Ask the Coach” is the column in which Wolfgang Unsöld answers your questions. The book of the same name was published by Riva Verlag and Available right here on Amazon.
Question: Hello, I have already read three books by Wolfgang and am a big fan of his approaches. The successes are also impressive. I'm currently looking for recommendations from him for people who want to consume less or no animal products to reap the health benefits. Unfortunately, I could not find any information about this either in his books or online. Is something in this direction planned or are optimal results simply not possible? Thanks & regards, Rafael
WU: Basically, a plant-based diet is an excellent solution. If you eat a little animal with it... As you have already read in the books, animal products are an integral part of my approach to customers in addition to plants. In addition to meat, this of course also includes fish, seafood, eggs and sometimes dairy products. There are many reasons why. Three factors that are mostly neglected in this context are:
1. Stomach Acid – For one thing, the human body is designed for animal foods, so we have stomach acid, whose primary job is to break down animal protein. Herbivores have no stomach acid. You don't need stomach acid. Humans have stomach acid. It is physiologically designed to digest animal protein and was dependent on it especially before the development of industrial agriculture, and especially in latitudes far from the equator.
2. Quality of animal products - There are big differences in the quality of all foods. Whether animal or plant. From a health perspective, this is often an argument against consuming animal products. An argument that I can certainly understand based on low-quality animal products. However, it should be noted here that every consumer makes a voluntary and independent decision about the quality of the animal products that he buys with every purchase. Of course, the same applies to plant-based foods. And all other foods. Quality is a matter of each person's choices. Not that of a food group.
3. Protein is a primary building block of the human body - After water, protein is the main component of the human body. How to cover this? Are there plant-based protein sources? Secure. Are there plant-based protein sources that provide larger amounts of protein in times of increased protein requirements? The answer tends very strongly towards no. Certainly there are industrially processed products like vegan protein powder and amino drinks. In addition, however, it is almost impossible to constantly consume relevant amounts of protein from vegetable protein sources. Especially in the context of optimizing body fat percentage, muscle mass and strength.
These are three important aspects in the context of a purely plant-based diet. There are certainly some scenarios in which a purely plant-based diet makes sense. However, as you pointed out in your question, "...are optimal results simply not possible?". This point is crucial and directly answers your question. There are very few exceptions where a purely plant-based diet is efficient, successful and effective. Especially when it comes to the goals of the clients and athletes I look after. For this reason, plant and animal products are an integral part of my approach to optimizing nutrition to maximize physical and cognitive performance.
A healthy diet certainly includes the avoidance of qualitatively inferior animal products. However, a healthy diet is certainly more than avoiding animal products in general.
Basically, a plant-based diet is an excellent solution. If you eat a little animal with it...
Good luck with animals & plants!