Posted on September 05 2020
After Miley Cyrus, it is now Mike Tyson who confessed falling off the vegan wagon on The Joe Rogan Podcast (and no we aren't talking about his ear-eating habits). Mike, who has been on a plant-based diet for five years now says how his vegan diet was not healthy for his 'blood- type'. He confesses to enjoying Byson and other wild-caught red- meat.
Mike Tyson, the 'heavyweight champion' who explained feeling 'great' and the 'best shape of his life' on a vegan diet explained how he might have taken his diet too far.
While I will discuss how some of the points Mike made in the podcast are really non- scientific and what could have gone wrong with his diet, let's first discuss the impact this has on the vegan movement in general.
On a macro level, nothing really. The vegan movement is growing faster than ever and more and more people across the globe are seeing the impacts a plant-based diet has on their health, the environment, and of course the animals. Leading pioneer doctors and nutritionists such as Dr. Michael Greger, Neal Barnard, and many more are working relentlessly and selflessly to help people keep up to date with the latest research and science.
On a micro-level though, Mike Tyson is a brand. He has a huge following and young kids aspire to grow up like him. Though he confessed about eating red meat and eggs for a year now, oddly articles quote him talking about Veganism as early as a few months ago? When a celebrity is living a dual life like this, it makes people question about everyone else. Not only that, Mike claimed his reason for falling off the wagon for his 'health' and 'sport' and linked being Vegan to being weak. This will make a lot of young athletes question their food choices.
Here are snit- bits from the podcast:
'Kale, blueberries are poisonous to my blood- type'
Mike here is referring to the 'blood- type diet'. The blood- type diet theory that claims that people of a certain blood type should eat a certain way. For example, people with blood group A (in Mike Tyson's case) should consume more red meat.
Since its origin, the blood type diet has been extensively researched and disproven to lack any kind of merit or benefits what so ever. Read this systemic review study comparing 1415 references that clearly disproves any benefits from the blood type diet.
Mike could have a food sensitivity or food allergy towards blueberries and Kale, but this has nothing to do with his blood type.
'I go on 30-day fasts'
As an athlete to build self- discipline, I think fasting is a great tool when done under medical supervision. Even for a non- athlete whose nutritional requirements are not extreme, fasting is only suggested under supervision and no longer than a couple of days. But Mike claims to have taken things to the extreme on his vegan diet and would last for up to 30 days at a time! With his nutritional requirements, it is but obvious he felt week and lacked energy for his sport.
This has nothing to do with a vegan diet lacking nutrients to support an athlete. If anything, vegetarian and vegan athletes outperform meat eating athletes on multiple levels. Mike also mentions not having enough vegan recipes to try, well I wish he checked the below link out:
'I stopped being vegan because of my training and the way I wanted my body to look and the strength I wanted to perform'
Tell that to the gladiators ;)
High animal protein diets are extremely acidic to the body and actually break down lean muscle mass. Older adults who stick to a plant-based diet have more lean muscle growth as they age VS their counterparts who eat a meat-based diet. Besides this, a single high- animal protein meal may boost the bodies stress hormone to double about the normal level. If Mike is referring to just strength, stamina and better athletic performance, a plant-based diet is much better than a diet heavy in animal protein.
A meal plan needs to be catered specifically keeping in mind an individual's needs. Mike mentions not eating 'anything' on a vegan diet. With his caloric requirements and nutritional needs, he should be consuming enough calories.
For all those who are questioning your nutrition choices after Mike's big revelation, I highly insist you listen to another one of Joe Rogan's podcast I am tagging below:
I truly hope more celebrities realize how a plant-based diet is not only preventive when it comes to lifestyle diseases but also helps in the reversal of the same.
Let us know if you need a customised vegan nutrition plan as per your body type.