells don't go away, they just get smaller. Also, the fat cell count from person to person is extremely variable, so chances are a 320 pound man does not have the same amount of fat cells a 160 pound man does, but that 320 pound man has the same number of fat cells as when he was 160 pounds.
 
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nevergone

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My question is: Is it the foods causing cancer or is it just being fat that causes cancer? Because it seems logical that the people eating a lot of processed meats are the fatties and then of course it would seem like you could say "aha! It's the foods!" But... more mass = more cells = more chance of shit going haywire when cells divide then you have ta-da! 9% increase chance of cancer. Same thing with colorectal cancer: You're eating more and more shit is "happening" down there which may up the chance of stuff going wrong. We're biological, but we're still machines and any machine that gets overworked will break down quicker. I dunno... I'm maybe just ignorant about this but my gut (no pun int.) tells me it's just more evidence that fat is unhealthy and to be avoided vs. the food itself.

I avoid processed meats on a conscious level partly due to cancer fears (mostly weight issues... I work hard to be toned) but I feel as though I've just been conditioned to feel that way by society and "studies" and that I'm probably just limiting my life joy by avoiding meats like I do.
Nitrates and Nitrites
About 93 percent of the nitrites in your diet come from vegetables, since it’s a component taken from the soil by plants. No nutritionist will ever tell you to stop eating vegetables.
 

Razzes

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My question is: Is it the foods causing cancer or is it just being fat that causes cancer? Because it seems logical that the people eating a lot of processed meats are the fatties and then of course it would seem like you could say "aha! It's the foods!" But... more mass = more cells = more chance of shit going haywire when cells divide then you have ta-da! 9% increase chance of cancer. Same thing with colorectal cancer: You're eating more and more shit is "happening" down there which may up the chance of stuff going wrong. We're biological, but we're still machines and any machine that gets overworked will break down quicker. I dunno... I'm maybe just ignorant about this but my gut (no pun int.) tells me it's just more evidence that fat is unhealthy and to be avoided vs. the food itself.

I avoid processed meats on a conscious level partly due to cancer fears (mostly weight issues... I work hard to be toned) but I feel as though I've just been conditioned to feel that way by society and "studies" and that I'm probably just limiting my life joy by avoiding meats like I do.
Actually, we do know. In most studies estimates of effect are adjusted for body weight, height, and daily calories intake like this one:Meat, fish, and colorectal cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into cancer and nutrition.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that eating alot of meat is not ideal for longevity. Anything that stresses the body ( like oxydative stress) will decrease longevity.
Who lives the longest? Women who do daily low-intensity activity and eat very little (think japanese woman). Testosterone, eating alot, being strong and big, working out intensely are not good for longevity. The question is: why would you care so much about longevity? Give me a good life and a clean death from heart attack at 75 years old.
 
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James

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Razzes

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Causal inference is always based on correlation. If two groups are comparable except for their red meat intake, then the correlation to a risk can produce a causality judgement. This is the basis of adjustment, i.e. making the groups comparable for other characteristics (BMI, calories intake etc.).

Ideally, the gold-standard for causal inference is randomized trials (e.g., one grp randomized to red meat other grp randomized to whatever), but that's not possible in this case because the follow-up period would be too long. The best you will have is observational studies like the one I quoted, which does not mean causality cannot be established. We know smoking causes lung cancer, yet we have no randomized trials on smoking.

We have plausible biological mechanisms by which red meat can decrease longevity, and we have correlation with risk of dying for comparable groups with respect to BMI height calories intake physical activity etc... That seems convincing to me. If you doubt the causality at this point, I would think the burden of producing an alternative explanation is on you.
 

James

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If you doubt the causality at this point, I would think the burden of producing an alternative explanation is on you.
Nah, you're allowed to doubt whatever you want in science, and still, as far as I'm aware, no study has claimed definitive causality of cancer from red meat consumption.
 
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Razzes

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No study will ever do that, since causality is determined from all the available evidence at a given time. It is never determined from a single study, even meta-analyses rarely go that far. Anyway, I wasn't even aware that this causal link was still controversial. I'm no specialist of that particular association, but the evidence seemed pretty strong.

You can doubt whatever you want, but if you want to be part of a scientific debate, then you have to be able to explain the available data through a theory alternative to causality between red meat and mortality. Otherwise, it is just noise, or some random opinion. People who doubted smoking was a cause of lung cancer provided an explanation for the data: people genetically predisposed to smoking were also genetically predisposed to lung cancer. You could still make that claim for colon cancer and red meat, but that won't convince anyone (not even you).
 

James

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then you have to be able to explain the available data through a theory alternative to causality between red meat and mortality.
They didn't control for location or average flight length/height in the study you linked, both of which cause exposure to radiation to vary wildly which might better explain cancer rates in their population. Or if it wasn't that, then it was something else we haven't figured out yet. It's silly to me to think that a food our bodies have evolved to eat is somehow bad for us. I'll buy processed meats and highly cooked meats being potentially cancerous since those are human additions, but red meat in general is ludicrous.
 

