A vegan doctor and cardiologist faced criticism after claiming you don’t have to be vegan for optimum health because she is ‘honest’ about all data and guidelines.
Dr. Danielle Belardo made the claim in an interview via Dr. Varshavski. He is known as Doctor Mike, a health influencer with almost 7 million subscribers on youtube.
‘You’ve been sometimes labeled a bad vegan‘, he said. Dr. Belardo has apparently received ‘a lot of flack’ from vegans online allegedly because she’s ‘honest and transparent about the data’.
According to Dr. Belardo, veganism is ‘more of an ethical decision’ over a health choice or diet.
More vegan physicians need to keep their messaging ‘honest’ she added: ‘I don’t need to convince people to go vegan by cherry-picking data’.
Is 100% Plant-Based The Best For Health?
‘Would you say we have complete data to say that the elimination of all animal products is undoubtedly safe and ideal for all?’, Doctor Mike asked.
‘Chasing the perfect diet is a fallacy’, Dr. Belardo explained: ‘you don’t have to follow a 100% plant-based diet for ideal health’.
She later clarified that patients should adopt a diet replete with plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. There are ‘absolutely’ no health benefits to eating meat, she said.
Many doctors agree there are no health detriments to adopting a plant-based lifestyle. New York Times best selling author Dr. Michael Greger is one example. He states: “Plant-based diets aren’t just safer and cheaper. They can work better because they let us treat the actual cause of the disease.”
17 Minute Conversation
Watch the full interview between Doctor Mike and Dr. Belardo.
Dr. Belardo has since made a statement.
In it, she says: “Going vegan is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle about reducing harm to animals in all ways practical and possible. I believe in not eating animal products, I don’t wear leather, or buy cosmetics that have been tested on animals.
“My decision to be vegan is my personal decision. But as a physician – I have to stick to the science.
“Eating a plant-based diet is a healthful dietary pattern I recommend, but the scientific evidence at this time has not demonstrated that a 100% plant-based diet is superior to a Mediterranean style plant predominant diet with some animal products.
“There are countless reasons to follow a vegan lifestyle, but that doesn’t have to mean that physicians who are personally vegan have to professionally abandon scientific discussion and evidence-based medicine.
“I’ll always be vegan. But for me it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.”
This article was updated to include a statement Dr. Belardo made since publishing.