Meat (Part 3): Necessary to prevent mineral deficiencies?
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 11:00AM
Mike Dillman in Raw diet tips, anemia, deficiencies, deficiency, diet, food, health, iron, meat, nutrition, raw, raw-vegan, vegan

We've been on a bit of a meat mini-series in the last few posts.
If you missed any of them, here are the links:

Today, I'm continuing on the topic with the issue of meat and minerals.


One of the reasons many people are hesitant to drop meat from their diets is fear of mineral deficiencies.

Conventional wisdom in western cultures generally suggests that eating meat is necessary to getting your minerals and avoiding deficiencies like anemia (iron deficiency).

This view is merely a byproduct of a culture with an entrenched meat industry.

It has no basis in fact. 

Vegetarians actually aren’t any more prone to mineral deficiency than are meat-eaters.

The thing with mineral deficiencies is that, in many cases, the problem isn’t really a lack of minerals at all. 

Using anemia as general example, the sufferer usually has significant stores of iron already in her body.  The problem isn’t a deficiency, but rather that the iron isn’t being used, or “assimilated”

In such cases, adding more iron to the diet isn’t going to achieve anything at all.  There’s already plenty.  The assimilation issue is what must be addressed. 

The ability of the body to absorb a particular mineral can be affected by several things.  In the case of iron, excesses in other minerals can actually block it.  One such mineral is phosphorous, which happens to be a mineral that meat is very high in. 

Effective absorption of iron also relies upon sufficient levels of Vitamin C -- something a raw-vegan diet is loaded with.

Once we realize that the key isn’t necessarily to get the most nutrients, but to get the most absorbable nutrients, eating meat doesn’t make sense anymore. 

Leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of highly-absorbable minerals. 

If you're eating a raw-vegan diet with lots of mineral-rich green vegetables, paired with the abundance of vitamins found in fresh fruit, nutritional deficiencies should be the furthest thing from your mind.


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Mike Dillman is a self-taught raw-vegan who began his journey nearly five years ago.   Having worked his way through all the challenges firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself.  You can visit Mike's blog at to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle.

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