Razzes

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It's silly to me to think that a food our bodies have evolved to eat is somehow bad for us. I'll buy processed meats and highly cooked meats being potentially cancerous since those are human additions, but red meat in general is ludicrous.
This is the reason why you doubt the causal link. And it's a very bad reason. Longevity has little to do with natural selection. The only thing that matters for natural selection is your reproductive fitness: your ability to produce offspring (and the ability of your offsprings and so forth). 90 years old men rarely reproduce, so living to old age is irrelevant. Red meat is good to gain muscle, its also good for cognition. Hence, red meat may be good for reproductive fitness while being bad for longevity.

Testosterone is an easy counter example. Testosterone is excellent for male reproductive fitness, but not good for longevity.

They didn't control for location or average flight length/height in the study you linked, both of which cause exposure to radiation to vary wildly which might better explain cancer rates in their population.
That is not very likely. Most people don't travel enough for that to matter. Plus, there is no reason to think people who travel more also eat more red meat (probably the opposite in the US).
 

Lanx

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these "studies" are stupid anyway, i'm in the camp that if you get cancer, it's just bad fucking shitty luck
 

Razzes

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These studies are flawed because longevity is an incomplete metric. My grandmother peed her pants for 20 years, and she was barely able to walk. But she still lived 15 years older than my grandfather who died of heart attack in otherwise good health. Who is the winner?
 

James

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The only thing that matters for natural selection is your reproductive fitness: your ability to produce offspring (and the ability of your offsprings and so forth). 90 years old men rarely reproduce, so living to old age is irrelevant. Red meat is good to gain muscle, its also good for cognition. Hence, red meat may be good for reproductive fitness while being bad for longevity.
I can't reconcile your conclusion -- our bodies gain muscle and our minds work better by eating red meat, which decreases our longevity? I think the testosterone counter example is especially poor in this context, because our body naturally lowers our testosterone levels as we get older. Which mechanism are you suggesting bigger muscles and better cognition triggers our decreased longevity that are more than just being subject to the human condition?

EDIT: Also,
That is not very likely. Most people don't travel enough for that to matter.
Background radiation varies a lot depending on your exact location, it definitely matters in total radiation exposure.

These studies are flawed because longevity is an incomplete metric. My grandmother peed her pants for 20 years, and she was barely able to walk. But she still lived 15 years older than my grandfather who died of heart attack in otherwise good health. Who is the winner?
That's definitely the point I'm trying to make, any one thing you give up to "reduce cancer risk" or whatever totally misses the point, you're going to die at some point I promise you.
 
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Razzes

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Our body doesn't naturally lowers testosterone as we age by that much actually, it is progressive damage to the testicles that causes the decline. There are old men with high level of testosterone, because their testicles were not too damaged by oxydative stress for reasons X Y Z. These men are in better health by most metrics, but do not necessarily live longer. Being castrated was actually observed to be beneficial for longevity.

I can't reconcile your conclusion -- our bodies gain muscle and our minds work better by eating red meat, which decreases our longevity? I think the testosterone counter example is especially poor in this context, because our body naturally lowers our testosterone levels as we get older. Which mechanism are you suggesting bigger muscles and better cognition triggers our decreased longevity that are more than just being subject to the human condition?
Being in peak condition is stressful for your body. Having strong muscles is a trade-off, you increase stress and maintenance to gain performance. Hypertrophied heart due to intense cardio training increases performance of athletes, but lowers the efficiency of the heart . Result? Increased risk of heart attack, lower heart longevity. Does that mean it is detrimental? No. Testosterone makes the heart hypertrophy easier, but that can be a huge advantage in some situation. It is a trade-off.
 

James

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Hypertrophied heart due to intense cardio training increases performance of athletes, but lowers the efficiency of the heart . Result? Increased risk of heart attack, lower heart longevity. Does that mean it is detrimental? No.
Of course it lowers the efficiency of the heart, it's being pushed beyond what it can safely handle to produce an exceptional result, like increasing your tire pressure to 1.5x than what's listed on the side. I'd argue that's strictly detrimental to being in 'peak condition.' Terrible example! A moderate amount of exercise is absolutely healthy and not detrimental to longevity at all.
 

Razzes

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I presented it as a dichotomy (peak condition vs sub peak condition), but it is not. Longevity will be best with optimal heart efficiency relative to your body size. By empirical evidence, we know this is achieved in women who have 0 testosterone, low body weight, eat fucking rice, and do next to 0 exercise above 100 Heart Rate. Even if you're not in peak condition and do moderate amount of exercice, you're still not as efficient as a woman with 0 testosterone who eats rice. So if you start eating 1000 calories of rice per day, and do very light exercise and cut off your balls, you might live to 100 years. If you do this, we might be able to finish this debate in 50 years or so.
 

James

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So if you start eating 1000 calories of rice per day, and do very light exercise and cut off your balls, you might live to 100 years. If you do this, we might be able to finish this debate in 50 years or so.
So you're saying I need to become a Democrat if I want to live 50 more years. Hmm.
 
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