Is a Vegan Diet Dangerous for Children?

Is a Vegan Diet Dangerous for Children?

There is no doubt that a Vegan diet is appropriate for all stages of life. This is the position statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.”

The Optimal Macro-Nutrient Ratio for Humans

There is a lot of information around what is required around macronutrients for the human body. A lot of programmes advise that you need to find what is right for you. This can be very confusing as well as hard to work out.  Since every human being’s digestive system is the same it is safe to say that our macronutrient ratio requirements are also the same. In fact, world-renowned nutritional scientist T. Colin Campbell PhD (Author of The China Study) agrees with this concept.  He states that the ideal macronutrient ratio for humans is 80% carbohydrate, 10% protein and 10% fat.


Protein is the most publicised and least understood of the 3 macronutrients. Protein is required for rebuilding, but not to the extent that most people think.  If I use the metaphor of a house, once the house is built, do we continue to pour in all the building materials or just make repairs as needed? The same is true of the human body; once the body is built we only require enough protein to make the necessary repairs. If we have too much it will overload our body and make us sick.

The minimum protein requirements for humans are 20-30 grams per day. This is because the body is able to recycle up to 400 grams of protein via its metabolic processes. Most governments and health organisations have doubled this minimum amount to between 40-60 grams a day to build in a buffer over the minimum requirements. In fact, if you were to only eat rice or potatoes, you would get all of the 8 essential amino acids the human body requires.


The body uses fat primarily for energy storage when no food or other immediate energy source is available. Plant foods contain adequate amounts of fat and only plants make the essential fatty acids your body needs to function. Plant foods also contain no cholesterol; the best way to lower your cholesterol levels is to not eat it.

Animal foods provide too much fat, especially the most harmful kind (saturated fat), which damages the arteries and causes heart disease and stroke. Beef derives 60% – 80% of its calories from fat; pork, 80% – 95%; chicken, 30% – 50%; and fish, 5% – 60%.

What about oils?

Even poly and monounsaturated fats – found in large amounts in vegetable oils and fish – have been shown to depress the immune system, increase bleeding and promote cancers, especially those of the colon, prostate and breast. Because all fats are easily stored by the body, too much dietary fat makes people overweight and lays the foundation for a host of other problems like heart disease, cancer, and adult-onset diabetes.


Ah Carbs, the most feared macronutrient of them all. Well here is a bombshell; carbs do not make you fat. Unless you load them with fats such as cheese, oil, butter etc. If fact they are actually a fat loss food.  A recent study in Cell Metabolism showed that even when controlling for calories, reducing dietary fat results in 67% more body fat loss than reducing dietary carbs. The real truth is that the fat you eat is the fat you wear.

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of fuel, as they convert into glycogen. Every movement you make is based on the use of glycogen stored in your muscles. This is especially important for athletic performance, as the greater your stores of glycogen the longer you are able to train for. Once you run out of your glycogen stores, your body goes into ketosis. This is not a good thing as the body goes into an emergency mode of using fat for energy, commonly known in athletic circles as ‘hitting the wall’ or ‘bonking’.

Prebiotics Vs Probiotics - The Importance of Fibre for Healthy Gut Bacteria

With the ever increasing focus on probiotic supplementation in today’s society, I wanted to discuss what is it that helps us maintain healthy gut flora naturally. Supplementation can sometimes feel like the easy way out, but it is not always the best solution. So how do we keep the good bacteria in and the bad ones out? The answer is Fibre. Fibre is a natural prebiotic that good bacteria feed on, which means that it helps us create and keep the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Let’s go into a little more detail, The total surface area of our gut is about 3,000 square feet, counting all the little folds, larger than a tennis court. Yet, only a single layer of cells separates our inner core from the outer chaos. The primary fuel that keeps this critical cell layer alive is a short chain fatty acid called butyrate, which our good bacteria make from the fibre we eat. We feed the good bacteria in our gut, and they feed us right back. They take the prebiotics we eat, like fibre, and in return provide the vital fuel source that feeds the cells that line our colon, a prototypical example of the symbiosis between us and our gut flora.

Butyrate is a critical component of maintaining a healthy gut as it suppresses the inflammatory reaction and tells our body's defence system to stand down. So, butyrate may behave as a microbial signal to inform our defence system that the relative levels of good bacteria are within the desired range.

So, we evolved to have butyrate allow our defence system to know the type of bacteria in the gut. So, should our good bacteria ever get wiped out and bad bacteria take over, our defence system would be able to sense this and go on a rampage and destroy the invaders, and continue rampaging until there were only good bacteria creating butyrate to put the defence system back to sleep.

