Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Not All Vegans are Created Alike

While searching for examples of people who still claim that "sugar rots teeth" I ran across "Sugar: Leaving a Legacy of Dental Decay, Obesity, and Dysfunctional Immune Systems for our Children, by Michael Dye. Dye is not a fan of sugar. He's not much of a fan of science either, cherry-picking statements out of old books, quoting others with his biases against sugar, mangling digestion, and managing not to cite a single medical journal article.

I found the article on the site of Gerry and Ray Coffey, who are Hallelujah Diet Health Ministers.

Uh oh. That rang a bell. There is a vegan diet book called The Hallelujah Diet, written by George Malkmus. Malkmus also wrote God's Way to Ultimate Health: A Common Sense Guide for Eliminating Sickness through Nutrition. In that book, his co-author was... Michael Dye.

Malkmus is a believer. From the comments on his books at Amazon, he believes in an interpretation of verse 1:29 in Genesis:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

This is taken to mean that Christians should eat only food and vegetables and that meat was not part of the diet until after Noah's flood.

I can't pretend to understand this interpretation, but it does lead to veganism for its believers.

Unfortunately, Malkmus' Hallelujah Diet goes much further. He has been accused of running an MMP, a multi-level marketing plan, to sell his BarleyMax powder. And what do his diet books tell you to eat to achieve weight loss? You guessed it. BarleyMax powder.

There has been one actual scientific study of The Hallelujah Diet. Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Michael Donaldson, Nutrition and Food Science, 2001, Volume 31, Number 6.

This study can be found in full at the diet's website, Hallelujah Acres, at:

Why? The author, Michael S. Donaldson, is Director of Research, Hallelujah Acres Foundation, Salisbury, North Carolina, USA.

He finds, not surprisingly, that the diet can work. Why is also not surprising. It is an extremely calorie restricted diet. People who can continue on it are bound to lose weight. Donaldson does not examine whether people can continue on it. He just studies their food intake given on a food diary and analyzes that.

You have to read between the lines of his seemingly positive conclusion:
This dietary pattern, both in food choices
and timing of eating, allows people to adopt a
low calorie diet that is sufficient in most
nutrients with little effort in restricting the
amount of food eaten. This dietary pattern,
when implemented and supplemented
carefully, meets the criteria for calorie
restriction with adequate nutrition, which has
been shown in many species to increase the
average and maximum lifespan of animals, and
to reverse and prevent chronic degenerative
diseases (Weindruch and Walford, 1988). On
low energy diets great care must be taken to
ensure adequate nutrition; if energy intake is
too low (< 50 per cent of DRI) one is at risk of
seriously compromising their health.

Some modifications of this dietary pattern,
to provide vitamins B12 and D, and higher
intakes of iron, selenium, zinc and protein,
may be necessary for successful long-term
health. Regular consumption of nutritional
yeast would help ensure adequate nutrition
for this vegan population; 1.5 tablespoons of
Red Star nutritional yeast (16g) contains 8g of
protein, 8·g of cyanocobalamin, 0.5mg of
iron, 3mg of zinc, and 22·g of selenium. The
use of supplemental vitamin B12 and
supplemental vitamin D during the winter at
high latitudes would cover the most critical
deficiencies of this diet.

He also cites low energy, inadequate nutrients, and that a "compromised" metabolic Vitamin B function was found in 50% of those surveyed.

And that 58% of them ate some animal products. That's correct. Defying a diet based on a religious principle, 82 out of 144 studies found the need to add animal products to a vegan, raw food diet.

I support veganism. And vegetarianism. And meat-eating, for that matter. You can have a healthy diet with any variation of the three.

The more you restrict your diet, however, the more aware you must be of what you do eat and the more care you must take to ensure that you are not depriving your system of what it needs for health.

I absolutely cannot recommend the Hallelujah Diet. Sensible veganism requires more care, more attention, and less of a powder sold by the people who write the books.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: