So this one has been puzzling me the past week or so, since my teeth started turning green, and I noticed a cavity – no, two! – on a couple of teeth.
Apparently, a vegan diet isn’t good for teeth, according to a variety of sites that google found for me. How accurate they are, who knows. But I can go off my own personal experience, which is this:
- I haven’t been to a dentist in 20+ years, and take very good care of my teeth
- I’ve started noticing issues with my teeth the past couple of months (I’ve been vegan / entovegan for 7 months now)
- Since returning to Cambodia and getting back into a dietary routine, I’ve noticed that while my body is feeling great, my tooth problems are rapidly getting worse
- They’re also turning green around the gums, which I’ve learned is from “phytic acid”, which is prevalent in basically all the foods I eat (raw spinach, broccoli, quinoa, oats, nuts, etc) which is bad for tooth enamel
- I have started monitoring my food intake using an app (below), and am working on cutting my sugar (from fruit) intake down as much as possible; but again, I’ve been living in the tropics for more than a decade, eating as much or more fruit every day as I am now, and haven’t had any tooth issues
- I get lots and lots of sunshine, so my vitamin D levels are great (another common tooth issue is low vitamin D)
So that’s the gist of it. I’m not very happy with this new problem, because it seems counter-intuitive: why would my body feel better than it has in years, muscularly, but my teeth suddenly have major problems?
My plan was to be Entovegan until at least the end of 2017, then if needed I would make a switch to be Entotarian if I found my premise was wrong, and an entovegan diet wasn’t the healthiest way to go.
I’m not against eating animal products like eggs, if I find I need to for health, from an ethical standpoint (see the Philosophy of Entoveganism for more). The goal of (ento)veganism was due to what I’d been reading about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, what I have learned of the health benefits of Entomophagy, and the health dangers of eating meat, especially red meat.
But I am not going to screw around with tooth problems, especially if it’s totally avoidable. And from what I’m reading, tooth issues are like most body issues, they can be repaired naturally, but it requires the correct diet. Obviously, I’m somehow failing there.
The most frustrating and confusing part is that I really do feel great. I’m lifting, running, swimming, playing basketball, and my muscles are recovering like they used to (i.e. not taking 3 days before I can walk normal after a night of basketball like I’ve felt the past 3+ years, but waking up feeling ready to go workout), I feel energized, I’m sleeping well, I’m getting my abs back, I mean, that all seems great.
So what’s going on with my teeth? Am I possibly making too big of a deal about something that is normal and just a part of age, and because I haven’t seen a dentist in decades – because I haven’t ever needed to, since my teeth have been problem free? So now Dr Google is filling me with FUD? lol
Somehow I don’t believe that. Because I believe in the body’s ability to heal itself naturally, and if I feel great but my teeth are rotting, well, there’s obviously something important missing. So now I have to figure out what that is, and it looks like you’ll be seeing me over at Entotarian for the forseeable future now, at least until I figure out a solution to stay Entovegan and keep my teeth. 😉
Here are the stats from yesterday, a typical day for me. Note that the really high fat content came from 3 avocados that I ate at lunch, but then I went and lifted (MyFitnessPal doesn’t count calorie loss from lifting – and in a 100 degree gym – so I could probably up the calories considerably and still be fine).
I’m also supplementing with SportMulti again, which I normally always do but ran out in Mexico so I was without for a month. So my vitamins and minerals are above and beyond what is needed, which is going to lead me to either find some mineral that causes tooth enamel damage in large quantities, or I’m going to find that I probably just have expensive urine (while a funny supplement junkie joke, it’s not actually true, because I work out hard in the heat, and unlike “expensive urine” which usually is a bright green, I’m mostly clear so all good).
More to come on this. To be clear, though, from everything I’ve found, there’s no evidence that insects are either the cause or the solution to my newfound tooth issues. It’s something else.
Insects are, however, my primary protein source, and I’m feeling amazing. So if I need to supplement with Fish Oil for my teeth, then I’ll be an Entotarian and call it a day. But I’m still determined to find a way to be Entovegan – while keeping my toothy smile. 😉