Here’s why this all matters. What if we don’t eat enough fibre? If we don’t eat enough fibre, then we can’t make enough butyrate. We could have lots of good bacteria, but if we don’t feed them fibre, they can’t make butyrate. Sensing such low levels of butyrate, our body thinks our gut must be filled with bad bacteria and reacts accordingly. Our body can mistake low fibre intake for having a population of bad bacteria in our gut. Our body doesn’t know about processed food; it evolved over millions of years getting massive fibre intake. Even during the Palaeolithic period, 100 grams of fibre a day. So, on fibre-deficient Western diets, when our body detects low butyrate levels in the gut, it doesn’t think low fibre. As far as our body’s concerned, there’s no such thing as low fibre. It thinks: bad bacteria. For millions of years, low butyrate has meant bad bacteria; so, that’s the signal for our body to go on the inflammatory offensive.

So, that’s one reason why fibre can be so anti-inflammatory, one of the reasons fibre intake is critical for optimal health. Not fibre supplements, but whole plant foods. Fibre supplementation with something like Metamucil may not replicate the results seen with a diet naturally high in fibre.

This is one of the major reasons there are so many people having IBS and IBD (such as Ulcerative Colitis & Crohns Disease) type issues in modern society. The absence of fibre in our diet has meant that the body can create a significant inflammatory response.

We are currently trying to solve this problem by taking probiotics, but these are just a band-aid solution to the real issue of not getting enough prebiotics from the fibre we eat.


High Carb Health are Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioners. Our aim is to give people realistic advice on how to get healthy and reverse illness via a scientifically proven, nutrition based approach to healing the body. Our goal is to provide long term, lasting solutions. We do not believe in quick fixes and our approach is far more effective in promoting health and preventing disease than prescription drugs, surgery, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and genetic manipulation. 

We provide education and coaching to help our clients transition to a healthier lifestyle, which also has the added benefit of assisting the body to reach its ideal weight. Fill in our Health Survey for a free 30 minute consultation.

Why I Switched to a Whole Foods Plant Based Lifestyle - Shukul Kachwalla

My before and after images

My before and after images

My story to making the shift to a whole foods, plant based lifestyle started with my brother, Shamiz, being diagnosed with a chronic illness called Ulcerative Colitis. After his condition deteriorated dramatically in hospital, he was able to make a full recovery after switching to a plant based diet consisting of mainly fruits, vegetables and starches. He has now been symptom and medication free for 4 years and is in remarkable health.


My journey began in December 2012, when I travelled home to visit Shamiz about 6 months after he had healed. I was eating the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) full of meat, dairy, eggs and junk food. However, as Shamiz was finding this new lifestyle a little difficult to get used to, I decided that I would support him by eating exactly like he did for the 3 weeks that I would be visiting him. I fully expected to go back to my “normal” eating patterns when I got back home. In fact, at the airport before my flight, my wife and I ate McDonalds for breakfast!


I didn’t go back to my old ways though, as the 3 weeks was an unbelievable experience for me. During the first week I had a lot of withdrawals from my addictions, especially my morning coffee vice! But after that first week, it was like a fog had been cleared from my head! I found that I had this new found sense of energy and alertness that I had not felt for many years, it was a real eureka moment for me.


I used to suffer from terrible digestion, hayfever, chronic migraines and severe acne. At the age of 27 I was already taking several medications for these conditions. Just by making a change to my diet and lifestyle I have seen tremendous changes to the way I feel. I no longer need to take medications or suffer from any of the above conditions.


I now at the age of 31, feel better than ever before. I have more energy and am fitter than I have been at any stage of my life. I ride an average of 100 miles a week on my bike and exercise is fun as I am fuelling my body with optimal nutrition. I can genuinely say that a whole foods, plant based lifestyle has changed my life from just surviving to now thriving!


I am so passionate about this lifestyle that my brother and I have started a health and nutrition consultancy to help others self-heal their bodies. We are specialising in digestive health, specifically digestive disorders such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns, IBS and IBD and having a lot of success helping people heal, just like we have.


I am so glad that I found veganism and a whole foods, plant based lifestyle. I truly feel as though I am now part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I feel blessed to be able to help others improve their health but also make this world a better place for the animals and the planet.


High Carb Health are Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioners. Our aim is to give people realistic advice on how to get healthy and reverse illness via a scientifically proven, nutrition based approach to healing the body. Our goal is to provide long term, lasting solutions. We do not believe in quick fixes and our approach is far more effective in promoting health and preventing disease than prescription drugs, surgery, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and genetic manipulation. 

We provide education and coaching to help our clients transition to a healthier lifestyle, which also has the added benefit of assisting the body to reach its ideal weight. Fill in our Health Survey for a free 30 minute consultation -


4 YEARS Ulcerative Colitis HEALED!

Today is the day that marks 4 Years that Shamiz Kachwalla the founder of High Carb Health has been free of the Auto Immune Dis-ease Ulcerative Colitis with no medication and no symptoms! "It has been an incredible journey and a life's purpose to help others do the same". It was in August of 2012 when Shamiz was set free from Hospital and came home to NZ to heal and be free of medication and turn his life around. You can check out Shamiz's story below in a whiteboard video below.

Milan Kanji Loses 12kg!!! 30 Day Vegan Challenge!

"After finishing my 30 day challenge, my body has never felt better. During the 30 days I lost kgs quite easily. I would like to personally thank Shukul Kachwalla, Shamiz Kachwalla & David Cordtz for introducing me to this new lifestyle change. I feel a lot more active and happy after changing to this Plant-based lifestyle. The best part is that it does not feel like a diet at all because I am eating a lot more healthy and raw food products than I normally would. I started this change to improve my physical health and lose weight . I can happily say that I have achieved these goals and I will definitely be carrying on with the plant based lifestyle. I have lost 12kgs and am feeling happier than ever! At the time of writing this, I have been on this high carb plant based diet for 9 weeks now. Thanks team for the support!"

Personal Trainer tries our 30 Day Vegan Challenge, Gets Healthy & Loses 6kg!!!

December 2015:

"Im almost finished my 30 day challenge with 2 days to go. I will be writing a testimonial about the journey and what I plan on doing when I finish. I just wanted to say that I’ve never felt this good, I’m not bloated anymore and don't feel bloated after a big meal. It took me a little bit to get used to as my stomach was too small for the amount of food I needed for this lifestyle, so my calories were pretty low at the start but by the 2nd week with the help of Shukul I was eating between 2500 to 3000 calories a day and I was still able to lose 6kg! I would like to thank Shukul Kachwalla and the High Carb Health crew with the help and also DC Cordtz for the motivation and seeing how I was going through the process. Also if it wasn't for DC I wouldn’t have met Shukul and this would have never happened. I started at 84.8 and weighed in at 78.8. So you might think that its hard at the start but keep at it and your true potential will reveal it self and knowing its doing wonders for your heath and fitness was else do you want".

Success Story: Kate McCullough, Digestive Pain & Discomfort

It all started in early 2015 when about once a month I would get really bad diarrhea and stomach pains. I thought I might be gluten intolerant so I went gluten free for months with still no improvement. I decided to be extra sure I wasn't allergic to gluten by going to the doctor in July 2015 to get an allergy test for gluten, but it came back negative. The doctors had no idea why I had all this stomach pain and did not know how to help me. So all year my digestion was just not right and the amount of times I was getting diarrhea and stomach pains just kept increasing until January 2016 when it got really bad. I was going to the toilet 5-6 times a day, everyday, I had the worst stomach pains every time I ate and I had no idea what was going on. I went to the doctors again to try find an answer and then sent me to get some blood tests and stool tests which all came back fine so i had no more answers as to what was causing my digestives issues.

After suffering for a month of this I decided I needed to try get some other help, so I and saw a Ayurveda consultant, who put me on a strict diet and told me to cut out a lot of foods and mainly eat cooked foods including lots of rice, lentils/dhal and cooked vegetables and to only have 1 piece of fruit a day which had to be cooked. I found this very difficult to follow but I was determined to get better so followed what she said. But I only got worst, the stomach pains increased, my bowel movements increased, I felt so tried and low on energy all the time I just didn't know what to do anymore. My body was clearly telling me that it was not happy eating this way and something need to change. 

Then I met Shukul Kachwalla at a vegan potluck in Auckland and found out he had a nutrition workshop coming up in a week and I knew I just had to go. I went to the workshop run by him and his brother and learnt an incredible amount of knowledge and took everything they said on board and left with confidence they they could help me get better. I followed what they said, which was mainly raw till 4, as many raw fruits and vegetables as I desired during the day, and cooked vegetables/starches for dinner, while avoiding grains to really give my digestions a break. Just after doing this for 2 weeks everything had changed. I had no more stomach pains, i was only going to the toilet 1-2 times a day, I had all my energy back and I felt like a new person again. Its amazing how just simply eating how our bodies are really designed too everything just naturally falls back into place. I can pretty much eat everything now with no problem, but still feel my best eating as much raw fruits and vegetables as I wish, while limiting the amount of legumes and high fatty foods. I will treasure the knowledge they taught me forever and know they will always be willing to help me if I had anymore issues. 

So I just wanted to say thank you so so so much Shukul and Shamiz for sharing your knowledge with me and helping me turn my life around for the better, I am forever thankful for what you guys do to help me and so many other people like me. If anyone is having any sort of digestive issue or just wants to know how to live a happier healthier life I definitely recommenced seeing these guys!!!

Thanks again for all your help - Kate

Where should we get our Iron from?

