To the immense disappointment of his vegan fans around the world, YouTube star and former plant-based advocate Leif Burke announced that, due to health concerns regarding his abnormally low cholesterol, mercury, and arsenic levels, he has again begun including eggs, fish and other animal products in his diet.
"I had to put my health first," said Burke, who explained that, as a vegan, his cholesterol was "crazy low," often plummeting well below 150. Burke consulted with a physician, who predicted that eggs would rapidly boost his faltering cholesterol levels - and not only that, were incredibly edible. And, sure enough, after just a few weeks of regularly consuming eggs and seafood, Burke's cholesterol levels have returned to well within the "normal" range of 200 and above, reinforcing his decision to make fish flesh and ovular secretions regular parts of his diet.
And it wasn't just cholesterol Burke was concerned about; he had also learned that, as a vegan, his blood work showed only the barest traces of mercury, arsenic, and other metals in his system, to the extent that he was almost entirely non-metallic. Again, just a few weeks of eating salmon and other ocean creatures cured that deficiency. "At this point, I feel practically magnetic," he raved.
Upping his intake of animal products has improved his quality of life in other key areas as well, says Burke. "My whole-food plant-based diet had me dealing with some serious roughage," he said. "Now, I can go a few days, or even a week, without conducting major business in the bathroom. It seems much more hygienic."
All the positives aside, returning to omnivorous eating hasn't all been a bed of roses, Burke acknowledged. "My sleep apnea came back, which is a drag," he said. "But every rose has its thorns. No one diet can offer everything."
Burke says that he hopes that his example will inspire vegans who worry that they might be missing out on a certain unidentifiable something by not consuming animal products to put themselves first by eating what everyone else eats. "Let go of your disproportionate guilt," was his overall message for ethical plant-based eaters. "There's no shame in eating like an American."