Vegans: The Greatest Threat to a Nutritionist’s Paycheck

My admiration for Bill Clinton continues to grow as I watch him publicize the benefits of veganism. But how sad it is to read the following comments in USA Today’s recent article on the vegan ex-president:

Gina Lundberg, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, says a vegan diet is wonderful if people can follow it. “But it’s so limited in variety and taste that people get sick of it, and they don’t stick to it.”

[Marion] Nestle says that the vegan diet “is probably good for President Clinton, but whether it is good for everybody is a subject of much debate.” “Whatever they (vegans) do personally is fine, but I don’t want them telling me that if I eat a little meat, there is something wrong with my diet. I think animal foods can have a place in a healthful diet.”

It baffles. Well, it more than baffles. I mean, here we have the spokesperson for an organization dedicated to improving heart health, and one of the world’s most outspoken nutritionists (Nestle), basically throwing stones at a way of eating that would make their jobs obsolete.

Oh, wait, suddenly it’s all making sense . . .

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About James McWilliams
I'm a historian and writer based in Austin, Texas. This blog is dedicated to exploring the ethics of eating animals and animal-based products.

11 Responses to Vegans: The Greatest Threat to a Nutritionist’s Paycheck

  1. Milady says:

    Yes, it’s all making sense !!!!

  2. Betsy Carson says:

    “Our mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question” -The American Heart Association.

    Gina Lundberg If you and the AHA really cared you’d be promoting these health benefits. The fact is you’d rather peddle drugs and surgery than prevent heart attacks.

  3. kamahu says:

    I totally agree – This was such an irresponsible statement; especially as she was speaking on behalf of the American Heart Association. Also, a little aggressive and defensive – ugh.

  4. Abby Bean says:

    Ironic how threatened people are by non-violence.

  5. Keith Akers says:

    My suspicion is that the reason that Lundberg and Nestle don’t like Bill Clinton’s veganism is more mundane that this. He’s a threat to their status as “in the know” nutritionists. (Actually the term you probably want is “dietitian” rather than “nutritionist,” which is a more “protected” term in the U. S., having requirements and legal stuff you have to know and do.)

    Clinton doesn’t threaten the monetary interests of dietitians, just the reputations of dietitians who now are exposed as knowing less about nutrition than Clinton does. He’s basically a well-educated, famous amateur at nutrition — but smarter than they are.

    Widespread veganism would probably increase the demand for dietitians at the expense of heart bypass surgeons because they are the less expensive option. Check out the Vegetarian Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association, who are probably thankful for Bill Clinton.

  6. Dave says:

    People’s understanding of veganism is so backward sometimes. Limited in variety? When I became vegan more than 16 years ago, my world of food and my world as a whole opened up so much. I started eating a much larger variety of foods and I discovered new tastes, especially since I branched out to ethnic foods.

    News flash: The is more out there beyond the typical American diet.

    Hopefully, a vegan lifestyle and a more diverse array of food options will continue to flourish and spread through the great US of A so people won’t have such a limited, restricting view of what it means to be a vegan.

  7. Pingback: Episode 86: “We cannot believe that if we refuse to look at what we do not wish to see, it will not exist.” | Our Hen House

  8. nutritionist says:

    You have to be very careful of your fitness. Because it is very important for your healthy.
    Always make sure you choose a lean protein, such as fish, shrimp, scallops, grilled chicken breast, veggie burgers, buffalo burgers, or fat-free hot dogs. You can top them off with low-calorie condiments like ketchup, pickles, salsa, mustard, and hot sauce.

    • jv says:

      I have no need to make choices other than eating mostly whole plant foods, as they are between 5-40% protein by calorie. I get my calorie requirements, I get my protein requirements. Easy Peasy.

      It’s basic math. 4Cal/g protein 1g/kg body weight. For me, 70Kg=70g protein. My caloric requirements are ~4000Cal/day b/c I’m pretty active. 70gProtein/ x 4 Cal/g =280Cal from protein/day = 7% of my Calories/day should be protein. In reality, from grains, beans, veggies, nuts, seeds, my %cal Protein is ~12-15%/day, which translates to 120-150g/day.

      Given that the diseases that plague modern society are diseases of excess, I don’t even know why dieticians go on about this protein myth.

      Every Dietician should read “Vegan for Life” written by Vegan RDs, because it’s pretty obvious there’s a deficiency in the knowledge of plant based nutrition most professionals.

  9. Valerie says:

    WHAT??? I am actually overwhelmed AT the variety of excellent Vegan recipes I come across!!

    This ‘person’ from the Heart Assoc. should be FIRED for the absolutely irresponsible comments she has made!! Rock on Mr. President!!

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