If something is in excess that doesn’t mean it is good for us! Lets talk about iron absorption with red meat compared to plant foods. Funny how people think just because something is more absorbable it should therefore be better for us. Heme iron and non-heme iron. There is a big difference. Heme iron is obviously from dead flesh (blood) and non heme from plant foods!

Because the human body has no mechanism to rid itself of excess iron we have evolved to regulate this. Iron is absorbed through our intestines and if iron stores get too low the intestines know when to boost the absorption, if iron stores are too high then the intestines block the absorption to maintain us in the sweet spot! This also only works with the primary source of iron in the human diet from plant foods (non-heme).

Heme iron from dead flesh however cannot be regulated by the body and therefore absorbs straight through the intestinal wall even if there is excess iron in the body. This is when the body gets into an iron overload and creates all sorts of problems and sets the body up with a higher risk of dis-ease.

So the body has no control over iron absorption when eating animal flesh. This is why Vegetarians and Vegans tend to be lower in iron when it comes to blood tests because the 'normal' range is elevated due to all those people eating flesh which in turn boosts there level of iron in the body without knowing it is much more harmful for them.

In terms of how much the body can absorb we believe that it is very hard to get an exact number from the foods we eat because you can't really say that this plant food has this much iron in it so my body will absorb all of it. Iron absorption also depends on how many other nutrients that plant food has because all of the nutrients from that plant food work together to get absorbed. If you eat a variety of WHOLE foods (Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains and Legumes) you will get the exact amount of iron the body needs so that you can be in that sweet spot :)

Where do you get your Protein?

Every single food you eat has protein in it so in terms of getting enough on a vegan diet you will get plenty. (Have you ever heard of anyone with protein deficiency?) If you are eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies you are getting all eight essential amino acids required by the body for all its protein needs (even for exercise or sport). Fruits & Veggies are premium, sufficient sources of amino acids, the building blocks of protein which our cells (primarily those of the liver) use to synthesize ALL of its protein. The body in fact recycles 80% of the protein it makes! If you are looking for higher protein foods, beans, legumes, lentils all have a great amount of protein. 

Here is an excerpt from the book 80/10/10 by Dr Douglas Graham:

Whole Food Nutrition or Fragmented Nutrition?

Empty calorie foods, or “junk foods,” are defined as calorie sources sans full nutrient content. Refined calorie sources, whether they are protein, fat, or carbo- hydrates, supply empty calories. We generally think of sugar and empty calories as being synonymous. Refined starches (e.g., flour products) also qualify as empty calories, even though the general public may think of them as “healthy carbs.” Refined oils, too, must be recognised as empty calorie foods, since they are neither whole foods nor do they provide the full complement of nutrients found in the original source. Of course, protein powders of all types also qualify as empty calories as they fit the definition perfectly. It is sometimes difficult to accept that our beloved supplements are no more than junk foods. Nevertheless, flax or any other oil, hemp or any other protein powder, white flour and refined sugar all fall into the same category: empty calories. When you add any of them to your fruits and vegetables, you turn health food into junk food.

Rather than ask, “Where do you get your protein?”, consumers of such refined, isolated empty calories should be asking, “Where do you get your nutrients?” Protein from a can is no more nutritious than sugar from a bag or oil from a bottle; all of these items qualify as junk when compared to whole foods. 

Protein Does Not Build Muscle!

Some may argue that we need to eat great volumes of protein in order to build muscle mass. In fact, if we wish to be able to exercise with sufficient intensity to spur growth in our muscles and related structures, we need to consume sufficient carbo- hydrates to meet our fuel needs—preferably from fruit.

Since protein is one of the three caloronutrients (along with carbohydrates and fats), protein fuel demands rise only when one’s diet is deficient in carbohydrates (as the body is forced to convert the protein into carbohydrates—a very inefficient, energy-draining process).

Eating protein does not build muscle. Muscular growth results from placing a strength overload upon the muscles and then supplying adequate conditions for recovery. Repeatedly using this overload and recovery strategy results in steady and reliable muscular growth and development. The quality of tissue developed will be determined by the foods eaten, and the highest quality tissues will develop as a result of eating fruits and vegetables.

Protein, per se, is not actually used by the body to build new tissue. When foods are eaten, their constituent proteins are broken down during the digestive processes into ever smaller particles: proteoles, polypeptides, dipeptides, and, eventually, amino acids. The amino acids travel to the liver where they are recombined and constructed into the specific proteins needed at any given time. Not only is it a fallacy that protein will result in muscle growth, but the concept that the body needs specific proteins, from fish, meat, eggs, etc. is also fallacious. The body breaks down all proteins to their component amino acids before recombining them. Eating the muscles from animals will not result in our developing bigger muscles. As an analogy, eating animals’ eyes will not improve our vision, nor will eating their brains increase our intellect.